Monday, July 29, 2013

A weekend in Portlandia

Summer has been totally crazy around here... thus the lack of action here on this blog.  We have been busy with a capital B. Even though we didn't really have time for it, we decided to go to Portland for a four-day weekend... because, why not? Jesse's brother and his cute little family were going to be there visiting some friends of theirs whom we hadn't met yet, and it seemed like a fun excuse to get away to somewhere neither of us had ever been. Turns out, we think Portland is pretty awesome. Our new friends were great tour guides! We started off Saturday morning by loading six, yep, six bikes and one trailer bike up on their SUV and driving to the hill where the zoo is. Then we unloaded them, hopped on, and cruised all the way down the hill to the downtown area, where we went to the farmers' market. 

The produce was so beautiful and colorful!  I couldn't resist buying some blueberries and cherries, which were as delicious as they looked.

This guy was as handsome as usual, too:) Even if he did give me the skeptical eye when I turned the camera on him.


There were lots of gorgeous flowers too, though I'm not really the kind of girl who ever buys flowers.  There was also live music.  Oh, and did I mention food? Jesse got some sort of crepe, and I got a tamale (tamal? Whatever, you know what I mean) with artichokes and Cotija cheese. It was amazing.

And the kiddos did things that were cute.  Shocking, am I right?

After the farmers' market, we took off again and spent time biking around downtown, stopping to eat at food trucks and not one, but two breweries (don't judge... all that biking makes you hungry! And thirsty.) Towards the end of the day we biked across a particularly pretty bridge, where we were able to stop for a few moments and enjoy the great views of Portland, and I got to snap a few more pictures.  (Have you ever tried to take pictures while riding a bike?? Not advisable.)

See you next time, Portland... we'll definitely be back! --Karen

Friday, July 5, 2013

The most beautiful lake in the world

Ok, maybe the title's a wee bit of an exaggeration.  But seriously, look at that!  That beautifulness is called Cliff Lake, and it's only about an hour and a half away from where we live.  Jesse and I, along with Laramie and Kelly, two couples whom we are friends with, and their combined total of four kids stole away for a long weekend of camping there this past weekend.  And we camped on the far side of the lake, which meant taking boats across the lake with all our camping gear to get to our very isolated camping spot.

Ah, so many things happened, including the above pose. We would usually go out on our boats in the morning, when the lake was green and clear and as smooth as glass, to either fish or explore.  Later in the day, when it got hot, we would swim for a little while.  The brave ones had a swimming race out to the island one day. We also read, took naps, talked, and relaxed in hammocks strung between two trees. We did a lot of sitting around the fire, especially at night.  I made hobo packets for two nights using a variation of Emma's recipe, and they were so good! I'll definitely do that again.

Kelly caught a baby snake, which then bit her on the finger and was released after we had a good look at him. He was apparently a feisty little guy. Don't worry, she's still alive.

This is what "camping Karen" looks like, in case you were wondering.  Yes, my hair is in a weird growing-out phase.

 Our friends had to leave one night earlier than Kelly and Laramie and us, so the last night, when we were there by ourselves, we took the canoes out in the evening and caught the last of the sunset on the water. It was so incredibly beautiful.  --Karen