Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[Travel] Portland, Sunriver and Spelunking

Last night we returned from a weeklong vacation in Oregon.  We had a fantastic time visiting friends and enjoyed our stay in Portland and Central Oregon. Our trip to Oregon is becoming an annual event and is something that our family looks forward to. Warning... lots of photos ahead.  I had to power through this post or it would never get done!

Here are some of the trip highlights...

The Portland Children's Museum

 a giant lite brite

great idea to pair translucent lego and magnatiles with a light table.

Date Night in North West Portland

The adults had "date night". Yahoo!  We had dinner at Serrato Restaurant, then headed over to Salt & Straw for some gourmet ice cream.

Apparently, we weren't the only ones with that brilliant idea...
Look at that line!  We were literally standing in the street. Worth the 40 minute wait though.  

Although I tasted the Arbequina Olive Oil flavor (Oprah's favorite), I went with the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache and The Mister enjoyed his Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper.  Sounds weird, but it was good!

Central Oregon

We had never been to Central Oregon before and it was a wonderful experience. We drove from Portland through the Cascade Mountains into Central Oregon.  Rain or no, it's a beautiful drive!

We rented a home with two other families at the Sunriver Resort outside of Bend, Oregon.  Interesting fact... 5 of us went to high school together! Aaah... Nothing better than 8 kids and 6 adults in one house.  My kids loved the chaos!

Sunriver is a huge resort community with a ton of family friendly outdoor activities-- biking, swimming, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, sledding... spelunking. 

game room = kid central
This photo doesn't even capture half the room... but you get the idea  :)

Swimming at the SHARQ, the new indoor/outdoor water park

1st annual ping-pong tournament. The professionals amongst us had to hold a baby while playing.  It's only  fair!  ;)

For me, the highlight of our trip within a trip was hiking through Lava River Cave... 

Armed with propane lanterns, we made our descent into the cave...

At the mouth of the cave...
A lot larger than I had imagined.

Slippery, muddy and dark... I guess Tom's aren't really meant for spelunking?? ;)
Next time I'll know better!

Frozen breath

The ceiling of the lava tube. Bats hibernate in this cave during the winter. Neat but... Ew!
Every now and then I'd step in some sludgy stuff and think "bat poop?"

Some areas had really low ceilings... Although the little ones couldn't tell.

We made it to the end!  Only to have to turn around and head back...

Light!  A nice sight after 1.5 hours of cold & dark.
I'm happy to report that Happy Vee made the entire trip (2 miles roundtrip in the pitch dark and 40 degree temp) without being carried.  What a trooper!

And, if you made it to the end of this post, that was our trip!

So right now I'm making my way through a mountain of laundry.  I actually don't mind.  I'm feeling refreshed after our little trip and am hoping I can direct my newly refreshed self into tackling a project or two this week.  We shall see!  Have a nice rest of the week!

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