A week or so ago I spent a little over a week with my family in Portland. I was only supposed to stay for a long weekend, but at the last second, we switched my flight and I nearly doubled the length of my stay. Here are a couple of highlights from the trip…
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We needed a weekend away. After a handful of searches for a getaway in Ohio on the internet, Jared tracked down the Homestead House Bed & Breakfast in Willoughby, Ohio. It had amazing reviews on Trip Advisor so we booked right away. We were not disappointed. The room was spacious, clean and cozy. King sized canopy bed, fireplace and large jacuzzi tub. The perfect room to relax and unwind. Of course I made a classic mistake and brought my camera, but forgot my memory card, so you’ll have to live with phone photos.
Let’s start with breakfast…
Seriously serious breakfast. Every morning the innkeeper made a full 3 course breakfast from scratch. From our room I could smell muffins (the most amazing white chocolate blueberry muffins fresh for the oven, still warm and gooey) baking. The muffins were followed by egg cups with sausage and a blueberry black raspberry cobbler for dessert.
We left right after breakfast on Saturday to drive out to the Wildlife Center at Penitentiary Glen Reservation. The wildlife center serves as a temporary home for local animals who need rehabilitation and a permanent home for animals who are so injured they cannot safely return to the wild. These animals work as “ambassadors” to educate the public on local animal life here in Ohio. It’s free to the public and is connected to a small nature center full of local history and taxidermy specimens from the region.
The lady fox is my favorite. She has so much personality and is so active. We also love the birds of prey. It’s amazing to see them up close. We arrived just in time to see some of the residents eat breakfast.
With so much of the day left we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Jared hasn’t visited since way before the huge renovation. It’s always free so we spent a long 6 hour afternoon browsing the collection.
We had lunch in the atrium, admired our favorite pieces and giggled quietly in the galleries at less-than-flattering portraits.
We made it back to the B&B by 6 0′clock and spent the rest of the evening watching cable in our king sized bed and eating junk food until we both passed out. I woke up in the middle of the night to find ourselves in the middle of a blizzard. In morning we had a second amazing 3 course breakfast (cinnamon rolls, puff pastry stuffed with eggs and ham, fresh fruit and panna cotta). We had a slow morning and packed up. We were eager to see our pup, but made a pit stop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio
We killed time in a bookshop where I picked up a handful of used books for my upcoming trip home. Jared found this charming finch book that reminded us of when we had a flock of finches. Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream opened at noon and we were the first ones in the door. I never miss a chance to savor a bowl of Jeni’s ice cream perfection. I had the classic buckeye and dark chocolate.
We were on the road again by 1 o’clock. It was so nice to have a short drive home, instead of a long road trip. Logan was happy to see us and exhausted from a weekend at the Pooch Palace. Logan and Jared both collapsed in bed when we got home. It was a great trip, but it’s always nice to come home to your own bed.
Is it time for you to take a mini-vacation or have you gone on a little getaway lately? I’d love to hear about it!
We are in the dog days of summer here in Ohio and I could really use a vacation. Unfortunately for me, I don’t think its going to happen this year. But to get me through long Mondays I like to plan vacations in my head.
So today I put together 3 tote bags for 3 different vacations. First is a weekend on the lake here in Ohio with a good book, lots of sun and cool water. Second is a trip to San Diego with trendy orange (waterproof) lips, sunsets overt he Pacific and great food. Lastly, a road trip adventure with no plan, a trusty rucksack and aviators.
Which trip would you choose? What else would you pack in your tote? Are you planning a late summer trip away?
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For the second long weekend in a row I was on the move this past weekend. Jared, Logan (our big black dog), my brother Drew and I trekked down to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia for a 2 night back packing trip. We ended up taking the Red Creek Trail, which follows the creek down a lush valley between rolling hills.
As soon as we stepped out of the car and started putting on our packs (after a 5 hour car ride) it started to rain. Not just rain, but pour. Needless to say, I was a tad cranky. It was late, so we walked for an hour or so before I said the next good site we found we would be camping for the night.
It was a good plan. This was the view from our site in the morning. A beautiful overlook of the rapids and hills. We had easy access to water and were set at a nice high elevation in case the river rose (flash flooding is always a danger when you camp on a river).
This was Logan’s first vacation. He did remarkably well! We did have the tether him at camp since he has a natural instinct to explore and we were in black bear country. He loved laying by the fire and stealing our firewood. I love this photo of him relaxing. He did pretty well sleeping in a tent with us. He was a bit of a bed hog the second night but he knew when we went in the tent it was time to lay down and sleep.
On our morning day hike we found ourselves in what felt like a rain forest. Huge boulders covered in moss and giant trees, rhododendrons and ferns. My little brother spends most of his free time at home at the bouldering gym so naturally he had to give the natural formations a try.
I found a tiny mushroom forest! There was such an amazing variety of vegetation. And everything was so green. Moss on everywhere.
To get back to camp we followed the river. The water was pretty cold, but it felt nice on tired feet and blisters. I ended up finding a mostly submerged boulder in the rapids, propped myself on it and let the water run over my legs for while. Between the cool, moving water and the noon sun beating down on my shoulders and face I was pretty content.
As soon as we got back to camp the thunder started rolling again and we settled down for an afternoon nap while the storm blew over.
This is the only picture of me from the trip. I guess I was a camera hog.
Monday we packed up early and hiked back to the car. We cut through Pittsburgh so I could pick up a couple of the usuals at Ikea. We made it home by 7 PM and I hoped right in the shower. I had so much fun, but I’m happy to be home.
We’re headed to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia for a weekend back packing trip. Hopefully it will be a somewhat relaxing memorial day excursion and will re-energize me to push through. I’ll be back Monday nig
Hope you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!
Postcard via Heritage Post Cards.
Last weekend I made my quickest trip home to Portland ever. My little brother (if you could call him “little”, he’s over 6 feet tall now!) was graduating from Pacific Northwest College of Art. With a BFA myself, I know firsthand what an achievement that is. I couldn’t be prouder!
5 AM flight out of Akron. By the time I reached Denver I was feeling that 3 hours of sleep I snuck in. Iced coffee and a blueberry muffin have never tasted so good.
I love flying west. It’s seriously like time travel. Being in Portland by 10:30 in the morning is an amazing feeling.
They don’t wear gowns for graduation, so in true Drew fashion, he managed to find a tux that fit the day before commencement. I am so proud of him! And I’m so glad was I was able to be there to see him walk across that stage.
As a parting gift PNCA brought in a drumline for the graduates that marched right into the theater as they were declared graduates. The whole city could probably hear us.
I also did a little shopping on Saturday and for my birthday my mom got me a brand new pair of Nike Free Runs in beautiful “Hot Punch” neon coral. I was hesitant about the color, but something was drawing me to them and my mom finally convinced me in the end. It’s the first step in achieving the fitness aspect of my Before 30 list. Time to get running!
Happy to be home. Our garden sprouted while I was gone. Jared also brought home an early birthday present for me while I was out of town. Details on that soon. I’ve been thrown a couple of curve-balls this spring and it’s going to be an interesting couple of months. I’ve been slacking around here lately and I apologize.
With warmer weather comes adventure! I hope your spring/summer is kicking off well.
My blog is usually more focused on vintage and handmade, but we also have a soft spot in our heart for gadgets in this house. Our most recent purchase is this little workhorse, the Etón Microlink Self-Powered Radio. It’s not just an AM/FM/NOAA weather radio. It also has a super bright flashlight and (this is the real kicker) a cell phone or small electronic charger. It can be charged with the hand-crank or with the small solar cell on top.
We just bought a simple black one for backpacking, but it would be great to keep one in each car and one in an emergency kit.
Last week I was back in Portland to see the family. We couldn’t have had better weather (for January) and we were able to spend a majority of the trip out and about. Friday and Saturday we went to two different lots of food carts for lunch.
Friday I enjoyed Mexican (from El Brasero), a dulce de leche milkshake and a crepe for dessert (bananas, peanut butter, honey and cinnamon) from Perierra Creperie . Saturday I had a heaping serving of “the best fish and chips in town” (according to my little brother) fried up to order by the Frying Scotsman. Look at that beautiful piece of crispy fried fish.
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Ever since I saw this post I have been obsessing with the idea of visiting Iceland. So many diverse landscapes, from glaciers, to waterfalls and black sand beaches to hillsides so green they nearly glow. For days I have been devouring everything thing I can find on the country. Maybe we found our honeymoon location. It sounds so romantic to bundle up and wander the streets of Reykjavik (I love the colorful rooftops), explore Reynisfjara Beach or bathe in the Blue Lagoon.
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- Lynann -
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Saturday morning we popped up early and walked down to do the Maid of the Mist before it got too hot and too busy. The early morning light made for difficult picture taking, but it was worth it. This may have been my favorite thing we did the whole trip. I was stunned at how powerful the falls were up close.
Of course on a humid morning the blue “souvenir poncho” (garbage bags with hoods) were a little hot and sticky. It made me scrunch my nose a little.
-As silly as it feels, wearing the hood really does help you stay a little drier.
-When you board the boat, the left side gets the best view of the American falls, the right side gets an amazing view of the Horseshoe falls.
-Find a spot on the rail and STAND YOUR GROUND. Don’t let tourists elbow you out.
In the evening we took the inclined rail down to Table Rock and decided to have dinner at Elements as a belated Anniversary dinner. We opted to wait a little longer for a table at the window (it’s the closest restaurant to the falls). The pager reaches you throughout the museum, shops and down by the falls so we took a walk out into the mist.
Waiting for a window seat is totally worth it, and while it was expensive, it was a lovely meal with a great view.
Sunday we took a drive up to Niagara-on-the-Lake and I totally forgot to take photos. Whoops!
It was an amazing trip and I’m excited to cross this one off my “Before 30″ list. Thanks Jared!