Saturday, April 2, 2011

Celebrating 7 Years!

As promised, this post will be all about the fun time that Kyle and I had on our anniversary trip to Bend, Oregon.
We wanted to go somewhere fun and also somewhere that we felt like we could relax and take it easy for a bit. Our friend, Sarah, from church suggested Bend. Kyle checked it out and said it looked like a fun place and booked us a room there.
It was about a 5 to 5 1/2 hour drive for us...not sure exactly how long because we took our time and stopped along the way at a couple of outlet malls. But I will say the drive was beautiful.
We drove kidding...the "Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway." I cannot believe that I didn't get a picture of one of the signs for proof of that.

We did spot this cool covered bridge.

And we got to drive through some snow as we passed over the Cascades.

Had a cool view of this mountain that appeared to be erupting. But thankfully it was just the clouds around it that made it look like smoke.

We made it into Bend in time to check into our room and hit up downtown to find some dinner. We immediately knew we would like downtown and planned to head back there the next day.

We found our friend, Sarah's, favorite coffee shop.

Thump Coffee!!
It became our favorite as well. We went at least three times while we were in town.
Had delicious coffee and a great atmosphere.

Kyle enjoying some coffee.

It was beautiful coffee, too.

I actually tried a pear soda on one of our visits and it was quite tasty.

A bit of a look at the place...hundreds of wooden planks hung from the ceiling. All of them had been drawn on by patrons of Thump. Most of them had something that finished the thought, "I wish....." Yes, we colored a wooden plank of our own. Who knows, maybe one day we will go back and find it hanging from the ceiling.

Kyle took some time to scope out what we might want to do while we were there. Lots of fun options. Some of them were out because I am snow skiing, for instance.

We did plan a snow shoeing trip, though.
And on our way up Mt. Bachelor, look what we saw...

A herd of elk hanging out on a golf course.
Can we say random?

We stopped at a place called Meisner Snow Park for our adventure.

Here is Kyle getting all strapped into his snow shoes. And he was sweet enough to strap me into my snow shoes, too, so I didn't have to do all that bending over.

There were special snow shoeing trails and all we had to do was follow the cute blue signs with a a snow shoer on them.
It was absolutely beautiful there.
Just take a look...

We really did have a great time. At the top of the ridge we stopped at a little hut and had a snack. Met some nice people there who were also taking a break and they were willing to take a picture of us. So this is one of the few pictures that we didn't take of ourselves.

On our actual anniversary we woke up to three or so inches of snow on the ground. It was a beautiful surprise. It was also a Sunday morning so we made a nice little drive through the snow to go to a church that Kyle had found online. They meet in a high school so we really wanted to check out how they do things. It was a great experience. Very cool church! There were probably about five or six hundred people there. And guess what, we saw the people that we met at the hut on our snow shoeing trip!! And we also saw the guy who had checked us out at REI the day before and chatted with him. How crazy is that? Super nice people and a great message on our anniversary morning.
We just took it easy most of the day and then had plans for a nice dinner.

We got dressed up and went to a place called Greg's Grille on the Deschutes River.

That's my date!

And he paid me back for all the picture taking. Ha!
Our meals were yummy!

I had a salad of poached pears, dried cranberries, roasted hazelnuts, grilled chicken, mixed greens and a honey raspberry dressing. Oh my, it was good!

This is Kyle's meal....Prime Rib, need I say more?
I did try a bite and it was delicious as well.

After dinner we went out by a fire that was going by the river. It was pretty chilly so we really only stayed long enough for a quick picture. It was still a really neat spot.

We hit downtown up again for dessert before calling it a night.

The place where we ordered dessert had paper on the tables and a supply of crayons so we had some fun drawing. And it was a good reminder to me that I am so NOT an artist.

Monday morning we woke up to some sunshine and decided to do some hiking.

We started here at Pilot Butte.
It is a cool spot right smack dab in the middle of the city.
May not look all that tall but I promise it was a pretty steep climb.

Kyle on the trail up the Butte.

There were lots of really cool old juniper trees.

This one was probably my favorite.

Kyle did have to stop and wait on this pregnant girl to catch up with him a few times.

But we made it to the to and the view was very cool.

Kyle at the top.
The proof that I made it to the top is that I took this picture of him.

That afternoon we went to a museum.
The High Desert Museum.
It was really neat.

We saw this golden eagle.

And these bald eagles.

Along with this Great Horned Owl.
They had a little 1800's village set up to go through.

Inside the home were people dressed in character and completely acted the part as we visited with them. It was quite interesting.

This was an old sawmill replica.

There were other animals as well....

Some kind of lizard, don't remember what kind.

A toad...don't remember what kind it was either.
There were also quite a few snakes but you know Kyle was NOT HAVING ANY PICTURES OF SNAKES ON OUR CAMERA!!!!
We did get a cool picture of this guy...

A lynx!

Kyle posed with an old forestry fire truck.

Don't even ask me what this was about because I'm not sure.

Me and a tee pee. You can see that Tesa and Tyce are growing nicely.

One of the sections of the museum walked us through the different stages of development in that area in Oregon. It was quite interesting.

Of course wagons were involved in the past.

Kyle hanging out at an old mercantile display.

There was also a very neat butterfly exhibit to walk through.
Kyle got some good shots of the butterflies.
Check them out...

And when we left he butterfly exhibit, we walked back by the lynx and look what he did for us...

Smile right at the camera!

After we left the museum, we took J.B. (that's our toyota 4runner's name) on the adventure of a lifetime.

We were heading to hike some trails that would take us to see falls on the Deschutes River.
The road that lead to the trails a was quite treacherous.

I thought I had more than two pictures....I meant to take more than two pictures of the road we were on, but I guess I was so busy holding on tight and praying for us not to get stuck out in the middle of nowhere that two is all I managed to snap.
Kyle admitted to me later that it was the most nervous he has probably ever been driving. I totally couldn't tell. He did a great job and JB just plowed right on through!

And we did find the trails we were looking for!

There were only a little bit snowy.

But the views of the river were spectacular!

A self portrait to prove we both made it to the falls.

I'm glad we made it because it really was beautiful.

And we even found the lava fields that we knew were supposed to be nearby.
See the black rubble looking stuff in the background? Lava! From a volcano that erupted a LONG time ago.

A closer look at some of the lava fields.

Such a beautiful place!

We wen to a very cool Thai restaurant for dinner our last night in town. It was super fabulous. In fact, everything we ate while we were gone was super fabulous. I tried not to take my camera with me to every meal because I didn't want to drive Kyle crazy with the pictures. But part of me wished I would have because I would love to have pictures of the Thai restaurant, called Typhoon, it was super cool. Not to mention pics of the yummy barbeque shrimp and roasted duck breast that I had at Zydeco. Oh, I better stop thinking about all the yummy stuff we ate!
The good times did have to come to an end. C.G. couldn't keep the boys forever! Plus, if the truth be known, we were starting to kind of miss them.

When we left out on Tuesday morning we decided to go home a different route so we could go by a place called Smith Rock that we had heard about.

Our first view of Smith Rock.

It was such a neat place.

The rock formations were amazing.

And it was just as if it were stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

We only planned on having time to drive by and take a look.
But, wow! We wish we would've known how beautiful it was going to be.

We probably would have taken at least half a day to explore around there.

But we snapped another self-portrait and took a few more pictures and headed north.

I thought this rock looked like a turkey.

And this reminded me of a Stegosaurus.

So many neat formations. I figured we could just look at them for days making shapes out of them.

We even spotted some rock climbers.

Obviously this was another one of those fun activities that was not on the list for a pregnant woman to be doing while on vacation. I'm okay with that! Looked like they were having fun, though.

And the views looking back at the mountains from Smith Rock were amazing as well.

Can you imagine living where these people live? These mountains on one side to have to look at and Smith Rock on the other. They must be miserable folks, huh?

We watched the mountains for as long as we could as we drove away from our vacation.

Kyle could tell you exactly which mountains are which...Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Jefferson, Broken Top, Three Sisters, and another one. I just appreciated their beauty and forgot their names.
This was the last picture I took on our was as we were driving up the highway and look I happened to catch a bird perched in the top of a tree right in front of the mountain.
What a great trip! I will cherish it always.

We did make it home to our boys on Tuesday afternoon and got to spend a little bit of time with Mom before she left the next day.

I'm not so sure Ryne was glad to see least he doesn't so much look like it here.
He was working on the big butterfly floor puzzle that we brought him.

Kade, on the other hand, told us he was really glad to see us. I think that was just because he had convinced himself we were all getting on the plane with C.G. the next day.

He did really like the prize we brought back for him.
An excavation kit with 5 hidden rocks and minerals to find.

His first find!
Yes, he was a mess, but he was having such a good time.
What's a little excavation dust to clean up, right?

While Kade was busy digging and brushing, C.G. took Ryne for a walk.

And I spotted them on them on the trail behind the house!

I guess I probably spotted them because I heard them, ha! But Ryne seemed to think it was really cool that he could see us at our house from out on the trail. Guess that was the first time he realized where he was when he was on the trail!

And Kade continued to excavate!

So far we have found three of the five hidden rocks and minerals.
Once we find the other two, I'm thinking I might figure out how to make my own excavating kits for this kid. It keeps him quite occupied!

So thankful to have such a good anniversary trip!
It is always good to spend time alone with my very best friend.
Thanks again, C.G., for making it possible!

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