Tuesday, April 26, 2016


so as i said before, day 4 was mostly revisiting places from day 3 that were dampened due to bad weather (pun intended). originally, i didn’t really have much planned because we would be leaving to the airport mid day. after an hour of indecisive decision making, i decided to go back to the vista house because the views are supposed to be so great during clear days. fortunately for us it was a super clear day (and warmest day during the trip) and there were a ton of waterfall stops along the columbia river gorge.

the first was latourell falls. this is one the one waterfall where you could literally see it driving down the highway.

pretty flora laced rock walls.

the columnar basalt formations

we returned to the vista house and man was it worth it!

views of the gorge.

and more views of the gorge.

on our way back from the vista house, we stopped at several little enclaves or waterfalls that are less than a 1.5 mile walk each. there are so many little pretty places to see down the highway.

shepperd’s dell bridge (c.1914) and waterfall (same name)

a lucky little ladybug

bridal veil falls (maybe?)

some random waterfall we saw when we made a wrong turn to see an even bigger waterfall (which we were never able to find). that pose tho.

the vista house from afar

after all that, we made our way back to the airport and i had pizza!

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now for the hostel. we stayed at the hostelling international hawthorne portland hostel. i always have a really good time in hostelling international locations. as for my review, there was nothing really wrong with the hostel, it just was not my favorite. on its own, its great, but compared to other hostels, its average. i will also say, hostels are known for friendly workers. here, the workers may have been nice, but the manager was a bit of a scrooge.

the hostel is located right in the heart of the hawthorne district (a bohemian neighborhood). it was a bit of an older home, which was also furnished in grandma chic decor. this may sound like an insult, but it was one of my favorite things about the hostel. it was like the manager converted his grandma's old house into a hostel. 

the communal kitchen

this is part of their water system/art installation that uses rain water for grey water.

a little sitting porch in the front yard. the sign says, "hostelling international has always been rooted in the community, so we offer this cob bench as a gathering places."

now for a song. this song has nothing to do with trip, but i just like it. 'colors,' by halsey. also, tyler posey is in the music video and he is a little cutie. enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2016


the rain continued into day 3. not only was there rain, but heavy fog and mist. because this day was mostly scenic it was kind of a ruiner, but (spoiler) we went back to some of these places the next day (and the weather was beautiful). 

but first, it was valentines day

anyhoo, the first stop of the morning was to the columbia river gorge highway, a scenic drive. and man was it pretty. just windy roads and lots of greenery. you would literally drive by and see a waterfall. also once you exit the freeway there is the littlest, cutest post office. i wish i got a picture. here's an article written about it (apparently it's a hit for wedding invitations).

multonomah falls is 611 ft and 2 tiers. it is the 2nd tallest year-long waterfall. i was determined to trek up to the top (its a consistently steep mile walk), but i didn't make it. i was not feeling very good in the morning so we walked more than half way and turned around (boo). the falls and the surrounding area is maintained by the us forestry. 

there is also the multonomah falls lodge which is a restaurant, gift shop, and little museum. it was completed in 1925 and is built with rocks found in the gorge.

an old railroad bridge across the falls

we then headed up to vista point. it is a little art deco building on the top of a cliff. it is supposed to have beautiful views. unfortunately, this day was very cloudy so we couldn't see it (but we went back the next day which was clear)

after, we made our way to oregon city to see the end of the oregon trail interpretive center. i was starving so we first went to what i would consider downtown oregon city (just a street of businesses) and ate at the singer hill cafe. what a cute place! just like portland, they are very health conscious and delicious. inside they had little handcraft shop and a wall full of real ferns. so pretty.

i had a turkey melt with sesame slaw, my dad had a reuben with sesame slaw and a house salad. yummy. 

on the back wall of the singer hill cafe (also real plants)

oregon city was the last stop on the oregon trail (while also being the first incorporated city west of the rockies and the first capitol of oregon)

the framed structure is to represent the hooded wagons.

soooo, not gonna lie but the end of the oregon trail interpretive center was kind of boring, but i am still glad i went. it was also a lot smaller than i thought. anyhoo, atleast i got to play dress up.

the kiddos (and me) can dress like a women pioneer...

or a boy pioneer

since the museum was a lot smaller than i thought, i had a lot of extra time with no plans. for a while there was endless driving, but then we decided to take a stroll along the river (in the rain). there were a few points of interest.

first and foremost, seals (i'm guessing elephant?). a very pleasant surprise. 

second, willamette falls (the horseshoe shaped waterfall is the largest by volume in the pacific northwest)

third, either a paper or electric mill (i don't remember which one this is)

and lastly, a very stern bust of john mccouphlin, known as the 'father of oregon.'  also, it is worth a second to google his picture (he looks like doc from back to the future and he really is a doctor!)

we then headed back, stayed at the hostel for a bit, and then went out for dinner. we walked down hawthorne street and found a thai restaurant. it was delicious and compared to other thai places, the food was not heavy and tasted fresher (after all we were in portland).

i don't remember exactly what i got, but it was pretty much a pork pat thai with broccoli and other vegetables. i also got coconut ice cream (the best, and most expensive i have every had).

now for a song. it's another hozier. honestly, he's not my favorite but i really life a few of songs. also, this song reminds me of this trip. 'cherry wine,' by hozier. enjoy!