A “Gorge”ous Day

Boxing Day in Portland has a different feel than at home as well – the weather and the scenery were “gorge-ous”! A normal Boxing Day sees us getting up in the morning and having leftover Christmas Dinner for breakfast while finishing the cleanup from the night before. Some years we have B&B guests which means we’re up serving breakfast and have to be dressed and on our best behaviour.

At home, all stores are closed on Boxing Day, so most people rarely go anywhere.  In Portland, however, everything was open on Boxing Day, but without the sales we find on the 27th, so stores were not crazy. (I guess the Americans get that all out of the way on “Black Friday”.)

Regardless of the fact we’ve been getting up before six, it seems like it takes until at least ten before the eight of us have all eaten, showered, and are ready to go! However, we’re on vacation, so what’s the rush? Phil and Susan, luckily, are very laid back and don’t seem to be too concerned by our slow mornings. Breakfast was a  less labour intensive than the two days before, as we were still full from Christmas dinner: we had toast and leftover berry pie. Someone may have had a bowl of whipped cream, but whatever happens in Portland stays in Portland…

Our first stop was the Columbia Outlet. Both Columbia and Nike are based in Portland. D’Arcy & Sarah each got new winter jackets at great prices. D’Arcy hasn’t had a warm winter jacket in years, so I insisted he buy it, despite his insistence that he didn’t need it. I argued that he’s the one who does all of our shovelling, and it is a nice jacket, far less expensive than we could buy at home; Sarah’s was $25.

From the Columbia outlet, we drove to the Oregon countryside to visit the gorges. How stunning! As we drove (Phil & the boys; Susan & the girls) we could see Mt. Hood, and it’s beautiful, snowy peak. We stopped along a number of scenic vistas and visited different waterfalls in Oregon before crossing the Bridge of the Gods into Washington State. The beauty that surrounded us was everything that I had in my imagination before we’d arrived.

In Washington, Phil had wanted us to eat at Walking Man Brewing Company, which brews beer he likes. Unfortuately, it didn’t open until 4pm and we were there an hour too early. Instead, we went to a little pizza place around the block where they served the brewpub’s beer. It was delicious! We ordered three large pizzas: cheese for the girls, a vegetarian, and volcano (sausage, pepperoni, jalapeños, and pineapple), devouring every morsel! On the way to the washroom, the kids discovered a mini arcade, so played “Ms. PacMan” and a driving game.

We drove home as dusk fell, stopping at a look-off so we could see where we’d been. The girls drove Susan crazy, singing a song about “My Little Pony”, but again, what happens in Portland needs to stay in Portland… (Or never be sung again, eh Susan?!) 😉

When we arrived home, I played some Uno with the girls and got them ready for bed while D’Arcy, Phil, Susan, and the boys went out to the neighbourhood to do some shopping. We all went to bed fairly early, knowing that our last full day together would be a busy one.

Portland Women's Forum lookoff. The Columbia River; Oregon on the right, Washington State on the left.

Portland Women’s Forum lookoff. The Columbia River; Oregon on the right, Washington State on the left.

Family shot in the sun and wind, Columbia River in the background.

Family shot in the sun and wind, Columbia River in the background.

The view from Vista House.

The view from Vista House.

At Latourell Falls, Oregon

At Latourell Falls, Oregon

The beauty around us was breathtaking.

The beauty around us was breathtaking.

Alex got a little thirsty...

Alex got a little thirsty…

Mulnomah Falls, Oregon

Mulnomah Falls, Oregon

Me with my cousin, Phil

Me with my cousin, Phil

Crossing the Bridge of the Gods, across the Columbia river from Oregon to Washington State.

Crossing the Bridge of the Gods, across the Columbia river from Oregon to Washington State.

Looking back at where we'd  been, at dusk from Washington State.

Looking back at where we’d been, at dusk from Washington State.

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