Sunday, June 16, 2019

Beautiful Oregon

I may post more details later, but for now, here are some of my favorite things from our week in Oregon.

Favorite place we stayed:
Two nights in this lovely tiny house in the Boise neighborhood of Portland. We enjoyed the restaurants and shopping within walking distance.

Favorite drive:
The drive out past Mt. Bachelor here, with the top off the rental Jeep.

Bonus: Fall Creek, which comes from snow melting from the South Sister mountain (seen here) was so cold that even our "polar bear" daughter couldn't keep her feet in for more than five minutes. It took her a while to get the feeling back to her toes so we could take a hike.

Favorite hike:
The hike in the Three Sisters Wilderness, next to Fall Creek was a marvelous one. We didn't make the whole 11 mile trek, but we plan to make it happen next time!

Favorite overall place:
Smith Rock State Park

Each turn revealed something new and beautiful. Crooked River is something special.

It was actually quite a warm day. I could have kept going and going. As it was, my hiking partners were troopers and we all had fun!

Every time I thought it couldn't get better.

Each time I was impressed.

This one, though. Just pure showing off. Okay. Smith Rock clearly won my heart.

Favorite river:
The Deschutes
We floated it.

In various states of togetherness in our individual tubes.

We rode through Class 2 rapids. On my first trip down, I banged my right knee. On the second trip down, I scraped my right shin. On the third (pictured) trip down, I flipped the tube and lost my hat and glasses.

Sophia flipped, too, but came out happy and whole. The adventure was worth it.

Favorite locals:
Erick's uncle Bill & Cheryl

Favorite Beer:
the Wit from pFriem Family Brewing in Hood River

Favorite sunset:
In the Hood River Park across from pFriem

Favorite activity:
Trail ride over the Columbia River Gorge

Favorite story:
We topped out here, and I'll let Sophia tell the tale of our narrow trail

We had more adventures and lots more views, but these were my favorites. I'll tell you the stories when I see you next!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Just for

On Saturday, we head out on vacation to Oregon. This time, we will not be visiting the coast, so no pictures of rocky coastlines. However, I'm sure there will be plenty of picturesque vistas from atop a bluff or two.

For now, please enjoy this picture of my beautiful baby.

Monday, May 13, 2019

First Annual Creach Camping Trip

For the last couple of years, Erick and I have toyed with the idea of what it might mean to be outdoor people. We love hiking, campfires, adventuring outdoors. We do not love camping. 

As a matter of fact, Sophia has never once been camping. Because of adult ambivalence, she has developed a real aversion. In order to get her to agree to go camping, I had to make it my Mother's Day gift. So, sure enough, we went camping this weekend!

Here is Sophia with our lovely tent. Spacious. EASY to put up.

We stayed at the campground at Graham Cave State Park. It was raining here in St. Louis, but it held off for us at the campground all weekend. Once we set up the tent, we headed out for a quick hike in the woods. All the recent rain has made for practically a rainforest feel. It was so lovely.

Here's our campsite all set up. Sophia and Leo are in the tent. You can see Sophia's face in the window. The hammock got lots of use, and fortunately Sophia did not hurt herself.

Also, I have a new phone that has a portrait setting. So, there is this.

And this, both by firelight. We went through four things of wood in our one-night camp.

The campfire and the relaxing always make me love camping. The sleeping on the ground and waking up to the loud and insistent birds always makes me hate it. This was me in the morning before Erick made us breakfast over the fire with his camp knife and a cast iron skillet. Impressive guy, that Erick. The breakfast helped me feel less disheveled, though I doubt it aided my appearance any.

Like I said, the hammock got lots of use.

In summary, Leo and Sophia are complete and total city creatures. Leo did not have any fun at all. Sophia had fun but got very bored and cold at night. Erick and I had fun and feel like we accomplished something. We hadn't tried camping in so long that we couldn't be sure of our feelings for it. Our feelings are as follows: we can hike, have fires, play in creeks, picnic and play while still returning to an indoor sleeping arrangement, particularly when Sophia and Leo are involved. On weekends when it's just the two of us, camping can come back into the entertainment rotation.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Breaking the Seal

It's hard to believe, though not really, that I have only posted once or twice so far in 2019. It's been a very fast year. There are almost ten blog drafts that never got published. Let's hope that this one doesn't get added to that.

At some point in the recent past, I got a new phone.

Then we went to the brewery and I took some pictures. I will post those here as a way to break the current seal on this blog.

Even the selfie camera is marvelous.

I took a lot of pictures of Sophia. She was making faces in most of them. I love that about her. She's just so darn cute.

She took some pictures of me, and I was making faces, too. I guess she gets the silly streak from me. At least partially.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Winter Wonderland

Ten days later, I'm finally posting about the snow. The big snow dump last weekend made for some great playing. It wasn't nearly as cold last weekend as it was for this one. The snow was wet and deep, so it was perfect for building stuff.

Like forts.

On the second day, the tracks had been laid for a nice sledding experience. Sophia made her first successful ramp. She has made other attempts at ramp building, but she never caught air before that day. She was very excited!

It's my opinion that if the temp insists on dipping, I'd just as soon have some snow along with it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

NOLA on my mind

Over break, the three of us and our little dog hit the road for New Orleans.

It's possibly my favorite city, though I love lots of cities. I just feel the most at home there. Erick and Sophia love it, at least they love it in the winter. I am pretty sure Sophia would want nothing to do with summer in the south.

We hit some of our favorite spots - like the hot dog joint on Magazine Street.

Our dog likes Dat Dog. He also likes Magazine Street. He always makes friends there and gets lots of loving. But the hot dogs are definitely his favorite part.

In all the times that we have taken Sophia to New Orleans, we have never taken her to the Audubon Zoo. That's strange considering the zoo was one of our favorite things from our first trip down there in 2002 (honeymoon). We fixed that this time. It's a really great zoo. And what would a zoo in the swamp be without some baby gators?

Another new thing for Sophia was an evening in the Marigny. We spent the evening on Frenchmen Street, listening to live music in a club and on the street. It was my favorite evening of the trip, and that's saying something!

We had a great visit in New Orleans, as we always do. Soaking in the sights, sounds, smells of a unique and delightful place.

Hanging with these two is always the best part!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Retired Worm Hunter

As I took Leo for his walk on this lovely, wet autumn morning, I saw three big, fat earthworms.

I had a tiny moment of excitement and a flood of memories around days just like this one. On a rainy day, when it was just a little chilly, Sophia and I would go out with a container and our eyes open for worms. If you look closely at the bowl she's holding, you can see at least one earthworm getting saved from being squished on the sidewalk. Whether the bowl of mud and being handled by a small human are preferable, I wouldn't know.

As I had a moment of excitement about the worms, I realized that our days of going out in rain jackets to hunt for and "rescue" worms are probably over.

Sophia still loves being out in the rain. She still loves getting dirty. And, as a matter of fact, I could probably interest her in a worm or two. So maybe my worm hunting days are not completely behind me. I'll let you know.