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Family, Running, Runs, Travel

Vacation Recap: Portland (the #cantstopwontstop tour)

Hi friends!

I’m back!  I actually returned from vacation Thursday of last week, but I’ve been taking my sweet time getting back into the groove of things, which includes, as I may have mentioned in, oh, every other blog post, figuring out how to get into a routine of blogging!  Still working on that one, but at least I’m here now!  And I’m pumped to share some photos from my trip!  I apologize for the poor quality as I only had my phone.  Consider this a teaser, and serious motivation to get your own butt to Oregon.

For this recap I’m just going to break it down day by day, if that’s okay with you.

Thursday: I had an early flight out of Des Moines and then about a four hour layover in Denver.  I arrived in Portland around 1pm and took the train into downtown to meet my BFF, Caitlin.  It was sooooo nice to finally see her!  We text throughout the day most days, but being face to face was so nice.  And I was in Portland!  Woohoo!  We had a late lunch and then she took me out for a drink at a very chill bar that included this amazing view:

downtown portland

Friday: Caitlin had to go to a meeting at work in the morning, so her husband, Gabe, and I hung out downtown and had breakfast.  It was a delicious meal of French toast and corned beef hash and Stumptown coffee.  Seriously delicious.  When Caitlin was done working we all headed to the Adidas employee store.  Caitlin had scored a pass to the store and I took full advantage!  It was a bit chaotic as school hadn’t started there yet and there were clearly some parents there with kiddos doing back to school shopping.  I got two pairs of shorts, socks, and a hoodie.  I felt pretty good about not going too crazy and I only spent $55.  Score!

Friday night I accompanied Caitlin to a Barre3 class at the studio she regularly goes to.  We got an awesome workout in (barre always kicks my butt!) and then headed out to meet my friend Anne for dinner.  I hadn’t seen Anne in three years!  It was so so nice to see her again and catch up!  We had a delicious dinner and hit Salt and Straw for dessert.  The ice cream was amazing!  I chose three different flavors in a waffle cone and it was life changing.  So good.  I’m going to remember that ice cream for many years to come.

Saturday: I headed out early with Gabe to do a long run.  I moved some things around in my training schedule so I would only have to do 10 miles in Portland.  We headed over to Sauvie Island and ended up running nine miles and walking one (my knee was hurting a bit and I just didn’t want to push it).  We came home to find Caitlin had casually whipped up a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls and baked some bacon.  Yes, she’s amazing.  She said the recipe was from Iowa Girl Eats and requires no yeast, so was super easy to throw together.  They were so good!  I have a serious love of cinnamon rolls.

breakfast at caitlin's

After breakfast and showers Gabe and I headed to a local bar to catch the Iowa game while Caitlin did some work at home.  It wasn’t super pretty, but the Hawks managed a victory, so all was well.

go hawks

Sunday: Caitlin and I packed up fairly early and headed to Bend, OR!  It was like a little adventure within my vacation!  We grabbed coffee and snacks and drove about three hours before arriving at our first stop-an eight mile hike!  The weather was absolutely perfect and the hike was gorgeous.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

waterfall 1 waterfall 2 waterfall 3 hike 2 hike 1

amy & caitlin

After our hike we checked into our hotel room, took showers and got ready to go out for dinner.  It’s Oregon, Bend to be exact, so we were obviously looking for a brewery.  I actually can’t remember the name of the place we ended up, but we managed to snag some seats at the bar outside and wasted no time ordering a beer flight and some very serious nachos.

beer flight and nachos

After dinner and drinks there we headed to another brewery for a few more beers before calling it a night.  And thus began the #cantstopwontstop tour.  So much fun.

Monday: We hit up the hotel’s hot breakfast, hung out for a bit, then headed outside.  The area where we stayed was super cute, clean and very recreational.  Along the river there was a nice path that lead to a trail.  The weather was beautiful again and there were a ton of people out, walking, running, biking.  I did a five mile loop that included some dirt trails that were pretty fun to run on!  After our respective workouts we both showered and packed up to head to our next stop: Crater Lake!!  I’ve always wanted to go to Crater Lake (I’m pretty sure I did a report on it in elementary school and it’s stuck with me ever since).  It did not disappoint!  When we arrived we drove around and stopped at a lot of the viewpoints.  It was breathtaking.  We stopped at the gift shop where I picked up some souvenirs for the fam, and then headed to our campsite to set up for the night!

crater lake 3 crater lake 2

These pictures really don’t do it justice.  The lake itself is incredible, and the views around it are also amazing.  The park was very well maintained and it wasn’t overcrowded.  If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend checking it out.

Tuesday: We woke up fairly early and packed up our campsite.  It was so nice to spend a night really camping!  I didn’t sleep well, of course, but just hanging out by the fire, with my best friend, in the middle of a beautiful forest, was such a cool experience.  I felt very relaxed and happy.  It was exactly what vacation should be.  After we were packed up we drove around the lake some more and stopped at a view point to eat our breakfast.  The water was so still and the air was so fresh!  It was probably the most peaceful breakfast I’ve ever had.  After that we headed to the boat tour!  To get there we had to hike down about one mile to the dock.

crater lake 1

The boat tour lasted almost two hours.  It was very cool to see the lake from the inside and learn more about the history of how it came to be as a lake and how Crater Lake came to be as a national park.  The guide was funny and knowledgeable and again, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  If you’re going to visit Crater Lake, do the boat tour!  Post tour we made the very steep one mile climb back to the car and headed back to Portland, which was a very scenic four hour drive.

Since Gabe was out of town for a business trip Caitlin and I took advantage and ate dinner on the couch while watching That Awkward Moment.  We made a point to choose a movie we probably wouldn’t watch with our husbands.  It was okay, not terrible, and it fit the bill of something light that wouldn’t require a great deal of attention to detail; we were pretty wiped from our mini vacation!

Wednesday: We met up with Anne and her boyfriend, Colt, for breakfast at Pine State Biscuits.  Like my other meals in Portland, it was incredible!  It was wonderful to see Anne again, and meet Colt.  Delicious food and fabulous friends, what more could a girl want?

pine state biscuits

Post-breakfast Caitlin and I headed to a coffee shop so we could both get some work done and to give our food some time to digest.  At noon we headed to the gym and I got in some decent cross-training.  I really love going to new gyms.  This one was pretty decent, but didn’t have all that I was hoping for.  Still, a good workout!

After showers at the house we headed out for our final afternoon together.  We went to a winery, obvi.  It was gorgeous!  Check out this view!

winery view

Unfortunately, we were a little late to arrive and didn’t have much time before they closed.  One of the staff was kind enough to point us in the direction of another local winery that was open a bit longer, so we headed there next.  We enjoyed a couple more wine flights and then headed back home…with more wine…to wind down the night.  Caitlin grilled flank steak and we enjoyed our wine on her deck with her own incredible view:

view from deck

It was the perfect way to end my vacation and I am so grateful to Caitlin, and Gabe, for putting me up and showing me a fabulous time.

Thursday: I had a ridiculously early flight to catch, but I made it and was on my way home to see my baby!!!  I missed her like crazy!  Hubby did a great job sending me a lot of pictures of her (and him!) and we did get to FaceTime here and there.  I just wanted to hang with my girl!!  She was asleep when I made it home and I couldn’t help myself from sneaking in her room to get a look at her sweet face.  I was so happy to finally hug her when she woke up!  It was a very sweet reunion.


I’m so thankful to my husband for allowing me to take this trip and giving me the opportunity to relax, release and recharge!  And thank you to you for making it through this incredibly long post!  I’m hoping to have a marathon training update for you later this week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Question: When was your last real vacation?  Where did you go?



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Chicago Marathon

The Big DayOctober 12th, 2014
The big day is here.


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