Monday, October 26, 2015

Stopping to smell the Portland Roses:)

Since we became friends in the Obed and at the Lily Pad in Tennessee, Zach and I have been so excited to visit Portland and hang out with Charlie and Sheri! We worked our way down from Washington and finally got to meet up! It was fantastic! Not only did they have an awesome location, but they let us use their parking spot (worth quite a bit in Portland these days)!! We had a blast exploring the city and trying to do all the things on Sheri's list including Voodoo Donuts, the Rose Garden, Powell's Bookstore, walking across the many bridges of Portland and eating amazing food!!! 

Voodoo Donuts:)
A beautiful Rose in Portland's Rose Garden!
Zach enjoying conveyor belt sushi:)
Charlie is a bar tender and amazing cook in his own right and we could not have eaten better while we were there! Sheri does aerial class a few days a week, so I tagged along and watched her do her thing way up in the air on silks and a hoop! She is so strong!!  I also got up and ran to the rose garden a few mornings and took their dog, Riley, on a few walks around the neighborhood. We loved Portland and spending time with our vanventure friends!!!
Stopping to smell the roses!
So many flowers!
One weekend, Sheri and Riley took us to Smith Rocks State Park for some great sport climbing! Unfortunately, I had tweaked my wrist in Leavenworth and was taking it easy from climbing. I did get a day in and had a blast just hanging out with everybody. My cousin, Daniel and his girlfriend, Jasmine, joined us too and it was great! Climbing is a fun way to connect and share. I love it!!
Maybe a high first bolt??
Cousin climbing!
Sheri leading at Smith Rock!

Smith Rock State Park

The Portland crew!!

Charlie and Sheri's awesome view!
We also got to spend some time on the coast! In fact, Zach and I got to watch the lunar eclipse while walking on the beach in Washington! My parents and sisters were also watching the moon at the same time and it really made me feel so connected to everybody! It was a great experience. My aunt Robin had recommended taking a hike a long the Olympic Peninsula. It was a nine mile hike with three miles of it being on the beach. A shark washed up with the tide as we were walking by, It was recently dead, and pretty big! It was a beautiful hike, minus all the flies covering the seaweed...
Seals resting. They are so awkward to watch on land!

Another sea selfie:)
My aunt Robin and uncle Joe recently moved to Lincoln City, OR on the coast and we got to go see their new house! Uncle Joe also set up the Hobi sail boats for us and we tootled around Devil's Lake. They have a great place with lots of fun stuff to do and they love visitors, so go say hi!! 
Getting all the pieces out! Uncle Joe built this custom trailer for the boats:)

All set up and ready to set sail!

Out on the open lake water:)
My aunt retired from working at the Oregon State Library and we were in the area for her retirement party! It was really great to hear about all the awesome things she has done in her career! Way to go, Aunt Robin!!
In the stacks at the Oregon Library with Aunt Robin!!
Zach and I headed out to Trout Creek to climb some cracks! I had been resting my wrist and felt like I was ready to go again, but I was quickly reminded of my injury and had to sit out of climbing for a few more days! Zach climbed at Smith Rocks again before we headed decided it was time to head back East. It was a few days of driving, but we got to do some epic star gazing in eastern Oregon and enjoyed the sunrise in Idaho as we made our way across. We live in a pretty beautiful world!
Beautiful sunset in Oregon!

Crack climbing at Trout Creek is rough!

Our campsite in Trout Creek!

Mt. Hood!

Zach hiking out of Smith Rock.

We arrived in Denver just in time to see my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Barry. We all enjoyed dinner out with my sister Samantha and her three kiddos! They are getting big fast! Nancy and Barry are enjoying time between Nancy's cancer treatments and doing a Prius venture out to the coast and back! They will be stopping at some of the places we have seen and I'm so excited for them! 
We spent about a week in Denver with the nieces and nephew and had a blast!! They are high energy and Zach and I spent all of ours keeping up with them, but it was great! Olivia loves Zach because he spent about an hour pushing her on the swing! "Higher, Zach!" she'd cry:) Kaylee is now and expert on her Razor scooter so I took her out on a few runs and she was flying! I had to try really hard to keep up. We also got to go to her soccer game and watch Kaylee in action! Mister Henry is so smiley and growing into his personality well! He loves his sisters so much and we loved watching him! Zach and I took them on all day Tuesday and saw how awesome Grace (their full time nanny) is at her job! The mornings and evenings also proved to us what we already knew, that Samantha is a super mom! We loved getting to spend time with everybody!
Zach taking on two at once!

Bonding with Henry!

A future climber:)
Morning "nuggles':)

That looks like a good seat for Olivia:)

Kaylee taking a quick break from soccer!

Henry and I cheering on the team!

Working on her soccer skills:)

The whole crew!
While in Denver, we also checked in with my little buddy, Kingston and his family. I took care of him in the NICU in Wichita and he is in kindergarten now!! He also has a little brother and sister now! Their awesome mom, Meg, is keeping up and it was great fun getting to catch up for a little bit and meet the new little girl, Poppy:)
Leyton and Zach reading!

Perfect Poppy:)
Our home address has been in Palmer Lake at Zach's aunt and uncle's home. They invited us over for dinner one evening and it was funny pulling up to our "home" address:) Of course Mike had made a delicious meal and we loved getting to hang out and catch up with Fran and Mike. You guys are awesome!!
We then moved on to the Springs and caught up with our old crew! I stopped by the NICU at St. Francis and saw all the great changes they are working on. Its getting bigger! I had a great time catching up with everybody there! We had game night at our friend, TJ's apartment. He found a bomb disarming game where one person could see the "bomb" on the computer screen and the rest of us were "outside" looking at the bomb manual trying to tell him how to successfully disarm the bomb. We blew up a lot, but also had a freaking blast!
After successfully disarming a bomb!
I had a friend day and met with Brady, Julianne, Libby, and Deb to catch up and see what all is happening! I LOVED it! Our friend, Mareshah, invited us to see "Metanoia," a movie about an accomplished climber, Jeff Lowe. It was a good movie and fun to catch up with Mareshah!!

Climbing at Shelf Road.

Noel, Mareshah, me, and Chuck!
Leading at North Table Mountain. TJ keeping me safe:)
 We stayed with our friend Shanese and played video games, went climbing, and just enjoyed her a lot! We also got to meet Viktoriya and loved her too! The Springs is a great place and it was fun to get back there and say hi to everybody!
Shanese, Viktoriya, Zach and I at Shelf Road.
After a few weeks of catching up and hanging out, we have landed in Kansas and are enjoying a few peaceful days before moving on to the east! Our long term plans are to start working again in January with a travel nurse assignment. Zach will devote his time to writing full time so we can all see what happens next in the Dawn Saga!!!