The second half of our west coast adventure took place in what is probably my favorite place in America: Bend, Oregon! Here’s how we spent our time there.
Monday, July 21st (continued)
We arrived in Bend around 3 p.m. after our road trip from Portland. My aunt and uncle hadn’t arrived yet, so we parked downtown and walked around for a bit. We ended up at Drake Park by the water where we sat and relaxed while little Kev ran around collecting pinecones. Once my aunt and uncle got there we all headed to their house where we would be staying. They live on a huge cliff that looks down into the Deschutes River. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I love their house so much!
Once we got into our rooms and settled me, my husband and my sister all took turns going for short runs. We thought about going together but decided we could all use a little time to ourselves after being all up in each other’s business for the last 5 days. Running in Bend is more challenging than running in Portland because we are at 4,000 feet elevation, but the scenery just can’t be beat! It just doesn’t get more beautiful than this.
After my 3 mile run and a shower I put little Kev to bed. It was so nice to be able to put him in a separate room and then go do something else while he slept- and not have to worry about whispering! Not possible in a small hotel room! We all ordered pizza and ate it outside on the deck while talking about everything under the sun and drinking wine. Perfection 🙂 After that Lauren and I watched the Bachelorette with more wine. It was so nice to be able to watch it with her, since usually we’re in separate states and texting each other the whole time. I love my sister!
Tuesday, July 22nd
All night long I heard it raining and it continued into most of the next day… which is weird for Bend! While we were there, Oregon was actually experiencing very bad wild fires due to the dry climate and not enough rain. So the rain was very much welcomed but it made us change our plans a bit. In the morning we went out to the store to pick up some food for the week, and then we hung out and relaxed for a little while. Later on we started to get stir crazy so we went to the Old Mill to do some shopping. Right as we pulled up it started to thunder, lightning and hail like crazy. It was insane! Then all of a sudden it stopped and the sun came out. So crazy. We did some shopping then went back home to get ready for the main event of the day- the Float Run!!! This is reason #273846 why I love Bend. On a random Tuesday night they had this “Float Run” event, where we were going to run from the local running store to the river, floated down it on rafts, then had root beer and Deschutes brewery Black Butte Porter floats. Unfortunately there was still some lightning around that time, so we couldn’t float down the river, but Kevin, my sister and I still did our run and had ice cream floats. It was so much fun!!!
Wednesday, July 23rd
I had been itching to get out for a longer morning run since we got to Bend, and I was finally able to on this day! It was a beautiful and cool morning, and I ran from my aunt’s house down to the river trail and came back. It was a LOT of uphill on the way back but I felt surprisingly good. I didn’t feel as out of breath due to the altitude as I did on my last few runs. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous. I decided we need to move here ASAP!
When I got back from my run Kevin and Lauren went out for theirs, then we got ready to embark on the Bend Ale Trail! Another reason why Bend is awesome is that is has a TON of great breweries. The “Ale Trail” is a self-guided tour of all 14 of them (including one in a nearby town). It was another rainy day, so it was a perfect time to go for it.
The first 5 or so breweries were on the outskirts of the town and the rest were all closer and within walking distance of each other. Since my dad is the best, he drove us around to the ones that weren’t walkable and dealt with our annoying-ness as we progressively became less sober. He also took awesome pictures for us!
Once he dropped us downtown to explore the others we were definitely feeling good. We really only shared flights or small tasters at most of the breweries but it did end up being quite a bit more than I am used to drinking these days (I am definitely NOT at Penn State anymore!). It was so fun to try different types of beer, learn about each of the breweries and collect our passport stamps- especially since last time we were in Oregon I was pregnant and couldn’t try anything! We got appetizers along the way and ended up eating a full dinner too at Deschutes Brewery, so that helped keep us going without passing out entirely :).
While we were Ale-Trailing, little Kev was back at home having a blast with his Oma!
Once we started to look like this (see below picture), we knew it was time to call it a day. We were so tired! Beer tasting is hard work! We made it to a grand total of 11 breweries in one day. I was very proud.
Here are the breweries we visited (in order):
- Cascade Lakes Brewing Company
- GoodLife Brewing
- 10 Barrel Brewing Company
- Riverbend Brewing
- Worthy Brewing
- Boneyard Beer
- Silver Moon Brewing
- Deschutes Brewery
- Bend Brewing Company
- Brew Werks
- McMenamins Old St. Francis School
Whew! And then I promptly fell asleep when we got home 🙂
Thursday, July 24th
After a lot of sleep that night I woke up feeling great. The whole family wanted to walk on the river trail, so my sister, husband and I decided to run and meet them there. It was about 2.5 miles from my aunt and uncle’s house, but I went a little farther to make it 3. After the run we did a 3 mile walking loop on the trail alongside the beautiful Deschutes River. It felt great to do something active with the entire family and to sweat out some alcohol!
After we got cleaned up we made it our mission to finish the Ale Trail. We had 3 stops left, two in Bend and one in the nearby town of Sisters where my other uncle and cousin live. We did the last two breweries in Bend (Rat Hole Brewing and Crux), then stopped at the Visitor’s Center to collect our prizes!
We still had one brewery left, but we knew we would never get back to the Visitor’s Center in time after going out to Sisters and back, and we were leaving early the next morning. The nice women who were working there understood and let us get our prizes anyway. We were very excited! We got stickers, silicon cups, bottle openers and t-shirts.
After that we were off to Sisters! Sisters is a small, ridiculously cute town. It feels like you are stepping back in time when you go there. We went to my uncle’s house first and then walked around downtown, got some coffee and hung out in the backyard of the coffee shop for a while.
Next we went to visit Mahonia Gardens, which belongs to my cousin Benji and his girlfriend Carys. I was amazed and so proud of all that they have done with their business! Kevin enjoyed some fresh raspberries straight off the bush and was in heaven!
We started getting hungry so we headed to the last stop on the Ale Trail, Three Creeks Brewing, where we had all had dinner and tried a beer. It made me a little sad because I knew the trip was coming to an end and it would be a while until I saw everyone again. I love my Oregon family!
Once we were back in Bend we ended our night in my aunt’s hot tub. So amazing to be out on the deck listening to the loud river while relaxing in hot and bubbly water. Aahhhh… I slept so well that night.
Friday, July 25th
I only had time for a quick run before we left for the airport early that day to go back to Virginia. It was a beautiful, crisp and clear morning- only 44 degrees which actually felt amazing! I ran around my aunt and uncle’s neighborhood and took in one of my favorite views- the river that runs behind their house. I wished I had more time to run on our last day, but we had to leave the house by 8 a.m. and Kevin had to run too!
We packed the car, said goodbye to my aunt and uncle and made the drive back to Portland to catch our flight. I was nervous about this day because it was going to be longer than our travel day the first time around. We had a 4 hour drive, 2 flights, and an hour long drive back to our house in Virginia.
Surprisingly, Kevin did AMAZING. I guess he finally got the hang of this traveling thing? We kept him busy with snacks and moving sidewalks, and got lucky with an extra seat on BOTH flights back home (score!!!). He ended up sleeping most of the time. I guess the trip really tired him out.
We arrived back in Virginia a little after midnight, and after getting baggage, driving back to our brother-in-law’s house where our car was waiting, then driving back to our house which is farther south, it was after 2 a.m. We were greeted by the biggest moth of all time on our door (see below picture, although it doesn’t look that big there! It was HUGE!)
And then Kevin decided after sleeping all day that he was wide awake and wanted to play until 4 a.m. Fun times 🙂
It really was an amazing trip and the memories we made will always have a special place in my heart. Until next time, Oregon!!!