This is post # 2 for today. (See more below)
I thought I'd try to break it up a little to make it easier to read. Although I could post a bunch more pictures of waterfalls, trails, mountains, etc., I'll just post a few and leave you with a fun story.
Here are some pics of our day spent with Aaron Mertz, a friend of ours who's in Portland for 10 weeks for an internship. Aaron joined us for a drive along the Columbia River, with a stop at Multnomah Falls, then on to Mount Hood. We also made a few stops along the Hood River Fruit Loop
to check out the fresh fruit, berries, cherries, wines & homemade jams, sauces, syrups, etc. If we didn't have to try to get the stuff on the plane, I would have loaded up on lots of goodies that day.
At one of our stops, we had lunch at the Apple Valley Country Store where we all ate cherry-wood smoked pulled pork sandwiches, served with homemade pear coleslaw and apple cider baked beans. Aaron looks a little hesitant in the picture, but I thought it was very tasty.
It was fun to have him with us and get his perspective on the last month or so in Portland. Sounds like he's having a fun adventure, but is ready to move on to new things. We look forward to seeing where God will be taking him in the years to come.
Now here's the story about the fun gifts that God gave us at the end of our trip...
On Friday we drove from Crater Lake to the Portland area to spend our last night before flying home on Saturday evening. The first treat was that we got a great deal on a brand new Springhill Suites hotel through our niece, Heather. (THANKS Heather!) The hotel looked like it had been only open for a month or so. Everything was brand new, fresh & clean and we paid less than $70 for the night. What a gift! Then, after we checked in, we decided to look for a place for dinner.
Since it was our last dinner in Oregon, we decided we wanted to try to get seafood one last time, so we asked the manager at the front desk of the hotel for suggestions. He recommended 2 places, one of them being right on the Columbia River, which we could imagine had great views. Even though it was Friday night and Terry hates to wait for dinner, we decided to try Beaches (on the river) in Vancouver, Washington. While we were driving there, we called the restaurant to see what the wait time was. The nice young lady said it was 30-40 minutes. Oh well, we'd go anyway since we weren't pressed for time. After I hung up the phone we realized that I hadn't asked to see if they had "call-ahead seating". Even though I thought they would have suggested it in the first call, I decided to call back and ask anyway. This time a man answered. When I asked the question, he was silent, so I thought maybe they didn't do such a thing in Portland and he didn't know what I was talking about. After he chuckled a little, he said that he knew what it was and that they didn't offer that at Beaches. BUT, since I was on my way he would make an exception and add our names to the waiting list, but he told me not to tell anyone that he did it. (Does this count as telling someone?)
Anyway, when we arrived we walked past quite a few people waiting for seats. I walked up to the hostess and asked "How long is the wait for Terry, party of 2?" She looked at her list and with a smile said, "Oh we have a table all ready for you!" Wow!! This was cool!
The next thing we knew we were sitting down at a table right next to the window with a great view of the river!!! There were 2 cute Hawaiian leis laying on the table too.
And that's not all...when we started reading the list of specials that was on our table, look at what it said! "Welcome to Beaches - Our VIP friend Terry who plans ahead!" We were astonished. At first we thought it was just a coincidence, or something they do for everyone who makes a reservation (even though we didn't actually make a reservation), then the waitress came up to us all excited and said, "So what's this all about? Are you a Planner or something?" Of course, we had no idea what to say. It turns out that the Manager, Mark had answered the phone when I called and just decided to do this for fun. How sweet is that!! Anyway, we had a great dinner and were there at just the right time to see the sunset. Afterward we took a stroll along the river. What a delightful way to end the day. Thank you God for unexpected gifts like this!
These last few pics are of some of the treasures that we picked up on our vacation. I've been looking for a mobile like this one to hang an ever-changing collection of photos at home and this one came with postcards from Oregon. What a great way to start! I just hung it in the corner of the dining room so we can look at the pictures anytime.
The Oregon Coast print is by the same artist that did the one of Hurricane Ridge in Washington that we bought on vacation last year. We'll need to get this one framed and will hang it in the office with the other one. We're hoping to keep adding to our travel poster collection of places we've been. We also want to get a U.S. and/or world map to mark the places we visit. So all in all we had a wonderful time and I'm not quite ready to settle in to the work routine again. Ah well, I have until tomorrow morning.