Friday, August 13, 2010

day 4 - next stop, Portland

After packing up and a quick hike to the dunes, we sadly left Honeyman State Park. Serena actually cried. It really is a beautiful place.

We drove to Florence and grabbed some coffee and snacks at a grocery store and headed inland towards the 5 freeway. This was one of our shorter stretches of driving, only 178 miles, so we left a bit later in the morning.

We took state hwy 126 for approx. 41 miles. I found this route scenic as well. More twists and turns. Once we hit the 5, I was ecstatic. I love beauty and all, but boy was I happy to drive in a straight line again.

The drive for most of the way shows Oregon's farms and countryside. About an hour from Portland we decided to stop in Salem for a much needed stretch. The outskirts we nothing special to look at, but I found the downtown area quite cute. We located an information center and asked for directions to a nearby park. The woman at the desk was helpful and pointed us towards a riverfront park.

The park is scenic and located next to the Willamette River and I wish I took more pictures. Oh well. The weather was in the high 80s so we put the girls bathing suits on and let them run through some fountains with many other children. The park also has a historic carousel and big play structure not to mention 23 acres of grassy area and footpaths.

Willamette Queen

Back in the car we set off for Portland. How silly we are that we did not plan around rush hour traffic. Duh! We sat in traffic for about an hour once we hit Portland. For some reason I thought there would not be traffic since the public transportation system is so advanced. I should know better than that. It is still a large city and there will always be some traffic.

Finally, we made it to my cousins house in Southeast Portland!

The first thing we did was go eat at HUB. My parents are also on their own vacation and in town for a few days. Karen's boyfriend is a brewer their so we were given the special treatment. The restaurant is huge. Karen scored us a table upstairs next to the pinball machines, SCORE! The kids were happy, plus they had a cool train table and toys for the kids, SCORE!

The adults did some beer tasting with Karen and Jaime giving us their beer expertise.

Next we headed down to the brewery for a private tour from the brewer himself. The girls learned the art and science of brewing beer which included pushing buttons, flipping switches, smelling hops and tasting barley.

It was a fun day. I think the kids got to bed around 11pm. So much for schedules.

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