Flashback to playing tourist

I’m #flashbackfriday-ing to two weeks ago, when my parents were in town. For those of you that haven’t gathered, I’m extremely close to my parents. We’re a small family, which helps getting together actually. We only have each other’s schedules and geographies with which to contend. So when it comes time for them to visit the children… I’m it!

My parents came for an entire week. It sounds like a long time, but it’s really not. For one, there’s so freaking much to do up here, that I had to be pretty selective and we still were running around like crazy. Second, I love my parents and wish we lived closer to one another. So a week is never enough.


I started the day out with a hike with Caitlin before my parents arrived midday. An early morning hike amidst the foliage and fog in the gorge was perfect!

Once they’d arrived, we went immediately to the Pearl District downtown to caffeinate. They’d been up since before 4am EST. And it’s Portland. 

The afternoon was spent tooling around the Pearl, checking into their awesome Airbnb that was only 4 blocks from my house, and having an early dinner with Caitlin at PaaDee (probably the best Thai in town).


After a delicious brunch at Petite Provence, we tried to walk our food babies off while checking out my awesome neighborhood. 

We then drove out to Hillsboro to hang out at Ardiri Winery for the afternoon. The sun was shining brightly, we brought cheese and crackers and grapes, we snagged the rocking chairs overlooking the vines and Mt Hood, and we bought a bottle of wine. We chatted, read, played cornhole, and relaxed in the sun. Perfect introduction to Oregon! 

We stopped in Forest Park for a mini hike on the way back into town. We finished the day off with dinner at Noble Rot overlooking the cityscape at sunset.


It was top on my dad’s list to see the Columbia River Gorge. Obviously I could handle that for them! We stopped to check out Multnomah Falls on the way out to hike at Rowena Crest. I love the juxtaposition of these two scenes. One lush and green, centering around an awe-inspiring waterfall, and the other drier, more golden, with an incredible vista of the gorge. 

We spent a few hours in the afternoon in Hood River having lunch and coffee, walking around town, and stopping in boutiques. Next time they come out, they’re going to aim for closer to summer so they can stand-up paddle-board on the river. 

I had a photo shoot in the evening down by the river in Portland, which my parents loved exploring along the pedestrian path and bridges and watching all of the happenings on a warm autumn evening on the river. 

We went for wine at Irving Street Kitchen, where we got to have a leave our mark, and then met my dad’s friend of 40 years and his wife for dinner at Mediterranean Exploration Company. Such a fun evening! 


Yup, we were only three days in at this point. We relaxed a little bit today, sort of. My dad went out with his friend to do whatever those boys do. After a relaxing morning (except I went for a run), I took my mom up to the Alberta neighborhood for coffee and explorations. 

I taught class in the evening, per usual, and then met my mom and Caitlin for some wine at Oven and Shaker. After some girl time, my mom and I met my dad for dinner at Andina, where we proceeded to nearly shut the restaurant down. 


Another down-ish day. My dad rested while I took my mom to the Mississippi district to explore with Caitlin. After I taught in the evening, where I got a surprise from my love Jamie, I met my parents and Caitlin at The Woodsman Tavern. The beauty of this restaurant: it’s within walking distance, so no one had to worry about driving, a lot of the bartenders and servers know Caitlin and me, and the food and wine are yummy! Win win win!


This was the day for the Oregon coast! I took my parents on one of my favorite hikes: Cape Falcon in Oswald State Park just outside of Cannon Beach. It has it all: ferns and moss, pine-needle-covered pathways, insane coastal views, and begins/ends at a beautiful and less-crowded beach. We then headed back into town to grab coffee and treats to eat out on the beach with Haystack Rock and some gorgeous cloud porn for company. 

I taught class when we got back, and then met my parents at SE Wine Collective for a European-inspired dinner.


For our last day together, we met my dad’s friend at Lovejoy Bakers for breakfast and then explored the NW 23rd district, the area that made me fall in love with Portland! 

For our final dinner together, I saved the best for last: OX! So yummy! We had my favorite wine, my favorite dishes (along with some new ones), and a wonderful night together!

All in all, it was the perfectly Portland week for my parents. I always love showing them the places I love, introducing then to the people I love, and showing them what they’ve helped me accomplish with their support and … love. So there’s a my opinion on what to do with the parents in town for a week. I’m pretty damn happy with it all, though it might seem like I’m a slavedriver with a tour schedule. 😉 


The touring didn’t end there though! After dropping my parents off at the airport at 5am, and saying a teary goodbye with long hugs, Caitlin and I headed for central Oregon! Thinking this could have been one of my last full weekends off for a while, we finally made our Bend trip happen. We immediately headed to Sisters, OR, an adorable mountain town that reminds me a lot of Crested Butte, CO, and hiked up Black Butte. 

After pretty much the perfect hike with the perfect view and lots of awesome photo ops, we drove over to Bend. We were both pretty exhausted, so it was a low-key afternoon and evening. We showered at our Airbnb, headed to town to walk around and find a coffee shop. It was great to nurse a homemade chia while playing with pictures is a funky cafe. We walked down by the river to catch some beautiful sunset views and foliage, and had an early but delicious dinner at Zydeco Kitchen. We were in bed and lights out by 8pm, and it was amazing! 


We made it to The Sparrow Bakery soon after they opened, in time to get a table and a famous Ocean Roll. Then it was off to Smith Rock! I can’t believe it’s taken me nearly a year (my first trip to Bend was in January for less than 24 hours) to make it to this gorgeous place! It definitely reminded me of Moab, from the moment of turning into the parking lot. Seriously, the view from the parking lot alone… We chose to do the hike labeled Misery Ridge. It did start out with a pretty steep incline for quite a while, but the view was so incredible it was worth it! 

All in all, I keep falling more and more in love with my new city and state! I can’t wait to show my next guests around town. Who’s it gonna be?!

Original posting.

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