#84: Visit the Wreck of the Peter Iredale

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

If you camp at Fort Stevens and you don’t visit the wreck of the Peter Iredale, you’re doing it wrong. It’s a short hike from the campground, or about a 10-minute bike ride.

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Shortly after these photos were taken, we were warned that the structure is pretty weak, and that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to climb on a tetanus mountain.

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It’s a fascinating piece of history, and who doesn’t like a shipwreck?

#63: Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

Right along the main drag in Astoria, there’s this really cool museum. We spent some time exploring the exhibits.

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This might be the first time either of them has used a phone handset like these.

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Will’s in the Chinooks class at his school, so he was proud and amazed at this photo of a Chinook salmon.

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This boat is from Japan, and was carried away during the big tsunami. It eventually washed up in Oregon, and when the owner said he didn’t want it back, it made its way here.

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Our entry included in-and-out privileges, so we decided to get out in the fresh air for a while. The old riverfront railway has been turned into a walking trail, so we walked it.

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Our destination was lunch at the Bridgewater Bistro. We were amazed by at least two things:

  1. The kids’ activities were something other than crayons!
  2. The gluten-free fish and chips was probably the best fish and chips we’ve ever had. Of any kind. Yes, including London and Edinburgh.

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After lunch, we rode the historic trolley down to the end of the line, and then back.

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We arrived back at the museum, and took a tour of the Lightship Columbia. Will and Lucy loved seeing how the lightship crew slept and ate.

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If you’re ever in the Astoria area, think really hard about whether you want to miss this place.

Fort Stevens State Park

This is part of our Oregon State Park challenge! Check out our progress here.

One fine autumn Thursday, we picked Will and Lucy up from school and headed out towards Fort Stevens State Park.

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Thursday night, we arrived after dark, so you don’t get any photos. Friday was spent adventuring in Astoria. But first thing Saturday morning we met a client and old friend for a portrait shoot at Seafarer’s Park (where they filmed part of Free Willy). Will, Lucy, and I helped Becky out by standing in for light tests in this charming little beachfront park.

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There’s one of the little guys we were here to shoot. All of them got on famously.

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We had reserved one of the deluxe cabins, which meant we had bunk beds and a futon, a kitchen table, a kitchen, and our very own bathroom. Lucy quickly got a head start on her homework.

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Fort Stevens has a ton of bike paths. I think Moves clocked us at 11 miles on one of the days.

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Becky doesn’t currently have a bike, so we rented this purple people-eater in Astoria.

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We of course visited the fort. Will has been very interested in military stuff lately, so ate up all the history and the photos of the big guns.

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We managed to score seats on the back-of-the-truck tour of the fort, which was very informative, and the volunteers were super friendly and knowledgable.

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We never go camping without the fairy house kit.

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And we always try to go on a hike right after breakfast. This was the morning before we left, and we hiked all the way around Coffenbury Lake: 2.2 miles!

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Our last morning, packing up and saying goodbye to our fine little cabin. We highly recommend these, but you have to book exactly 9 months in advance to get them. (Please note that the children did all their own posing. This series of shots was entirely their idea.)

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Fort Stevens is a great place, we really enjoyed it.

#94: Karaoke Date

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

Becky’s parents do a thing that we love: once a month they come over and spend an evening with the kids, so we can go out on a date. There was this one time when we booked a private karaoke room at Voicebox, for just the two of us. Yup: our date was crooning together for two hours straight. 28 songs, from Lisa Loeb to Tenacious D to Meat Loaf to Vanilla Ice, and everything in between.

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I was a little apprehensive. I thought it would be uncomfortable. But no, it was awesome.

Oh, and Voicebox has a happy hour. Two hours of rocking and two sake cocktails: $35.

#33: Attend the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting at Feast Portland

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We live in a town that’s pretty serious about food, but we almost never make it to any of the big events. This year we made a point to attend the Feast Portland Grand Tasting.

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We chose this one becauses it was possible, both to attend and actually fully experience. The Feast festival is a three-day affair, but this was at least contained to a single square downtown.

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We tasted wine, cider, beer, ice cream, sushi, cheese, snacks, dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and everything else we could find.

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We were full and happy after about two hours, so we picked the kids up from school and explained that they would be the only ones eating dinner that night.

Kid-Parent Retreats!

Has it been six months already? Time for another weekend of one-on-one bonding time with kids!

Becky & Will

I found this adorable cabin on Airbnb, and it was just perfect.

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Will spent a lot of time in the sun-soaked hammock, reading old issues of Scientific American.

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While he worked on getting ahead on his homework, we made our way through the cabin’s record collection. ABBA, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond (Will’s a huge fan now), and many others.

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For our Saturday outing, we headed up to the Adventure Park at Mt. Hood Skibowl. First stop: the alpine slide!

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He loved the lift ride almost as much as the slide itself. We had unlimited-ride bracelets, so we must have gone down the slides 20 times.

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Next stop: mini go karts.

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Also on the docket: rubber-band-assisted trampoline! I did this too, and came home with a giant bruise on my arm. Worth it.

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There was much rock-climbing. I told him he was cheating by holding on to the top edge of the panel.

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So I challenged him to the real thing. He was pretty scared, but then quite proud when he made it to the top.

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This is what greeted us when we got back to the cabin:

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Supper and the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; Will and I just finished reading the book together, and this was a great lesson on how movies and books are different. He realized that the book was better, which is huge considering how much he likes anything on a screen.

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Sunday morning, we set out for a short hike!

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I hate out-and-back hikes, so in order to make it a loop we took some logging roads, and possibly took a wrong turn. Our 2-mile walk turned into a 6-mile trek. We had lots of time to talk.

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Just one more magazine before heading home.

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Lucy & Ben

We were the “home team,” so we got started right away by setting up a giant pony-land in Lucy’s room. We set up this elaborate scene having something to do with a surprise party when someone woke up, so I let her keep it out all night.

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In the morning, we made breakfast (lower left), and finished our bone-broth project (the rest).

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We alternated playtime with Lucy getting ahead with her homework (it’s really hard to fit it in during the week). She served us tea as we played Flip Out.

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…and Ticket to Ride.

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At-home retreats with me always include a movie night and slumber party in the theater. Lucy chose Pippi Långstrump, and I chose to drink.

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The next day, Lucy finished her homework (!), so we had some adventures planned. First: snuggle time.

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Next: nail polish and ponies.

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Next: swimming! I learned later that this was a bad idea, and her nail polish pretty much just fell off. She wasn’t too broken up about it, though, so I sent her off to ride her bike around the block while I picked up some comestibles at our farmer’s market.

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#58: Find a Raw Milk Source

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We found out this year that, while Lucy and Will have an intolerance for most dairy, the symptoms aren’t triggered by unpasteurized milk! We found a farm that could supply us with this liquid gold, but then they went out of business. We needed a new source.

And then our favorite paleo restaurant, the Cultured Caveman, discovered The Abbey Farm, a little place in Molalla that sells raw dairy! Milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, butter – the doors are wide open, and we’re loving it.

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Hopefully this item won’t be on next year’s list!

#16: Do 4 Walks from Our Portland Walking Tours Book

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

This is a multi-part challenge, and each walk took part on a different day; in fact, we cover three seasons in these photos!

For our guidebook, we’re using Becky Ohlsen’s Walking Portland, which includes 50 walks around our fair city. It was pretty hard to narrow down which ones to do first.

January: Northwest 21st and 23rd Avenues: Faded Glamour (2 miles)

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Muu-Muu’s, where we warmed our hands with a flaming-hot coffee drink.

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The New Renaissance Bookshop – our guidebook’s advice: “just try to feel grumpy here.”

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The Casa del Matador, also known as the Cougar Bar.

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3 Monkeys. So much vintage hipsterness.

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Lunch at Escape From New York. This place gave Becky flashbacks to high school.

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January (also): Old Town & Chinatown (2 miles)

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Graphic poems about the Green Man of Portland. Most confusing.

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The Lan Su Chinese Garden.

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Ben’s old stomping ground; Monsoon‘s office is above the Davis Street Tavern.

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Not sure if the sign itself is for lease.

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April: Nicolai and Slabtown: Rough & Ready (3 miles)

We began at Schoolhouse Electric, which has all sorts of things we want to have, as well as a Ristretto espresso bar, where they were surprised to find that they were in our book (which was also sitting on their shelf)!

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The bear sculpture was in the process of being relocated, but we found it anyway.

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We couldn’t help stopping in at Smith to poke around and bring home some loose-leaf.

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We also couldn’t help stopping by Becky’s old stomping ground.

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The Lucky Lab is a must-stop, and they have plenty of things to taste. We did some experimentation with the camera which turned out rather well, which is why you lovely people get lots of photos from here.

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No stroll around this neighborhood is complete without a visit to the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium.

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We also popped in to the Clear Creek Distillery, did some tasting, bought some brandy… and didn’t take any photos.

August: Stark-Belmont: Heart of the Southeast (5 miles)

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This long day began (as all great journeys do) with cheese.

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The Horse Brass Pub is, according to our book, “one of Portland’s greatest drinking establishments.” What we can say is that they’ve nailed the feel of a British pub, and that we were happy drinking there.

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The Movie Madness video store doubles as a museum of film memorabilia. Here’s Becky playing the “which one would I least hate to wear” game.

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When the inventor of the Gardenburger wanted to build a house, no ordinary house would do. So he plopped this art-deco monstrosity in the middle of a craftsman-style neighborhood. You feel weird just walking past it.

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Wunderland. Need I say more? $10 for four person-hours of entertainment is pretty good, people.

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We arrived at the glorious Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery just in time for gorgeous golden evening light.

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We stopped at Belmont Station for some more tasting.

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…and finished our journey at the Caldera Public House back where we started, and by which time it was dark enough that taking photos wasn’t really a good idea.

To Sum Up

4 walks; 12 miles; all three of Portland’s seasons; 50-ish photos; 1,000 memories. We feel like we know our fair city a lot better now, and we’ll continue working our way through this book.

#3: Ride the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We borrowed a tandem bike from some friends, and drove over the river to the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail. We needed one car for bikes, and another for people.

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The kids loved going on an extended ride. We kept stopping to evaluate whether we should head back or not, and we made it six miles before we collectively decided we were halfway tired, which means we did a 12-mile ride that day!

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We had a lot of fun. Will and Lucy enjoyed riding fast and going places they’d never seen before. We hadn’t rode a tandem in a couple of years, and had a great time re-learning it.