Birthday in Oregon

We needed to make one more trip to Portland and Mount Hood to finalize a list of wedding to-do items, so we decided to schedule it around my birthday and make a relaxing three-day weekend of it.  Foremost in this decision is that the county courthouse where we needed to get our marriage license is only open a few hours on Fridays and not at all on the weekends.  So we drove down to Portland on Thursday evening after work and got up to complete a whirlwind of errands on Friday.

First up was the marriage license.  After which we took a scenic detour while driving back through Oregon City to stop at one of the first hydroelectric dams built in Oregon.

The falls aren’t all that high, but they are very long, which meant plenty of opportunity to build the factories right on top of the power source.  Which, of course, they did.  Also, of course, most of those ugly utilitarian buildings are now abandoned and crumbling, ruining the view for the rest of us.  I tried to cut most of that out when taking my photos.  You’re welcome.

We then went back to Portland to visit with the cake vendor, JaCiva’s.  We tasted a plateful of their delicious cake flavors, trying to narrow our selection down to just two.  It was hard work, let me tell you.  If you’re looking for a good summery cake flavor, they’ve got you covered.  They also happen to be a chocolate shop, so I couldn’t resist buying some extremely tasty caramel and milk chocolate morsels to help me celebrate my birthday.  Calories are canceled on your birthday, after all.

Next on the to-do list was to visit the florist in Hood River, OR to select the floral theme and give them a list of arrangements.  We took the I-84 route this time, which runs along the Columbia River.  We hadn’t even left the Portland metro area when we hit these views:

Mount Hood

Seriously, that mountain is 60 miles away and is still gigantic.  And you can’t even see all the other mountains around it.  I was also blown away that we could see Mount Saint Helens from Portland as well.

Mount Saint Helens

I’m just boggled.

After finishing up at the florist we wandered down to the waterfront park along the Columbia River in downtown Hood River.  This is a prime kite surfing location, it was a beautiful warm day, and the kite surfers were out taking advantage of the perfect conditions.  There is a little food trailer set up on one of the piers.  So we grabbed some yummy fish tacos and a couple of cold beverages to enjoy in the lounge seating area at the end of the pier while we watched the surfers doing their tricks out on the river.  A perfect summertime afternoon activity.

We spent Saturday afternoon riding bikes along the river trails in Portland – I’m told I biked 14 miles that day – and grilling out for dinner.  Thanks to Fiance’s friend John, who lives in Portland, we get an excellent tour guide every time we visit.

In all, a fabulous productive and surprisingly relaxing weekend.

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