Monday, August 20, 2012

40 Things to Do By 40 | NEW Places 5-10

When I turned 39 a couple of weeks ago I made a list of things I want to do by 40 (August 2, 2013). You can see it here. We're definitely having fun and feeling motivated to hit as many new places while the weather is still beautiful.
NEW Place #5 {Byways Cafe}
Columbia River
Portland, OR
Cost: We all ate breakfast (and were stuffed) for $37.

We heard about this place on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Love the show. Their hash was featured, along with their french toast. Eric tried the hash, which he said was really good. I had their Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Sandwich, which was just okay. Wishing I'd tried their french toast, which is supposed to be really good.

The kids were really excited to finally get out of the car. Mercy was having Daddy twirl her on the street. It was super cute and a great way to start our long weekend away.

The kids just wanted pancakes, which were huge. We split two orders between the three of them. Eric and I both helped them out on the pancakes and we still had leftovers. One order probably would have been enough. When we go back... the pancakes were MUCH better than my breakfast sandwich. I saw some blueberry pancakes coming out too, and THOSE looked AMAZING!

Would love to go back sometime!

NEW Place #6 {Vista House}
Crown Point, WA
Cost: FREE

This was a great place to stop. It was busy, but not so bad that you just wanted to leave. You could climb up a flight of stairs and look out on a balcony. Gracie and Mercy were too short to see over the edge (Mommy interpretation = safe), but Daniel could peek over and seemed to enjoy the view of the Columbia River. The basement was a gift shop and a tunnel that led you out to a lower gate where ladies used to be dropped off. Really a beautiful destination. And did I mention it was free?

NEW Place #7 {Bonneville Dam}
Bonneville, OR 
Cost: FREE

I was not very excited about going to the Bonneville Dam. There is not an engineering cell in my entire body. Do I understand electricity? No. Do I understand how water can be converted into electricity? No. My dear hubby, on the other hand, is an engineer in every fiber of his being and I love him, so we went to see the dam. It was big. And the young lady who gave the tour was fabulous. She even made me understand a little bit (sort of). Gracie was quiet almost the whole time, which I thought was pretty incredible! Highly recommend if you have school-age kids!

One of the old turbines they had on display out front. (We were on the Oregon side.)

Gracie has been turning away from the camera recently. Our tour guide gave a bunch of us pieces to hold that represented the process of turning water into electricity. Gracie is holding the dam and Daniel is holding the turbine.

This is the fish ladder that the fish climb to get upstream or downstream.

Eric was fascinated by this in the engine room. He even took a picture of the board next to it that gave the very detailed description of it all. I was happy that it interested him.

Then we walked down to where they count the fish. We got to see the fish going up and down. Gracie could have sat here for hours. She got right down on the floor next the big glass and talked to the fish. It was so fun to see.

The dam was a much bigger success than I thought it would be! But the temperature was over a hundred and we were all getting pretty exhausted! We stopped at the fish hatchery after the tour. We were all much too tired and it was much too hot. I confess, I was GRUMPY! Eric wanted to see a big fish. Gracie fell asleep, so we were attempting to lug an extra forty pounds in one hundred degree weather. In my opinion, that was a bad idea.

Hood River, OR
Cost: $4

A delightful little country store and a perfect spot to stop for a little refreshment. Hand scooped ice cream eaten outside on picnic tables. Delightful.

The shop itself had some beautiful handmade aprons. Had it been my birthday I would have hinted heavily to Eric that he could buy me one.

NEW Place #9 {G. Williker's Toy Shoppe}
202 Oak Street
Hood River, OR

This was Daniel's highlight. This toy shoppe had a fabulous selection of toys. We had given each the kids some spending money to purchase souvenirs. I wish we had a little shop like this one close to home. Two stories, there was room full of books, a room full of games, and a room full of novelties and toys. A delight for any parent. I only wished that Mercy hadn't been there for about an hour so I could have shopped for her upcoming birthday! Unfortunately it's too far to go back next week.

NEW Place #10 {Solstice Wood Fire Cafe}
Bingin, WA
Cost: $40

I had been looking forward to this pizza since we started planning our trip. They earned the title of Best Pizza in Washington by Food Network Magazine. Really! It was good pizza. The kids only had cheese, but Eric and I got the Hot Momma. It was worth the trip and I will be surprised if we never make it back again.

Their decor was eclectic. It felt like a strange collision of worlds for me. The atmosphere reminded me of my college days in the midwest where many of my friends were musicians. The laid back service and warm water, hum of fans, and cramped parking situation reminded me of quaint Haitian restaurants in Petionville.

There is more coming. That was all in the first day of our long weekend!


"For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business." James 1:11

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