Hey friends, welcome to round 3 of Friday favorites! This month’s is going to be vacation themed, since I just got back from a fun vacation in my hometown, Portland, Oregon! I had a blast going home with Matt and we even got to go to our first family reunion together (mine). It was a packed ten days, but such a nice break!
Where do I even begin? I love Portland. All the downtown districts, each with their own personality, the amazing coffee and food, and how naturally beautiful it is. I never truly appreciated Oregon’s beauty until I lived in LA for a few years, and now I really miss it. I spent a good chunk of one of my first days there traversing all the old places with most of my besties, and it was just good for my soul. Our first stop was La Provence for brunch, a cute french restaurant a few minutes outside of Portland. They have the best banana french toast! Then we drove downtown to visit Powell’s, the famous bookstore, and I got a book to help with one of my upcoming challenges as well as a fun book to read! Afterwards we walked along NW 23rd, home of the famous Salt and Straw. None of us locals wanted to wait in the crazy line that went around the block, so we did the smart thing and got two pints of ice cream to eat on the curb outside. The next day my sister Meleah and I took my cousins who were visiting from North Carolina to Nectar, our favorite affogato/fro yo place. Meleah and I have it down to a T – we always split a fro yo because they have great toppings and share a large affogato. It’s the best. I was bummed I didn’t get to visit any food carts, but that’s what next time is for, I guess!
Yachats Beach Family Vacation
For five days of our trip, Matt and I were at a family reunion at the beach – with 18 people in one house! We’d never been to Yachats, but in typical Oregon coast fashion it was pretty cloudy and cold the whole time we were there, with an extra dose of crazy beach wind. Our house was just a few yards away from the ocean with just rocks in between. It was a pretty amazing view, which was nice since we were inside most of the time! Good thing we had lots of fun family games to play and I had a good book to read. We did have fun going to the Sea Lion caves, visiting Thor’s mouth (basically a huge hole in the beach rocks that fills and empties with the waves), and going on a crazy dune buggy ride! That was the best part of the whole trip. It felt like a roller coaster, but you had no idea what the driver was going to do next. My cousin and I were screaming in the back having the time of our lives, even though sand was flying everywhere. We learned later that we were going over 400 foot sand dunes at 65 mph. I secretly kind of wanted the dune buggy to flip over as we went around a turn, but it didn’t happen. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance!
Almost all the grandkids!
Fun family games to play!
- Spoons. Always a classic, and with my family it gets real intense real quick. I made the mistake of playing with plastic knives with a friend once, and I learned my lesson real quick when I accidentally cut his finger as I yanked the knife out of his hand. #imnotcompetitiveatall
- B.S. Britney Spears. Baloney sandwich. Whatever you call it, it’s a great poker face game. I learned there are lots of little liars in my family with this game!
- Exploding kittens. It’s a very random game based on different cartoon cats that remind me of the show adventure time (which I find creepy.) But it’s a really fun, lighthearted yet suspenseful game to play with friends!
- Spyfall. This is my new favorite game. It’s similar to mafia – the premise of this online game is that everyone is assigned a role at a specific location, like the movie theater, for example, except for the spy. Players have 8 minutes to ask questions to figure out who the spy is, and for the spy to convince everyone they are not the spy while trying to figure out where everyone is. Everyone in our family loved it, from grandma and grandpa to aunts and uncles to all the cousins. We spent hours playing it.
Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes. It just came out as a movie, but I wanted to read the book before watching it. I started reading it two weeks before vacation, which was kind of a mistake because I was so into it I finished 2/3 of it the first week. So I made myself stop and not read it until I got on the plane to come home. But I knew I would finish it on vacation, so I picked up the second book, After You, while I was at Powell’s. I’m so glad I did! My cousin stole the first book at the beach house and started reading at the same time as me, but she finished in less than two days. It is THAT good. It’s the story of a british girl in her late twenties who gets laid off and finally lands a job as the caretaker of a young, witty yet moody quadriplegic guy. Although it’s an uncomfortable job at first, eventually she worms her way into his life despite his best attempts to put her off, and her life is changed as well because of him. The books are well-written and a breeze to read through – perfect for summer!
More food, family, and fun
On our last day at home, all the family who were still in town went to the Bollywood Theater for Indian food, which is amazing. They have the best Chai tea. We came last summer when our family was visiting, too, I hope it becomes a tradition! Then we stopped by Late Shake, a pop-up milkshake shop that my cousin Taylor started a few blocks away. It was pretty amazing. The freckled woodblock mocha was the bomb. If you’re ever in Portland, check him out! Finally, we ended up back at my house watching Eddie the Eagle (a fun underdog story) outside on our projector. It was a great way to end such a fun week.
Did you have any fun vacations this summer? What were your highlights? Leave a comment below! And if you’re ever in the Portland area, your girl here knows just the places you should go! I hope you enjoyed getting a little taste of my Oregon Vacation. See you next Tuesday for an update on my fitness challenge!