Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up, Part 4

This is the final installment of the ‘Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up’ posts.

After the wedding in Idaho and hanging out with random friends in Portland, OR we headed back on down to California but before leaving Oregon we spent one more night with our lovely friends – the Torson Family! Continue reading Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up, Part 4


Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up, Part 3

After the wedding in Idaho, we drove to Portland to visit some friends. We had zero plans ahead of time at this point. We hadn’t even planned where we’d sleep while in town, which is not normal for us. It was a fun adventure. Being pretty worn out at this point we ended up stopping for a night in the town Hood River. It was very hot and humid (for what we’re used to) and we pretty much just got some food, ice cream, and then we to bed. I’d love to go back to Hood River at some point in the future though! It seemed like a cool lil’ town.

On the Way from Boise to Portland

Once in Portland, we got connected with some friends. Walking around Portland would have been a lot more fun if it weren’t for the fact that there was a massive heat wave and it was well over 100 degrees. A lot of our time there was spent looking for places that had air conditioning, quite frankly.  So we went to the movies to see 500 Days of Summer, which was a great film. And we went to the Portland Museum, which I thought was so cool! There was an exhibit on M.C. Escher and I LOVE his earlier lesser know stuff. It was very inspirational.  Oh, and there was a cool exhibit on body art which was pretty interesting (though I have no tattoos).

The M.C. Escher Exhibit was Awesome!
This would have been a lot more enjoyable at less than 107 degrees
Over 100 degrees out and this guy is wearing jeans and a black shirt
I thought this road sign was kind of funny
I don't even drink coffee...
I think it was around this point we just wanted to find air conditioning
A lot of Portland seemed to look like this
Tricky tricky, Mr. Building
Food carts are popular in Portland, apparently

Our friends Chad and Liza Hughes were gracious enough to offer their home to us, so we got to crash at their place while we were in town.It worked out really well. We even got to go out with them to a nearby Lebanese place, which was fantastic! I wish I could remember the name of that place at the moment. It was so much food and I liked it quite a bit.

As a way to escape the heat during out stay, Melissa and I ended up taking a trip to Tillamook which is near the coast and home of the Tillamook Cheese factory. Funny enough, one of our friends from Santa Barbara, Camille, happened to be in Oregon while we were and so we ended up spending quite a bit of time with her and her mom and brother while we were in Portland. We even got to go to Tillamook with them.  Melissa and I really enjoyed the Oregon coast. Neither of us are big fans of crowded, hot southern California beaches but we love the kinds of beaches in Oregon – with tide pools, fewer people, and big rocky cliffs. I could care less about surfing so that’s not a concern (sorry surfer friends!). Plus, I was convinced that the Goonies couldn’t have been filmed that far away. It was beautiful out and the temperature was about 20-30 degrees less (at least) than what it was in Portland.

This seemed... unsanitory
Sometimes I wish I was a Goonie
Visiting Tillamook
We enjoyed this beach quite a bit
That fisherman did NOT like that dog.
Oregon Beach Stud
I wish I could fly
Melissa enjoying the coast
"Hey Bill" "Hey John"
"You suck, Bill" "Bite me, John"
Hey you guuuuyyyyyssss!

Stay tuned for Part 4 (it’s the last one) of our Summer Road Trip 2009.


Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up, Part 2

Next up from our Summer Road Trip 2009 are some pictures from Melissa’s cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding up in Eagle, ID (just outside of Boise) and was, essentially, the initial reason for the road trip. The couple, Sarah and George, looked great and it was a fun wedding but I only took a few images since I knew so few people and I didn’t want to be the weird guy with a big fancy camera taking pictures of strangers (I’ll leave that job to my professional photographer friends). Here is a small handful of images I managed to get.

The McDonald Sisters
A sweet moment
Feeding the horses


Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up, Part 1

I’m going to tell you a secret about this post. I cheated. I completely utterly cheated. I never bothered following up with this post when I should have because I took so many darn photos during the trip and I just never had the time to work on all of them. I finally got them edited but it had been so long that I resorted to cheating. I’m back dating this blog post as if nothing happened. So if you’re reading this years from now (weirdo) then know that the few faithful readers of this blog had to wait about a year for these pictures. There, I confessed. Now on to the photos!

Oh, wait, context… Ok, Melissa (my wife) and I went on a road trip from where we live – Santa Barbara, CA – to a bunch of places including Sacramento, Bend (OR), Boise (ID), and Portland (OR). This blog post is just an attempt to show some highlights from our journey. With that out of the way, photos…

For this first part of the follow-up I’m just showing some pictures I took while we were visiting our good friends the Torsons in the Bend, OR area. They have such adorable kids and live in a very beautiful place (that is in the middle of freaking nowhere). We didn’t get a lot of time with them since we had so many stops on our trip and had to get to Melissa’s cousin’s wedding a few days later but we did have a day to go hiking at nearby Smith Rock. Before we got to hiking, we stopped by Leanne’s dad’s home (he lives right near Smith Rock) and I thought his property was pretty interesting (hence all the pictures). I guess his business is in antiques and his property is covered in all kinds of random old items. It was a photo gold mine!

There was stuff like this EVERYWHERE
View looking out of the "Love It" Ranch
Elianna Torson with Oregon Mountains in the Background
Wild Bunny Friend!
I thought this was cool...
A small part of Smith Rock
That bit to the right. Yeah, that went higher. Way higher.
Baby Close-up!
We love the Torson family
Jaden is a Jedi.
Don't slip!
That baby loves berries.

Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Journey

** Note: Newest updates of the trip will be added to the top of this one post. Follow along with us on our summer road trip! **
8/3/09 10:35am

Annnnd we are back! We got back to Goleta last night all safe and sound. We even had a chance for a mini Burn Notice marathon (I love that tv show) to catch up on the episodes we’d missed while we gone.

Ended up with Less Miles on the Rental Car than I Expected
Ended up with Less Miles on the Rental Car than I Expected


8/1/09 11:25am

About to head to the Bay Area for one last visit. Having dinner tonight with some friends and hopefully get to see some family. We head back down to Goleta tomorrow morning. Hopefully all our stuff isn’t covered in a layer of dust.


7/31/09 10:05am

Records were broken in Portland while we were there. Temperture records, I mean. It was over 100 degrees while there. Our friends that live there were adamant that those kinds of tempertures are not… ordinary.

Regardless of the out of ordinary heat, Melissa and I still had a blast up there.

On the way from Boise, we did end up stopping for a night over at Hood River and had a nice dinner and some ice cream. It was nice to have quiet night to just the two of us.

The next morning we drove into Portland and met several friends in Powell’s City of Books (after getting lost and driving back and forth over a half dozen freakin’ bridges).

Powell’s is very impressive. It’s like the Louvre of bookstores – you can spend days just in each sub-section. We went to lunch from there with Camille, Stephen, Melody, and Liza at some little place whose name escapes me right now.

While in Portland we got to explore a bit, go to the Portland Art Museum to see the M.C. Escher exhibit (which was awesome), escape the heat a bit by seeing 500 Days of Summer, eat an incredible dinner at a Lebanese place (go sampler feast!), and stay with the very generous Chad and Liza Hughes (who had air conditioning).

One day while in that area, we took a trip to Tillimook (which is right near the coast) and went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. My favorite part was the fact the it was at least 20 degrees cooler than Portland. The coast was nice too 😉 .

Yesterday we drove from Portland back down to Sacramento and now we are just hanging out in Rocklin where Ross and Crystal are house sitting for relatives. Only a couple of days left in our trip. I think I’m ready for my own bed again.


7/26/09 2:50pm

Okay… some quick back tracking.

Our days have been fairly packed for the last several days so I haven’t been able to update here.

After we hung with friends in the Sacramento area we travelled up to Bend, OR (more specifically Redmond just north of Bend). We stayed with the Torsons and they were very gracious and generous. Their kids are all getting so big! Jaden just turned nine and showed us several of his new toys when we got there (Brent, his dad, showed us some his sweet toys while we were there too :) ).

On our one full day there – Thursday – we went hiking up Smith Rock. It was beautiful but kicked my out of shape butt. Even the kids were outpacing me. I even almost called it quits about 5/6 of the way up. But I pushed through and got to see the great view from the top (plus I couldn’t not do it if even Leanne made it to the top without any problems all while carrying a freakin’ baby). The reward for a successful hike was ice cream! Go

On Friday we set out from Redmond, Oregon for Boise, Idaho. The drive was … uneventful. No, seriously. Do not drive this path unless you are a farmer or logger. Eh… I *guess* it wasn’t that bad (but just barely).

We barely got into Boise in time for the rehearsal dinner (we had just enough time to check in to our hotel, frantically shower, dress, and drive over). Dinner was at Cool Hand Lukes and it was delicious.

Saturday morning was mostly just filled up with card games in the Hilton lobby (where several of Melissa’s family were staying). And, of course, the afternoon and evening was the wedding. The wedding went well and the couple seem very happy. Don’t really know what else to say about that. Um… there was a candy bar with all blue candy?

Now we’re driving from Boise to Portland and we starting to get a bit tuckered out, I think. We don’t have any specific plans in Portland other than to meet with some friends tomorrow, so we may just get a hotel room in Hood River and rest up and check out that area and just drive into Portland tomorrow morning.

All in all, this trip is going really well. Okay, I think Melissa might need a driving break. Time for a driver swap!


7/25/09 10:35am

Currently playing cards in the Hilton lobby in Boise with some of Melissa’s family. We’re just hanging out until we need to get ready for the wedding tonight. I’ll add some details about our time in Oregon if I get a chance later.

Playing cards in hotel lobby
Playing cards in hotel lobby


7/21/09 9:41pm

Had lunch with Eric from Vision Launchers today at some dive Mexican place in Sacramento. I ordered the “super burrito” and there was definitely nothing super about it. It was nice talking with Eric in person since we usually talk via the intertubes (being a 7 hour plus driving distance away and all).

After lunch, Melissa and I headed up to the Folsom area to explore and I really liked it. I think it might be my new favorite area near Sac. We checked out the lake briefly and even explored rinky dink Sutter St (which I would describe as “rustic” and possibly “boring” but my wife seemed to really enjoy it.

Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake

For dinner, we headed back to Davis and treated our friends Ross and Crystal to thai food at Thai Nakorn. Good service and the food was tasty.

We head out for Oregon tomorrow morning and I can’t wait!


7/20/09 4:21pm

Just had a really late lunch at the Mr. Pickles in Rocklin, CA. The Gaylord Focker was delicious (never thought I’d type that). Wife and I like this area though it sure is hot. We’ve been driving around and just exploring and I thank God that we have functional A/C.

Our friends’ cat Finn still isn’t doing so well and apparently also probably has some bits of plastic in his belly (such a bummer). Now Ross and Crystal have to decide on surgery for the poor lil’ guy (from the sounds of it, it’s freaking expensive). Hopefully, he makes it through the week (I am sure that Ross and Crystal welcome your prayers if you feel so led).


7/18/09 6:16pm

Fun times in Woodland… if you’re not a cat.

Turns out that our friends’ cat swallowed a piece from a toy and the poor guy started vomiting blood just before our arrival (just what you wanted to read about).

We show up and the cat vomits even more blood (everyone is a critic) and now we’re at the small animal clinic at UC Davis. The vet says there is a metal piece possibly now in his colon and Ross and Crystal are in the other room with the vet discussing (expensive) options.

A Very Sad Cat Named Finn
A Very Sad Cat Named Finn


Where all the cool kids hang out on Saturday…with very sad cats


7/18/09 3:50pm

The Walnut Creek leg of our trip has ended. We got to hang out with Jessica and Lewis and they were nice enough to cook us dinner last night. Afterward we went for gelato – which was only a short walk away. I got mojito flavor!

We also got to see my lil’ sis Marissa when we first got into town after her shift at the Ross in Walnut Creek. We spent a good amount of time catching up in the parking lot of all places (nothing says intimate catch up time like a Ross parking lot).

We didn’t get to see my uncle Pete like I’d hoped but we did get to treat Marissa to a nice breakfast at the Country Waffles in Concord.

On the way to Sacramento we stopped to visit my mom and sister Analisa in Vallejo, which was nice. Now we’ve arrived to the Sacramento area – specifically Woodland. We’re staying with our good friends Ross and Crystal. Hopefully I can get some cool pictures and videos recorded while we are here.

Don’t turn that dial!


7/16/09 1:30ish

Our road trip to Boise is now underway. We are currently outside of San Jose on our way to our first stop, Walnut Creek, to visit our friend Jessica. While in town we will also be visiting some of my family who live in the Bay Area.

Below are a few pictures and video from the very beginning of our trip.

We could not figure out how to embed the video from the iPhone so here is a link in the mean time.

Vid #1

Stay tuned for more pictures and videos as we go along on our trip.

About to leave for our road trip
About to leave for our road trip

The transportation
The transportation