West US Road Trip: Week 4 – Oregon and Washington
Woohoo... We juuuust made it into Canada. Which also means I am a bit behind on these travel updates. It happens! Especially on the road every day, Connor and I are learning how to release our criticism of how "unproductive" we are being. Businesses are falling a bit behind, but we are having incredible experience. I repeat for the 100th time on this site, it's all about balance.
Let's continue our adventure of the US West Coast! This week, we explored Northern Oregon and made our way to Washington. The next two weeks are dedicated to a lot of family and nature time. It is a joy for me to be back in Silverton and Seattle with people I love.
And... we may have tried a lot of Pacific Northwest wine and beer. Hey, it's all part of the travel adventure. Also, I accidentally deleted the majority of my photos from this week, thinking they were backed up - they were not...
Day 22 - Salem & Silverton
We wake up to another lovely morning that involves packing the campsite as quickly as we can before I have early morning phone calls for work. Goodness, I am continuously grateful that Connor understands my work schedule...
We make it to a nearby coffee shop in Lincoln City where I quickly make my call and drink coffee like a thirsty kid chugging koolaid. Call done, we book it another hour in the car to continue our work from Salem. Salem may not be the most impressive capital city in the US, but I have a deep appreciation for their downtown area.
My favorite place to grab a bite when in this neck of the woods is Taproot. They offer amazing vegan options and I enjoy the vibe. We also had a second round of coffee at this adorable little place called Archive. I can't remember the name of our coffee, but it was iced with lemon juice and simple syrup. It blew my mind.
After loading the car with a dozen cupcakes and some other gifts for the fam, we make our way over the the town of Silverton, Oregon. I have been lucky enough to visit this cute town plenty of times, as it is home to my mother, step-dad, and two youngest siblings.
Andreas, my youngest sibling, had a soccer practice we went to. Then, we spend the first in - pleased to enjoy a home cooked meal and family time. My half-siblings are only 7 and 9, so there was a lot of catching up to do. Easy night in.
Day 23 - Silverton
It is nice to be staying at a place that feels recognizable and homey. Connor and I got to spend each night in the travel trailer parked in my family's backyard, which allowed up some privacy but closeness to the home. I got to enjoy working from my mom's couch in the morning while the family slept in - heavy cup of coffee in hand.
Once the rest of the family was up and moving, we headed to downtown Salem for continued work and lunch at my favorite place, Gather. The shops and restaurants in downtown Silverton are adorable. In fact, I did an entire blog post on the cute town shortly before leaving on Remote Year.
We head to their park after lunch, allowing the kids to burn off their energy and some offline work to continue. It's wonderful to be in the environment of a small town, where most things are in walking distance and families enjoy the summer days outside.
Work continued for most of this night, but we continued some of it at my sister, Brea's, soccer game and at home in front of great TV. I introduced the family to Queer Eye, because duh.
Day 24 - Silverton & Willemette Valley
Friday, I woke up fairly early - committed to getting some solid work done. Without needing to pack a tent, this allows Connor to sleep in a bit. I was determined to get all my work done as quick as possible.
I had an afternoon of exploring wineries in Willamette Valley booked with my mom. That's the kind of motivation to get you right out of bed in the morning. (Also, Connor politely kicked me out of bed "for my own good." But hey, whatever works.)
Actually, I think he just wanted the bed to himself ^
We ended up having a fantastic afternoon. Everyone came - parents, kids, the Brit. We first headed over to Willamette Valley Vineyard, which was beautiful. The winery was huge and the tasting was pretty good. We were just a bit bummed by the pricing (Connor's burger was $18), but we still left with a bottle. It was delicious. Advice: Avoid the truffle fries... you will never be able to stop eating them...
Afterwards, we headed over to a smaller family-style winery called, Ankeny Vineyard. This was a really chill environment. We were the only ones there and it felt more casual. The wine was okay, in all honesty. There were some interesting ones, but nothing super memorable. We enjoyed strolling the grounds.
After some errands in Salem and a trip to Jamba Juice, we enjoyed another chill evening at the house. I ended it with some me time and a glorious bubble bath in their nice claw-foot tub. Blissed and blessed.
Day 25 - Silverfalls, More Wine, and Portland
We enjoyed a slower Saturday morning than we originally planned. Supposedly, we had a decent amount of wine the day prior... #yolo
Once alive, Connor and I headed over to Silverfalls State Park and enjoyed a quick hike. It's always fun to revisit things over the years and continue to be impressed by the beauty of nature. It really doesn't get old.
After a quick pack job, we kiss Brea and my step-dad, Brian, goodbye and head over to one more winery with my mom, Kris, and Andreas. Why not? We stopped just outside of Silverton at Cascade Foothills and had the most wonderful experience. They offered 15 tasters for free! The service was excellent, the setting was adorable, and the wines were really interesting. We definitely bought a bottle and I will be back!
A quick drive to Portland and we made it to our economy hotel to get ready for a date night out. We don't often give ourselves the opportunity to get all dolled up and enjoy a true date.
We opted for glow-in-the-dark, indoor mini-golf and breweries. Glowing Greens was a fun, inexpensive way to start the evening. For less than $12 each, we enjoyed some healthy competition and a fun setting.
After, we headed over to Deschutes Brewery, which had been suggested to us by a handful of people. Connor was interested in trying PNW IPA's and I had been told they offer some good vegan options. We ended up only eating the pretzel, but it was AMAZING. The beers were solid joy.
It was a nice date night.
Day 26 - More Portland and Olympic National Park
Whoops, another morning where we slept in later than originally planned. One of the many blessings of the weekend and a some what flexible road trip schedule.
Powell's was a must-do on our list and we were pumped to explore the books store. It is HUGE! We grabbed a coffee and began our exploration. First stop - personal development section. We are a bit addicted. I picked up a new book, Lunar Abundance, because it looks gorgeous. We also made a long list of books for our audio sessions we have been jamming to in the car.
After a quick stop for grub at Whole Foods, we made our way into Washington.
By the time we made it up into the Olympic National Park area, it was close to dark. We found a free campsite outside of Quinalt and pitched our tent among the lush greenery. It was probably one of the coolest spots - minus the bugs.
Day 27 - Forks
After another morning of packing up t he tent, we headed up the coast of Washington, making our way towards Forks. No, we aren't Vampire fans or anything, but Forks is surrounded by some awesome rain forest and camping area.
That was the plan anyway... we actually ended up away from the rain forest and found a quiet place to chill for the day. I had taken the day off work to really enjoy some nature and relax with Connor.
It was probably one of the slowest days of the trip, and I am so thankful. We chilled by the creek, explored a bit of the greenery, and listened to acoustic music. I got Connor to do some coloring with me and he encouraged me to plunge into the cold water (briefly).
We continued our deep conversations, breaking down my anxious patterns and chatting about our potential growth. I enjoyed the stillness, the beauty of the trees, and the sound of the gentle creek.
We did some simple cooking and ended the night watching the stars from our cozy blow up mattress in t he tent - top off. It was a magical day.
Day 28 - Port Angeles and Seattle
While it was a magical day, it was a less magical night. The open top idea seemed fun until the evening turned cold and the mattress kept losing air. Plus, I have this obsession with needing to pee all night when I sleep in a tent. Sleep deprived, we packed and headed up to Port Angeles for the day.
Poor sleepy Connor. He was trying to gather strength and excitement for the morning he had planned. While I needed to work, Connor was really pumped to go on a whale watching tour that morning. We said a quick bye at breakfast, he headed off to whale watch and I stayed in to catch up after my day off.
Longest morning of work in a long time. Travel can be really challenging sometimes. The constant movement and the inconsistent sleep is not easy.
Still absolutely loving this lifestyle though!
Caffeine fueled, we headed out for the long-drive, complete with ferries, into Seattle. My sister and brother-in-law (Cheyanne and Josh) had just bought a home in the city. I think I day dreamed about an actual bed the entire drive there.
My other sister, Sierra, was visiting too! We had a fun family dinner and caught up on each other's lives all evening. Surprisingly, we survived a much later hour than I would have imagined. I guess family can be better fuel than coffee.
Stay tuned for the rest of our week in Seattle before we make our way into Canada!
We are continuing to find this balance of "doing" and "being." It's a challenge when on a trip like this. Communication is everything! We are continuing to discuss what we need and how we can support each other better.
Questions about our trip? Comment below and we would love to answer!