Category Archives: Travel


Glockenspiel Restaurant in Mt Angel

Judging by the crowds in Mt. Angel yesterday, it’s quite possible that I’m the only person in the Mid-Willamette Valley who’s never been to Oktoberfest.

So much to see!  Arts, crafts, beer….

German dancing…

Authentic German food from Mt Angel Sausage Company

Authentic festival food like blooming onions.  Haha.

Chicken hats wearing traditional German clothes:

And the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen.

I had never been into a Catholic church…do they all look like this?  If so…wow.

I’m quite proud of this picture…I’m trying to learn how to use our new camera and it took me a long time to get this looking like I wanted.  Anybody more experienced care to give a little critique?


Labor Day Weekend: Mt Rainier National Park

If there’s a better way to end the summer than camping in one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen, please tell me and I’ll try that one next year.  Until then, Mt Rainier National Park is my choice for saying goodbye to summer.

One of our first views of the mountain as we were driving into the park.  Breathtaking.

We hiked part of the Wonderland Trail.  Not the whole thing, since it’s a 93-mile trek around the park, but one of our hikes was on part of it.  I love the name…so much prettier and more imaginative than the “Pacific Crest Trail” or “Duffy Lake Trail”

My sister kissed a frog

We climbed 428 steps to the top of Windy Ridge….

…for a stunning view of Mt St Helens…

…and Spirit Lake.  What looks like a beach is actually a layer of logs deposited there when the volcano exploded in 1980.

Bet your weekend wasn’t as beautiful and wonderful as mine.

Finally Friday…and a long weekend!

Why, yes, Taylor Swift has been blasting from my radio for the past week.  And yes, I’m pretty embarrassed about that.

Oh well.   Enjoy…you’re embarrassed too, but you know you will.

Have a good weekend!  We’re off to go camping at Mt. Rainier…I’ve never explored Washington State at all so I’m super excited.

Travel Guide: Central Oregon Coast

Central Oregon Coast: Umpqua Dunes, Florence, Cape Perpetua

Some good friends got married over the weekend.  We planned to make a mini-vacation out of it and stay overnight in Reedsport but by the time I got around to calling about a room at the hotel, the block was booked.  Since we didn’t really want to spend a hundred bucks on a room anyway, we threw our backpacks in the car and figured we would try to find a place/beach to camp on.  And if not, we would just drive home.  It’s only a three hour drive from Salem anyway.

So, if you’re looking for an overnight trip – and maybe trying to get out of the 90 degree weather in the Willamette Valley – this is a perfect trip.

On your way to the Coast, make sure to stop at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area.  It’s just a few miles outside Reedsport and there were at least a dozen bull elk in the fields right off the road.

The largest sand dunes in America are found on the Central Oregon Coast.  It’s 40 miles of dunes and they’re absolutely breath-taking…not something you’d be expecting on the Coast.

We snagged the last spot (!) at Waxmyrtle Campground in the Siltcoos Recreation Area before heading into Florence dinner and some firewood.  We watched a group of 4-wheelers on the Dunes and hiked to Siltcoos Beach for this view of the sunset.  Gorgeous.

No camping trip is complete without dinner from a can and roasting marshmallows around the campfire

Old Town Florence is the quintessential beach town.  Gift shops, restaurants, coffee shops.  Adorable.  Have lunch at ICM (short for International C-Food Market.  Clever.)  Reasonable prices, friendly service, and delicious seafood.  I had fish and chips and my husband had clam chowder.  Yum.

Before heading out to explore the Coast, get some coffee at Suislaw River Coffee Roasters.  My mocha was perfect.  And super pretty too :)

Cape Perpetua Visitors Center is 18 miles north.  Take the “tidepool” trail and play on the rocks.  We didn’t see any animals but the crashing waves were worth the mile there and back.

Back at the Visitors Center, follow the St. Perpetua Trail Signs.  The guidebook rates this trail “difficult” and they aren’t lying.  It’s uphill the entire 803 feet up the side of the mountain but it’s worth it.  The fog made everything soft and glowing.

I want to go back now, please :)