Thursday, May 1, 2014

the beach. the gorge. the tulips.

This past weekend was our spring retreat in Newport, OR. I took a personal day on Friday because I was getting company Sunday afternoon and I needed to get some stuff done before I left. (That would be clean the house and get all the crap back into the newly painted office/scrapbook room that had been moved to the living room during spring break.) We got to the beach just about 5:30 and dinner was at 6. We were at the same hotel as last year and we had a great view of Agate Beach and the lighthouse. There were 12 ladies from our church that went and probably 110-120 altogether from the conference.

My friend Barbara and I left after breakfast on Sunday morning. At about 4:00 that afternoon, my dear friend and former college roommate, Jenny Wilen arrived. Last fall, when we were planning a ghetto girls' reunion, it was briefly thrown around that perhaps a reunion might take place at my house in October. Then we found out Michelle was getting married in Las Vegas at the same time we were thinking, and so we revamped our plans and booked a trip for her wedding. As it turns out, Jenny was unable to join us in Vegas because she was deeply involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts at her church in Statten Island and there was a big one year anniversary event being held the same weekend. We were bummed, of course, because we all love Jenny.

Well, she kept the idea of a PNW trip in her brain, held on to her free airline miles ticket, and did some crazy quick planning and came out this past weekend. She flew to Seattle, rented a car, and got a cabin near Mt. Rainier for two nights. Then on Saturday, she visited some of her family in Seattle, and then drove down to see me Sunday afternoon. I had her here for less than 24 hours, but I am so glad I got to see her and show her around a little bit.

I had to take her to see the falls, so out to the Gorge we went. The first picture was taken at the Women's Forum and it has a great view of Crown Point (hidden behind her head, actually) and the Vista House. There were so many clouds that we couldn't see Mt. Hood, but it was still beautiful.
One of my favs, Latourell Falls. It's just tall and mossy and there was a lot of water coming down.
We drove down the old scenic highway and went slowly by most of the falls, but we had to get out at Multnomah Falls. Recently a boulder came crashing down and smashed into the bridge, so that was all wrapped up and is being repaired and the trail to get up to the bridge was all sealed off. That's why it looks all wonky. Shortly after this picture was taken we had a big downpour and we were soaked by the time we got back to the car.
Sunday night we had dinner at one of our favorite places, Gustav's, (it's a German restaurant where Phil took me went after we got engaged) and then Phil went to bed, and we sat around and laughed at old college pictures, and Jenny baked her famous Love & Butter pound cake, and Wilson whined because he wanted up on the couch, and we generally caught up on each other's lives. I haven't seen her since my wedding almost 10 years ago, and I was just so happy that she came.. .even though it was much too short.

I took my second personal day on Monday, and in the morning after breakfast and coffee we went to my favorite local small business. . . Craft Warehouse. Killed about an hour in there. Then we went up to Woodland to the tulip festival. I wasn't sure if there would be many tulips left because the actual festival was over, but there's a store at the bulb farm and people can come any time.Well, we were not disappointed at all. A few varieties had seen better days, but most of them were still gorgeous.

This was the u-cut field. 50 cents a stem.
The show garden where you can walk through and write down all your favorite varieties.
And last, but certainly not least, the fields. Last year there were only yellow and red tulips in the fields. This year, we hit the jackpot. My favorite was the bright pink. Absolutely amazing.
We finished off our visit with lunch in Woodland. We hit up a local sandwich and coffee shop where we seriously had the biggest chicken salad sandwiches of our lives. I wish I had a picture. After a bit it was time for her to head to the airport and I came back home.

It was a beautiful weekend with a beautiful friend. I feel so blessed.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Great post! Love and miss both you gals.