Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vacation Day 4 - Climbing and Eating and Shopping

Well, it's 10:30pm...on my vacation...and I'm pooped and I'm going to read for a bit and then go to sleep. Wow, I'm an exciting vacationer huh? hahaha

To explain the tiredness, here's what we did today. First, Dale and I got up fairly early and did a little bit of shopping. Nothing major, but we stopped at the US Costco for a bit just to see what they had that was different. In case anyone is wondering, a lot of the stuff is the same. Electronics are around the same price. They have less candy. They have a HUGE wine section, which is weird to see, but they can sell booze pretty much everywhere here. The biggest difference we noticed is that EVERYTHING is BIGGER at the US Costco. You may pay around the same price as you would in Canada, but the box will be bigger or you will just get MORE of it.

Anyway, enough about Costco. After Costco, we came back to Gary's. He was up by then (he works nights) so we all got ready and drove down to the Columbia River Gorge. Uncle Gary grew up in this area so he knows a lot of the cool places to go. Instead of the interstate which would have taken us to the same place, he took us on the historic highway. It's a narrow windy road up on the side of the mountains. It was a really fun drive and it was really cool to see the trees and everything up closer and more personal than the interstate. We stopped at a total of 3 waterfalls I believe. The biggest being Multnomah Falls (the highest point being about 600 ft above where we were standing.

There is a bridge part of the way up to the falls, so we climbed up to that and looked around. Then Gary said there is a hike to the TOP of the falls so we decided to do it. It was about 45 minutes of walking up a switchbacked trail and none of us are in great shape so we had to stop all the time. I nearly gave up at one point until I saw a rather large woman coming back down from the top and I decided if SHE can do it then so can I. It was TOTALLY worth it! You feel like you're on top of the world! I took a ton of pictures so I will share them when we get back.

I just have to make a note here. I don't know how many people have been to the Pacific Northwest and been IN the nature there. There is a distinct smell of trees and moss and water and LIFE. It's hard to describe, but it is my favorite smell in the whole wide world. I feel like home when I smell it. It reminds me of my dad and my childhood and all of my favorite places. You smell it at the Redwood forest. You smell it here. And I love it.

Anyway, after our big hike, we had some ice cream then came back into the city. Dale and I went out on our own to do some more shopping. I got a few cool things at Target and a couple of pairs of CHEEEEEEP shoes at Payless. 2 pairs for UNDER 30 dollars. It's pretty awesome. Then we wandered in a HUGE mall where they have a Lego store and a Mac store.

Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory in the mall. I had some chicken and mashed potatoes. The servings are so huge there that I'm sure I ate 1/3 of my dish and I was STUFFED. We HAD to get some cheesecake though so Dale and I shared a fresh strawberry cheesecake. Awesome :)

So now I'm happy and at peace. My belly is full, my suitcase is getting full, and my soul is happy just being here and smelling the smells.

I'm not sure what's happening tomorrow for sure. My uncle didn't get a hold of my cousin before he left for work tonight. We are supposed to go to the zoo with them tomorrow. So if we do that we will hit the zoo, then the rose gardens. Then possibly the Grotto. But that could all change.

Anyway, I'm going to read my new book. It's getting pretty interesting...

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