Before departing for California, I had a few more stops on my Pacific Northwest farewell tour. First up, a trip to the Oregon Coast with Susan. Baby Austin had never been, so we felt obligated to remedy that situation immediately. And I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, us or Austin. Nope, that’s not true, it was DEFINITELY Austin and his BFF Blue:
And ran some more…
It was so much fun to watch them. Austin chased birds and ran into the ocean and generally had the best time ever. At one point we saw some horses, so we put the dogs back on leash. Which was good, because they were VERY interested in those horses:
Wally didn’t get to frolic off-leash, partly because he doesn’t always play well with other dogs and because he still has delusions of his youthful strength and stamina. Because there are two of them and one of me, I had to use my hands-free running leash set up to wrangle the two of them:
We had some time to kill before our room was ready, so we went for lunch and taunted T with a sunny selfie:
And then took the younger dogs for a second beach session. Austin was just as exuberant as ever, but Blue was definitely conserving his energy, stalking his prey:
But he rallied:
Finally, we got the call that our room was ready. We checked into a dog-friendly room with a really great view. (And shortly after I took this picture, the fog rolled in. So, it was good that I snapped it early!)
The hotel had all of these rabbits on the property. Austin was OBSESSED with them.
As were Blue and Lola. Wally was too busy sleeping off the beach time… It was like Doggie TV:
Susan and I drank wine on the balcony and then walked across the street for dinner. It was fantastic end to a wonderful day. The next morning, we went for a nice breakfast and photographed some local “art”:
Then it was time to drop the dogs off with Susan in Salem and move on to the next phase in my trip: visiting Erin & David in Bend. I hadn’t been there since T’s race last year, so I was excited to see them and catch up. I arrived Friday night after a long day of driving for me and a trip to Vegas for Erin, so it was a chill evening of wine and chatting.
The next day, we started our morning by taking the dogs for a bike/jog. They have a contraption where you hook the dogs into a frame near the front wheel of a bike. The dog runs and you ride. It’s super fun and a great way to tire out dogs quickly! Then we went to lunch, followed by a distillery tour/tasting.
The tour was interesting and apparently all stills are really cool and steampunky:
We couldn’t resist the obvious photo op:
I liked the way they did tastings. First, they give you this sheet and you can pick six things to try:
Then they place them on the sheet, so you can keep track:
They also do small, inexpensive cocktails that feature the various spirits. It was such a great way to try the products. (Not to mention, a very fun way to spend an afternoon!) David had to work, so Erin & I went to see the movie Grandma at this super cute little theatre. (We both wanted it to be better than it was… ) Afterward, we had a light dinner at this great restaurant (with the creepiest waitress!) It was so great to catch up with Erin and a super fun evening.
The next morning, we went out for a hike. Bend is a fascinating place. We started out at this really cool volcanic park:
Then we drove to another section that was still volcanic, but with more forest:
Erin climbed onto a rock to take a photo, but of course that meant she had to get photographed. Naturally, she rocked it:
The hike was filled with all of these interesting twisted trees and cool combinations of lava and trees:
I wrapped up my trip by hanging out with my parents in Portland. It was a whirlwind, but I’m so glad that I had a chance to see everyone before the big move. As I was driving, I tried to soak in all of the natural beauty of this area and bid it a fond mental “see you later”. It’s hard to believe that soon I will be in California!