Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Wedding in Portland

Taking advantage of the awesome public transportation in Portland!
My friend Cody and I took a little trip to Portland to attend the wedding of our dear friend Adrienne Urban! I always told Adrienne I would never miss her wedding and true to my word I was there to help her celebrate the big day! We arrived in Portland early Friday morning and spent the whole day walking around downtown. While I was expecting to find a big bustling city, downtown Portland actually has a very quaint small town feel to it.  We had lunch at the Portland City Grill which is located on the 30th floor of one of the only "skyscrapers" located in downtown. The view was incredible and the ambiance and food definitely makes this a "must" when visiting Portland. Friday night we attended the rehearsal dinner at the Bridgeport Brewery. It was so fun to see Adrienne and meet her AMAZING fiance. Cody and I both agreed that we liked him instantly and everyone we met who knows him has nothing but incredible things to say. We are so happy for Ade and thrilled she found such an awesome match! We were a little nervous that it may be a bit awkward at the rehearsal dinner since the only other people we knew there was Leanne and Debbie Haws, but we were welcomed immediately and instantly connected to some of their friends! It was a great night and we were happy to be apart of it!

The following day, we decided to venture out of the city and took the MAX to the Japanese and Rose Gardens. (Portland has amazing public transportation)!!! The gardens were beautiful and definitely worth seeing. Everywhere we went in Portland we were amazed to see gorgeous massive trees. It is truly unlike any place I have ever seen and I was beyond impressed by the beautiful scenery, clean air, perfect weather and how well kept the city is.  I also have to compliment the food! I loved everything I ate, and besides the wedding the food was the highlight of the trip! After our trip to the Japanese Garden we literally jumped off the MAX when we spotted a little bakery on a corner downtown. I ate the most interesting and delicious sandwich ever! It was so good I had to take a picture! After our yummy lunch we did a little shopping as I still needed a dress for the wedding! I had brought something that I purchased in AZ but it was a bit pricey and not all that special so I was hoping to find something else! At the last minute I found a great dress and with just a couple of hours till the wedding we headed back to the room for some much needed rest!

Since Adrienne is a teacher, she very cleverly hired a school bus to pick up all her guests and transport us to the wedding location! It was such a great way to travel and meet some more of Mitch and Adrienne's friends. We connected to another couple Curtis and Carly instantly and they are our new besties! The wedding was lovely and Adrienne was stunning! The ceremony was perfect and I loved everything the pastor said. It was very touching and just knowing that this is truly a blessed union, made it one of my favorite weddings to date! At the rehearsal dinner Ade had told me that they would not be doing any of the "traditional" wedding activities, as she planned to spend the entire night of the dance floor! True to her word, she never left it and literally danced the night away! It was a great wedding and we had a wonderful time!

We intentionally scheduled a late flight the following day so we could see as much of Portland as possible. An old high school friend of ours, John, graciously picked us up at our hotel and gave us a personal tour! Our first stop was the Vista House at Crown Point which provides an impressive view of the Columbia River. After that we headed just a little bit farther down a scenic route to Multnomah Falls, the tallest fall in Oregon. There is a foot trail that takes you to the top of the falls, and while it was paved, I was still not prepared for the 1.5 mile hike straight up! There are markers letting you know which switchback you are on and I have to say I was a little discouraged when I reached switchback 2 of 11 after I assumed I was already halfway there! At that point I decided that making it to 4 of 11 may just be good enough!  Never wanting to be quitter I pressed forward and actually made it to the top! It felt like quite an accomplishment as it was a particularly hot day and I had had a particularly late night! The way down was much more enjoyable as I could actually look around at my surroundings rather than concentrating on each step! After our little hike we stopped for a much deserved meal in the cutest little town called Hood River. On the way home we took the longer route back to Portland so that we could actually drive passed Mount Hood. WOW, it was a beautiful drive and it was amazing to see Mount Hood still covered in snow. The day was amazing and I am so glad we were able to see and do so much in such a short amount of time.
Just needing a little break!

View from the top

Driving past Mount Hood

This was truly my last hurrah as my year long vacation is now over! I am back to work Wednesday with very mixed emotions! I loved every minute of my time off and really took advantage of it, relaxing and just hanging out. Now I am getting thrown back into my crazy, non-stop schedule!  While it is going to take some getting used to, I know I will be just fine as I thrive in chaos! Bring it on!

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