Saturday, June 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday: An Oregon Adventure

This time last year I had just graduated high school. WHAT. I was feeling good - my high school days were behind me, the staples that were keeping my scalp together for the past two weeks were out (a story for another time) and I had the whole summer to have fun and relax. My aunt who is also my godmother wanted to take me on a trip to celebrate my graduation, and she told me I could pick any U.S. destination I wanted. So naturally I panicked like the horrible decision maker that I am because there are far too many places in the country that I live in that I haven't visited and IT WAS TOO MUCH PRESSURE OKAY?

Anyways, logic and the desire to relax on this vacation kicked in, and I told her I'd like to come out to Portland, Oregon to visit her. I had never been out west AND I had never visited her before, so I thought why not? So I told her with BEAMING confidence, "Portland, Oregon, if you please."

And thus began my Oregon Adventure.

First, let me just say that this was my very first time flying and navigating an airport BY MYSELF and I am very proud I did it WITH NO PROBLEM. Okay okay, I'll stop bragging now. Anyways, after about 5 hours on a giant plane from Minneapolis to Seattle, and then another 30 minutes on a tiny aircraft from Seattle to Portland, I embraced my godparents/aunt and uncle at the Portland International Airport.

A view of Mount Rainier from the big airplane.

A view of Mount St. Helen from the little airplane.

When I arrived, I lucked out BIG TIME. The weather was impeccable. It was sunny each and every day, and the temperature averaged at AT LEAST 80 degrees fahrenheit each day. My first full day in Portland consisted of a visit to the Pittock Mansion and the International Rose Test Garden. The skies were crystal clear so we were able to see Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion, and the roses in the garden were absolutely gorgeous. I could've spent the whole day in that rose garden.

House goals. 

A pretty nice view of the city, if I do say so. Also, look - Mount Hood! See it? SEE IT? ISN'T THAT SPECTACULAR?

Garden goals.

I think we only spent one full day in Portland, as it acted more of a home-base than anything. After walking around the city, enjoying street performers, fondling beautiful handbags in Younkers, and seeing a Canadian pirate ship, we traveled five hours south to Ashland, Portland, right on the border of Oregon and California, to experience the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. Being a theater nerd and even bigger Shakespeare nerd, this was SUPER exciting for me. Thinking about it now makes me shake with excitement. What. Is. Wrong. With. Me. NOTHING I JUST LOVE SHAKESPEARE OKAY THAT DUDE WAS COOL. Anyways, it was SUPER hot in Ashland, mid 90's the entire time we were there.

A Canadian pirate ship. See? I'm not a liar, I actually saw one. 

We saw two plays when we were in Ashland. The first was called Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land and it was hilarious. It's essentially a story of two plays within a play: two different groups of actors are trying to rehearse their very different plays in the same theater at the same time, and chaos and hilarity ensues. The next play we saw was - EEP - The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm a huge fan of the story of the Count of Monte Cristo, and BONUS, we saw it in the Allen Elizabethan Theater which is the outdoor Globe-like theater. My aunt and I even got a backstage tour during the day which was pretty incredible.

Watching stage prep for that night's show on our backstage tour. Embracing my inner theater nerd.

The final leg of my Oregon adventure consisted of a trip to the coast. This was pretty exciting for me because I'd never been an ocean before - Mediterranean Sea? Sure. Gulf of Mexico? Yep. But oceans? None. Not Atlantic. Not Pacific. Nada. That is, until we drove to Cannon Beach, Oregon to enjoy the beach, the Pacific, Haystack Rock, and some delicious Salt Water Taffy!

Hey look! It's me! Oh, and Haystack Rock. 

My first Pacific ocean experience was, shall we say, chilly. 

'Twas a busy day at the beach. 'Twas also a windy day at the beach. I saw people suntanning with winter coats on. 

After my day at the beach I had to return home to boring old Wisconsin. Still, it was nice to come home, as it seems it always is when you go somewhere. Still, I really loved being in Oregon and need to get back out there. I was told that the next time I visit we'd be climbing mountains, spending a weekend at the lake cabin, and visiting Crater Lake.

Have you been to Oregon? If so, where? If you live there, I'm very jealous of you. If you haven't been, where is your favorite U.S. destination? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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