Bike Rides and Anniversaries

This past July my husband and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary! I can’t believe it’s already been two years. It’s come and gone so quickly. My brother-in-law was doing the Seattle to Portland bike ride and we had already agreed to pick him up on Sunday. But we didn’t see any problems with that because we had all Saturday to ourselves.

Whenever my husband announces that we’re going to Portland, I get giddy. The food culture there is so outrageously good. It’s always a foodie dream-come-true. When we first got together I was obsessed with grilled cheese. I almost had one every single day (no joke). During our dating years, Sam took me on a road trip to Portland to experience a grilled cheese food truck (MIND BLOWN) and for our anniversary we revisited the same food truck!
 
THE GRILLED CHEESE GRILL
 
WHAT WE ORDERED: their special pesto grilled cheese with added bacon
RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I would give this a four star if the wait wasn’t so long. That being said it’s still worth the wait (I would estimate we waited 30 mins or so)! The food truck shares a lot with a big picnic area and a school bus for indoor eating. Very creative way to enjoy your grilled cheese.
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Next, we visited a place called the Grotto. It’s a place of solitude for Catholics. It has a monastery, beautiful gardens and a massive outdoor grotto. Even though I’m Protestant, this place was one of the highlights of our trip. We got married in a small grotto and I loved seeing one of this magnitude. Just one word of advice- if you would like to explore the gardens they are an additional cost, but so worth it!
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On this particular trip, we used Priceline express deals to book a last-minute hotel. I would highly recommend using this feature because you save a lot of money and stay in new places! For example, we booked a three star hotel room along the river for $209 a night.
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to food, but Sam found a nice restaurant on the river where we enjoyed a great happy hour feast.
NEWPORT SEAFOOD GRILL RIVERPLACE
 
WHAT WE ORDERED: nearly every single happy hour appetizer. The fish and chips were my fave.
RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Sunday morning while waiting for my brother-in-law to finish the Seattle to Portland bike ride, we walked to Voodoo Donuts. I’m not a donut person, but I just had to try the voodoo doll donut! My husband and I got her own when really we could’ve shared. It was gigantic!

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I’m now 26 years old and I met Samuel when I was 21. It’s mind-blowing to think we’ve been together that long already. And as corny as it sounds, it’s not long enough. I will be forever grateful to the Lord for bringing my best friend into my life.
Cheers to many more years of adventure!

Island Hopping: Friday Harbor

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A couple weekends after we went to Orcas Island, we took a trip to Friday Harbor with our good friends. Accommodations can be a little tricky at Friday Harbor especially during wedding season, so we booked an Airbnb. The Airbnb itself was very woodsy and very spacious. It even had a loft where you could peek at the living room through an opening.

Friday night our friends were shooting a wedding and that was fine with us since we arrived pretty late, however we did get to see opening night of Jurassic World at the local island theater. What an experience! You could tell everyone knew each other so the whole “no talking during the movie” rule was not applicable there.

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The next day we had lunch with our friends at a restaurant near the ferry called CASK AND SCHOONER. Unfortunately this time around I did not get pictures of my food! Sad day. Therefore I don’t remember exactly what I ordered, but my overall impression was that I loved my experience there. So much so that we went to breakfast there the morning of our departure.

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We spent the day perusing the many little stores throughout the main downtown area. In a coffee shop we saw an advertisement for a camel on the island and that’s what prompted our next adventure. We found Mona and she was disinterested in us, but we still got a good picture with her. She wasn’t the only wildlife we saw- on our drive we saw a swarm of about 30 bald eagles.

Around dinner time we headed back to our place and got ready for dinner (and I have pictures of this one):

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The Duck Soup Inn

WHAT WE ORDERED: it was a feast of champions to say the least. We got a little bit of everything. We ordered Brussels sprouts, A steak dish, a fish dish and I ordered a salmonberry mojito. This restaurant is pretty upscale and intimate. Be sure to make reservations if you would like to dine here.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

And that concludes my visits to the islands this summer! I hope you all are enjoying your week! Stay tuned because my next post will be about our road trip in July down the Pacific Highway.

Tschüss~
Alyssa

Island Hopping: Orcas Island

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This summer we spent a few weekends exploring the San Juan Islands. First, we explored Orcas Island and camped at Moran State park. What a gorgeous island! If you would like to spend some time on the island please be sure you make a ferry reservation and anticipate the ferry ride to be about 1 1/2 hours long. We didn’t know about the reservations and had to wait on standby. Luckily the next ferry was able to take us, but we remembered to make reservations in the future.

From the ferry it’s a short ride to the state park (from what I can recall it was about 20 minutes). There are no showers available, but I didn’t mind because we were only staying for a short duration.

Moran Lake state in right across from Cascade Lake where they have kayak rentals, ice cream and a small park where everyone can enjoy an outdoor gathering. We found a little nook away from the chaos (very busy in the summertime) and hung up our hammock. We read books, laid in the grass and climbed trees. A very relaxing time indeed.

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Another day we decided to hike up Mount Constitution. The summit was beautiful and you could see a perfect layout of the San Juan Islands from the tower.

Island life is soothing and relaxing, even the deer weren’t disturbed by our presence!

Tschüss~
Alyssa

Hells Canyon

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I know this post is coming a bit late, but I wanted to share with you our getaway to Idaho for Fourth of July weekend. We planned the trip to Idaho because Samuel had bought two riverboat tours on Groupon. We got a killer deal and also coordinated with our friends to come with us. The weather was dry and hot and it reached 105°F. With the weather so intense, it was refreshing to be on a boat for eight hours. The touring company is called Beamers Hells Canyon Tours (http://www.hellscanyontours.com) and the tour itself started early in the morning.

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Our captain narrated during the whole duration of the tour. He was incredibly savvy on all the history behind the canyon and the wildlife that lived in that area. I believe the river we were riding down was the Snake River. We even saw a family of goats along the way.

After the first hour and a half we stopped for coffee and pastries at a lodge along the river so the boat could fill up on gas. Once we were four hours down the river we stop for lunch where we took the plunge and swam in the river. It was so incredibly hot that day, so that water felt absolutely amazing. The number of people that the boat can accommodate is a good-sized group of maybe 20 people (I didn’t get an exact count). It was fun seeing people who barely knew each other by the end of the day where spraying each other with super soakers to cool down.

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After lunch we made our slow way back to the starting point, which takes approximately four hours. All in all, it was a fun experience and I would recommend it for anybody who loves the water, adventure and doesn’t mind making the trip out to Idaho.

What were your plans for Fourth of July?

Tschüss~
Alyssa