Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oregon Vacation Day 7 - Disappointment, Sunshine, and Celebration

The last day of our vacation we woke to the rain which we had now become accustomed to. The television weather guys had forecast the passage of a cool front accompanied by a line of rain. We had no plans for this day of our vacation because early snow in the mountains and passes had forced us to scrap plans for a day hiking at Crater Lake and a visit to Government Camp and Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Cars without chains were being stopped and turned around just past Welches where we were staying.

I'm not going to lie, I was very disappointed that we didn't get to go to Crater Lake. But I recognize that we are "flat landers." We don't drive in snow and ice and we don't drive in, over, or around mountains. The rental car we were in didn't have chains and, even if it would have had chains, we would not have tried it.

We decided to just take it easy at the condo, take advantage of the washer and dryer so we would come home with clean clothes, and make a trip into Troutdale for a visit to the Columbia Gorge Outlet Malls. Since we would be traveling the next day, on our 38th wedding anniversary, we would end the day by celebrating with a nice dinner.

As we lounged in our pajamas that morning, we had a lovely view of the front passing.

It was still raining a couple of hours later, after lunch, when we decided to go to the outlet mall. As we drove out of Welches, we were delighted to see the sun coming through the clouds. By the time we got to the outlet mall, it was a full-out sunny day. But, with the sunshine, came the cold. The temperature dropped quickly and we had to get our coats out of the car.  We bought cute little, lightweight, fake fur jackets for Our Little Princesses. Grandad and I both bought a few things at the outlet stores.

We headed back to Welches for dinner where we decided to go back to The Rendezvous for our anniversary dinner. Since it was a Thursday night, business was very slow and we were seated in the bar area. We were the only customers right up until we were almost finished with our dinner. We were lucky enough to have the same waitress we had earlier in the week. She was very friendly and we enjoyed chatting with her throughout our dinner. I commented to her about how nice it was to finally see some sunshine. She seemed shocked and asked where we had seen sunshine. When I told her just a few miles up the highway at the outlet mall, she reported that it had rained all day long in Welches.

I ordered the fondue as my meal. It was delicious. Among the dipping items were slices of a pink pearl apple. Neither of us had ever heard of nor seen a pink pearl apple before. The flesh of the apple is a dark pink. In the dimly lit restaurant, I actually thought I was biting into a carrot. I was pleasantly surprised. You can see a photo here. I've looked all over for a source to buy these apples, but I haven't had any luck. Apparently, they have a very short season and are sold in a very limited area.I will try again next October.

Grandad had the wild salmon fish and chips which came with a homemade remoulade sauce. It was really good, not your usual fish and chips.

We took our dessert to go, because we were too full to enjoy it immediately after dinner. We split a slice of cheesecake, which had a base layer of candied pecans and was topped with dark chocolate. Oh my goodness, it was so good. I can't even begin to tell you how good it was.

We packed our bags and settled in for our final night in Oregon.

Our trip home on Friday was mostly uneventful. But, what Grandad thought was a non-stop flight from Portland to San Antonio was actually a flight from Portland to San Antonio via Albuquerque and Dallas. No plane changes, just one long time on the plane. We grabbed some snacks in the airport in Portland and made it all the way home. Katy picked us up at the airport and had dinner waiting. Red beans and rice really hit the spot.

Our vacation was wonderful. It was the first time we've ever been to the Pacific Northwest. I hope we get to go back some day. I still want to see Crater Lake. I'm thinking we might be able to combine that with a trip to northern California in a few years.

We spent the night in San Antonio with Katy and Travis. On Saturday, Katy, Travis and the princesses headed out early for Dallas. Both of the princesses were flower girls in a wedding on Sunday. Before we left San Antonio, Patrick and I met two of my sisters for lunch to celebrate both of their birthdays. Then we drove the two hours home.  It was so wonderful to sleep in our own bed. We rested up on Sunday and went back to work on Monday.

On a side note, after my conversation with the waitress about rain, I did a little research. Welches, Oregon has an annual rainfall of more than 68 inches. Corpus Christi, Texas, where we live, has an annual rainfall of less than 32 inches. That is quite a contrast. Welches has almost ten inches more rain per year than Portland, Oregon. The lesson I learned is that I should check the weather for our destination more carefully.The first week of November is not particularly rainy in Portland, but it is almost always rainy in Welches. A fact I could have learned from the internet when I researched our destination.

Also, I could have gotten a clue when we arrived because every single thing outdoors was covered with moss and lichen. It truly is a rainforest. This is the roof of our garage, the roof of our condo, and a tree limb. You can see what I mean.

Look at me, I'm a grandmother and I'm still learning.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Anniversary! 38 years is certainly something to be proud of. Oh and I wish I had a bite of that cheesecake! I'm sorry you didn't have better weather but you sure made the best of it and did get to see some amazing sights. Thanks for sharing them. Can't wait to see the Princesses in their fur coats!