Before it Begins

This past weekend (my "weekend" being Friday and Saturday - a schedule thing), Josh and I headed out of town to get some one-on-one time together. Josh is starting to take the prep classes for the Washington Bar exam. The classes and studying for the bar is super intense - i.e. imagine finals time but extended for about 7-8 weeks. With all this starting Monday, 6/7 we thought we'd go on a mini-trip before it all begins (okay, technically it's started already. Sorry I lagged getting this post written).

It was actually a last minute deal for us. We thought about going on a trip, but didn't have any specific plans until the night before heading out - very spontaneous for us. We had specific criteria and sorted through a few ideas, but we ended up deciding on The Dalles area. Basically, eastern Oregon. We found a cute hotel online in Dufur (eh hem, not dufus).

Before leaving, Josh setup a system where we could upload photos to my Flickr site, which then updated a website all using our iPhone cameras as well as my fabulous iPad (tech geeks!). We vowed to take pictures every hour on the hour so our trip was documented in photos. You can see this at our Hours in the Dalles website, Note the copyright line - that's all Josh. See what law school does to people!

By 1pm Friday we were on the road with iPhones in hand. As we reached the Gorge area, we started to make random stops whenever we saw something beautiful or cool. This started at the Lewis and Clark park and then some following viewpoints. We made a stop in Hood River for a walk around town and for some grub. We ate at a nice placed called Brian's Pourhouse where we shared some tasty pizza and salad. Then we headed back on to the road toward our final destination of the day, Dufur.

As we reached the road from The Dalles to Dufur, we were gifted with some incredible lighting. The sun came out, but the night clouds were out in the distance. Not to sound too British, but it was quite lovely. Once we reached our hotel, The Balch Hotel, I ran out to take photos of the nearby silos and farm stuff (tractors 'n stuff). In anticipation to your question: No, we didn't stay on an actual farm. We actually stayed in a historic hotel. In fact, it's in the National Register of Historic Places - totally true...there is a placard on the front near the door to verify this fact. However, this meant no television or phones. Not to fret though, there was wireless Internet and with our iPhones and my iPad we were covered.

The hotel owners were quite delightful people - Samantha and Jeff. To start, they hooked me us up with a discount (always a plus in my book). They were the most hospital people offering us cookies, giving a whole hotel tour, etc. There weren't a bunch of other guests, but they were all very pleasant. It was interesting to talk to the other guests and hear all their stories and whatnot.

Included in our stay was a full three-course breakfast. Before eating, Josh and I headed outdoors since it was the annual Tour de Hood bicycle ride. There was a rest stop at the hotel for the bikers. These were the recreational bikers, but the pros turned up the road. Some of the guests at the hotel had a daughter that was running the tour (not running literally, but manage it, etc). Apparently she was a very talents biker and was runner up for the Olympics - cool stuff.

Anyway, fast forward to breakfast. We started with some fruit-nut parfaits, followed by a potato-spinach-feta frittata and a toffee nut coffeecake. All the guests were served and we sat and chatted it up. With full tummies, we took a few more pictures and headed out.

On the return route, we took a brief detour to the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. As we neared lunchtime, we opted for a meal in Hood River again. This time we ate at a British Pub called Horse and Hound.

After lunch we continued back on the Oregon side. I was driving and made a few random stops including the Bridge of Gods. I also make an impulse stop at the Horsetail Falls. Then I persuaded Josh to go with me on the upper trail hike. At the top, we saw the...wait for it...the back side of water (Disneyland, I miss you). There is a quick video on my Flickr site as well.

The final, and not any less important stop, was YoCream. Oh yea, that's right; can't miss the froyo. To top it off, there was my favorite cookies 'n cream. Heaven. In. A. Cup. I contemplated trying to transport it home, but decided it sadly wouldn't survive the 2 something hour drive.

That's about it. A one-night outing, but a fabulous time. I think the great weather really helped too. We've had some unusually late rain here in Eugene (makes me feel better to here the locals say this is unusual). It seems like this weekend may have been the turning point in the weather and we'll be getting some better weather now.

Don't forget to browse my photo album on Flickr. I took the site pro this weekend just so you could see more pictures. Enjoy!