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Visiting the Pacific Northwest: Part 1

It is already Monday and we’ve been on our trip since Friday at 6pm so I figured I’d better get to writing before I forget it all.

Friday at 4:30 I had piles of outfits and toiletries everywhere and some stuff still wasn’t done. I was completely exhausted though. I called Stephen and gave him a warning. I then tried to take a short power nap, but it didn’t really help. I got up and started putting all the clothes and stuff into our suitcases. They were so full that the zippers were really hard to close. I struggled with the zipper on the larger of the two suitcases for five minutes before completely breaking down into nearly hysterical crying. It was pretty pathetic and not the way I had planned to start our trip.

I pulled myself together and managed to squish the clothes down to finally get the suitcase closed. Stephen got home and we finished the last bit of tidying up then we were on the road. The day before Stephen had purchased The Chronicles of Narnia unabridged audio book for us to listen to. So we popped in The Magician’s Nephew and became enveloped in the story.

We stopped at a Rally’s in Selma for dinner. It wasn’t very good. No wonder not many of those exist anymore.

Driving to Sacramento wasn’t that exciting. There’s not much to see in the valley and it was mostly dark anyway.

We finally arrived at the Vizcaya at 11pm. After a little confusion at the front door (they close at 10:30) we got in touch with the night clerk and were let in. The very limited parking is a bit of trek around the property so we headed back to get our stuff and then settle into our room.

The Vizcaya is really just like staying in an old house. It kind of smells like an old house. The carpet could use some updating, the doors creak, the sink drips and everything is pink. Well not everything. Stephen was just a little overwhelmed. It was cute and quaint though. I didn’t get any pictures of our room or the hotel though because it was too late. Perhaps on our return stay.

We layed down in the four poster bed and Stephen finally was able to witness the baby moving and feel it too. Then we went to sleep.

The next morning we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast of Belgian waffles, eggs and fruit in the small dining room with some of the other guests. We packed up our stuff and headed towards Oregon. Things began to get progressively greener and more mountainous.

You start to be able to see Mt. Shasta towering above everything before you even get to Redding (which is where we stopped for lunch). Having never been this far north before, I didn’t know if we would get a really good view of Shasta from the I-5. I could see that it was pretty close to the freeway, but it seemed like the mountains surrounding it would keep going and obscurring the view every so often. So when we saw a vista point turnoff south of the giant volcanic mountain we immediately took our opportunity to get a shot of it.

We soon learned though that things do flatten out and the better view actually comes after you get north of it. There wasn’t an official turnoff point though so Stephen wouldn’t stop. I got this shot as we were driving by rolling down my window:

The rest of the drive was really green and beautiful. There are a lot more mountains, trees, greenery, rivers and creeks. We saw hawks and even a family of deer. We finally arrived at my sister’s in Salem at about 7pm that night.

The next morning we got up for church. She’s working here as a youth pastor and it was her first time preaching. I’ve seen her really bomb at speaking in front of people before so it was really neat seeing her actually make it through and do a good job at it.

She was having her small group over that afternoon so we headed out with her boyfriend, Matt and decided to check out The Enchanted Forest theme park. The park is owned and created by a local Salem man. The whole thing is pretty cheesey and I think there are actually quite a few parts that most small kids would get freaked out by. There are a lot of cave structures that are very dark. After being at Disneyland last weekend this was just not up to par.

It did kill most of the time that we had to be away though. After Paula’s small group was done meeting we all went bowling. On the way there we passed this wicked looking building that used to be an insane asylum (officially Oregon State Hospital) and was actually where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed. I didn’t get any pictures though because we were in the car.

Bowling was tons of fun even if it wasn’t necessarily something touristy.

So that about does it for our first part. Today we’re actually going to go see some Oregon sites.

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