A Family Visit

Here is a not so subtle “shot across the bow” to other members of my family (all said with sarcasm and good humor of course).

With most of our family members being back in New Hampshire there is the almost constant question of “When are you and Mia coming back to visit?”. My rebuttal tends to be “Why don’t you come out and visit us?” My thought process is that it is easier to have a subset of family come visit us here in Oregon instead of us traveling back and then feeling stressed out having to visit everyone in a short amount of time. It doesn’t end up being a relaxing time for the two of us and I feel like we are always shorting someone. (have I ever mentioned that I have a HUGE family).

Mia and I have been out here in Oregon for almost 9 1/2 years now. In that time, we’ve had Paul come twice (once with Shannon and once with Craig) and then swing by once during a west coast road trip (with a coterie of direct & indirect family), Steve has had layovers in his pilot job at least 4 times and Martha, her family, and Maggie have come out once. Nephew Travis came down a few times while going to college up in Bothell, WA too. We haven’t had any family here in quite some time though……so it was very nice to get Chip to come up from Texas for a quick weekend.

He needed to use a flight voucher before February and wanted to make sure he came up to Oregon while we had decent weather. I advised him that September until maybe early October was going to be his best window before the cold months of drizzle and rain move in.

Chip visit
It was low 50’s Saturday morning. Chip (Texas resident) thought it was cold

I picked Chip up at PDX on Friday evening and then once home we stayed up late, by our standards, just chatting. That led us to have a pretty lazy morning here in F.G. before heading up to LL Stub Stewart State Park for a walkabout in the afternoon. Then coffee at Insomnia before a swing into the grocery store for some dinner items to cook at home.

Chip visit
Pleasant weather at Stub Stewart
Chip visit
Jacked up on coffee at almost 4pm

We made a concerted effort to get moving earlier on Sunday morning after the mandatory/traditional Sunday Pancakes (Codi would rebel if he didn’t get his blueberry pancake).

I had been trying to figure out what hike to do that would be decent for this first time Oregon visitor. We had definitely determined the Mt. Hood area was the goal and that there should be water for Codi and views for Chip. I made the last-minute proposal of the Tamanawas Falls from the Polallie Trailhead. This was a new one for Mia and I and it wasn’t a brutal long day or too long for our aging Codi. Plus we got to hit up Joe’s Donuts on the way up.

Chip visit
This strange lady still keeps following me on hikes
Chip visit
Codi and Chip
Chip visit
Approaching the falls
Chip visit
Taking a selfie of Chip taking a selfie

Other than some quick elevation gain after immediately leaving the car, this hike really wasn’t too bad at all. It was a very busy trail, which was to be expected, but still enjoyable enough for our little group.

Chip visit
Codi in his own little paradise

After the hike we dropped down to Hood River and one of our go-to stops at the Draper Girls Farm.

Chip visit
Chip visit
Fall is officially here

Dropping down Highway 35 allowed us to take I-84 back towards Portland and do the mandatory Multnomah Falls for out-of-towners stop.

Chip visit
Chip taking more selfies
Chip visit
Me taking more selfies of Chip taking more selfies

It was super awesome having Chip come visit. The pandemic screwed up a lot of travel plans the past few years and I’ve missed seeing family. I did see my whole family when I went back for my mom’s funeral earlier this year, then Mia and I only spent a week back in NH on our 2022 Rhodes Trip (again getting that too much family to see and not enough time to do it feeling).

I’ll admit I am long past due to visit Chip in Texas. I was last there in (cough cough) 1999! Long before he was married, and long before my nieces and nephews were born. However, the best time for Mia and me to go will be when the weather is crappy here!

I also believe there is an informal plan for Martha to come back out next year to visit Mia while I am off on a bike trip. Nothing firmed up at this point but here is a subtle prompt for Martha should she end up reading this.

Thanks for reading,
-Pete

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