Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Driving into Bend, Oregon where the scenery changes from dead and brown to lush and green and beautiful, I began to remember why I went to college in Oregon, and why I always say I'd like to go back. It's just another home to me, and I think it always will be. The slight hint of moisture in the air, the cool breeze, the greenery everywhere, and the most amazing people... But before we went to Oregon...

We spent our last few days in Idaho with my family, lounging around, eating lots of yummy food, playing mini golf (in which Byron kicked our butts), and giving Harper lots of attention. On Saturday we all headed towards Boise, the two of us in my old car with no air conditioning in the 100 degree weather. We traveled to Uncle Mark's house for lunch with my grandparents and then went to a Boise Hawks baseball game for my Grandma's birthday (though I think the boys might have enjoyed it more).

The following day Stephen and I headed for the state border while the rest of my family got to celebrate Grandma's birthday with cake and ice cream. Jealous. Driving across eastern Oregon with no air conditioning is nothing to be jealous of. But I've done it once before and we made the best of it :) Windows down, music blaring... We might have terrible hearing now but at least we stayed somewhat cool. We made a pit stop in Bend for four hours (it was a long pit stop) to meet up with Stephen's good friend from high school and his wife and their cute, cute little girl. It was fun to meet them and hear stories about Stephen growing up :) We got to beat the heat of the day eating a yummy lunch and frozen yogurt before finishing our trip to Roseburg to see Grandma and Grandpa Brown!

We got waited on hand and foot by Grandma which was wonderful :) She makes for an excellent host! It was so fun to get to spend some time with them; we hadn't seen them since the wedding! They took us out to town and showed us around their church (Grandma is a pastor!), took us to Sizzler (my favorite restaurant as a kid and Stephen had never been!), played lots of card games, watched home videos of the Wall boys, played at the Umpqua river... We did lots of talking and catching up and we were sad to leave after just a couple days, but we had two more cities to get to before our road trip and summer adventure came to an end!

Next stop?! Corvallis! I got the same feeling driving into Corvallis as I did driving into Bend, except even more so. I lived there for three years, got married there, lived with Stephen for the first time there, met my best friends there, became a Christian there... It just feels like home. (I spent a good portion of our time there trying to convince Stephen that when school is all send and done, we should end up there. I think it might have worked.) We stayed with the Winder family in their new home and loved every second of catching up with them! They have been such an inspiration and a huge part of our lives, both as individuals and for us as a couple. We're so grateful they let us crash their place in the middle of their kitchen remodel (which John did an incredible job on!). We got to play, play, play with the boys (water fights, card games, superheroes, you name it!), cook with Steff, help John in the kitchen, tour campus again, catch up with some old friends, enjoy a tasty Qdoba lunch... It was a fun, busy three days in Corvallis!

As a pit stop on our way to Portland, Stephen and I stopped by the coast. I couldn't be that close to the Oregon coast and not go...! It was a quick stop, just enough time to walk on the beach, play in the water, explore the rocks, and get some yummy clam chowder, but it was perfect! Just as cold and gray and rainy as I remembered and I loved it! :)

Our last and final stop brought us to Portland and two of my best friends! (The third who has just moved herself down to Arizona to start nursing school! I am so proud of you, Ali! Happy first day!) We stayed at Erica's house (thank you Momma Debbie!) and got to surprise her and Melissa with the baby news! The last and final people to tell before I could make it public! ...That was a fun night :) We finally got to meet Ryan, the man that's been in Erica's life for some time now (we approve!), and spend some time with Will who was in town visiting Melissa! I hadn't stayed up that late all summer! Chit chatting away like little girls... We did some shopping the next day, went out to a good 'ol fashioned breakfast, lounged around watching Madagascar, which inspired our double date to the zoo and brewery...
It's always weird, and totally awesome, how friends can be at such different spots in their lives and go so long without seeing each other, but when you do finally get back together, nothing's changed... When I look back at my time at Oregon State I think of how I spent it with Erica, Melissa, and Stephen. And to have all three to myself for one weekend?! I was one happy girl :)

And off to Seattle we went! 

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