Category Archives: Portland/Surrounding Area

I realized that I haven’t had an Portland area activity geared post in a while, so here goes.

This year, I spent New Years with the fam, skiing at Mt. Hood! It was a beautiful blue bird day, and the snow was pretty good.

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The next day, after visiting my aunt in the Columbia Gorge, we hit up the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River. Though I had driven past this historic landmark multiple times in the past, I had never actually been inside. Despite the freezing temps, we got out of the car to walk the grounds of the hotel, which were absolutely beautiful! The views are likewise very pretty, as you can see across the river to Washington as well as a view down the gorge.

I spy Washington!

I spy Washington!

The hotel itself sits atop a small waterfall:

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And the grounds feature multiple bridges crisscrossing the stream that feeds the waterfall:

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Not only are the views beautiful, the food was good too!

For those of you in Portland suffering from the January blahs, the Columbia Gorge Hotel is just 60 miles from Portland on I-84, and tied in with a visit to the adorable town of Hood River can be a welcome mini road trip to get out of your normal routine!


I know it’s been awhile! I have been working pretty long days, and keep meaning to write, but, ya know that’s life. The things that don’t have to get done get pushed to the side *sigh*

Anyway. As a side effect of working as much as I have been, I strive to make every day off count! While trolling the internet for some fun (and free!) ideas of things to do in Portland, I stumbled across this. It’s Hamlet staged in a cemetery guys!!!! I know this is not everybody’s kind of thing, but I got super excited about it, texted my friend, hit up Chipotle for a dinner to go, and we headed to the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery for a performance of Hamlet!

I was initially a little worried about sitting on someone’s grave, but because of where it was staged in the cemetery, we were just sitting on a lawn. The performance was absolutely great! And free(although donations are appreciated). I was really surprised with the quality of the performance, the costumes, etc. The whole thing blew me away and I am so glad I took the opportunity to go!

Unfortunately my timing is terrible, because the last Cemetery performance was last night (oops!), but if you are in the Portland area and looking for some quality Shakespeare, you can still see the Portland Actors Ensemble perform Hamlet at the Portland Outdoor Shakespeare Festival, July 21st at 7pm! Also here.

And, guess what?! From July 21st through September 3rd, you can see the Ensemble performing Twelfth Night, or What you Will, at various outdoor locations in and around Portland! Info for that is also here.

After seeing their performance of Hamlet, I will definitely try to make it to Twelfth Night.

The pictures I have of the performance are not very good (no flash allowed), but here they are, for your viewing pleasure:

For those of you in the Portland area, I highly recommend taking in one of these performances! And for those of you elsewhere, look into similar outdoor performances in your area! Free, fun, and so so worth it!


Hi all,

So, I have been a little delayed in posting Craftastic Part 2 (but it is coming, I promise!) because I have been enjoying my time off work so very much.

We say in Portland that it’s not summer until the 4th of July. This definitely rang true this year– after a good month and a half of rainy, overcast weather, I woke up on the fourth of July to sun streaming through the window, and the meteorologist on tv promising temperatures in the 80’s! Finally! . . . And then I went to work. Sigh.

Yes, working in retail, I was supposed to work from morning until evening on the fourth of July. I was more than a little bummed that I would be cooped up inside all day, on the first nice day in ages, and not really doing anything anyway since no one would be in the store on such a beautiful day. But, I made the most of it and tried to keep busy doing my job. Brownie points for me! I showed such enthusiasm to get stuff done my manager rewarded me by letting me leave at 2!

Woo hoo! So, I went on a bike ride with the fam in the afternoon and then came home to prepare the picnic. The 4th is usually pretty low-key for my family, and with my brother gallivanting about the UK this summer, was seeming even more lackluster. So I decided I actually wanted to do something this year. After scanning the internet for ideas, I decided on watching fireworks from Council Crest.

For those of you who have never been (or never been to Portland for that matter), Council Crest is the highest point in Portland (i.e. a HUGE hill). Apparently it used to be an amusement park at the turn of the century, but now it is just a nice park with some trails and a beautiful view of the city and on into Washington from one side of the hill, and on the other, a view out into the metro area (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, etc).

The circular patio at the top of Council Crest

View of Portland metro area

A really bad pic of fireworks

So,  we packed up a picnic, and headed up to Council Crest. Be warned: it is winding and pretty confusing, so bring a map/google directions/your gps if you are unfamiliar with the area and want to go check it out. Once there, we spread out our blanket and dug in. The fireworks show on the waterfront started at 10, but the view as the sun set was gorgeous, and we got to see tons of fireworks going off across Portland and across the river in Washington.

The main event, the waterfront show, was absolutely beautiful! I am so glad we went up to Council Crest instead of going to the waterfront. I’m not a fan of huge crowds or super loud noises, so it worked perfectly for us, and we had a great view of the show from our spot on the lawn.

Now that I have been, I would definitely recommend it! A great way to spend the fourth, or even to just enjoy a picnic and sunset on a clear summer day!

Hope everyone had a great 4th as well, however you chose to spend it!