This past February 17th marked our 7th anniversary. It's been one wild ride! Since this year will bring the birth of our first child, we thought we'd celebrate by doing a little road tripping and waterfall searching. Who knows when we'll be able to do that again?
On day 1 we enjoyed some pretty views of the ocean on our drive down to Seaside, OR. There we went out for a yummy dinner near our hotel.
We'd planned to do a lot of hiking, but day 2 showed us we'd be limited by my condition. I hadn't hiked since getting pregnant, and at 6 months, I discovered hiking was a good deal less comfortable than I was expecting. I'd remained active at the gym throughout my pregnancy, so this was a bit of a surprise. The only exercise that ever bothered me until then were those with a lot of bouncing, like running and jumping jacks. Since hiking doesn't have any bouncing, I never expected it to put so much strain on my body. Fortunately our first waterfall was Youngs River Falls in Olney, which didn't require any real hiking (by which I mean I don't count the 1/4 of a mile I had to walk down to the base), but later that day we'd discover how hard hiking would be on me.
On our way to the coast we saw Fern Rock Creek Falls (left) and Bridge Creek Falls (right). Each are viewed easily from the road.
Near Tillamook a 1/4 mile trail led us to pretty Munson Creek Falls.
The cool thing about this hike is that there are two waterfalls at the end - Niagara Falls (slightly less impressive than its eastern counterpart) and Pheasant Creek Falls. I've read disputing sources on which falls is which.
That raincoat was getting stretched to the limits that trip with my 6 month belly.
The next morning we went down to the Lincoln City area to take a hike to Drift Creek Falls. Since the view from the bridge was fabulous, we didn't feel much need to continue down to the base.
After that we made our way down to Florence, OR. On the way we stopped at the Otter Rock lookout. Oscar's team at work is called Oscar's Otters, so we like going to places with Otter references.
Unfortunately the weather did not make for great picture taking that day. From the nearby gift shop, one side was foggy and gray while the other side was blue and mostly clear.
gloriously clear day in July of 2010. We knew the pics we took on an iffy weather day like this couldn't compare to the ones we already had.
Fortunately there were two waterfalls in the same area that didn't require gravel road driving. This one is Beaver Creek Falls. It's nifty due to the convergence of two rivers.
And Swift Creek Falls was pretty too.
The weird thing about this falls is that there's a trail to the upper lookout, but there's practically nothing to see up there. I don't see why you'd bother making a trail only to have the view still be obstructed. There was no way to see around the big rock on the left to get a clear shot of the main cascade.
That evening we went to the beach near our motel in Florence to see the sun setting over the coast. Below is a panorama shot Oscar took of the sand dunes we had to climb over to get to the beach.
Oscar got some gorgeous panorama shots of this falls!
And some not so gorgeous shots... Where did my neck go?!!!
After that we saw the sun would be in Sacramento, so we drove down there. That day we needed to get our car serviced desperately, and thought it'd be nice to visit the Sacramento temple. How convenient that the Folsom Lake Toyota is just around the corner from the temple!
That night we went out for Pho', Oscar's new obsession. I like it too, but it does not work for me while I'm pregnant. I'd eaten it at 12 weeks without a problem, but at 6 months it gave me some serious bloating pain. It was the first truly unpleasant pregnancy symptom I experienced (I was one of the lucky ones that never had morning sickness). I was miserable for the rest of the evening, not being able to get comfortable either walking around or lying down. I didn't realize the pho' was the problem until I ate my leftovers the next night and ended up miserable again. I haven't had pho' since. It's one of the first things I intend to eat after I have this baby.
The next day was warm, sunny, and perfect. We walked the entire day, about 9 miles. I had some pregnancy pressure, but since it was all flat and I could go at my own pace, it wasn't too bad. First we walked to Golfland to go mini-golfing (this was the same course we went to in 2010 that decorates for Halloween), then we walked to Pasta Pomodoro for lunch, then we walked to a movie theater to see the first installment of "The Hobbit," and lastly we walked to a nail salon to get pedicures. Boy were our feet ready for that foot message! Unfortunately we had to walk back to the hotel afterwards. It wasn't too far, but after our feet had just been pampered it was the last thing we wanted to do.
On our way between Golfland and Pasta Pomodoro, we passed this restaurant "FATS." Oscar and I laughed that you would actually give a restaurant such an unappealing name, but the aroma coming from it was amazing!
We had a few days left before we needed to return home, so we visited an old teacher of Oscar's who's now living in the tiny town of Cathlamet, Washington. We went to church the next day and ran into the Hargrove family who used to attend our last ward in Lynnwood. Small World! Later that day, Nancy and Bill Nelson drove us to the even tinier town of Stella to see their little waterfall. We had fun playing games and celebrating Nancy's birthday with them that evening.
About 6 weeks after our trip, Oscar and I took a hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge, not knowing there was still a fair amount of slushy snow on the trail. Fortunately this hike didn't bother my pregnant body nearly as much as the February hiking had, even though the trail was steeper and I was now over 7 months pregnant. I still don't know what was up with month 6 being my most physically difficult month (up until now that is, the last 5 weeks before the due date).
For the most part this trail was hard packed, but slipping became an issue for the final 1/10th of a mile. Fortunately an experienced snow hiker offered me his hiking poles for coming down that icy stretch. Without them, I would have had to get on my butt and slide.
Oscar took this lovely panorama while we were up there. I'd hiked this trail alone in Fall of 2011 on a gorgeous day, so I have plenty of pretty pics. But nothing I got that day can compare to this!
And to celebrate, we stopped off at XXX Root Beer in Issaquah. My chicken fried steak burger was monstrous! And the Root Beer float made with their homemade Root Beer was delicious! The detriment to this place, though, is that they're a bit expensive and they don't take credit cards, so have cash or a check ready when you go.