Monday, July 18, 2022

Visiting My Homeland

 July 15th , 16th, and 17th was a special weekend.

On the 15th we explored some places we had not been before on our way to Oregon. On the 16th we attended my 60th high school reunion. July 17th was my 78th birthday and we spent it exploring "my valley", the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and then more new stops along the way as we worked our way home back through Washington State.  

There will be several posts, but today I am starting with an overview.

As many times as we have driven from Seattle to my childhood home in Oregon, we have never stopped in Vancouver, Washington, along the Columbia River. We did this time. 

It was Friday, July 15th, and of course we had breakfast as always with our friends before making the drive south. Our destination was McMenamin's on the banks of the Columbia River, where we had lunch and a stroll. 

Then we decided it was about time, after more than 50 years, that we checked out Fort Vancouver, also on the Columbia River.

I got lots more walking in before we continued on, crossing the Columbia River into Oregon, greeted by Mount Hood. 

We were in heavy traffic the rest of the way to our hotel in Woodburn, out in the valley. Dinner and a stroll through an outlet mall there completed day 1. 

Saturday was reunion day but we had time in the morning to explore so of course we visited one of our favorite nurseries there. Al's is always beautiful. 

Then we drove a few valley roads and found a farm store.

They had cane berries just picked from their field across the road. We bought a pint each of Boysenberries, Marion Berries, and Logan berries. This is Marion County, where Marion berries come from.
I had brought a small cooler and some Blue Ice, so I managed to get the berries home two days later. I had berries on my cereal this morning. 

I'll be posting more about some of these events later, but for now, it's enough to say that my reunion was just a lot of fun in a lovely setting in the hills above my high school town, Molalla.

On the way home we drove past my mother's final home in Molalla and then out to where I grew up  on our little farm before arriving back at the hotel to live stream the rest of the Sounders match going on in Chicago. We lost again. Then we got a little something to eat before settling in. 

Sunday was my birthday and I celebrated it first off with breakfast at Elmer's, where one of their specialties is the German Pancake with lingonberries. Yum. Tom did help me eat it.

We had an agenda for exploring some of our favorite places. Some worked out and some didn't, but we started with the lovely Seabright Gardens.

There was more exploring before eventually we crossed back into Washington and ended up back on the Columbia River for birthday dinner at another McMenamin's.

 Where dessert was warm "Purple Haze Marion Berry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream". 
We still had two hours to drive, but my wonderful chauffer handled it well. We made it home by 9:00, tired but happy. My birthday pageant was wonderful. 


  1. Well, happy birthday. You did it up right and had a great day.

  2. It all looks beautiful and SO yummy. I'd like to stand on Mt. Hood right now. It's so hot in K.C. Linda in Kansas

  3. Happy Birthday and what a lovely one you had. The trip to your past had to have been fun and you had quite a turnout for your reunion.

  4. What a great trip and a very happy birthday!!

  5. What a perfectly beautiful way to celebrate! Happy Birthday!

  6. What an amazing weekend you had!! And the food!!! Now I'm hungry.
    Belated birthday wishes.

  7. Wow! Way to celebrate a birthday. So glad you had a good one! Isn't it amazing how the place where you grew up can pull at your heart strings even though your home now is in a different place? The pictures, as always, are stunning!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful birthday weekend! Oh my that pancake.

  9. This sounds like a wonderful trip! Reunion, birthday breakfast, Fort Vancouver, looking forward to more posts.

  10. Happy Birthday! Sounds like a big trip with lots of walking for you!

  11. Happy Birthday, Linda! What a beautiful post! Love it.

  12. So sorry I'm late wishing you a happy birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Linda! Glad you you had a fun celebration and reunion. That dessert looks amazing!!


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