Swifts, Falls and Goodbyes

It’s a little sad recapping the end of my family’s 10-day trip to Portland – it makes me wish we weren’t 2,300 miles apart. Seeing how quickly my nieces Ava and Macy are growing up makes it even harder. But, as Jeff says, that means we need to make the most of our visits. Which we did on my family’s last weekend in Portland.

The beautiful Columbia River Gorge

The beautiful Columbia River Gorge

Friday was zoo day – and my parents’ 33rd anniversary. (Congrats to them!) Saturday was Columbia River Gorge day, starting with a stop at the scenic Vista House, an octagonal stone structure that towers 733 feet above the Columbia River. The Columbia River’s cool because on one side is Washington, and the other, Oregon. What a perfect state border!

We then headed over to the must-see Multnomah Falls. Jeff and I first visited the 611-foot falls in May, and fell in love with the sight. My family didn’t tackle the 1.5-mile hike up to the top of the falls, but took the requisite tourist shots and headed to Edgefield for a bite to eat.

This was also Jeff’s and my second trip to McMenamins Edgefield – we recently hit an Amos Lee concert there with Daniel and Lindsay. My family’s visit started with a surprisingly delicious meal at the Power Station Pub (McMenamins isn’t known for its amazing food). We adults swung by the wine-tasting room, where we sampled 10+ McMenamins wines before we bought Mom and Dad an anniversary bottle of 2010 Vineyard Select White Riesling.

On Sunday, we paid a visit to the Nike Factory Store on MLK, where my family took advantage of their employee family discount. After a meal at Bridgeport Brewery on Hawthorne, we headed home to relax, catch some football and do some DIY pedicures. To cap off the night, Mom, Lori, Ava, Cooper and I walked the two blocks to Wallace Park/Chapman School to catch the annual swift show. Every September, thousands of Vaux’s Swifts swirl into the school’s chimney just before dark to roost. It looks like a bird tornado – and it draws hundreds of people every night for a month. (Street parking has been a beast around here as a result.)

Crack of dawn Monday morning, my family was gone. It was an awesome visit – hopefully one of many to come!

P.S. Thanks to our landlords Travis and Kim for letting us use their place (we needed the space!) while they’re on their 2-month sailing adventure in the South Pacific. Travis started a blog if you want to follow their travels!

The Crown Point Vista House, built between 1916-1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers

The Crown Point Vista House, built between 1916-1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers

Cory and Lori and the beautiful views from the Crown Point Vista House

Cory and Lori and the beautiful views from the Crown Point Vista House

Jeff and Cory checking out the views from the Vista House

Jeff and Cory checking out the views from the Vista House

Cory and Jeff overlooking the Columbia River

Cory and Jeff overlooking the Columbia River

The Pickvet clan at Multnomah Falls

The Pickvet clan at Multnomah Falls

Mom and Dad posing in front of the Multnomah Falls

Mom and Dad posing in front of the Multnomah Falls

Macy's first trip to a waterfall!

Macy’s first waterfall experience!

Mom and Dad tasting the McMenamins wines in the tasting room

Mom and Dad tasting the McMenamins wines in the tasting room

Relaxing with the girls in the Edgefield gardens (as Mom, Dad, Lori and Cory wine-taste)

Relaxing with the girls in the Edgefield gardens (as Mom, Dad, Lori and Cory wine-taste)

Ava playing in the Edgefield gardens

Ava playing in the Edgefield gardens

Wine and pedicures in our back patio

Wine and pedicures in our back patio

The crowds waiting to see the swifts swirl into the chimney

The crowds waiting to see the swifts swirl into the chimney

The whirlpool of swifts flying into the Chapman Elementary chimney

The whirlpool of swifts flying into the Chapman Elementary chimney

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Eighth Wonder of the World « Our Oregon Trail

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