Summer Adventures Part I

Wildflowers and Mt. Hood

Hi everybody! It is certainly never my intention to let so much time pass between blog posts. However, the last several weeks have been very adventurous. Sunshine in the Pacific Northwest has been a stranger this season so any opportunity to find warmth is welcoming. And I sought the sunshine! I am splitting my recent adventures into several posts because I have too many pictures to share.

I mentioned in previous posts that fruit picking is the ultimate highlight of my summers. Spending the morning in a sunny, quiet, open field collecting berries is one of the best stress relievers. This year I managed to pick mountains of fresh local berries (with Tim’s help, of course). Aside from enjoying the fruit fresh and stuffing as much as I could into my freezer, I also canned nearly 30 half pints of treasures. My resource for delicious jams and preserves is The Joy of Jams, Jellies, & Other Sweet Preserves by Linda Ziedrich. Every recipe I have made so far has been a no-fail, simple, and fun afternoon project. I’ve had my copy checked out of the library for over a month! Look at all those jars:

Bounty of jams

Then, at the end of July, Tim and I visited my family in Pennsylvania. I hadn’t been home in nearly four years so the trip was well overdue. My older sister and her family, who live in Germany, were visiting too. My sister has two children, one I had never met. I am absolutely terrible with children but homemade cupcakes and trampolines can fix my aunty ineptness:

Cookies-n-Cream cupcakes

My nephew, Kai, jumping on a trampoline from my childhood

Sunset on Lake Erie

We lounged around in the sunshine, wandered the shores of Lake Erie, spent a day at the local amusement/water park, made lots of yummy vegan food, and then spontaneously decided to drive across the country back to Portland. We took a car my dad gifted to us since our 16+ year old car has been having some troubles that are too costly to fix. We visited friends in Madison, WI and Omaha, NE along the way. It was fun, but goodness, was it ever HOT! The temperatures exceeded my comfort limits and detoured our travels. Scenes from the road:

Road in Wisconsin

Puffy clouds enroute to Madison, WI

Wind turbine

Me and my friend Tait in front of Madison’s Capitol building

Somewhere on the way to Omaha, NE

Banana Pecan Pancakes from McFosters in Omaha, NE

Cloudy skies in Colorado

Little America, a rest stop in Wyoming

Sunset over Wyoming landscape

Wind turbines in Eastern, OR (almost home!)

The road trip was exhausting, exciting, and gorgeous. It was nice to visit with friends and drive through new places. We have a few more adventures planned in the upcoming weeks and a trip to Nova Scotia with Tim’s family fast approaching. Check back tomorrow for Part II of my Summer Adventures series!