We needed a break from our jobs, the 1952 House, our sweet (but demanding) pets, chores and whatnot. The rule in selecting the vacation destination this year: no big dirty cities. We wanted nature, cooler weather and not much of a hipster scene. Hood River, Oregon filled the bill.
Waterfalls, hiking, a brewery tour, daily siestas, reading fiction, touring local fruit stands/orchards and gazing out our hotel balcony doors at windsurfers filled the schedule. Being out in the boonies as it were, we had a great view of the Perseid Meteor Shower and the Milky Way.
We also toured the Bonneville Dam mainly to check out the innovative, wildlife-friendly fish ladder. When we heard about the 450 pound Sturgeon fish down at the hatchery, we HAD to go meet him. His name is Herman. He is a big boy.
On the way to the Portland Airport (just over an hour drive from Hood River) we decided to take a detour through Portland to shop at Powell's Books and deconstruct some Voodoo Doughnuts. The short time we spent in downtown Portland reminded us why we didn't want to vacation in a big city. Too many one-way streets, too little parking, too many aggressively weird people being aggressively weird.
Hopefully by next summer, the bank account will be ready for a trip to Ireland. If not, I vote for a stateside vacation in some other small town with not much to do aside from gawking at nature and soaking up cooler temperatures.