A Travellerspoint blog

Farewell Friends, For Now

So, I seem to have neglected my blogging duties for several weeks. While I thought about sharing with you all the fun chores I have been enduring over the past month, I realized you probably would not be interested in the stacks of paperwork I have been slaving over to complete my postpartum doula certification, nor would you find my attempts at packing and moving to a new city very entertaining. In between the family I nanny for added a beautiful baby boy to their family and I am busy giving them as much of my time as possible. Needless to say, my adventures have been quite limited as of lately.

But, fear not. I do have some tricks up my sleeves in the coming months. They may or may not involve a little bit mountain biking in British Columbia, Canada, some relaxation in Cabo, Mexico, adventuring in Costa Rica, and exploring in Japan. Just bear with me as a schlep through the next month and can continue with Jennifer's Journeys at a later date.

Don't worry, while the daily grind seems to have taken me hostage, I still make some time for the finer things in life. Like kite flying in Gasworks Park. Ahh... the good life.


Posted by Jennylynn 15:52 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Spark Your Heart

Photo Friday

The pain of hiking Misery Ridge set in Sunday morning as I got up and ready to run the Spark Your Heart 5K in Bend, Oregon. I wasn't about to let a little stiffness get in my way, so I donned my tired running shoes and went out into the chilly morning air. Crossing the finish line was my only goal, and I was not about to break any speed records in my attempt. Although I was very happy with my finish time, I was slightly disappointed by the fact that my 51 year old father beat me. I don't necessarily mind that he beat me, but he has never ran more than a mile before. Go figure!

Prior to the race we posed for some sweat free photos.


My dad, the comic, posed for mock running shots.


The race went by in a blur, and before I knew it I was crossing the finish line.

Only to find my dad in this pose.

After the race we decided how better to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a trip to the snow capped peak of Mt. Bachelor.


While I failed to take any shots of the mountain on our drive to the ski lift, you can rest assured that I took my fair share of photos from atop the 9,000 foot mountain.


While my family admired the views, I befriended this cutie.


Once I had my dog fix I turned the corner to see this spectacular view of the Sisters Mountains.


Before making our way down the lift, we had one last item on our to-do list -- no trip to a snowy peak is complete with a snowball fight!

Back on the road we made our way to our Fourth of July celebration at my cousin Katy's house.

Nothing compares to the time spent with the ones you love. This visit may have been a short one, but I am already anticipating my return. It's easy to let our travel mindsets wander to exotic locations, but sometimes travel is simply a matter of the heart.

For more Photo Friday fun, visit Delicious Baby!

Posted by Jennylynn 10:12 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Misery Ridge

The sun was blistering and the rocky trail was leading us steeply over Smith Rock. The loose gravel underfoot was unsteady and several times we almost skidded down the hillside. Completely unprepared, I wore jeans which stuck to my legs making the ascent more difficult. The name of the trail says it all: Misery Ridge.


While this past holiday weekend was to be spent lounging in sunny Central Oregon with my extended family, we rarely sat idle. Instead, we hiked mountains, biked along rivers, and ran a 5K. I guess considering we were also stuffing our faces with all the delicacies of backyard barbecues, we had to compensate for our calorie intake. I think we probably broke even.


So, on our first day in Oregon, we found ourselves at the base of Smith Rock just outside of Bend. As we pondered our choices, I thought it obvious that we climb over Smith Rock and not around. How silly to come all this way and not enjoy a little bit of a vertical climb, right? While the sun beat down overhead, we made our way up the precarious pathway.


The hike up was difficult, but the view from the top was rewarding. Spanning the horizon are dozens of volcanic mountains which make up the Cascade Volcanic Range. Looking out at the impressive natural wonders of our world, the wind blew against my face, and I never felt more alive than in that moment.


To our dismay we discovered that going up was actually the easy part. Coming down was even more difficult. Every one of us slipped or fell at some point on the dozens of steep switchbacks leading us down. It's not that any of us are out of shape, we just couldn't navigate the unsteady gravel below us.


Once we had carefully made our way down, the last two miles of trail led us through a gorge carved out by the Crooked River. The vertical cliffs of Smith Rock towered overhead and were dotted with rock climbers making their way up. In many ways, I found Smith Rock to look oddly similar to Zion National Park in Utah.


Once our hike was completed we made our way to the Crooked River Gorge picnic area where we practically inhaled our lunches. While lounging about the grass, my Aunt Becky pulled out her GPS and found a geocache nearby. I have never participated in a geocache before so I was eager to give it a try. Basically, geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt where by using GPS you locate "caches" throughout the world. Excited to engage in this popular past time we set off in search of our treasure.


The clue was "No Christmas Tree" and obviously based on the barren stump and brush, the treasure just had to be underneath. We pulled out an old pringles can that was filled with all sorts of goodies (anyone notice the Ants in the Pants?!). We added our name to the log, picked our item - a wooden coin from California, and added our treasure to the cache. I can definitely see the appeal.


The day was far from over, so we made our way back to Sunriver where my Aunt and Uncle live. While everyone settled nicely into the backyard lounge chairs, I was itching to explore. I may have just hiked Misery Ridge, but my legs hadn't quite realized it yet, so I suggest a bike ride. My cousin Katy indulged me and took me on a tour of Sunriver. With miles of paved bike paths, this is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.


We made it back home just in time for dinner and some good old fashioned banjo, blue grass music. With "Grandma's Feather Bed" playing in the background, a Bailey's hot chocolate in hand, family surrounding me, and the sun setting in the distance, life couldn't have been any better.


Here's one for the ladies!! (that's my dad!)

Posted by Jennylynn 19:14 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

God Bless America

This past weekend I joined my Dad and Step mom on a mini road-trip to Bend, Oregon where we had a family reunion with all my extended family. It has been years since we all got together and the weekend was packed with all sorts of fun. We bonded over barbecues, music, and mixed drinks, while filling our days with hiking, biking, and outdoor excursions. While I'll fill you in on all the details in the days to come, I thought I would jump ahead and first share photos from our Fourth of July fireworks display. No matter how large or small, indulging in a bit of pyrotechnic fun never ceases to impress me.

The setting: Pilot Butte, an extinct cinder cone volcano in Bend, Oregon.


While waiting for the main event, children and adults gathered and provided a little pre-show entertainment.





Once night had settled in, the spectacular display of crackling fireworks began. By the end of the show, the Butte faithfully caught fire as it does every year.


Nothing says independence like explosives.

Happy 234th Birthday, America!

Posted by Jennylynn 21:01 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

I See London, I See France

Prepare yourselves for a moment of oversharing.

I once made a butt painting. No, this wasn’t the type where I gazed at a nude model and painted out the curvature of their rear end. Instead, it was of the stamp variety in which I slathered by derriere in paint and sat on a piece of paper. It all started when at some young prepubescent age my cousins and I decided we wanted to play a prank on our Grandma. You see my Grandma is a very talented artist and on one particular visit she warned us to stay out of her studio. Well as you probably guessed this rule went in one ear and out the other and late one night after she had gone to sleep we made our break in. We quickly gathered our supplies, did our dirty deed, and rinsed the paint from our bottoms all while falling into hushed snorts of laughter. We went to bed that night planning to never speak word of our transgressions. My little sister Brianna had other plans. First thing in the morning Brianna promptly announced to our Grandma that we had in fact broke in to her studio and our artistic creations were of the butt variety. While our surrounding Aunts and Uncles broke out in hoots of laughter, my Grandma’s face hardened. She was livid. We apologized profusely, but our sins were never pardoned. This past Christmas we completed serving our sentence of silence. Tired of the elephant in the room, we matted and framed our artwork and surprised our Grandma. As you can see, the veil was lifted and my Grandma finally saw the humor in our act.


This past weekend my sister Brianna and I paid another visit to our Grandparents following our trip to Forks, Washington. While we didn’t make any studio break-ins on this visit, we made ourselves right at home amongst her cozy furnishings and playful kitty named Tiger.


While my Grandparents lived in Sitka, Alaska for most of my early childhood, they now live in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. There house is a stunning collection of beautiful artwork and combined with sweeping views of the ocean. Couldn’t you easily see yourself at home here?


And with a view like this?

Growing up, one of my favorite places to visit in Sequim was the Dungeness Spit. Here a 5.5 mile stretch of slender beach strays from coastline and provides for hours of beach combing. We of course couldn’t miss out on this favorite childhood pastime and so we searched the miles of endless rocky shore for treasures.

While we could have easily spent the rest of the week catching up with our Grandparents and taking in the stunning scenery of the Olympic Peninsula, work was calling and we had to return home. While I didn’t make any butt paintings during this last visit to my Grandma’s she did return the favor and gave me a beautiful painting she recently created. While not quite as colorful as my creative genius, I do think it is rather stunning. Surely I got all my talent from her.

Posted by Jennylynn 07:10 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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