Week 20 – To Family and Friends and the Fortune when they are both!

This toast, given by Laurel (Abby’s mother) on our last night in Portland, is a perfect reflection of our stay with the Kaufman family. Seldom have we felt so welcome. Seldom have we felt so relaxed and at home.

To family and friends and the fortune when they are both – Laurel Kaufman (28.07.2018)

We stayed at Abby’s aunt and uncle’s house (Ellen and John). Occupying their basement and washing machine, we soon worried to over extend their hospitality. Suggesting to Abby that we could also sleep in our camper, John adamantly refused explaining that he was hugely enjoying his grandfather test run. Ellen suprised us with waffles and pancakes and Laurel babysat the boys on our five year wedding anniversary (and in fact Abby’s 29th birthday!) so that we could go out to dinner with Abby and her friend Michael. We fell in love with Abby’s parents house, particularly the garden where Benni and Alex played in the sprinkler. We barbequed, drank and marvelled in the company of Abby and her family. Four glorious summer days that we will fondly remember as one of the highlights of our trip!

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Alex and Benni dearly miss Moritz and Jakob. The pickups that Moritz gave to them as a goodbye present have instantly transformed into their favourite toys. We on the other hand are honestly still enjoying our solitude too much to miss the two of them as much as the boys do… Not having to put on clothes after taking a shower. Not worrying about stepping onto anyone when attending to the boys in the middle of the night. Not having to coordinate schedules and preferences with anyone else. Being able to reinstate our pre guest routines… just to name some of the advantages of being by ourselves.

I don’t want this to come across the wrong way! Having Moritz and Jakob over was absolutely fantastic!! We enjoyed their company and the trip together with them was a blast. However, if you haven’t had roomies in years then you need to relearn how to compromise on your personal needs. Not that simple after all, even though I believe that we made a pretty good team!

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Our week in bullet points:

  • We explored Portland together with Abby and Laurel. Benni and Alex got to run around in several of the cities fountains, specifically designed for children to play in. We visited the Saturday market and Powell’s City of Books. We dined our way through several of Abby’s go to eateries (Pine State Biscuits|Salt & Straw|Bollywood Theater) and made sure to empty our fair share of wine, while cooking for Abby’s family.
  • We took a day trip to the Columbia River Gorge, picked blueberries at the Klock Farm and ate lunch at Latourell Falls. We toured the Bonneville Dam and particularly enjoyed the fish ladder, providing fish travelling upstream a path to circumvent the dam.
  • We celebrated our five year wedding anniversary at Old Salt Marketplace.
  • We spent two days at Crater Lake National Park. Despite limited visibility due to wildfires west of the park, we were astounded by the parks beauty. We hiked the Garfield Peak Trail (6.5 km & 330 meter elevation gain), Sun Notch Trail (1.3 km & 50 meter elevation gain) and Plaikni Falls Trail (3.2 km), and were once again impressed by how easily Benni managed to accomplish all three hikes. We dined at the Crater Lake Lodge and were lucky to find that the smoke had cleared out of the crater (for the first time in over two weeks) when we left the restaurant.

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