Saturday, April 28, 2012

Silverton Brewfest and Blitzen Trapper

This weekend the weather looked pretty crappy so Emily and I decided to join Erin, Scott, Mischa, Tim, Lindsay, Loomis and Amy Jo at the Silverton Brewfest on Saturday evening and we even talked Chris into coming along later in the evening as well to see the showcase band of the night, Blitzen Trapper.  

The Brewfest was located at the Oregon Gardens in Silverton, OR which Em and I haven’t been to yet.  The area was super beautiful and although it is still early in the spring there were flowers and buds blooming everywhere there.  We drove Amy Jo and Loomis to the festival as well and when we arrived we paid $5 for parking and quickly found a place nearby, only to find out that we were still very far away.  Thankfully, a really nice old lady in a shuttle bus pulled over and told us to hop on just as we began to walk.  

When we got to the festival I was a little nervous about the size of it as we paid $15 for a cup and 5 drink tickets and walked into a small tent.  Fortunately, there was a much bigger building beyond the tent that housed most of the vendors and the main stage for performances although smaller bands were also rocking out the tent we entered.  There were just under 50 breweries represented and tons of beers available.   I of course immediately went for the stout beers as I don’t like hoppy beers.  I then progressed to trying various hard ciders which seem to have become really popular in the last few years.  My favorite was the red cider from Woodchuck out of Vermont.  

The bands were all fantastic but we were all blown away when Blitzen Trapper took the stage just after 9pm.  They are natives of Oregon and gave several shout outs to nearby areas as they started their amazing set.  Scooter took off immediately toward the stage so I gave him our camera to snap some pictures as he is well over 6 feet.  Blitzen Trapper were fantastic as they rocked the place out.  The guitarist in front was pounding beer out of a pitcher the entire set and they finished an encore with a great Zeppelin cover.  

From there it was a 20 minute drive to Silver Falls where we spent the night in a big old barn that  Erin Riley rented for everyone and sleeps 75 people!  There were only about 15 of us on Saturday night and I felt bad that Erin probably took a dig with the rental cost as she only asked for $10 from each of us.  The barn had a gigantic fire pit in the middle, full kitchen, huge fridge,  and we thought it would be a great place to rent again.... until we went to sleep... and could hear every sound, even farts across the entire barn!  Someone was definitely snoring next to us and Emily kept poking me thinking it was me snoring!  

Sunday morning was definitely rough for both Emily and I as we drove up the Gorge to visit Gorge Crest Vineyards and the Gorge hotel again.  We decided that we wanted our wedding at the vineyard and our rehearsal dinner, if possible, at the Gorge Hotel and then after the wedding we can all head downtown to a bar after the reception ends at 10.  We stopped for lunch at the Full Sail Brewery in Hood River which could be an after party option.  Definitely excited we found a place and that there are available spots in July.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Eagle Creek 2012

This weekend Emily and I found ourselves in the Portland area.  Cassie and John had come down to Portland for some pregnancy photos with a photographer they like there so we met up with them at Kell’s for dinner on Saturday night.  It was good to catch up with them as we haven’t seen them for a very long time.  

After dinner Em and I drove into the Columbia Gorge to try to check out the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River and a Bed & Breakfast up the road near Cooper Spur on Mt. Hood.  The hotel was amazing but it was a little too dark to get a full grasp on what the B&B had to offer and frankly it was a bit of a drive for people flying into Portland.  We tried to find a safe place to park the car for the night around Hood River and even checked out a campsite along the river but to save some cash as we’d be sleeping in the car anyway we simply drove to the Eagle Creek trailhead and set up the bags in the back of the Prius as usual.

On Sunday Em and I had a beautiful hike up Eagle Creek in the Gorge.  It had been over 5 years since we had done it during Emily’s first visits to Oregon when she still lived in Saratoga and we weren’t even sure if we were going to continue dating.  Now that we are engaged and it has been so long I thought it would be a great hike to take the new camera on as well.

We got started around 8:30 am after some quick snacks for breakfast and immediately I was blown away all over again at the beauty of the area.  I’m not going to go into details about the hike but will say that it remains one of my top 5 in Oregon.  We saw tons of wildflowers, spiders, bugs, slugs, and I even grabbed a small snake.   Emily was very patient with me every time we stopped at the various waterfalls along the route for me to practice some photography.   The waterfalls were especially large after the warm spell we have had and the rain earlier in the week.  They seemed a lot bigger than the last time we visited the area, and even then it was raining. 

We took our time throughout the day and ended up making it back to the trailhead around 4:30 in the afternoon which gave us plenty of time to make it home before dark.  We decided we were too tired to visit the Columbia Gorge Crest Vineyards and would come back another weekend to check them out.  It was a great day in the Gorge and both of us are really leaning towards the Hood River area as the place for us to get married.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Brunch 2012

Once again this year Kevin and Alexa hosted the annual Easter Day brunch for all of our friends, or as it was called “Zombie Jesus Day”.  There was great food and we were fortunate enough to have fantastic weather.  Washers were out and we basically just sat around and on the patio outside our apartments and chatted all afternoon.  Great relaxing day with great food!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Acoustic Showdown 2012

Just a quick post to say that Emily and I had a terrific time tonight with Sarah, Dave, Christina and a few other of Chris Holm's friends watching him win 2nd place which is exactly what he wanted as he didn't need recording time which was the grand prize.  Instead, he won a gift certificate that he said he would use to take all of us, his groupies, out to dinner with.  It was Emily's first time at open mic night and the patio was a very cool location.  I used to not like Fireworks because of my bad, brief experience working there for Ocean, but I have to say the place has improved a lot.  Way to go Holm!