Saturday, March 21, 2015

Portland Trip 2015

Hi Everyone!

Kiley has been doing a wonderful job at keeping our blog updated. I decided that I should probably do a post, since it has been a while. I took Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), which has a total of 3 parts, a month ago, and I just found out that I passed! Woo hoo! That means that I am literally one step closer to becoming a doctor. :)

Between finishing my exam and starting on some research, Kiley and I decided to take a trip to Portland. This may be the last break that we have together until Kiley graduates in December! So, to make it a little less stressful, we decided to have my mom and dad babysit Joey while we went away. It was great fun to have a second honeymoon.

Day 1: Voodoo Doughnuts and the Temple

On the 7th, we left Albuquerque at 6:05am and arrived in Portland a little after noon. We got our rental car, and we headed straight for Voodoo Doughnuts - a fun little doughnut joint with crazy decorations and a fun pink box for all of our goodies. After getting changed at the hotel (and taking a nice nap after having only a few hours of sleep the night before), we went to the Portland temple. It was gorgeous! Here are a few of our pictures.:

And of course, you can't go to the temple without admiring the beautiful flowers:

Day 2: Church and a Scenic Hike

We headed off to church on Sunday, where we were planning on staying just for Sacrament Meeting. There was a wonderful talk by a youth speaker who just happened to not be a member! He was planning on being baptized after he turned 18, since his parents refused to give him permission to be baptized. He had a great spirit about him, and Kiley and I hope that he gets called to serve a mission in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Wouldn't that be spectacular?

While the next speaker was giving her talk, a member of the congregation started having a tonic-clonic seizure. The bishopric and other members of the ward made sure she was safe. The bishop then stood up during a musical number by the choir and stopped them after the first verse of the song they were singing. "I'm sorry, brothers and sisters," he said. "We have an emergency situation, and the paramedics are here and need some room to work. So we are going to dismiss this meeting and ask that you all exit immediately to Sunday School." That was the first time I had sacrament meeting so abruptly dismissed!

After church, we decided to go on a little hike around Forest Park. We realized that we have very few pictures of just the two of us now that Joey is in our lives, so we took the opportunity to get some couple shots. Please excuse the embarrassing kissy-kissy shots and the geeky tinted-glasses look that I am sporting. But look how pretty the scenery is!

This is the Pittock Mansion. It was a little bit of a hike to the top of the hill, but the view was definitely worth it! In order to get the panorama shot below, I actually had to take around 8 different photos and then photo-merge them in Photoshop. It turned out pretty nice, though!

Day 3: Tillamook Cheese Factory and Oregon Coast

Monday morning, we decided to drive out to the coast to check out the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was pretty awesome! They let you have free, self-guided tours, and there were plenty of free cheese samples. After spending a little time looking around, we bought a couple little souvenirs, tried out some awesome cheese sandwiches for lunch, and bought some fresh-made ice cream (though we still think Cold Stone is better...). Here is a picture of farmer Kiley ready to milk her pet cow Sam.

Since Tillamook is right on the coast, we decided to make a little drive along the coast to see some beautiful scenery. Here we are at Ecola State Park, looking down at the beautiful beach.

Here's my beautiful wifey-wife taking in the scenery!

We couldn't just look at the amazing beach, though. We had to climb down and visit it for ourselves! Little did we know how much climbing we would have to do. We had to climb down a little cliff in order to make it to the beach. Kiley was very brave; she has an intense fear of heights, but she totally rocked the climbing rope!

This may not look like much, but here is my girl jumping across a gap right next to the cliff face! She is so awesome.

The view at the bottom was spectacular. Here is a little creek feeding into the Pacific:

Being my adventurous self, I decided to try to find my way to another part of the beach. See how my clothes are all wet? Well, I rolled up my pant-legs so I could wade into some shallow waters around a big rock. However, I underestimated the incoming tide, which swept completely over me and soaked me from head to foot! Luckily I didn't lose my glasses (something similar happened on my mission, and I lost my glasses.... But that story is for another time).

No amount of water can dampen my spirits, as long as there are little lady bugs to chomp on.

Again, we had to have more couple shots. However, I was still wet and cold.

After our excursion, we stopped by Ikea before going home. It is a pretty awesome store, even though I'm not really into the whole shopping thing. My favorite part, aside from the great souvenirs we found for Joey, was seeing this awesome, HUGE sign hanging in front of the registers advertising their 50¢ hot dog. I was a bit disappointed that they added the disclaimer (in the red box in the picture below), because that otherwise would have been the best 50¢ I'd ever spent.

Day 4: Zoo

There was a special deal at the Oregon Zoo on Tuesday, so we were able to get in for $4 a person. Oh yeah! We had a nice day at the zoo, and I was glad that they had so many animals that we don't have at the Albuquerque Zoo. However, both Kiley and I agree that our zoo in Albuquerque is much more awesome overall. Here are some of the animals we saw:

Who knew polar bears were so big? (sorry about the weird thing going on with my hand; not sure what happened there...)

Joey's two favorite animals (other than dinosaurs): lions and monkeys! We were a bit sad that he couldn't see these awesome guys with us, but we were glad to not have a stroller to push around.

Finally, a cool lizard and my favorite: the mandrill. We definitely don't have one of those in Albuquerque!

Day 5: Lloyd Center and Back to Albuquerque

Our final day in Portland, we decided to go to the mall and enjoy Portland's complete lack of sales tax. It was great! We went to the Lloyd Center Mall, which has this cool ice rink in the middle. We spent a good few hours shopping around and spending even more money. But it was so worth it! :)

Before our trip, we had meticulously planned all of the details, up to where we were going to eat and at what time. We did this in order to have a less stressful trip. But, as trips go, we ended up throwing out most of those plans. We ate at Burger King more than a couple times (there was one across the street from our hotel) instead of at the famed food carts, and we skipped out on many of the activities we had planned. But it was perfect! We also ate at Elmer's Restaurant twice for breakfast, which both Kiley and I would highly recommend.

After 5 wonderful days and gaining 10 pounds each, we flew back to Albuquerque to see our little Joe man. It is nice to be back, but I think Joey misses all of the attention his Grandma Hobbs gives him. :) Too bad! Now, I start my transitions block in a week, and Kiley has 6 weeks left until the end of the semester. Wish us luck!