Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Brother/Bend Trip

I love those vacations that reset my energy clock. I return home feeling great with renewed energy. This was not one of them. I crawled home exhausted and sore with an adventure hangover, but I loved every minute of it. 

Here's the deal: My trip to Bend, Oregon was packed full of exciting adventures, each day progressing in beautiful, new (to me) scenery. However, nothing topped the adventure of getting to know Daniel's new world. My brother has quickly fallen in love with that town, and it seems that he'll be out there for a while. Being the overbearing sister that I am, I HAD TO see it. I saw his places. I met his people. I explored his town. It was wonderful to see it all
Here's a detailed recap of my few days out there:

Day 1: Travel. It was nice to have time to myself to read and not be responsible for anyone else. By the time I got to Daniel's house, I had been up for 23 hours. That was intense. I got five hours of sleep then got the party started. 

Day 2: I woke up and was out of the house in five minutes. THAT NEVER HAPPENS THESE DAYS. I washed my face, threw a jacket over my nightgown, and ran out for coffee. We drove around and Daniel took me on a side of a hill with an incredible view. There were several snowcapped mountains looking down on Bend. It was breathtaking. 

Later, we went 4-wheeling down dirt roads to a smaller town nearby. We ran into a ranger and almost got $400 tickets for being on roads in the off season. I was sweaty from our encounter, but my brother told me  "the more run-ins you have with cops, the easier it gets." Clearly, I've been doing it all wrong. 

After dinner, we met some friends for nachos at an outside patio in 30 degree weather like that was normal for me. Crazy people. I tried to play it cool, but inside I was shutting down. Thankfully, we had to leave because we had to make it to some honky-tonk bar at 8:00 for line dancing lessons. This was great! Never in my life have I wanted to WATCH the dancing more than DO the dancing. These people were extremely good and I was wide eyed. 

Day 3: was our snowmobile day. I'm still reliving it in my head, because it was like nothing that I've done before. It was up there with snorkeling in the Red Sea, living in Mexico by myself, and visiting Israel, but it wasn't as epic as childbirth. I would easily pay the money again to have that much fun. 

After we got back, I made dinner for Daniel's teammates and we ate at his coach's house. Post dinner activities included acoustic Bieber and Eric Clapton. 

Day 4: I woke up in a lot of pain from the snowmobile, so I decided to go for a run to help. Running on vacation is stupid, but it was fun to run in his town and enjoy the views. 

After I got back, we went for coffee and brunch then headed to Smith Rock. The beauty that I saw there was like nothing I've seen before. (Similar to snowmobiling) I kept going on and on about how amazing the views were. By the time we were done, I told Daniel that I almost felt emotional over all the beauty. That got a laugh and "gosh you sound like Dad."

Once we returned we shared a bottle of local wine with his teammates and I got to talk to them more. I LOVED getting to talk to them, and I really wish I had more time to do it. Those girls are great! We carried our conversations to a Thai restaurant for some great food. My brother knew all the great places to eat-so great!

Day 5: Travel. I left early in the morning. At sunrise, I flew over the mountains that I enjoyed all week. That was breathtaking and somehow I ended up on the window seat for the flight. My face stayed pressed against the window for the entire ride, and helped keep the leave-my-brother tears at bay. It was a great ending to the trip.

In conclusion, I see a theme: I'm old and mushy and I don't get out much. The slightest bit of beauty makes me all weepy and such. Plus, I only explore eastern Tennessee these days. While there's great stuff to see here, leaving my timezone opens up my mom-world to some great things. My brother did such a wonderful job playing tour guide. Besides all the cool stuff we did, my absolute favorite part was getting to know Daniel's cool town. I can't wait to visit again!


  1. Bend is about 4 hours from us and I've been there a few times. I love the high desert. If you take the kids back there is the high desert museum, Sisters which feels like an old west town, there is a cave to explore plus the cinder cones are fascinating to little boys. Farther out in Baker City is the Oregon Trail museum where you can still see wagon ruts in the ground and they have a classic car show with cruising and drag racing down the main street in the evening. Rafting on the Deschutes River is wild once your kids are a little older. You will definitely have to come back and explore some more!

    1. Oh awesome. I will send these recs to my brother. I've actually spend some time in Baker City! I visited some friends out there about 15 years ago. Great memories! Thanks!