Monday, September 11, 2017

9-10-17 Look Who's Watching Over My Niece in the Taipei Mission?!

My niece just got transferred to Zhongli...and look who's in her ward?
Take care of her for me please...send her lots of REFERRALS!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

8-2017 Portland Temple Sealing Trip

When we found out that the sealing we'd planned to attend for one of our missionaries was being held in the Portland Oregon Temple, we thought we'd make a vacation out of it. It was then that one of our senior missionaries suggested that we catch the viewing of the eclipse in Salem! Little did we know what an amazing trip we had in store for us!
However, there were hurdles to cross first. We had purchased tickets to fly into Medford and drive to Crater Lake on our way to Portland. Unfortunately, no rental cars were available in either Medford or Portland, so we had to re-route through Seattle:( It ended up affording us a spectacular tour of the Pacific northwest. The best part was hooking up with returned missionaries and hanging out with them!

After flying into Seattle the first night, we drove down to Cathlamet, Washington, arriving after dark.
The next morning, we woke up on to a beautiful view of the Columbia River from our Little Swiss Army Home retreat. Unfortunately, we had to leave quickly to meet our friends.
Outside the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon:
At Fort Clatsop National Memorial,
where the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery wintered during 1805-1806.
This restoration could have been Sacajawea's room, with the baby papoose and chair:)
Only a few miles away is Fort Stevens State Park:
Wreck of the Peter Iredale:

Mouth of the Columbia River:
Having a little fun!
The Haystacks, down the coast of Oregon at Cannon Beach:
At sunset:
Further down the beautiful Oregon coast: 

Back at Cannon Beach for dinner:
...at Tom's Fish & Chips.
Great battered halibut and salmon, fish tacos, and clam chowder!
The next morning, up bright and early for the most amazing breakfast EVER! 
This is what happens when you hang out with young people...they know ALL the best places to eat!
Best hash browns and biscuits with sausage gravy I've EVER tasted!
And so many other choices!
SOOOOO much food!
Crossing the Willamette River on our way to the Portland Temple:
View of downtown Portland:
Now just imagine driving through a thick forest and all of a sudden seeing this beautiful temple!
All I can say is that it was breathtaking!
What a special treat to meet one of our missionaries attending another sealing:
And the brother of one of our missionaries still serving in the field!
The mother of one of our missionaries who completed his mission a few weeks earlier:
The wedding couple emerges from the temple as Mr. and Mrs.:
The start of an eternity together!
Reaching up towards heaven:
The Angel Moroni:
Portland Temple Visitors Center:
On to more food! Portland is famous for food stand Cartopias throughout the city. 
Chicken & Guns has the best roasted chicken and potatoes we've ever tasted!
The Peruvian Aji Sauce has an amazing kick to it!
I would go back to Portland just to try this!
Next stop...my weakness!
Killer...Maple Bacon and Almond Ganache!
Oh my gosh, are we not full yet?! Next stop...Cloud City Ice Cream:
Last stop in Portland before heading north to the Washington border: Waterfront Park
Parents of our Singaporean groom:
Backyard reception in Longview, Washington:
Spending the Sabbath after church with one of our returned sister missionaries:
 Yes, I cook on the road too! And look at those awesome Chinese characters written by her father...
Up at dawn and on the road for the TOTAL ECLIPSE!
Breakfast courtesy of our missionary friends, 
who crashed our B&B for a few hours before they left to catch the eclipse in Idaho:
Across from the Salem Convention Center...
we found an uncrowded little park with rushing waterfalls:
Where we had crepes and hot chocolate while waiting for the eclipse to start:

Time to don the special glasses:
And look up at the amazing alignment of the moon and the sun:
During totality the sky darkened, as evidenced by the visibility of residential lights:
The darker it got, the more lights you could see:
It became perceivably cooler:
And then all of a sudden the street lights came on!
It was amazing to look at the sun with the naked eye, the blackened moon against the twilight blue sky!
Wished I'd have been prepared with a telescopic lens and sun filter for my iPhone:(
Still not a bad shot! 
Or two...
After a 3 hour bumper-to-bumper drive back to Portland, we headed up to Pittock Mansion:
Overlooking Portland:
And then met our sister missionary's family for dinner:
On the way home, I made President pull over and walk back over a bridge to get this sunset shot:
Another amazing ice cream shop: Salt and Straw. And I've found them in Los Angeles, yay!
The Tasting Flight: four scoops! Can you guess which one is Pear and Blue Cheese?
Could not leave Portland without another to-die-for breakfast:
So many excuses to come back to Portland to see our missionaries!
On to the Columbia River Gorge: Crown Pointe overlook


Latourell Falls
Historic Columbia River Highway:
Multnomah Falls:
Horsetail Falls:
Bridge of the Gods, crossing the Columbia River into Washington:
Looking over to Washington:
This was such an amazing trip that we will be back for sure!