Building and Hops Baseball

We started off our first day back in Portland by building some bug boxes. My little brother AJ and sister Michaela joined us, as did my dad.

Later on in the day, we watched a Hillsboro Hops game with my parents, little brother and sister, and my sister Courtney’s family. Connor was excited to get to buy a Hops hat, so he could match his Daddy and Grandpa Rick.

It was a little on the hot side, but the kids enjoyed themselves and even got to run the bases after the game.


Silver Falls

All the Portland Ladd clan went to the Silver Falls State Park that was in the mountains south of Portland for an afternoon picnic and some fishing. Connor and Gavin were super excited to try fishing, because they had never gone before. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any fish biting this day.

Aliciana and I went on the 2.5 mile long looping trail that went to the South Falls and Lower South Falls. It was gorgeous, but the climb up from the Lower South Falls would have killed the fatter version of myself from several years ago.


Oregon State Capitol

Today was what passes for a rest day for our style of vacationing. We made a short 45 mile drive down to Salem to check out the Oregon State Capitol. We went on the guided tour and learned about the building, which was actually the 3rd capitol building, because the first two burned down.

On the way back up to Portland, we walked around an Eddie Bauer outlet, where I found a cool shirt with a llama on it. Aliciana also snagged some good deals in the Loft outlet.

Back in Portland, we had a delicious family dinner at the Raccoon Lodge. The Reuben sandwich I ate was superb!


Fourth Of July Bubbles

The Portland Ladds all gathered at my sister Courtney’s house for a Fourth of July BBQ and fireworks. All the kiddo’s had lots of fun playing with bubbles while we waited for the sun to go down.


Portland Japanese Garden

It was a nice day to get to enjoy the tranquility of the Portland Japanese Garden. At least, it was tranquil while the kids weren’t running around causing a ruckus.


Fishing At Fort Stevens

We spent our last full day in Oregon up by Astoria, where the Columbia River dumps out into the Pacific Ocean. We started off the day fishing in Coffenbury Lake at Fort Stevens State Park. Unfortunately, the fish weren’t biting this day, but the boys learned a lot about fishing being 99% waiting for something to happen.

After everyone got tired fishing, we headed over to the Fort Stevens Military Museum and the gun batteries that protected the mouth of the Columbia River. The kids had a lot of fun running around the giant concrete bunkers.


The Astoria Column

We finished up our day in the beautiful Northwest tip of Oregon by visiting the Astoria Column. It is located on top of a 600 foot tall hill in Astoria, and the column itself was an additional 125 feet high. We had breathtaking views of the Columbia River and surrounding areas, after hiking up the 164 steps to get to the top.

After taking in the views, we made sure to drive back and forth across the Astoria–Megler Bridge. It spans 4.1 miles across the Columbia River, making it the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.


Japanese Steel

The boys wanted to check out the new Japanese Steel exhibit at the Automotive Museum. It was largely just old Japanese pickup trucks and super small cars, but there were a few cool Japanese sports cars. We also saw Evel Knievel’s motorcycle and a Delorean, which was the boy’s favorite, even though they have never seen Back To The Future.