Our family rented a vacation home in Hood River, Oregon, for five days, so that we could have family time together without the worry of our ordinary chores. It was a two-bedroom house near downtown Hood River, a charming old-fashioned house with a private back yard and a lovely wooden gazebo with a barbecue grill.
Katy, Guy, and I were there, and Chad and Brittany flew in from Washington, DC, so we were all together. We spent our time making meals, playing board games, visiting coffee shops, and hiking nearby trails. In addition, Katy’s sister, Margo, visited us for a day and joined us in board games and dinner.
One day we hiked a couple of miles of old Highway 30, near Mosier, OR. The old highway was abandoned in 1950, but has been restored as a walking and bicycling trail. I goes through two tunnels and has sweeping views of the Columbia River below.
Another day we all drove up to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood and enjoyed the old-time craftsmanship of the lodge, with its huge beams and timbers and hand-crafted and carved furniture. We took a short hike above the lodge and found a place in the woods for a picnic lunch.
We explored the coffee shops of Hood River, ultimately choosing Doppio Coffee on Oak Street as our favorite. Hood River has a great selection of specialty shops, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that make it a destination town for many visitors. We had dinner one evening at Sixth Street Bistro, a favorite for us because of their vegetarian selections and outdoor dining. We also walked along the river front and watched the kite boarders and sail boarders who take advantage of the strong winds in this part of the Columbia Gorge.
It was great to simply be together and enjoy each other. Since we don’t see Chad and Brittany very often, this was our chance to re-connect and re-establish family ties. It was an important part of my sabbatical.