A Real Family Vacation - Arizona Family and Birth Lifestyle Photographer

It had been 8 years since we had taken a “real” family vacation. We often go camping or have little weekend getaways, but it was time for a real vacation… Our kids first plane ride, somewhere we’d never been, for a whole week. Since as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of visiting the Pacific Northwest. Why, you ask? I love rain and overcast skies and pine trees make me feel at home. Oh and good coffee and craft beer too… So Oregon it was.

We flew into Portland, spent one night in a super sweet little airbnb, visited a killer brewery and walked to breakfast (this place had the best “homemade pop tart”… holy moly it was to die for) through a beautiful, green, lush (peonies and succulents were growing everywhere… for real) historic neighborhood, with the cutest park I’d ever seen.

Leaving Portland, we drove along the Columbia River, which was insanely beautiful. We ended up turning to find coffee (shocking, I know) and crossing the "Bridge of the Gods” into Washington, which we literally had no idea was happening until we saw the “Welcome To Washington” sign!! I love when things like that happen… I’m like a little kid an am absolutely terrible at hiding my excitement. I’m quite certain I did some sort of happy dance. We drove to Smith Rock, which was INSANELY BEAUTIFUL, to take my dear friend’s family photos. (see previous blog post if you’re curious) We eventually made our way to Sisters, where my aunt and uncle live, who graciously showed us some spectacular sites, including waterfalls, Clear Water Lake, and the best coffee shop in town.

Sisters, OR ———-> the Oregon Coast = a real life dream. I am really having a hard time putting into words what this trip meant to me. Before our trip, I was really struggling trying to find the balance between MOMing, wife-ing, working and Me-ing.  I was feeling angry much more than I’d like to admit, I was constantly speeding through my days and my mind was constantly spinning, trying to keep up. This trip was a reset. I got to slow down, be present (which desperately needed to happen), and reconnect with the people I love most. We let our kids play on the beach until sunset, which was way past bedtime. We laid in bed and played games with them after bedtime, because why not. We hiked down to private beaches with not another soul in sight and explored. We flew kites as high as they would fly. We went hiking. We swam in a hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We picked up trash on the way to the beach daily (100% my daughter’s idea). We turned down pretty roads, just because. We had our family photos taken by one of my favorite ever photographers, and sweet friend, April Christopher. And most of all, we soaked every single moment in.

Oregon, sweet Oregon, we WILL be back.