Adventures living as expats.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

America the Beautiful, Home Leave 2015

A few weeks before we left for our summer trip home, we got the official offer to move to Taiwan.  Jeff had been working really hard towards this move and we had both been keeping our fingers crossed that everything would fall into place as hoped.  Knowing that we'd be home in a few weeks, we decided to wait and tell everyone in person so we could celebrate together.  We've been trying to keep expectations reasonable, but all we can talk about is being able to walk around the city (which is not not much of an option in Jakarta) and enjoy hiking in the mountains of Taiwan (again really difficult in Jakarta due to the hours of traffic returning to Jakarta).  We're even planning on getting a dog!!!

I flew home a few days ahead of Jeff so I could spend some extra time with the family.  Being home during the summer is unbeatable and we arrived just before the 4th of July so we wouldn't miss the fireworks and inevitable party.  The family hosted a big barbeque and we all watched the fireworks from the back patio after stuffing ourselves with Dad's famous ribs and my almost famous apple pie.
Great sunset views from the patio. 
Morgan was happy to show off her new bike skills decked out with streamers, horn, basket, and of course a flag.
Morgan was still full of energy the day after the party so we stopped by the carnival.  I jumped on the swings right out of the gate remembering how much I used to love that ride.  Once it got up to speed I realized my mistake and each round seemed to ratchet up the nausea factor.  After that, Jeff was designated as the official carnival ride jockey.   He later had to pull out due to a bumper car whiplash injury, but luckily Morgan was tired out too so we called it a day.
Just before the nausea set in.
Get ready!
Quick trip to Virginia City for some sightseeing and target practice.
The finale for Nevada was riding the famous flume trail in Tahoe.  It involves a very steep 3 mile climb up to the ridge, then 5 or so miles of flat riding with awe inspiring views and adrenaline pumping drop offs.  Jeff made a video that does a much better job explaining than I can.  I walked away with a few scrapes after an ungraceful fall (of course with a few people watching) on the way down, but it was well worth it for the scenery.

What a view!

Next up we headed up to Portland and went to a Hops baseball game with Dalena and Ivan and enjoyed dinner at the ballpark (which included surprisingly tasty Mexican food), beers, and a great sunset view.

After spending a day running errands including the dreaded DMV, we had a family day and enjoyed lunch at a food cart pod and Nike shopping.  In the evening we headed out to Edgefield for a concert on the lawn.  My favorite part was the homemade Oregon marionberry ice cream.   Jeff seemed most excited about all the McMenamin's beers.  Dalena was excited not to be driving for once and splurged on 2 cocktails bringing her 10 year count up to 3.   Ivan was super pumped about seeing his absolute favorite band, The Decemberists (haha jk Ivan).
Of course we haven't been drinking.
On Sunday we had our second annual wine and picnic day with the Smith's and Vanderboms.   We managed to make it to 4 wineries which takes pure stamina and dedication.  Luckily we were all up for the task especially Rachelle who had to watch us drink with envy last year.
White Rose winery
Fancy picnic time - olives, cured meats, local cheeses, Oregon fruit, and of course wine!
Our last winery of the day.  By this time none of us could stop laughing.

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