Hood River Getaway and Airbnb
This last year and a half we have take shorter mini-trips rather than the one longer trip that we have normally done in the past. We've yet to get back to our favorite spot, Sunriver, Oregon. They have typically been trips to the beach since the Oregon Coast is a short drive from where we live (anywhere from an hour to 2 1/2 hours), not too bad when you're only going for a couple nights.
Recently, my hubby, youngest daughter and I traveled to Hood River, Oregon for a 4 night stay. I shared awhile back about a day trip my daughter and I took there, and we decided it would be great for a mini-trip. It's still weird not having our oldest along (as well as her hubby since she got married last December). Their work schedules and school just don't always allow for that extra time off.
I always like to be prepared, especially when we don't have a lot of time. I want to have a general idea of where we might want to go while there, where we might eat, what we might do. It's obviously still spontaneous, but at least we have an idea. It was a great trip and I think we will totally do it again.
One thing I love about the area we live is it is filled with so many natural attractions and living and sourcing locally and sustainably is huge. I love that. You don't have to drive far for hiking trails, mountain lakes, waterfalls, or cool and hip downtown shopping and eateries, not to mention Hood River is one of the top destinations in the US for Kite Boarding and Wind Surfing, oh, and let's not forget it's abundance of fruit...it really is a great location.
We used Airbnb for the first time ever. We had a great experience with it. We have found that you need to plan ahead when visiting popular areas, especially if you have a budget. We had a hard time finding something in Hood River, so we went across the river and rented a large studio in Husum, Wa. The family was so sweet and our apartment was roomy and perfect for the three of us. I plan to look into Airbnb for a trip we are planning to NYC next year.
It was a relaxing trip. We spent time just chilling and watching the kite boarders and wind surfers, which is absolutely fascinating. My hubby and daughter rented a wave runner for a few hours and had a blast. I sat on the shore and read. One thing the Columbia River Gorge and Hood River are popular for is the Hood River Fruit Loop. The loop consists of 31 stops and each are marked and maps are available at most locations in the area. While it would probably take an entire day to visit all of them, we chose just a few to stop at. One of my favorites is Packer Orchard and Bakery. Everything they sell is made in their own onsite bakery and canned on their farm. I came home with some Raspberry Jalapeno Jam and we purchased a few boxes of peaches. They also sell ice cream, milkshakes and a variety of baked goods. Not to mention shelves of jams, preserves, and so much more. One of the other stops and a new favorite is The Old Trunk. A quaint antique and soda shoppe. Here I browsed the shelves and my hubby and daughter enjoyed fresh made peach soda, and blueberry and huckleberry ice cream, all made with their own fruit. So good! During our stay we enjoyed quite a bit of ice cream because it was so hot. One of our faves is Mikes Ice Cream. This place was packed each time we went and just celebrated 30 years in business. Another place we frequented several times was The Farm Stand in The Gorge, which was an awesome Organic market and cafe. We stopped there a few times for fresh fruit and one day for lunch. I actually think we stopped there every day we were there. For coffee, our one stop was Doppio Coffee. Hood River has several great coffee shops but we only went once and this was where we wanted to stop. Since it was hot we sat and enjoyed our drinks, ate a snack, and just chilled for about an hour in the coolness of the cafe.
With Joy Unquenchable,