Friday, April 4, 2014

the wondrous mt. hood

i'm just now going through photos of our trip to oregon and it's giving me a little bit of heartache. how is it possible that it's been only a short while since we returned and i have such strong  nostalgia for this in between time in the woods? travel oregon has a fantastic campaign in which they are inviting different travel photographers to experience the seven wonders of oregon and we were lucky enough to visit stunning mt. hood!

we hiked to waterfalls and beautiful rivers, tubed, rode bikes, ate amazingly decadent dinners, drank hot cocoa, hiked some more, and then fell into bed exhausted every night. i left with a more connected family and a deeper love of the pacific northwest.
we stayed in a cozy chalet in government camp and then one luxurious night at the resort at the mountain (complete with massages!) it was hard to leave.

my mt. hood favorites:

the timberline lodge - this was one of the first and last places we stopped on our trip to mt. hood. my husband and i both agree that we need to stay there one day so that we can properly explore the grounds (if you plan to stay, definitely book well in a year in advance!) it's well known for being in the exterior shots of stanley kubrick's the shining. more importantly it has a beautiful wood bar sitting below the looming mt. hood with a lovely menu featuring fondue and hot toddies. all of the art is depression era and the curtains all have insane patterns dating back from when the timberline opened in 1932. we went here twice.

we were lucky enough to meet heidi, timberline's mascot, a frisky st. bernard, and take her for a walk (more like she walked elodie.) everyone stopped us oohing and ahhhing hoping for a photo-op. we got both the girls little st. bernard stuffies as a souvenir of this lovely day.

all the hikes!

during our trip, we did a lot of hiking. there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground and so papa and elodie were hand in hand almost the entire time we were on the trails. it was so sweet to see their camaraderie and to hear their banter. i had my trusty ergobaby and francesca stayed bundled up taking several cat naps as we made our way through the woods. it was fun to look down and see her sweet face and to sing songs together. if you go, do not miss little zigzag falls!

ski bowl cosmic tubing - tubing is fine and good. but tubing in the dark with neon lights and fireworks? next level. michael volunteered to stay home with baby while elodie and i hit the slopes. her little mind was blown! we lasted for about an hour and then headed to glacier haus bistro for some hot cocoa and strudel. she loved it so much that she wanted to go back the next night (sadly we couldn't.)

we stayed in a perfect little a-frame in government camp which is a perfect base for exploring mt. hood. it is spitting distance from the surrounding ski areas and has the cutest little restaurants and ski shops. our chalet had a pretty little pond in the back and a jacuzzi that we went in after our long days hiking and tubing. we spent a lot of cozy family time in front of the wood stove playing games and reading books. it was the first glimpse of us just relaxing as a family. that doesn't happen tons with a toddler but even francesca seemed to sense that we were slowing down and just laid around with us. sigh. take me back. 

we also made a stop at multnomah falls on the columbia river gorge on our way back to portland. stunning! we asked some fellow tourists to take our photo. we always end up with some funny family portraits from our travels. i really like this one.

we couldn't resist making a quick stop in portland for some shopping and food. portland is the best. we picked up some macarons at maurice and a latte made with oregon hazelnut milk at heart coffee roasters. i need to import oregon hazelnut milk immediately.

some observations from this last trip:

1. traveling with little ones is a bit challenging but it made me really appreciate how we can make each other happy in a way that no one else can. don't overplan or worry that you are missing something. being on the road experiencing something new is enough.

2. i grew up in southern california and have never really had cold weather gear. on this trip i acquired a pair of amazing danner hiking boots and a nau vest that saved my hide. i always wondered why people wore vests. didn't make much sense but i am now enlightened.

3. the west is new, much newer than the east coast, but oregon feels old. there is a lot of history here that i never knew about. it's so cool to see the pride oregonians have in their home. i hope i get a chance to explore the other wonders of oregon soon. until then, i'm living vicariously through travel oregon's beautiful instagram.

thank you travel oregon for taking us on this wondrous adventure!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

find some beautiful place to get lost - mt. hood, oregon

we are headed to oregon this weekend. i know it's just now spring, but i'm hoping for one last bit of winter before we skip directly to the permanent summer of los angeles. i'm going as part of travel oregon's amazing campaign to showcase the seven wonders of oregon. we will be visiting the wondrous mt. hood. i'll be posting photos over at my instagram the littlest but also over at travel oregon's inspiring instagram. come adventure with us!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

baby booty

i cannot resist a pair of pajamas that buttons up the back. petit bateau makes my favorite. worth every penny. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

for you

i like to randomly get books for the girls and write the date and a little note in them. i found a special one for francesca the other day. a tiny poem, minimal illustrations, so beautiful in it's simplicity, titled only, "for you."

dear friend
let's go for a walk
i'll pick you a flower 
we'll laugh and talk

deep in the woods
we just might see
a friendly fox
so fast asleep

and if from the sky
a flicker drops a feather
i'll catch it for you 
on our walk together

- "for you" from huldra press

Friday, February 28, 2014

sixteen months with francesca

you are sixteen months today francesca. sometimes i look at you and i see elodie when she was your age. you feel very different in spirit but have the same physical blueprint. i am very aware of you growing in this world and so i study you here at sixteen months so that i might remember it for just a minute longer. your big gray eyes, the concentration face that you share with your papa, your big belly jutting out as you toddle forward to meet the world.

you say "all done" and shake your hands along to show me the sign for it, "more" is one finger poking the other little fist. your favorite words are "el-dee", "papa", "mama", "nurse", "wow!", "yay!" and of course "no." a week ago you began saying "no, no, no" and shaking your little head. you started saying mine two months ago so i knew it must be on the horizon. your animal sounds are becoming more comical. horsey is still my favorite. 

i find you putting on hats, shoes, bracelets, necklaces, scarves. always adorned in something. always stomping around in papa's shoes. every morning when we go on our walk, you run to the door, so happy to get outside to greet the day. your favorite book is gerda muller's winter. i find you reading it on the floor in your room at least once a day. 
you lie on your sister and generally touch her all the time. she says "no baby" or "no frankie" but you always want to give her love. you also scream now when she takes things away from you. your little squalls have a quick ending still thankfully. we are at the height of separation anxiety and i'll admit some days can be hard when i can't put you down or leave your sight. but when the night is finally quiet, i reflect on the day and know i wouldn't trade where i am for a second without you by my side. thank you little sister for all that you bring our family.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

a trip down memory lane to...spain

i'm in the middle of the lengthy process of putting together photo books of our travels and i came across ones from a trip we took to spain just before we had elodie. we traveled there for a few weeks in mid-september which is such a lovely time of year to visit. everyone is back in their daily routines after a busy summer and it tends to be a bit cooler than august.

we are visiting europe this summer (this time with the kids) and want to visit somewhere new to us. i have to say planning is one of my favorite parts of a big trip. dreaming about where we will go and then finally visiting to see how the reality matches up. we are journeying first to london and france to visit friends but then plan to head to a totally different locale like copenhagen, marrakech, or possibly the canary islands or majorca. we've been looking at first choice for some intra-europe flights and accommodations as the travel starts to get a little convoluted after the first or second location. it's still so up in the air. i guess we will just have to follow the song of the open road!

would love any ideas from you!

here are some fun moments from that trip to the catalan region of spain...


you can feel the handprint of the extraordinary artist antoni gaudi everywhere. this vibrant city is one of my favorite cities in the europe. i can't wait to bring the girls here when they are a bit older. i fell in love with the rhythm of the city. siestas in the afternoon and 10 pm dinners. my favorite gaudi creations were park gΓΌell, the sagrada familia, and casa battlo. we stayed in the passeig de gracia which is such a great walkable area of the city. it was fun to visit la boqueria on las ramblas, la barceloneta, and the wonderful barri gotic (gothic quarter). writing this makes me miss the ever enchanting barcelona! sigh.

costa brava

we rented a car in barcelona and headed up the coast to tossa de mar and cadaques. this charming little white washed village is a place i long to return to often. so sleepy and serene. dali took over a series of fishermen's houses and made a beautiful, eclectic compound. hands down one of my favorite spots in spain. make sure you reserve a spot on the tour of his amazing house in port lligat where he hosted guests as diverse as mick jagger and walt disney.