Smith Rock State Park

by The Good Life on March 30, 2015

in Uncategorized

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On the way back from Bend today we decided to head up to Smith Rock State Park for a hike.
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Now I’m no great hiker, and honestly not really ever done much climbing, my limit has been doing the klettersteig in Mayrhofen, but these kind of areas for a hike are pretty awe inspiring.    Its funny too since this place is just 10 minutes from the highway pretty much.

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There is an amazing walk around the bottom of the rock, or you can head up….IMG_5889

As we did.  Mareike with the babyonboard making her way up the beginning of Misery Ridge.IMG_5902

You can ride horses, take bikes, climb, hike, run, walk dogs, just make sure to bring water, supplies, sunscreen…IMG_5918

There was also a guy just in front of us, walking a little jack russel up the misery ridge, he looked like he was having the day of his life up there.IMG_5923

At the top, we found a spot to grab some sun.IMG_5926Up at the top, you get to see snow capped mountains, the monkey face rock, all from misery ridge.  They definitely know how to line it all up here.
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If i could tell you which mountain each of these are.IMG_5937

The infamous.IMG_5942

These girls were having the picnic of dreams.IMG_5949

This is the monkey face.  When you look closely you can actually see people up there in the eyes and mouth.IMG_5963

I think this was supposed to be a practice rock?
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I know I don’t normally use vertical photos but in this case… fair play.  This guy is hanging on halfway up in the blue and this isn’t even showing the whole thing.
IMG_5987and we’re out…..
IMG_5844Amazing place, if you ever get the chance to visit, you have too, its unbelievable.

Bend – Spring Break

by The Good Life on March 30, 2015

in Uncategorized

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The thought of spring break probably conjures up terrible thoughts of Jersey Shore and keg parties, however luckily being up here in the North West its more hiking and snowboarding than anything else.

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The first order of business was the Tumalo falls, near Bend, which normally is a drive in access water fall with a 75 foot walk up to the top.  Luckily enough the access road was closed and so it was a 7 mile round trip hike, which was through the high desert, super warm and amazingly beautiful.
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My hiking buddy, wife, and mother of the beaver baby is quite the pro in desert hiking so was leading the way.
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Some of the people doing this deserved a medal pushing twin kids strollers all the way round.  I was knackered on my own by the end let alone pushing anyone.

Et Voila…
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This is what we came for… You can probably even see a couple of chaps swimming round in there.IMG_5806

It was about 3 and a half hour round trip.  As we left there were some folks about to start at 6pm, guess they weren’t really ready for a darkness hike on the way back.IMG_5817

Definitely worth checking out.IMG_5824

When we got into Bend, we managed to find our spot without too much trouble.

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Ramp, Truck, Sled, pretty much the snowboarders go too.

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We were pretty soon distributed our mode of transport in town.  Only thing was Mareike got a cruiser and me and Austin were on the 4th of july wagon getting it warmed up for holiday season.  I’ve never ridden a tandem before but being on the back is the weirdest thing ever, you feel like your going to fall over all the time, but its super good.

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I’d love to see what speed you can get up too when your on a brand new one..
Austin showed us round all the local spots including Spork, which was probably as close to Portland as you can get with food cart food inside.

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Peanut Curry.  Epic.IMG_5830

We managed to ride the bikes around all afternoon and evening from spot to spot, with us definitely making sure to head into The GoodLife one of the most famous breweries in Bend.  Its actually partly owned by someone I used to work with so definitely worth a stop.  Good beer, and a great zone.
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They had lots of beers to test which seems to be the fashion these days to get like a load of samplers.IMG_5835

And with a garage style door it was pretty nice with the sun out.IMG_5837

They also had a couple of workshop style craft stores with music in the evening and free cookies and snacks.IMG_5840

They also had “The Sparrow” which was a coffee shop right there, and they have another one down town with the most amazing Breakfast croissant with bacon and avocado. IMG_5842

This morning we went to Choo, another breakfast spot which was just as good…. maybe even better.

On saturday with us being in Bend, despite the snow season being a little dry we headed up to the Hill, to catch up with Austin, and Nico from work, the one and only…

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Bend is also pretty good at having tons of mini hits everywhere too.photo 5

Thank you Bend, Thank You Austin….

Portland Food Month – Laurelhurst Market

by The Good Life on March 22, 2015

in Uncategorized

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Portland is pretty well known as a destination for food lovers the world over.  This March, Portland has even declared March as Portland food month meaning that every night this month you can get a 3 course meal for $29.  We actually rolled in to Laurelhurst Market for brunch but tasted a little to whet the appetite for what this place can do in the evenings.IMG_5657

Breakfast date.
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There is something pretty amazing about so many of the food spots in Portland.  They all have an amazing, individual, wonderful ambiances soon as you walk in.
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This was my sandwich.  I wish I even knew what was in this thing, but I just know there was some pork, dijon mustard and an amazing taste.IMG_5662

Mareike had something similar, another amazing sandwich.IMG_5663

Yum Yum.
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This month we have also been down at Little Bird, which had for the afore mentioned $29 a Gnocchi, followed by chicken fried trout.  Beautiful, and of course there was some salted caramel desert to go with it.
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Laurelhurst market also features an amazing butchers with all kinds of sausages and meat.
IMG_5670After breakfast we went for a walk up the NW hills to get a little post food coma exercise.

Madrid

by The Good Life on March 11, 2015

in Uncategorized

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Last week, (as i always seem to write) I was lucky enough to travel to a place I’ve wanted to go to for a while – Madrid.  I have been once before but only for around 18 hours so this was a pretty great way to see the city again as the first time was quick, and involved a night out and hangover and organizing 8 snowboarders.  So this was much more pleasant.

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After a busy few days we snuck in a little time to check out the city, and like so many European cities, it blows my mind every time that pretty much each time you turn a corner you see a palace, a castle, or something like that.

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I believe this was the palace in Madrid, which was luckily enough right by a rather nice spot with a few nice pubs for an afternoon refreshment.

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One of the the delights in Madrid that we saw was the Reina Sofia museum.

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Now I am not for a minute pretending that I know too much about Art, but I have been to a few in Munich, London, the Dali Museum in Figeures which is an amazing place, but this was really something else.  Its crazy, you walk in and then first painting is a Picasso.  Not of the cubism era but before that I believe.

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The Museum itself is beautiful and takes you on a tour from the early days of Picasso through to 1970s..  I wish I knew the exact terms.  Post modernist maybe?  I’m not an artist.

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But each exhibit is amazing, and there is so much inside it took us about 3 hours to get through.

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This was one of the final pieces.  I imagine that many peoples spare rooms look like this.

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I seem to remember seeing these when i was young.

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They even had the Greek Goddess of Victory – Nike.

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The view from the top…

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One of the other amazing things with Spain, is the Tapas on most bars available in the evening.

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Fish, cured meat, cheese and more are the general offering and always good, always cheap, and along with these local beers they go down a treat.
IMG_5338 IMG_5488Meanwhile on the set… two of the best…
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Tuesday.

IMG_5441Darien.  On point all day every day.
IMG_5524 IMG_5561I saw this also whilst in Madrid… 4 kids on the way home from playing football, 3 in mercurials… no wonder, since they have the man himself Ronaldo in the city.

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This was something which seems to have reared its ugly head.  “THE SELFIE STICK”.  Give us peace from this evil.
IMG_5545Like I say, its beautiful here, shame people just use these selfie sticks to take pictures of these places.

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