What a pleasant surprise Tucson was! We might have stayed longer than we did if it wasn’t so dang HOT! I’m from hot and humid South Florida, so this gal is used to hellish heat. That being said, nothing, and I mean NOTHING will ever compare to the degree of heat we felt this summer in Tucson. Just to give you an idea, at 110* F my eyeballs felt like they were cooking and the concrete beneath our feet was liquifying. Other than that though, Tucson is a cute and quirky college town with a desert landscape that never quits. One of my favorite things here are the saguaro cacti which are indigenous to this region. Saguaros have so much personality, they look like people just gawking around, some dancing, some giving you the finger. I bet if I stayed out in the sun a little longer, they may have started to talk to me. A highlight of this trip was our sunset hike in the Saguaro National Forest. Tucson sunsets are top notch, purple majesties for miles.
For my birthday, Jamie and I packed our bags (and pets) and took a short road trip to Bend, Oregon. We drove a scenic route from Portland, driving over Mt. Hood and then down the back of it which becomes high desert all the way to Bend. Bend is known for its skiing and other winter activities, but summer is a favorite time of year for west coasters to visit. There is so much to do here! We went tubing down the Deschutes River, hiked, chased colorful sunsets, listened to live reggae music, ate amazing food, drank local beer, and drove an hour and a half to Crater Lake, one of Oregon’s seven wonders. To get home, we drove a different route through Sisters and Salem. Along the way, we found a camping site along a big lake that we had to stop at because it was so pretty. It was full of drift wood and hundreds of tree stumps. My favorite part of this trip though, was the sweetest birthday gift my husband gave me, he wrote me a song and sang it to me while playing his guitar as soon as the clock striked 12. He’s a keeper.
We took a day trip to Cannon Beach! Today is a holiday and the sun was out (which is unlike a PNW winter) so needless to say, everyone had the same idea to go. The beach was filled with people, big and little. There were so many dogs running around playing fetch and chasing waves, it made me regret not bringing Oliver, he would’ve had a blast. We walked all the way to Haystack Rock, which you might remember from the Goonies?! It’s a huge igneous rock that sits in the water and is accessible during low tide. Lucky for us, today was low tide and the sand stretched for miles! You couldn’t tell the land and water apart, it was gorgeous. Once we got passed the Haystack, there was a natural sea garden you were able to trek through. There were dozens of big rocks layered with mussels. Living in the shallow waters around the rocks were sea urchins, anemones, mini fish and other shell fish. We saw a woman reach under the sand with her bare hand and pull out a full grown crab she had felt under her barefoot. Her kids started screaming, but we thought it was pretty cool. I can’t wait to come back here with Oliver and catch the sunset.