I just got back from the most gorgeous winter wonderland ever- Oregon! And now it’s time to be a good blogger and write about it! My sister and her fiancé invited me to Oregon last week along with a big group of their friends (15 total) and we all rented a big cabin and had a blast.
Is it weird that I buy most of my MAC makeup at the LAX airport? It’s the best way to kill time there and it’s fun to start your trip off with a little treat.
I arrived Wednesday at noon and my sister, her fiancé, the trip planner Caitlin and her husband Scott all picked me up in the Suburban they rented which was a great choice by the way because it was snowing a lot and the conditions were not great. We ventured into Portland for some brunch and went to a place a friend recommended called Petite Provence. Travel Tip: I often check into bars and restaurants I visit in other cities on Yelp. It may seem dorky, but my memory is terrible and it helps me remember where I went when people ask for recommendations! They had a great unique cocktail list that I took a picture of so I could try to recreate some of these fancy drinks at home.
We had some awesome food and Caitlin made the excellent decision of buying a bunch of croissants for our whole big group to have back at the house.
We then went to Costco and Safeway and got enough food to feed our small vacationing army. At Safeway we bought so much stuff that we won 48 Monopoly pieces (similar to the McDonald’s Monopoly game) and the cashier counted them out three different times despite the long line behind us staring at us with contempt. It was so uncomfortable it was hilarious.
Mount Hood was about an hour east of Portland. My friend asked me before my trip where I was staying and I said “Some kind of Government Camp? I don’t know…” Government Camp is the name of the town and it’s the only town within 5 miles of Mount Hood. I’m looking at the Wiki right now and it says the population is 193!? There’s probably 193 people living on my street in LA and it’s not even a big street. We unpacked and got the house ready for everyone which mostly meant turning on all the heaters and lighting all the stoves and fireplaces because it was snowing like crazy. We played a new game I got for Christmas that’s super fun called QuickWits. For dinner we went to Mt Hood Brewing Co because it was right down the street.
We were up bright and early on Thursday and it was time to face my fears and ski. We headed to Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort which I believe is the biggest ski resort in the area and it was about 45 minutes away.
I had signed up for their beginner lesson 2 days ahead of time on the website and it was super cheap – $65 which included all of the equipment, a 2 hour lesson, and an all day pass on the south side ski lifts. I paid the extra $5 to rent a helmet because I’m not trying to get a Traumatic Brain Injury and don’t worry about looking like a nerd because a) it’s worth it and b) only silly teenagers don’t wear helmets. I also paid $10 to rent a locker which you pretty much have to do because walking around in ski boots is like walking in roller blades- terrible and uncomfortable. Our lesson was great and by some MIRACLE I didn’t fall down once. I had only skied 1 other day in my life 2 months prior and I had fallen a LOT and was covered in bruises so this was a nice change of pace. I posted a bunch of pictures on my What Clothes You Need for Skiing post.
We made our first family dinner that night which was a salad, a delicious cheesy baked pasta and the super fat and cheesy Monster Bread. Caitlin would only whisper the recipe for Monster Bread to me, so I feel like I can’t publicly share it, but it was delicious. (Before and) After dinner we had tons of wine and drinks, went in the jacuzzi, and played games (mostly Celebrity which would cause so many silly arguments we’d rarely finish the game). My sister Hannah made amazing hot buttered rum from the recipe on The Wanderlust Kitchen blog which I HIGHLY recommend! We also pondered why only guys play Settlers of Catan?? Any theories?
Day two (Friday) was more skiing at Meadows and they had a great “learn to ski” deal where you can extend your first lesson 2 more days for $64 (total!) so I went for that one. It included a lesson, but I decided to skip that and just go down the bunny slopes a few times with my sister. We eventually went up two lifts to do a longer run where I fell approximately 800 times. One time I was trying to slow down by turning, and I was somehow skiing very quickly UP the mountain. Not sure how I pulled that one off. Luckily I didn’t injure myself, but after that I was ready to spend the rest of the day relaxing in the ski lodge.
On Saturday I decided I had enough skiing/falling and stayed at the cabin to relax instead. My sister and her fiancé went back to Meadows and she somehow fell off the ski lift (from about 15ft. in the air!), but luckily didn’t injure herself. It sounded absolutely terrifying. They also said the lines were really long and it was super crowded which makes sense and is a good reason to travel to Meadows and go skiing during the week if possible. The group of us that stayed at the house decided to go explore the neighborhood.
One couple had brought their 2 year old and a bunch of us went to watch him do some snow tubing which was adorable. We did not participate since it was $20 per adult (wtf?) and instead I made a variety of snow sculptures (penis, frog, etc) for Snapchat and my own entertainment.
After our mini-excursion we went to the local dive bar for a mid-afternoon beer and I played (and won!) the video gambling game! They don’t have these things in LA which is probably for the best because it totally sucked me in.
That night we went to check out the Timberline Lodge which is where they filmed the external opening shots for the movie The Shining (aka The Overlook Hotel).
Skip to 0:47 to see more about that. If you visit Mount Hood you HAVE to go to Timberline Lodge it was absolutely beautiful and had awesome views we were all taken aback by how awesome it was.
It was an excellent place to take some photos.
Be sure to wear more clothes than I am in this pic… I have my thermals on under my jeans, but I was freezing my buns off.
I had an incredible boozy hot chocolate called Bruno’s Brownie.
A few of the guys ordered Timberline’s signature $20 Manhattan and were not impressed so maybe skip that one.
Back at the house we had a final dinner of leftovers and it was an all carb feast (pasta, bread, and a potato, we’re adults I swear). We were supposed to go cosmic tubing at Mt. Hood Skibowl, but everyone was exhausted so we didn’t make it. Next time I definitely want to go!
We left early Sunday morning and when I returned to LA it was 90 degrees outside and I immediately was missing Oregon. Be sure to do some shopping on your way home at the Portland airport (PDX) because their philosophy is what you’d expect from Portland- everything is the same price at the airport as it is outside of the airport (no $7 lattes) and there’s no sales tax in Oregon. Score.
I picked up a Starbucks “Oregon” mug from the You Are Here collection at the airport and this is my new favorite souvenir! I got one in Paris too and I love sipping my coffee in the morning and remembering my great trips!
If you’re thinking about going I HIGHLY recommend it. Mt. Hood is absolutely gorgeous and there are so many things to do (other people in our group who didn’t go downhill skiing went snow shoeing and cross country skiing as well).