As you may remember, when Steve resigned as middle school principal this summer, one of the first things we wanted to do with our more flexible schedule was spend some quality time with our parents. We took his mom and dad on a week-long trip across Nebraska in July and this month, we’re traveling with my mom, Carol, to the Pacific Northwest.

Steve and I have never been to this part of the county (not for more than a few hours, anyway) and we’re excited to see the trees and mountains, drive along the coastline, and visit Pinot Noir wine country. Oh, and our beloved Nebraska Cornhusker football team is scheduled to play the Oregon Ducks on Saturday in Eugene.

Sadly for many, several states on the west coast of the U.S. are battling forest fires after an unusually dry summer. When we arrived in Portland yesterday, the sky was an orange/pink color and we could actually see and feel ashes falling from the sky.

Alaska Airlines flight into Portland, Oregon.

Alaska Airlines flight into Portland, Oregon.

We are headed to the coastline for the first few days of our trip and hopefully away from the worst of the smoke. We’ll continue to pray for rain and the for the fires to be controlled to minimize the loss of life and property.

Natural disasters like this are so sad to see. Especially in such a beautiful place.

 

  • This house-made carrot cake at the Williston Brewing Company in @visitwilliston, @NorthDakotaLegedary tastes even better than it looks! Who wants a bite of this moist cake, three layers high with fresh strawberries and caramel sauce? Um, we do.
  • One of the quirkiest stops we've ever come across is Carhenge, near Alliance, Nebraska. Over a couple of weeks, a family decided to recreate the world-famous Stonehenge out of junked cars. Using farm implements, they constructed a replica that even has a heel stone...errr...car. In so doing, they created a must-see roadside attraction for anyone traveling across the United States.
  • Ann stands next to one of the huge rocks at Toadstool Geologic Park in Nebraska. The unique geology of this park happened because a hard rocky layer sat atop a soft under layer. As the soft layer erodes, huge rocks are left standing in unique positions.
  • You gotta start somewhere...⁣
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In all journeys in life, you must start somewhere. Here we were at Mile Marker 0 in Key West about 70 pounds (between the two of us) ago. Our journey isn't over, but we're on our way to a healthier lifestyle. @noom
  • These cucumber-salmon bites were a perfect taste treat for a bridal shower Ann hosted recently. She started with a slice of cucumber, then a bit of salmon topped with a dollop of cream cheese and dill.
  • ...Why don't you come with me, little girl, on a Magic Carpet ride...⁣
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One of the most unique features of the new @celebritycruise Edge is the Magic Carpet, a platform that moves up and down the side of the ship and serves different purposes at each stop. There is something truly special about sitting directly over the sea and looking back at the ship while you sip a delicious cocktail.
  • This prosciutto pizza served overlooking the Amalfi Coast is the stuff dreams are made of. The homemade crust, hand tossed before being baked to thin perfection in a wood oven. The sauce and cheese were so fresh it brought tears to our eyes. And the prosciutto was sliced thin enough to be translucent. This is what pizza is supposed to be.
  • Cookie, cookie, cookie start with "C."⁣
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This is what we found when we walked into our beautiful room at @thepioneerwoman Boarding House after dinner at the Merc. As part of turn down service, they gave us a couple of Ree's delicious cookies, which made for a perfect end to a great day.

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