2012 Christmas Vacation

Last night I got home from yet another wonderful holiday in the Pacific Northwest visiting family. I say "yet another" because we've been spent Christmas there almost every year since 1996! And although my parents (Hawai'i) and sister (Arizona) weren't able to join us this year, we still managed to have a great time.

Merry Chipmas!
Merry Chipmas!

Christmas

The ping-pong table was broken so the annual "Big Rich's Christmas Eve Ping Pong Tournament"(seriously, click on that link to see how competitive my family is) was replaced with a game of family Rock Band. I'll spare you the singing videos, but I'll share you this one of Chippy not really liking his Santa socks.

***

We started Christmas Day with our annual breakfast at iHop.

Christmas Day Breakfast at iHop
Christmas Day Breakfast at iHop

This was my first Christmas being gluten-free and I wasn't sure what I'd be able to eat. But there were some gf-friendly menu items and I had lots of eggs, hashed browns and bacon. Yum.

***

After opening gifts and a good two-hour nap went for a run / walk at Lacamas Lake. It's one of my favorite places to run at when I'm visiting the area.

Lacamas Trail
Lacamas Trail

It rained the entire time, but there are enough canopies on the trail where we hardly felt it.

After Christmas...

Someone had the After-Christmas Blues...

After Christmas Blues
After Christmas Blues

...while the rest of us spent the week eating, shopping, eating...I mean our family motto isn't "Until We Eat Again" for nothing. :)

***

We spent an afternoon shopping on NW 23rd, then had a lovely dinner harbor side in downtown Portland:

Harbor Side in Portland
Harbor Side in Portland
McCormick & Schmick's in Portland
McCormick & Schmick's in Portland
Family Dinner
Family Dinner

***

Later in the week we took a drive out to Skamania County (where Twilight was filmed).

It happens to be across the river from Multnomah Falls and the otherfalls in the area. When I visit here it reminds of everything that I love about the Pacific Northwest.

We hiked the Hamilton Trail to the waterfall.

Hamilton Trail
Hamilton Trail

It was a mile up which I didn't think would be a big deal. But as we got closer to the falls the trail was covered in snow and ice. After living in Utah for six winters, I know that sneakers are no good on ice and freaked out when I got to an extra icy patch. I told my family to go on without me and I would wait for them there but they forced me to cross it and continue on. And they also took video of it:

It doesn't look very scary, but what you don't see if that there is a cliff off to the side. All I could think about was slipping on the ice and falling off the cliff. Don't laugh, it could've happen!

***

In addition to the hike I did manage to get in a little bit of exercise every day. My cousin Jenna and I did some Winsor Pilates, Jillian Michael's 20-minute Shred, Yoga and I ran twice. Both runs were less than 3-miles, but it was with the dog who runs a lot faster than I do!

It was a week of rest (2-hr afternoon naps!), rejuvenation (stayed mostly unplugged!) and reconnection with family!

Best Friends
Best Friends