Not Blogging and Beer Town, USA

Another hiatus from blogging–thanks for hanging around to hear about my latest adventures. I realize that my life is less interesting (from a blogging standpoint) when I’m not running that much. That factor and my busyness have kept me from blogging at my usual frequency. Never fear, though, Dear Reader, marathon training picks up again next week and I will start blogging like a madwoman.

What’s happened since my last post?

I went on an adult vacation! Last weekend, my husband and I went with a group of friends to Bend, Oregon, known as Beer Town, USA.

20140626-164104-60064780.jpgWe had originally planned to take all of our kids but the owner of the vacation home in which we stayed was less than enthused about having her house crammed with people. Who can blame her?

20140626-163718-59838507.jpgEspecially when your kid is kind of a handful sometimes.

We decided go without the kids and make it an adult trip, which makes sense given Bend’s claim to fame. In the weeks and days leading up to our vacation, I felt extremely guilty about leaving our kids for five days. I knew the trip would be fun, but part of me was concerned about how my kids would take it. It turns out they did just fine. Spending quality time with their grandparents is just as important and spending time with their parents.

I drank too much beer. Remember when I went without booze for 6 weeks before the Newport Marathon? Hmm.

Well, the first thing we did in Bend was pull into the first brewery we encountered, Boneyard, which my friend Andrew (a former Bend resident) had highly recommended, and tasted some local brew.

20140626-163852-59932345.jpgEverything I tried was delicious.

From there we went to another brewery, Crux, which has a fantastic beer garden complete with yard games.

20140626-163928-59968322.jpgAimee and I shared a sampler.

Keep in mind we did all of this before driving to our rental house and getting settled in. Because, priorities.

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We then met up with the rest of our group at–wait for it, wait for it–another brewery. We had dinner at the famous Deschutes Brewery, which really put Bend on the map, beer-wise, in the late 1980s and early ’90s. The dinner was so-so but the beer was tasty and cold. Ah.

And all of that beer drinking occurred in the first few hours we were there.

We ended up going to two more breweries, Good Life and 10 Barrel. In fact, we went to 10 Barrel twice in one day because we liked it so much.

With all that carb loading, I should have been able to run 100 miles upon my return home! {Spoiler Alert:} I didn’t.

I ran. Really! The morning after our first night in Beer Bend, Aimee and I woke up bright and squirrelly to go on a long run, our first long run since Newport. We drove from our house into town to run along the Deschutes River Trail, which winds through town and continues on outside city limits.

20140626-164533-60333667.jpgAlong the way, we ended up losing the trail and running through some adorable neighborhoods.

Side note: I could totally see living in a town like Bend. The houses? So cute! The home prices? Not so cute.

20140626-164157-60117139.jpgI ran those 8 miles thirsty and hot. I had given Aimee a hard time about bringing a hand-held water bottle because it was such a short distance, and I don’t usually bring water unless I, running longer than 12 miles. Except that Bend is located in a high desert, where it’s very dry and much warmer than at home.

By the time we finished our run, I felt like Clark Griswold as he staggered through the desert.

20140626-164630-60390259.jpgAimee was still able to manage a smile while she stretched post-run. It’s not fair!

I ran two more times on our trip. On Sunday, Aimee and I tried to find the portion of the Deschutes River Trail that runs behind the complex where we stayed. We planned to run for a half hour or so. We ran the first mile through a maze of dusty trails, surrounded by pine trees and rocks, but no river. I wouldn’t say we were lost per se… but we were kind of lost. And of course we hadn’t brought our phones. I started to wonder if we were going to end up on the nightly news if we never found our way back through the maze to our house when we finally found the river. Thank you, running gods!

We ran along the river for a little bit before finding a well-established bridle trail that we followed back to our place, like a modern, runner girl version of Hansel and Gretel. And instead of following polished stones home, we followed piles of horse crap. Don’t knock it, though–it worked!

My last run on vacation was our last morning in Bend, Tuesday, and I ran with my husband (miracle of all miracles!) instead of Aimee. What a luxury to be able to run with one’s spouse! I guess this is what I have to look forward to when our kids are old enough to stay home alone so we can run together.

20140626-164822-60502882.jpgMy husband took me on the real Deschutes River Trail by our complex (not on a bike–this was a different time–but you get the gist).

The hubs and I had a great time running that morning despite how short it was (about 30 minutes; we had to get on the road). Oh, and despite the fact that a half mile into the run we thought we saw cougar prints on the trail, leading me to run with a bizarre, hesitating gait for about the next mile, flinching at any little rustle in the foliage, until we discovered the paw prints belonged to a large hound being walked by his owner. Ahem. At least I know I’m not the only one in my family prone to histrionics.

I ate! Oh boy, did I. In addition to some fantastic beer, Bend has some pretty good restaurants. After our long run on Saturday, we went out for breakfast at Chow, another Andrew recommendation. I had a Bloody Mary (okay, I had two. Hey–I was on vacation!) and some phenomenal eggs Benedict-hybrid.

20140626-174428-63868368.jpgEveryone loved their breakfasts.

We also had dinner one night at Zydeco, a Creole place that’s supposed to be one of the best restaurants in town. I broke my rule about not eating seafood in landlocked areas and ordered the house favorite, a BBQ shrimp starter, which was so tasty–almost as good as Mr. B’s in New Orleans. Almost, but not quite. For my entree I ordered the grilled redfish and it too was delicious.

The rest of downtime on our trip went like this, pretty much: eat, drink, eat, drink, eat, eat, drink, eat eat, drink. There were a lot of greasy appetizers (housemade, artisanal jalapeño poppers and corn dogs!) and snacks (steak and Gorgonzola nachos–I shit you not). And cracked pepper-flavored sunflower seeds. Do those qualify as snacks, even if they’re super tiny? Basically, I mowed my way through the food in Bend.

I went river rafting.

20140626-174608-63968325.jpgAimee had arranged for us to go on a day-long river rafting expedition with her old friend Travis. Travis co-owns River Stone Adventures, a Bend-based rafting company that guides trips varying from half-days to 5-days on the Deschutes River and MacKenzie River. We were set up to take the all-day Lower Deschutes trip, which starts and ends around Maupin. Our group, 8 strong, had been divided into 2 rafts. Ever the troublemaker, I told the guys we were going to have a girls raft and a guys raft, and that it would be a Battle of the Sexes. And of course I got my way.

20140626-174651-64011861.jpgIt was so much fun. I hadn’t gone rafting in many years (pre-kids) and had never gone with a group of friends. While this wasn’t the most exhilarating river rafting trip I’d taken (that would be the Payette River in Idaho), it was definitely the best time I’ve had on a river.

I laughed more than I have in a long time. Travis was hilarious and super experienced, which was key because we weren’t always on task and we needed someone to row the raft for us so we could pose for pictures.

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We didn’t take very many pictures.

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20140626-175146-64306719.jpgBecause it wasn’t very much fun.

I kid! We all had a wonderful time. Even the guys, who had been stodgy and serious in their raft (who needs to focus that much when paddling through dangerous rapids?), cut loose at the end of the trip, just in time for one last goofy photo.

20140626-175229-64349440.jpgSuch a good time!

So that’s what I’ve been up to.

Gone on any trips lately? Have you ever gone white water rafting? Beer tasting?

5 thoughts on “Not Blogging and Beer Town, USA

  1. Your trip sounds MARVELOUS and I love all the pics! The closest thing I’ve had to an adult vacay was Fairfax last weekend (and even then my daughter was there for a day!). I’ve always wanted to go to Bend…I didn’t realize they had so much beer!

  2. Aimee says:

    I WANT to go back!!!!! Such a great time with fab friends!!! P.S. You forgot to admit to riding for 6 hours each way in a minivan, enjoying the luxury and watching “Mean Girls”!

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