Sunday, July 9, 2017

Through their Eyes - Oregon Road Trip Part I

We are back again with another edition of Through their Eyes - all of our favorites from our trips.

So, to maximize our vacation time (since we are limited by the time our kids are out of school), we have decided that we are going to take advantage of as many holidays and days off from school. Enter Fourth of July. For some hiking, sightseeing and family visiting, we packed our bags, got on an airplane and headed to the Pacific Northwest, more specifically, Oregon. I have seen and read so much of this utopian place (I blame Kinfolk Mag, I've been getting inspiration about Oregon from them for a long time). I have to say, I was highly impressed! It only furthers my desire to move there, some day, I hope.

Ok, enough talking, more picture sharing. Here are some of our favorite activities from our road trip through Oregon

The Columbia River National Scenic Area

We made a quick stop at the Multnomah Falls on our way out of Portland - Gorgeous and very popular waterfall

We went hiking on the Eagle Creek trail to the Punch Bowl Falls



A great way to get our bearings for what awaited for us.

Central Oregon

Hiking the Misery Ridge trail on  Smith Rock State Park

Ok, getting started on this hike was a little rough... Can you see the enthusiasm in the next picture? This area of Oregon is so different than what we had in mind. Very desert like, stunning though. Fortunately, once we got going, the kids' spirits got lifted. Don't get me wrong, there was still a lot of complaining but they always push through... Our kiddos are such troopers...



This park was a favorite. Just so stunning. The town of Bend was our base camp for exploring the area and loved it there too... It was wonderful















Some advice, if you are planning on doing this hike in Smith Rock State Park. Do it in the afternoon! This is a strenuous hike on a tough terrain, we were lucky enough to be in the park in the afternoon... That hike, at that time of the day, is shady all the way to the summit. Thank God!!! It wasn't planned... We just lucked out

Painted Hills - John Day Fossil Bed National Monument

Can you just say wow... So beautiful... Oregon is so geologically diverse... We were just amazed



 I can still hear the complaints coming up this hill... It was a hot day you guys.
 This park is peppered with easy little hikes... All beautiful

Continuing on our road trip - Southern Oregon:

Next stop, Crater Lake National Park... But first, the mandatory picture


I mean... do I have to say much?... Take a look at these pictures. The water is so blue and the weather was perfect




























We hung around the visitor center to learn more about the beginnings of this place (fascinating), collected Junior ranger badges, pet gorgeous animals and played with the snow, yes!!! Can you believe it? As a matter of fact, some parts of the park were closed due to snow. We took advantage of the park nonetheless


We hiked the Cleetwood Cove trail - The only trail with access to Crater Lake. We dipped our toes in the water (we weren't brave enough to jump in the water though, it was so freaking cold...)








I think crater lakes were a thing for us this year. Check our pictures from Quilotoa Crater Lake in Ecuador

More pictures from the area. We stayed in Union Creek, right outside Crater Lake NP on the Rogue River National Forest

We packed a picnic dinner to have by the river






It was a lovely time indeed

This is it for now. I'll be posting more pictures from the second leg of our road trip (Oregon Coast and Portland) soon

Want to see more of the beauty of the US National Parks? Check out these posts:

Big Bend NP - As you look at these pictures, please think of the possibility of a wall being built in this beautiful national park just to fulfill a campain promise... I hope not, we shall see.
Yosemite NP
Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP
Grand Canyon NP
El Yunque NP

We love our National Parks (you can't beat a week of entertainment for just $15 entrance fee), you can make a donation here to keep them for future generations.

While on the subject of parks... I was highly impressed with the State Park system of the State of Oregon. Well done Oregon, you got yourself some raving fans. We can't wait to see more of you.

More pictures of our family travels here

And for those of you always asking why I'm never in the pictures... Check out my instagram feed at planandplay. I document more of our day-to-day life and post pictures of yours truly, there. Check it out.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Through their Eyes - Ecuador Part II

Continuing on with our adventures in Ecuador... See Part I here

Day tripping from Banos to Puyo to visit an indigenous community

More waterfalls

We learned a little bit about one of the many indigenous communities in the area. We visited a museum, walked around the pretty little village, talked to some of the locals and pet their pets. A great experience for sure


Our new friend Rosita... Showing us around her home
Continuing on, we left relaxing Banos for the hustle and bustle of Ecuador's capital, Quito. We scored ourselves a great apartment on Benalcazar's Street (thank you once again airbnb), right in historic Quito, walking distance from all the action.
View of the Virgen del Panecillo
Plaza Santo Domingo

Sitting around Plaza Central. Old and young hanging out on the same square. Our bench-mates were singing and playing their guitars. So cool

One of the first things in order, once we arrived to Quito, was to get the guys to the barber. They were in desperate need of a haircut and a shave

This barber shop has been around for a long time... Right on Plaza Central

We walked a lot around the historic district... An awesome area to stroll and eat... We ate everything in sight: Sandwiches de pernil, humitas, empanadas de viento, bolon de verde, espumilla, helado de paila, mote con chicharron, seco de chivo, fritadas... I can go on and on. So fricking good.

More views from Plaza Grande

Beautiful La Ronda Street - Very lively at nights with all kinds of delicious restaurants and shops to peruse.

Sampling the ice cream was a must

We visited a lot the beautiful churches... They are so many, one more beautiful than the other. Basilica Nacional del Voto was my favorite... The views from the top were outstanding


Daytripping to the Middle of the World, because, why not? If you are in Ecuador, you must go to the monument that marks that very place, am I right?
Straddling the line that divides the Northern and the Southern hemisphere... Yep, check that from the bucket list
The kids had fun testing some equator related experiments. There were also a lot of exhibitions of the indigenous cultures and even a planetarium. A cool way to spend the morning

Daytripping to the town of Otavalo for souvenir shopping.

Saturday is market day... So we took the bus and off we went to enjoy the day. It was fun walking the crowded street and sampling all the yummy foods. Yes friends, more food: Agua de coco, maduros con queso, batidos, llapingachos, Huevitos Chilenos, guarapo de cana with lime (where has this been all my life, delish)





Lastly, to end our time in Ecuador, we took a cable car (TeleferiQo) ride to the summit of Cruz Loma starting point to hike Rucu Pichincha - yet another volcano (there are about 30 volcanos in Ecuador!).
Getting kisses from llamas is almost as good as getting selfies with llamas



What a way to end our trip, right?. That's it for Ecuador friends, I hope you like the pictures. But guess what? Summer is not over yet... We have more adventures up our sleeves. I'll be back with more soon.

See more pictures from Ecuador here
For more pictures from South America, check my post from Peru (here and here) and Argentina (here and here)
Check out where we went for Spring Break here and here
For more pictures from our family travels go here
And lastly, to follow even more of our family adventures, check planandplay on instagram

Resources:
Stay in Cotopaxi: Hacienda El Porvenir
Stay in Banos: Airbnb
Stay in Quito: Airbnb