Thanks to Jeff and Laura, this weekend was a special one as we were headed to Central Oregon. Last Christmas, they gave us a gift certificate to use for lodging at the Holiday Resort. It is located along the McKenzie River - but they also had a property available to rent in LaPine - (near Sunriver) - and we decided that would be where we would want to go. As you see the pictures John took at a stopping point along the way, it's not hard to tell why would choose this route/end destination:
Before getting to LaPine, however, our first stop was to my grandmother's house (my mom's mom) who lives just outside of Bend. Her birthday was last Sunday, but while the rest of the family went to visit her last weekend, we were at the CCF retreat....so we thought we'd stop by on the way this weekend.
She was very happy to have us, and it was a very encouraging and positive time. She recently had hip surgery, and while she is dealing with a lot less pain now, unfortunately, she's not where she'd hoped to be at this point. Hopefully, she won't need surgery on the other hip.
This is Taj. He is a BEAUTIFUL and BIG German Shepherd. Grandmother and her late husband, Doug, have always had German Shepherds. When Doug died, Taj took over as Grandmother's protector. What an extraordinarily special relationship they have.
Taj was our number one source of entertainment and conversation while we were there....he was delighted with his squeaky ball (note to self - bring new toy for him on our next visit!) and chewed on it or chased it constantly. However, if one of us were to get too close too each other (like put Mikayla on my lap - or especially hug Grandmother) Taj would race over and "tell us off". At first we thought he was just being protective of either me or Mikayla (as he is with Grandmother), but eventually we deduced he pretty much just always wanted to be the center of attention. At any rate, we all loved him.
Grandmother's house has its own pond which ducks frequently claim - there was a pair hanging out there before we left.
After our visit, we had lunch at Red Robin and then headed over to our deluxe "Coyote Castle" - the name of the chalet literally on the banks of the Deschutes River. John wisely took some pictures before we trashed it, I mean "made it our own".
We walked down to the river upon arriving - and then it promptly started raining. No worries, our goal was to hunker down and be cozy inside anyway.
The only hiccup was the lack of wi-fi and major networks. The chalet had satellite tv, but unfortunately that didn't include ABC, NBC, or CBS - which wouldn't have been such a big deal if it weren't for our obsession with seeing our Ducks rise above the teams that might fail to get to #1 in the BCS. It ended up being kind of a blessing though, as it forced us Rileys to kind of stretch out of "usual" and thus make it an even more memorable weekend. I think the highlight was opening the patio door on the second story during the major rain - and falling asleep to the sounds of the storm and the smells of the pine. So cozy!
And as for that storm, well, look what it brought our direction as we got to the top of the pass on the way home. Snow!!! It won't last...but, it's great to see it. We've had a SPECTACULAR Indian Summer here in Oregon, but we all know the wet stuff needs to eventually come our direction, and with me being as seasonal as I am, it just feels like we can't nearly be to November without seeing it get colder and wetter. In a few days, I'll regret that statement, but for today, seeing it snow was really a highlight.
Thanks again Jeff and Laura for the blessing of such an outstanding adventure!