Planes, trains, and automobiles….with a balloon and a boat!

Hello and welcome to today’s blog post, which is not about cards and crafts, but a fun recap of my “girls’ trip” with my mom! In the Fall of last year, we started talking about my trip out to visit her in Oregon since I had not been able to visit since November 2019, thanks to Covid and crazy airline tickets. We originally talked about a Columbia River Cruise, however, the length of time we wanted for the cruise would not be available until June, so we came up with a new plan. After lots of brainstorming, we decided that we would take a few days to visit Seattle and then make the drive down to Napa, California for a hot air balloon ride, which was on my mother’s bucket list.

We decided that the best way to visit Seattle would be to take a train to Seattle from Portland, and then uber around to the different sites. My mother tasked me with the planning, which of course I kept her in the loop the whole time, and we decided the best way to see Seattle was to purchase a CityPass for each of us, find an affordable hotel centrally located, and plan which sites to see. After arriving at the train station and heading to our hotel to drop off our bags, we walked a few blocks over to the Space Needle where we had a reservation at The Loupe Lounge! Our package included sparkling rose’, a charcuterie board, wagyu sliders, truffle fries, and macarons with a chocolate ganache – YUM! The Loupe Lounge is a private area that has a glass floor and (slowly) turns for a 360-degree view of Seattle and during our 1 ½ hour experience, I was able to capture FOUR rainbows! This was the perfect way to start off our trip! We started the next day first thing at the Seattle Aquarium, walked down the street for our Harbor Cruise Tour, had a bite to eat at Ivar’s Seafood, toured the Chihuly Garden and Glass, walked thru Pike Place Market, rode the Seattle Great Wheel, and ended the day with a delicious dinner at Fisherman’s Restaurant! I know it seems like a lot for one day, but we were not rushed and were able to enjoy the entire day. Our train left bright and early the next morning, which we chose this specifically because it was a starlite train that had two levels and an observation car!

After our return, we spent a couple of days of getting stuff on my mom’s “list” taken care of (instead of a honey-do, a daughter-do, lol). I was able to head over to Vancouver, Washington, for a family birthday party for the in-law side of the family and was able to see *almost* everyone! Mom and I were up bright and early to start our trek to Napa, California.

The first part of our trip was a stop in Eureka to visit with my aunt and uncle and then we were on our way the next morning to Napa! You can definitely tell when you are nearing Napa, vineyards for miles! After checking into our hotel, we did a little sightseeing, decided to forgo a winery since Napa is mainly red wines, which neither of us are a fan of, but instead, had dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse, which was a first for mom! We met our group the next morning at 5:45am to be bussed over to our launch location for the hot air balloon ride, which was AMAZING! Not only did we see the entire Napa Valley, but we could even see the San Francisco Bay! The sunrise was reflecting off the Bank of America building, so technically we could see San Francisco! Even if you are one that does not like heights, the balloon ride was so seamless, and you should ride one if you ever have the chance. Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast and to get on the road. We stopped one more time in Eureka to see my aunt and uncle and continued the 101 to take the coast up through Oregon, spending the night in Gold Beach. The next morning, we headed home, stopping for lunch in Newport, Oregon at Moe’s Seafood and Chowder for some delicious clam chowder and homemade Marionberry cobbler! After getting back to the house, but before my flight home, we were able to get a few more things off my mom’s “daughter-do” list, lol!

Mom and I had a wonderful time enjoying the sites, each other, lots of laughs, and a few “firsts” for us both! We have already talked about our next trip, possibly with her coming out to the East Coast!

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I hope today’s project inspires you to get creative! Please contact me if you have any questions about the products used on this or any other project. I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and thanks for stopping by!

Author: Christina Miller

I am an Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator located in Norfolk, Virginia and was first introduced to Stampin' Up! in 2004 when I attended my very first card class with my Mother-in-Law and I was immediately hooked! I first started out by making simple holiday cards and over the years as my stash has grown, so have my card and craft making skills. It has always warmed my heart when family and friends love my cards, but they actually keep them! In 2016 I decided to become a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and figured I could just do it for a hobby, but now I am going to branch out for all to world to see. So grab your favorite beverage, sit in your favorite chair, and join me as I share my cards and crafts with you! Enjoy!

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