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Part 2: Trip to Bend (August 2019)

AUG 14 – AUG 18 (2019)

See “Part 1: Trip to Bend (August 2019)” for the first part of this post.


At mid-day, we went to Todd Lake for the first time. Grandpa, Karin, Ashley and Eli joined us.

Todd with Cousin Eli – August 16, 2019

The sign says,

“Todd Lake was named for central Oregon pioneer John Y. Todd. In 1860 he built Sherars Bridge, the first structure to span the Deschutes River. Todd Lake is nestled in an ancient dacite volcano that was last scoured by glaciers 18,000 years ago. The receding glaciers left behind a rock basin holding Todd Lake which covers 33 acres to a depth of 60 feet. The lake’s outlet disappears into permeable volcanic terrain about two miles southwest of here. Introduced Eastern Brook trout now support a popular sport fishery in this once fishless lake.”

August 16, 2019

As soon as the trail met the water, Todd was looking for fish to catch with his net. He pretty quickly caught a tadpole and examined it in his net before releasing it.

Todds with tadpole – August 16, 2019
Eric & Todd on the trail beside Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Todd Lake – August 16, 2019

At the next little brook crossing, Eli found a full grown frog, but Todd wanted his chance to catch it with his net.

Todd Lake – August 16, 2019

There were masses of tadpoles at the end of the lake.

Tadpoles / Baby frogs – August 16, 2019
Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
Mountain view from Todd Lake – August 16, 2019
August 16, 2019

Eli had the opportunity to hold a snake.

Eli with a snake – August 16, 2019
Heading back – August 16, 2019
View of Mt Bachelor – August 16, 2019

After our excursion at the lake, Eric rode his mountain bike to my parents’ house from the Swampy Sno-Park, while the rest of us had ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, (because I’d heard that B-R now has a vegan ice cream made from almonds).

Todd had scoops of ‘Raspberry Sorbet’ and ‘Watermelon Splash Ice’. I had the non-dairy and vegan ‘Chocolate Extreme’ ice cream (the Bend location didn’t have the ‘Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough’ flavor yet).

Baskin & Robbins non-dairy ice cream – August 16, 2019

That evening, we gathered at Karin’s house for a spaghetti dinner. Todd actually tried some pasta shells with sauce…without being coaxed to do so! Todd mixed up Eli’s Lego figures while some of us played a card game. Eric snapped a good picture from their outdoor living space.

Sunset – August 16, 2019


Happy birthday to Eli! Todd slept in long! At mid-day, we went to the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center because Todd had never been on the waterslide there. The slide is short but fun and fast.

Todd on the slide at Juniper – August 17, 2019

After riding the slides, we went to the indoor pool, where Todd passed the swim test and jumped off the diving board a couple times. Mostly, though– he wanted to watch other jumpers and divers going off the low and high dives. They also had a rope swing.

In the afternoon/evening, we gathered at Karin’s house for a party to celebrate Eli’s 12th birthday and Todd’s 5th birthday. This included Nana and Grampy (Jason’s parents). Beforehand, Todd looked for fish in the pond/lake located across the street. We met two boys from Juneau (AK) who were catching/releasing fish, so Todd did, in fact, have the chance to hold a fish then release it back in the water.

I was able to coax Todd into the house with a promise of opening one of his birthday presents.

Lego Deep Sea Creatures set

We had veggie burgers for dinner, and Grandma brought homemade vegan chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Todd spent some time upstairs with Eli playing Xbox car racing and mountain biking games.

Todd with Nana, Grampy, and Eli – August 17, 2019
Nana, Grandma, Todd & Grandpa – August 17, 2019
Lucy & Todd – August 17, 2019
Karin & Eli – August 17, 2019

Todd’s biggest birthday present was waiting for him back at home, so I wrapped up the picture of it. He seemed a bit perplexed!

We sang to Eli and Todd.

Todd is never interested in cake/frosting, but he sure loves ‘ice cream’ (raspberry sorbet in this case!)

Todd eating raspberry sorbet – August 17, 2019

We snuck in a game of Shark Bite before going back to Grandma’s house for the night.

Grandma, Eli, Eric & Todd playing Shark Bite – August 17, 2019


We drove back home, and we had to stop at the Burgerville once again for lunch. This time, Eric had the Oregon Marionberry Bliss shake, and I tried the mint Oreo Bliss shake.

We’ve been spoiled by unseasonably clear skies this summer, thanks to the lack of forest fires. I couldn’t resist snapping a few more pictures of the scenery while crossing the Columbia River.

Mt Hood – August 18, 2019
August 18, 2019
Columbia River – August 18, 2019

THE END…of a great trip!

Part 1: Trip to Bend (August 2019)

AUG 14 – AUG 18 (2019)

This will be a two-part post so that it doesn’t get too long. Part 1 includes August 14 through 15, and Part 2 includes August 16 through 18.


We drove from Wenatchee, WA to Bend, OR, and travelled via The Dalles, so that we could stop at the Burgerville for lunch…because…BLISS SHAKES! {As in, Coconut Bliss!} Eric tried the mocha flavor and I tried the Oregon Marionberry flavor. YUM! You can get other flavors, too (They had an impressive adzuki bean burger as well– just hold the cheese and mayo). The onion rings are immense!

August 14, 2019
Burgerville – August 14, 2019
Bliss shakes at Burgerville – August 14, 2019

In the car, Todd started singing along to Paul McCartney’s ‘Band on the Run’ song. During our trip, he got better and better, and also sang to ‘Jet’.

After arriving at my parents’ house, Todd was excited to start building the Old Fishing Store Lego set that they’d broken down for him into numbered bags.

Grandma made a homemade vegan mac ‘n cheez dinner that Todd actually ate! My sister (Karin) and her family came over to visit, and we all went to the park.

Grandma & Todd at the park – August 14, 2019


In the morning, Eric, Karin, Ashley and I went on a 21 mile mountain bike ride…

Elisa – August 15, 2019
Ashley – August 15, 2019
Karin – August 15, 2019

Next up…floating the Deschutes River. This was a lot of fun!

[When we woke up in the morning, Todd said this was a special day for us because we were going to take a boat to South America. And– this coincided perfectly with our plans to float the river in the afternoon. The back story is that we’d been reading library books about apex predators of the Amazon rainforest. I’d explained to Todd that you’d take either an airplane or a boat it you wanted to go there. Then– after we got home from this trip to Bend Todd said, “Next time from when we go on the river, we have to go much, much farther, so we can go to South America.”]

Todd all geared up – August 15, 2019

Todd wanted to swim in the river so badly that it took all of his self-control not to get in (and I refused to allow it!). Since the current is very gentle, Eli and I helped propel our group along at various slow points. It’s shallow in places, so Eli even stood up and pushed the tubes.

Todd, Elisa & Eric – August 15, 2019
Auntie Karin, Grandpa & Cousin Eli
Cousin Eli – August 15, 2019
Cousin Ashley & Grandma – August 15, 2019

Todd really loved the rapids! Grandma got a movie going through that section.

Grandma’s video of the rapids – August 15, 2019
Todd floating the Deschutes River – August 15, 2019
Elisa & Eric – August 15, 2019
Grandpa – August 15, 2019
Grandma – August 15, 2019

After floating the river, we all went out for dinner at Pacific Pizza and Brew (Uncle Jason joined us at that point).

Todd & Eric at Pacific Pizza & Brew – August 15, 2019

Karin suggested Bonta Natural Artisan Gelato for dessert, and I wasn’t about to protest that! Even though it was past 9 PM, the line was still out the door! I had the (non-dairy) coconut lime and chocolate coconut flavors. The best!!


Water Play (July/August 2019)

AGE 4 (MONTH 12)
JUL 23 – AUG 7 (2019)


Todd rode behind me on #1 big slide twice, then went by himself for the first time!

[We ‘got away with’ having Todd ride behind me those two times before the lifeguard said it wasn’t allowed. But– that’s all it took to give him the confidence to ride by himself! When he was behind me, I was able to slide ahead of him so he could feel what it was like to ride alone.]

Eric got a burst of pictures. Todd was using his arms to go faster.

Elisa on Blue Blaster & Todd waiting – July 23, 2019


Todd jumping off the diving board at the Ocean Shores Community Club pool…

Todd jumping off the diving board at the Ocean Shores Community Club pool – July 26, 2019


Jumping off the diving board at the Ocean Shores Community Club pool…

Elisa jumping off the diving board – July 27, 2019


Todd decided he wanted to practice diving from the top step of the ladder. Eric had him aim for the Hulk dive toy.


Todd went by himself on all big slides #1 through #4. He liked #2 & #3 the best because of the tunnels. In the pool, he practiced making a shark fin by floating prone and placing hands with palms together over his head.


He likes to climb up through the hole in the lazy river inner tube (requires effort but he can do it). This was a short day. He must have been tired because he fell asleep on the couch when we got home!

3:26 PM – August 7, 2019

Mountain Biking: Twin Peaks (8/01/19)

AUG 1 (2019)

We dropped Todd off at TEAMS Learning Center to enjoy yet another mountain biking date ride. Yay! We chose Twin Peaks (Wenatchee, WA) again, but this time we added the Dragon’s Tail trail to our descent. Our total mileage was 10.19 miles in 1 hour and 57 minutes.

[Click on these links for previous trips: “Mountain Biking: Twin Peaks (7/12/19)” and “Mountain Biking: Twin Peaks (6/23/19)“. I included a link to the trail map in the 7/12 post.]

Elisa approaching the Twin Peaks viewpoint – August 1, 2019
Elisa approaching the Twin Peaks viewpoint – August 1, 2019
Elisa approaching the Twin Peaks viewpoint – August 1, 2019
Glacier Peak – August 1, 2019
Eric at the Twin Peaks viewpoint – August 1, 2019
Mt Rainier – August 1, 2019
View of Wenatchee – August 1, 2019
Eric – August 1, 2019
Elisa on Dragon’s Tail – August 1, 2019
Elisa – August 1, 2019
Mountain view – August 1, 2019
Elisa – August 1, 2019
Elisa – August 1, 2019
Elisa – August 1, 2019
Runkeeper map – August 1, 2019