Mid-Summer Night Reflection

Ahhh! The days have been sweltering, but the nights are cool & breezy. Driving home from yoga class @ 9:15pm, I noticed that it was mostly dark out! The sunshine hours are receding towards fall and I recalled that I was half-way through my summer in Portland! In 5 short weeks, Doug & Eric will be arriving by plane to drive me back to Michigan where I will spend the week zipping around the state, hugging people. THEN I'll be on a plane to Amsterdam! THAT is a whole other post…


This post is a Recap of Summer 2013!

May 16th= Birthday!

May 17th= Belated Birthday present from Luke & Susie! (Michael arrives!) Lots of parties and good-byes, chalk drawing with B, then Dad & I road-trip to Colorado!




2 more days driving with Dadoo, “Shields UP!” (he says this when we go thru tunnels & we think its hilarious)

JUNE is full of fun touristy times ~ first via bike-map with dad, then with Erica! Zip-lines, brunch, REI garage sale, eating at food trucks, white water rafting, Saturday Market/kidnapping/Voodoo donut, Pride Week Bingo AND a road trip to Vancouver BC, up the most beautiful highway in the world, to Squamish! On the way home, I start Adrienne Lee Photography. We see Old Crow Medicine Show @ the Zoo. Then, Erica starts her residency at the pediatric ER & I dog-sit in Sellwood where a pen gets eaten and poo turns blue.

JULY! The most important week of July was covered in the last post; Crater Lake road trip! And then a weekend in Seattle with Becca! Also, I have been going to yoga twice a week and working HARD to learn how to set up my website for my photo business. Which is good, since I got laid off from my nannying job. :/ Now that I've got a decent looking website ( http://www.adrienneleephoto.com) I'm going to do a few photo shoots with friends in the area and add a blog feature to my website. Everything's slowing coming together!


Traffic jam induced revelation!

I've been putting off my post because I was hoping to have my brand new website up and running to WOW you all, but let's just catch up on this one thing…. I'm going to start a business!!! A photography business! I'm super excited about it and here is the story of how I finally figured out that this is what I really wanted to do.

Erica and I were stuck in a horrible traffic jam outside of Seattle a week ago and decided to make the most of our 2 hrs inching along I-5.

Erica: Since we're not going anywhere, let's figure out what you wanna do with your life- that's part of the reason you came to Portland this summer, right?

Adrienne: Absolutely. It was time to find something I felt passionately about…

E: So, have you considered going to back to school?
A: I just paid off my undergrad loans so I'll only go back to school for something I REALLY want to do and I'm not sure what that is yet…

E: OK- what ARE your passions?
A: Youth programming, travel, photography, keeping busy.

E: So- what about doing international trips with kids?

A: It seems right up my alley, but I'd love to settle in somewhere, not move around so much and have a baby.

E: What about creating something that can be your baby? Like a small business? What about photography? (Then she says some super complimentary things about my photos. Thanks E!)

A: Hmmmm… THAT seems… perfect! AHHHHH!!! THAT IS PERFECT!!!!

And then we got to list making and name choosing and pros and cons and last week I picked a name… ADRIENNE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY! Say it out loud! It's got a nice ring to it! Now, I have always loved taking pix, ever since my first camera, that had a disk of film (like a ViewMaster) but hadn't considered it as any more than a hobby. Until that traffic jam. It seems silly… but I had never given photography serious career consideration until then. The past week, I've bought a domain name, watched a whole bunch of online classes about the complexities of self-hosting a website and ordered a tripod. I'm scouting locations to shoot my Portland friends, sorting through insane amounts of photos and nannying 2 little kids. Here they are…

These are from my fancy camera, but quickly edited on my ipad… Getting LightRoom is on my to-do list!

Thanks so much for reading this and for thinking happy thoughts of this new venture. I've got so much to do… I'll be sending out electronic releases so I can use photos I've taken of you or your gorgeous kid or handsome puppy on my new website. I'm working on becoming a professional! 🙂 Thanks to ERICA for the encouragement + the cottage, DAD for the cameras + inspiration, thanks to anyone who ever told me that they appreciate having photos I've taken. And an extra shout-out goes to the Trentacostas who insisted on treating me like a professional when I snapped some photos of them for their Christmas card last year. Life is good!


E & A’s SQUASOME Roadtrip!!! (Wed-Thurs)


Wednesday AM, Jen rolled up to our campsite on her bike and took us for a swift hike around the lake. Then she told us to go hike The Chief (see above) which she did 3 days a week until her 2nd trimester! Well… she described it as “an hour of nearly vertical hiking” and she does not exaggerate! I am not an 'uphill' kind of girl and this hike was epically hard. (Jessie- it was reminiscent of that volcano we hiked in Antigua when the guide kept offering me a horse. Ugh.)

The last bit involved dragging myself up a rock slab with some chains they has bolted into the wall! Then, I wedged myself into a crack and just when I thought I was almost done… a ladder. Oh geez. But the view? It was TOTALLY WORTH IT! Howe Sound on my left, logging industry stuff in the middle and Squamish on my right. Glorious!

ChiefView-SHPhoto by STEPHEN HUI

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This hike was H-A-R-D! It seems unlikely that Shroooooms would have made it easier…

Next, we hopped in the car for some well-deserved 'sitting' time on the way up to Whistler. Jen had worked/trained there for years and some of the 2010 Winter Olympics took place there as well. It was nice. Too nice. It had that slightly eerie, pre-fabed feeling that Vail and Beaver Creek have. Don't get me wrong, we dug it. We sat slope-side and ate a $18 burger while we watched the bikers bomb down the hill, spraying mud everywhere. That was cool. Also, we were watching the Stanley Cup & drinking Kokanee (for Ron)!


We also happened upon a post-race celebration put on by the staff… who were drunk, dressed in drag and dancing to a live Calypso band. Not much to do in the off-season…

We decided to head down to Vancouver to camp that night since we'd have a long drive the next day, so we turned the Subaru towards the Sea-to-Sky highway and headed south.

The road is gorgeous plus we spotted a black bear, foraging for berries! We made it to Porteau Cove by 9pm and enjoyed the view of the sound but didn't camp because it cost $38 and was 10meters from a train track! So we ask the ranger if he has any suggestions for a campground closer to 'The Couv'? He started us on a crazy/late night/campsite hunt with his super-vague answer. But Wed night we camped in Burnaby and got up stupid early on Thursday to high tail it home.

Thursday: we explored Grandville Island (great!), I discovered that I am a lifetime member of the Canadian version of REI (MEC), and we ate breakfast sandwiches on homemeade veggie biscuits in Gastown! Then we spent 2+ hours stuck in 3pm? traffic outside of Seattle. Blerg. The 2 positive things that came out of it were: 1- I bought a pop @ BK's and got to use a touch screen pop machine and 2- I figured out what I want to do for a job! This is a revelation that requires a whole post of its own, so you'll just have to wait. 🙂


Who’s YUR Daddy?

I'm so lucky that this guy is MY Dad!

Dad and I had such a fun road trip that I didn't want him to leave! Besides all the sightseeing (& eating) that I've already blogged about, Dad bought me groceries, put up shelves and helped me get my bearings in a new city.

Erica had left us the ubiquitous BIKE PORTLAND map and Dad used it to find our way through the neighborhoods that make up PDX. Part of what makes Portland such a progressive biking city is that they have designated bike boulevards- the speed limit is 20 mph and there are speed bumps every block. The result is that, considering traffic, many people can get to work faster on bike than by car! The bike map marks these boulevards in bold, bright colors to make it easy to find your route. But things get dicy when you get driving directions from a bike map.

Our last morning we finally made it to 1 of the 9 breakfast places that Erica recommended, Broders. It is a popular (& tiny) Swedish brunch place & we figured we'd have the place to ourselves on a Monday @ 9:30am. Nope! Luckily, we were meeting Matt there and he snagged the last table while we were figuring out how to navigate around a 'bike only' street. It was worth it!

Obviously, the final stop on the way to the train station was Powell's bookstore to get me not 1, but 2 Portland maps. Dad was taking good care of me! And I needed it!



Haystack Rock; Too bad Percy isn’t a PUFFIN!

This wooden puffin was the ONLY puffin we saw @ Haystack Rock.

I was excited to see the Pacific & convinced Dad to drive with me to Cannon Beach to see Haystack Rock. We drove 1:45 hrs away from sunny Portland to the overcast beach. We were underwhelmed with the weather but excited about the cool seabirds that were circling Haystack Rock. PUFFINS!!! Dad got lots of pix of these funny flying penguin-esque birds. It wasn't until after we called mom to tell her about seeing puffins, that we noticed the informational sign that said those birds wer Common Murre. Bummer. Dad called mom back to tell her about the misidentified puffins & she said, “Well, you've never seen a Murre before today either!” She's got the right idea! Thanks mom!

Here's dad getting a nic photo of a Common Murre!



CO day 1: Expedition to Sweetwater Lake

Saturday, Jessie & Ron came down to Gypsum and the 6 of us made a trip up to Sweetwater Lake Resort. It's a quaint little place with cabins to rent, a natural lake and a restaurant. It's owned by the family of a guy on Cory's landscaping crew, Cy (sounds like Kai) so we thought we'd check it out.

The drive was gorgeous- slow going on a dirt road but so much to see! We started in Gypsum, then headed north-west into the wilderness! Jasmine the Yorkie was really enjoying herself.

After a scenic and leisurely 45 min. drive, everyone piled out of the truck to take the dogs for a swim.

Statler is a 155 lb Newfoundland who loves the water. He's still working on his grace & poise. Plop!


Floyd wasn't interested in jumping off the dock at all… And Jazzie only got wet up to her knees – but she could swim if she wanted to!

After a solid 1/2 hour of running away squealing every time 'Statler the Sprinkler' got back to shore, we headed up to the main lodge for lunch. Expectations were low since they were out of chicken AND pie, but lunch was great! Cy's mom seated us (wearing a hilarious apron with sexy men on it) and Cy's sister, AuraLee took our order. (Did I mention that Cy is short for Coyote?) The buffalo burgers were amazing- and super fresh; they were raised 3 miles down the road! YUM!

Post lunch entertainment was provided by 12-15 whirring, zooming hummingbirds at the feeders on the back porch! If you could hold very still, they would sit on your finger! After all that excitement, we drove home and hung out on Maria's back porch, hoola-hoop and drinking Moose Drool.

Sipkovsky's sure know how to have fun!


Cruising I-80: MI to CO

So far the trip has been (thankfully) uneventful. In summary; Iowa has giant wind turbines and Nebraska has lots of farm equipment- especially irrigation systems. We had to make our own entertainment.

Here I will rank the most interesting 10 items:

10 – Tumbleweeds!

9 – Dad's new catchphrase is, “Sucks to be you!”

8- I saw an albino deer in the woods.

7- A guy in Applebee's was wearing a shirt that said, “Don't taze me, Bro!”

6- A mini van had a sticker-family on the back window; Mom, Dad, toddler, baby…. Goldfish!

5- While he drove, Dad put me to sleep with stories about growing corn. Yaawn.

4- Dad really loves the quiet, grooved highway.

3- We saw a semi spray dirt all over some poor construction guy holding a flag.

2- The speed limit in Nebraska is 75! Whee!

1- My personal ringtone on my dad's cell is called “Charming Introduction”. Awwww.

Since Mom & Dad have driven this way many times before, we keep passing towns that spark stories of trip of yore. Such as Atlantic, Iowa where the Red Van's alternator went out & caused flames to shoot out the tailpipe. Mom&Dad stayed at the El-Fordo Inn that night. By all accounts, it could have been a horror movie set. It was dingy and creepy and managed by an elderly couple on oxygen. Mom and Dad got outta there as soon as the alternator was replaced.


We stayed in Council Bluffs last night & this morning we watched the Blues Brothers as we got ready. Can you believe Dad hasn't see it!?? Next, I couldn't find my keys and when we thought about where I had them last, it was down @ the ice machine! oh no! luckily, they were under my pillow.

All that panicking made me hungry and we headed for our 'usual' McDonald's. We'd just been there in January. That time, a water main broke and we couldn't order anything requiring water! This time there was a huge construction project and there was an area walled off with plastic. They had taken out all the tables & replaced them with the folding kind, like we were at a church potluck.

As you can see, it's been a whirlwind tour!


Road Trippin’

Dad and I leave on our road trip May 23rd! (Yup, that's me, feeding him peanut butter!). Dad is the sort of guy you want with you when you drive 2,500 miles across the country. Here's a few reasons why…

#1-He's got a great sense of direction. (Somedays I'm not sure which way is UP…)

#2- He's good at fixing things.

#3-He likes Classic Rock! Perfect road trip music!

#4- He'll drive most of the way and like it!

#5- He is a very experienced packer. (I'm very experienced at bringing too much stuff.)

#6- He will make random stops just to take pictures of rocks or birds or trees or sunsets, etc…

I know for a fact that there are a bunch more things to list… but it's not Father's Day yet so let's save some for his card!

The 23rd & 24th we'll be heading out I-80 West, stopping at Applebee's and Panera's along the way (#7- He's predictable; in a comfortable sort of way.) Then we'll roll past Denver on Saturday morning and arrive in Avon for a long weekend of family time with the Siblings. (Lots of eating, bird watching, dog walking and board games.) Memorial Day Weekend with Jessie + Ron and Cory + Maria! Hooray!

The only one we'll be missing- is MOM!

Then the morning of the 28th, we'll head west through Utah, skirt past Salt Lake City and up into Idaho. After we clear Boise, we'll be in Oregon! I sure am glad that my dad decided to come on this road trip with me! Here's to good mileage, good health, good music and no repairs!