Planning on taking a central Oregon road trip? Here are some ideas of where to stop along the way!
Today is the last Sunday before school starts. The first Sunday of September. So much summer crammed into what feels like a teeny tiny capsule of time.
Earlier this week, my family packed up and hit the road for one last hurrah to celebrate summer.
It wasn't easy. I've been working until 2 or 3 a.m. every single night for the past month. Going on this trip meant doing the same, since the days would be filled with focused family time. Essentially, I'm working two full time jobs plus teaching plus hanging out with the kids. It's been awesome and overwhelming and exhausting and I am grateful for all of it.
But if you're a parent entrepreneur, you likely get it. It's 150% worth it. All of it.
Last Monday, we drove through the mountains and were greeted with spectacular views of Mount Hood.
The above photos were taken by my husband, edited by me. We make a good team, Mr. Bliss and I. He, too, has been slammed at work, and unfortunately could only join us for one night and two days of our Central Oregon trip. We do what we can to make things work as best as we can. Doesn't everyone? Our lives are hectic, messy, fun, totally imperfect but pretty darn happy, blessed lives. And to make vacations happen, that takes work, too. A lot of work.
But again, 150% worth it.
My husband and I have always been big coffee drinkers, and during these crazy days, coffee is our BFF.
I am so grateful to be a Starbucks Coffee blogger during these times. The fabulous folks at Starbucks Coffee loaded me up with a huge kit of awesome summer iced coffee treats to help us power through our last summer road trip.
We chilled the DoubleShot Coffee & Protein cans, Frappuccino bottles, and Iced Coffee bottles before we hit the road, and brought them in a cooler.
They most definitely came in handy. This Iced Coffee is the bomb: totally refreshing, not too sweet, and hits the spot to help you appreciate driving through miles of gorgeous landscape.
Our first stop to meet up with more family (my parents and two sets of cousins and their families) was Smith Rock State Park.
Located right off the main highway near Redmond, Oregon, Smith Rock offers stunning scenery, a place to picnic, hike, climb, and even slackline for the truly daring in your group.
So very stunning. Just soaking this up was enough to feed my soul for weeks.
After enjoying some time at Smith Rock, we moved on to our main destination: Sunriver Resort.
For three nights and four days, our families soaked up the remains of summer and lived life to the fullest. We rode bikes and scooters, walked miles along beautiful rivers, the kids played many intense Monopoly Empire games and sang their hearts out to karaoke, had fun with the village bumper cars, I got to chill out and get caught up with my magazines, and we all spent lots of amazing quality time at the pool. Since most schools were already in session and we were there during the week, we had one of the smaller resort pools entirely to ourselves one day for over two hours.
HEAVEN. Absolute Heaven on Earth.
We also visited the Lava Lands Visitors Center and the Newberry Volcanic Park Monument.
Time with family is everything to me. EVERYTHING. And as challenging as it can be to carve out, it really is a priority to make it happen. I don't take a second of it for granted.
I feel like I say "no" to dozens of requests and work opportunities every single day, but I still feel like I am saying "yes" to too many things. It's a fine line, a balancing act that I'm feeling pretty terrible at these days, but the one thing I will always, always, always say "yes" to is family time. And I feel pretty lucky that my husband and I can do so as much as we can.
My family had the best time during this last summer trip. We laughed so much. The kids bonded even more with their cousins and had fun meeting new cousins. I loved reconnecting with my own cousins and seeing my parents have so much fun.
This last summer trip was so good for the soul. So, so good. It reminds me why I do say "yes" to the things that are 100% a good fit and why it's okay to say "no" to so many things that aren't.
Here's to summer, friends. May you have had a good one, too!
I received the Starbucks products shown here as part of the Starbucks Blogger Community program. All opinions and photos are, as always, my own.