Our Trip to Hood River, Oregon

Family-friendly activities in Hood River, Oregon - berry picking!
We recently returned from a trip to Hood River, Oregon. Now that we’re a family of three, it’s funny to see how much our criteria for evaluating travel destinations has changed. While good food and beautiful scenery are still high on our list of priorities, we now have other things to consider, like how close is the nearest park? We were thrilled to discover that Hood River is incredibly family-friendly, with tons of activities—from picture-perfect picnicking to picking berries—that we could all enjoy. Here are some of the highlights.

The Gorge White House - U-Pick Fields on the Fruit Loop
Excited to go berry picking!
Blueberries at The Gorge White House
Baby goes blueberry picking
Blueberry picking in Hood River, Oregon

Our first stop was The Gorge White House, a pick-your-own berry farm on the region’s famed Fruit Loop. This was a huge hit with Will. He loves berries, and it didn’t take long for him to discover that he could simply walk up to the vines and help himself to blueberry after blueberry. It was so sweet to witness.

Horsetail Falls hike near Hood River, Oregon
Hiking with the Ergobaby 360
Hiking to the waterfall
Family hike in Hood River, Oregon
Hiking in Hood River, Oregon
There’s beautiful hiking in the area, and we loved the easy hike around Horsetail Falls. Will just learned how to sign water and showed off his new word every time we saw the waterfall. He also pointed out every “woo woo” (dog) we passed on the trail.

Flower fields at Hood River Lavender
Bubble makers for kiddos at family-friendly Hood River Lavender
Colorful chairs at Hood River Lavender
Picnic at the lawn at Hood River Lavender farms
Lavender fields and a view of snow-capped Mount Hood

In addition to fruit, you can also find pick-your-own flower farms. The wonderfully fragrant Hood River Lavender was the perfect spot for a picnic. There were rows of lavender and flowers, a stunning view of snow-capped Mount Hood, and best of all, bubble makers for little visitors.

Year-round snow at Mount Hood, Oregon
Baby Patagonia puffer jacket
Seeing snow in June at Mount Hood, Oregon
Matching Patagonia gear for dad & baby
Going from sunshine to snow, we took a scenic drive up to Mount Hood mainly so Will could nap (the car is a sure bet). We had lunch at a ski lodge—in June!—and let Will touch snow for the first time (he was intrigued until he realized it was cold).  It was also a good excuse to bundle him up in his cute Patagonia gear before he grows out of it.

Apple picking at Draper Girls Country Farm, Hood River, Oregon
Goats at Draper Girls Country Farm near Hood River, Oregon
Baby meets baby goats
Meeting goats at Draper Girls Country Farm
Feeding goats at Draper Girls Country Farm

We made another stop on the Fruit Loop to meet the goats at Draper Girls Country Farm.

The best park! Waterfront Park in Hood River, Oregon
Waterfront Park, Hood River

We had a blast at Waterfront Park, which is right on the Columbia River. There were dogs galore, creative play structures, and this slide, which Will wanted to go down over and over and over again. It made for the perfect place to play before having dinner at the brewery across the street.

Powell's Books, Portland
Before flying home from Portland, we made like tourists and stopped at Voodoo Doughnut and Powell’s Books.

P.S. Here’s our first baby-friendly vacation.

Will's First Birthday

Baby's first birthday pictures

Celebrating Will’s first birthday was all kinds of sweet. My main goal was to soak up the day with him and reflect on our first year as a family of three. Will’s birthday fell on a Thursday, so Nick and I took the day off from work. We decided it was time for Will to finally hear what the animals in his Sandra Boynton books really sound like, so we went to a farm. We saw cows, sheep, pigs—all of the important characters in Moo, Baa, La La La! For the sake of tradition, we then recreated my first post-delivery meal, which was a large pizza—all for me—and a vanilla milkshake. This time, I had to share, but I’ll happily let anyone this cute pull cheese off my crust and sneak bites of my ice cream.

First birthday present - Radio Flyer wagon


First birthday pictures at home

As for presents, we got Will a wagon. We figured he’d love pushing it around and putting all of his things in it. Instead, he likes to put himself in it and have us push him around. It’s kind of ridiculous, but it made for some fun impromptu birthday pictures. (These balloons were actually intended for a photoshoot in his crib, but he was not into it. He thought I was trying to put him down for a nap and was understandably alarmed to be surrounded by such strange objects.)

First birthday balloons
Will recently started walking, which made this birthday feel even more significant. It’s like we can suddenly see the little boy that he’s becoming. His new favorite thing is to strut up and down the block, which has been a really fun way to meet all of our neighbors.

First birthday party hat
When the weekend came around, it was time to party! We invited Will’s grandparents and nearby uncles over and kept things simple. There was cake, ice cream and a new outfit—which, if you ask me, is all you really need for a successful birthday.

1 - birthday cake from Susie Cakes

Birthday cake & decorate garland

First birthday cake smash

First birthday cake smash - sharing with the dog
First birthday cake smash - cake by Susie Cakes
Sweet & simple first birthday celebration

Cake smash

First birthday "1" t-shirt by Kira Kids

Here’s a look back on year one.

A Year

In just a week, our baby is going to turn one. How has it been almost a year already? I’m somewhat at a loss for words, so instead of a sappy essay on motherhood (which I’m sure I’ll write later), here are my favorite pictures from Will’s first year.

Dad and baby in the hospital
Newborn baby

Dad and baby's first Father's Day - Your Baby's First Word Will be Dada
3 month old baby - nursery prints from The Animal Print Shop

mother & son
3 months old - Let's Go Exploring Calvin & Hobbes onesie

Baby's first swim at Carmel Valley Ranch


Baby in a Simba suit

6 month old baby

Visiting the Naval Academy at six months old

Minion baby Halloween costume
Crawl So Hard onesie

Baby's first Christmas - picking out a tree

Seven month old baby - Tucker & Tate t-shirt

Baby on the move! Loves this VTech walker

Ten-month-old baby

Dad & baby at 11 months
Mom wanted a nursing pic, the dog had other ideas
Also, here are some of my favorite posts from my first year as parent: Five Unexpected Things From My Fourth Trimester, First Family Vacation, Oh, the Places You'll PumpA Man's POV: Lessons from Paternity Leave.