It’s the last day in July and Julie’s birthday has, yet again, gone through another year. It’s tradition for the birthday person be surprised on the day’s events by the other loved one and I had a few things up my sleeve. Julie’s birthday was July 26th, and the day started out by us going to one of our favorite breakfast places in the Hawthorne area of SE Portland called Jam. For such a special day, we couldn’t pass up on the delicious lemon ricotta pancakes as well as the tasty corned beef hash.
After breakfast, we drove back to our side of town, but instead of going home, I exited the highway a bit early and got Julie in a very curious state. I pulled into the parking lot of Borders bookstore and it was at that time I was attacked by Julie in her excitement as she know what we were there for. One of Julie’s favorite drinks is called Trio chocolate, which is hot chocolate made with milk, white, and dark chocolates and is served by Seattle’s Best, which we know to only be in the Border’s bookstore on our side of town. So we headed into the store, got the drink and headed to our next destination.
The next place we were going to was not too far from Borders. I drove up to the Tualatin Park Recreation Center, parked in their lot, and then I started walking while Julie followed me, scratching her head. Where were we going? I walked to the field located at the back of the rec center at which time we saw a whole bunch of classic cars parked for show. Julie started walking faster towards the cars. She’s such a classic car fanatic that, every time we see one on the road or parked in the driveway, she yells out, “My Car!!,” but there have been many times I beat her to it and whoever is the first to yell it gets the car in all fantasied glory. We walked around, amazed with all the old cars and chatted with the people who owned them, most notably Ray, who is a WWII vet and was an avid photographer at a young age with many great stories to tell, and Phil and Jerry, who are really outgoing, friendly people and let Julie sit in their ’47 Pontiac and gave Julie a book for her birthday just out of the blue. We hope to see them again at the next car show.
We went home for a bit to rest and then headed to Vancouver, WA to the Ho’ike and Hawaiian Festival where we enjoyed the arts and crafts, food, singing, and the dancing. The lines for the food were extremely long, but we definitely couldn’t pass up the Hawaiian Shaved Ice on a hot day.
For dinner, I took Julie to a local Italian Restaurant in the Hawthorne area called Iorio’s where they made everything from scratch. I read about this place on restaurant review websites and, from all the comments I read, it was supposed to be really good. We ordered roasted lamb with pasta and smoked salmon ravioli. Man……it was so good. They were those types of meals where you couldn’t eat through quickly. We just took our time, having great conversation while enjoying all the flavors in our mouths. For dessert, we went a different route from the norm and ordered milk and cookies. After the first bite of cookie, we were definitely glad we didn’t pass this dessert up. The cookies were large, homemade and just melted in your mouth. From there, Julie and I went home and watched a movie to end the birthday.
Julie and I woke up early Sunday morning and headed to the beach. We drove up to Long Beach, Washington, planning to camp out. Julie and I both took Monday off from work in order to do that. When we first arrived, we parked downtown and browsed the shops. I needed a pic-me-up so I was searching for coffee shops while Julie searched for art stores. Believe it or not, we spotted a store that offered both called Scrapicinno, which offered scrapbooking supplies for Julie’s pleasure and coffee, which I needed. Unfortunately, the environment wasn’t the best of places to sit down and drink coffee, so we want to a crowded coffee/bakery shop down the street.
After the relaxing morning, Julie and I wanted to get some good excersize and spotted a shop that offered bicycle rentals. We decided to go for it and get on a bike that allowed Julie and I sit side-by-side while we both pedalled and it had a canopy that shielded us from the sun. We drove around this small coastal town and took many fantastic photos of old architecture and many buoys.
The day was getting late and Julie and i needed to find a place to camp. We went to the visitor center to scope out the campgrounds and spotted Cape Disappointment State Park that was south of Long Beach, WA. We drove there and were lucky enough to grab a camping spot blocks away from the beach before the campgrounds filled up. We quickly set up camp and then took off to walk the beach, discovering neatly-shaped driftwood, beach camps, and rock “islands.”
As a photographer, I highly value dusk and dawn for the light that those times put out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get many good shots Sunday evening due to the overcast skies, but once dark, the clouds began to clear up and I was able to get a couple of good shots of the moon with the silhouette of trees. With the skies cleared up, I was looking forward to Monday morning, which ended up being what I was hoping for. Julie and I got up way early at around 5am, packed up, and took off for a morning coastal journey. We were headed to a lighthouse that was 2 or 3 miles away. Once we arrived, we quickly got out of the truck, ran down the trail to the lighthouse, and started shooting. I, of course, got a few photos of the lighthouse, but I also took some of the beach, trees, and grass. The photo below is actually two photos I took from the lighthouse and merged together to make a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo, meaning that the photo has good exposure throughout, and nothing (or nearly nothing) is blown out. It was pretty much my first attempt to do an HDR photo and I hope to make and post more of them in the future.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post and feel free to comment here or within the photo gallery. I would love to get feedback from you. This is probably the longest post I’ve written since putting up this blog. I hope to write shorter ones in the future so it’s an easier read, but this last weekend was pretty fun and eventful.
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