August was an eventful, hot, summery, active month for us and we spent some time actually exploring and enjoying Portland. I thought I'd take today, on this glorious day off (before we set out adventuring), to share some of the summer activities we did in August.
In mid-August my brother visited (the highlight of my entire year!) and we jumped at the chance to drive him out to Hood River and show him one of our favorite places. We also hadn't gone to the Fruit Loop yet - a series of farms along a loop at the base of Mount Hood where you can u-pick to your heart's delight. Ben's a u-pick fruit fiend and was chomping at the bit to visit.
Along the Fruit Loop, we stopped at Fox Tail Cider to taste a flight of amazing local ciders (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). My brother turned 21 in July, so it was awesome to be able to take him out into the realm of alcoholic drinks and tastings.
After libations, we followed the Fruit Loop up higher and higher onto Mount Hood and stopped at a few farms with big crowds/high prices/and less-authentic picking experiences. We finally wandered off the beaten path, after asking a farm stand for directions to their peach orchard, and found the perfect spot - Cody's Orchards.
Our last interesting (and picture-worthy activity) this August was actually this past Thursday, when Ben and I heard about a free symphony concert on the waterfront by our house. Though it was cancelled last year due to a lack of funding, it was back in full force this year to announce the opening of the Oregon Symphony, Opera, and Oregon Ballet seasons. The free concert on the water gets totally packed around 7 p.m. when the symphony starts to play, but opens at 2-2:30 p.m. for taiko drummers, the youth symphony, and more.
We brought a picnic, some chairs, and a blanket and joined the masses to watch the symphony play with some special appearances from the ballet (dancing the Nutcracker's Pas de Deux) and a baritone from the Opera. At the end of the concert, during the 1812 Overture, the national guard shot off canons and a giant fireworks show on the water concluded the event. It was an amazing night and next time we will be stepping up our picnic game!