Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hikes & Bites: Week 3, Part 2 (Head West)

You've got two options. Part one was our initial plan, part two is really how it went down for us after I got sick (minus the fact we stopped there after the hike, but same difference). I wouldn't have changed it because as many of you probably already know...Petunia's is well worth the stop! Can't go wrong when everything in that place is vegan and gluten free.

1) Get up early, make the trip to King Mountain,  have tea and a light lunch at La Tea Da at the coast, hit up Munson Creek Falls for a quick half mile hike to see the beauty of the tallest waterfall on the Coast, then head home.


2) Sleep in, stop in the good ol' trendy part of Portland, get yourself a tasty drink to sip on and a yummy pastry or two for the ride out to King Mountain, then use that sugar rush to hike up that strenuous trail before heading home. You'll be back before you know it and have plenty of time afterwards to get some things done around the house or meet up with friends for the evening.

Our Favorites:
*the salted caramel brownie
*passionfruit frosted coconut cake with berries
*any of their hot drinks on a cold winter day

Our Suggestion:
For those trying to be budget friendly....stop at this place in the morning before the hike. You can 
spend less than $15 for two treats and a drink to share with your other half.
For those of you who don't care...go after your hike. Try items on their savory menu and pair it 
with one of their alcoholic beverages.

Happy hiking and biting to you all!

♥The Stanleys

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hikes & Bites: Week 3, Part 1 (Head West)

There's just a cool vibe when you start this hike. Feels good, looks good...then it feels bad and looks all the same until the very top. I might be slightly complaining a bit but I ended up having a temp of 101.8  so I like to think there was something that made this hike even worse (the coughing, the shortness of breathe, the aches, chills, etc). But true to our word, we stuck it out for another weekend hike! That means you all have to do it. Like seriously have to because we did...with the flu.

Our initial plan was to do this hike, grab food in Tillamook at a cute little tea place, then do a mini hike so you'd get a two-for-one deal and a full adventurous day. That failed when I obviously didn't feel well. However, if you're up for it hit up King's Mountain trail, go to La Tea Da for tea and a light lunch, then hit up the short (0.6 mile out and back) Munson Creek Falls (the highest waterfall in the Coastal Range at 319 feet). In the winter it's possible you may see the salmon spawning!

Hike: Kings Mountain
Distance: 5 miles, up & back. Straight, tough incline
Elevation: 3,226 feet
Trail Users: Adults wanting a tough hike & dog friendly
Parking: Free!
Open: all seasons, although snow may be a factor at the top

If you're up for it, there are many different hikes that stem off Kings Mountain. Take your pick!

What is this person above doing? Weird.

It took us 2 hours and 7 minutes to do this trail with a little running here and there.
As I said, I was dying majority of the way but it's doable!

Viewpoint 1 looking towards the coast

chapped lips = red lipstick appearance. All natural!

For a cloudy day, we sure lucked out at the top with this view!

And then our attempt to get ourselves in a photo...


Finally got one, but this time it was blurry! Awesome. 
A for effort Stanleys.

Twinsie hiking shoes, cool right? 
Funny thing is...when we first started dating Ty bought these for us without knowing that I die when couples match. Kills me. But now we are that couple. We are the couple with matching shoes. 
Thank goodness we're not exactly in the noticeable 'public' when we are matching.
Can't go wrong with a pair of GoLites that have lasted nearly 5 years from a 
good ol' Steep & Cheap deal!

Well, have at this coastal mountain. Good luck to you all!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where A Piece Of My Heart Remains: South Africa Memories

I've been dreaming of the South African ways, the people, that sunset (below), and my trip back in 2008. How has nearly 6 years already gone by? My forever life-changing experience, many ah-ha type moments, and those come to Jesus times all happened during my travel abroad.

I have never forgotten those moments in rural areas where people spent nearly all their monthly income to take a trip to the TB clinic...only hoping they'd be one of the very few to be seen. And unfortunately, many of them were the unlucky ones that had to turn around to head home. I can still remember the smell of pressure ulcers...ones that started on someone's coccyx and tunneled up their back. It's a smell that we, as nurses, will never smell here. I miss being able to sit on the ground to play with the orphans because we weren't allowed to carry them or show them what love can be like. For that one moment, you feel like you made a small difference in the world by just giving them more touches than they would otherwise in a day. And I always think of some of the most wonderful people I met during that time (my host family, the other travelers, and best of all, Trevor & Nicole!). South Africa is a place I think about often, dream of the time we can go back, and is a place that will forever have a piece of my heart until I can set foot on the SA ground again. 

South Africa was a place I traveled to, thinking I was about to change the world (something you think you can do in your early 20s), but returned home only to realize it changed me. We all have our
life changing experiences...this was just the beginning of mine.

Edith Benson Baby Home
(provides a home from orphaned children, with many of them having HIV/AIDS)

Table Mountain (above)
The tip of South Africa: Cape Point (below)

Some other friends we came across:

Would you believe that I had just met Ty right before leaving and I wanted nothing to do with a relationship at that time...thank the Lord he was still around and available the following year or the Stanwees would not currently be a happenin' thing.

Here's to all those memories of South Africa, all sorts of life changing experiences,
and to hoping we get see the beauty of SA together someday!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

FREE Yoga For All You Yogis!

I really wish I could be one of those yogi's. I envy those people. I wake up, try to do some basic yoga, and then it hits me. I realize I can barely get my fingers to the tops of my feet (see below). AND it hurts like no other to be in some of those positions they try to get me in. Even worse is when they come around and push you deeper into a position your body already was struggling to get in. How are some of those moves even possible? Gah, I hurt thinking about it. Somehow I made it into my late 20s and I yoga-move like I'm 80 all of a sudden. Or maybe it's been all along. Who cares.

Well, I decided to be cheap (by no surprise to most of you) and skimp out on paying for yoga classes. Instead, I searched YouTube for videos for a while and suffered through most of those. Maybe that's part of my yoga sources may or may not be legit. I mean, I could post a video on there and people would never know I wasn't an instructor. Anyway, I just so happened to be looking through some of my magazines yesterday and found a solution for myself and an extra resource for you...

Legit home yoga videos via BHG! For FREE! Real instructors, legit/helpful videos, and they start you off with the basics. Of course, there are more advanced videos but we all know where I belong.
Let's just see if I follow through with my new free month plan!

Sure, this may just be a can only imagine what the real yoga looks like for me.
Work in progress!

Click here to sign up for the free month of yoga videos or check out YogaVibes and Gaiam.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Currently On My Playlist

Let's get real, this really shouldn't be considered a playlist. When I repeat the same 3 or 4 songs, I'm pretty sure I may as well call it the Re-P-List. However you want to look at it, I'll let you in on what I've been super into.

I went from country girl to rappy rap/R&B girl recently. Or well, as close to rap as I'll ever get. Somehow I've been all over Whiz Kalifa & T.I. It's in my nature to get on a kick and ride it out for a while...aka knitted hats, cupcakes, certain foods, and songs. Curt if you're reading this, remember how you hated having me at home repeating the same song all day long? Pretty sure it pissed you off more than anything. Aren't you glad you introduced me to Ty, we got married, I moved out, and now Ty has to suffer through the repeating songs all the long day? Lucky Ty. Not.

So, my jams...

#1 T.I. Guns & Roses feat. Pink
#2 Whiz Kalifa Let It Go
#3 T.I. Wonderful Life
#4 R. Kelly, mixed songs
#5 TLC Unpretty

I'm not sure where the TLC came into play but it did. But more so than anything else, those first 3 songs have played over, and over, and over. They will until I've got them memorized. Ya, that's right...memorized. Soon enough, I will be a rapper.

That's all for my Friday. Super lame.

♥Cori &
the unlucky Ty for marrying the annoying song player

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hikes & Bites: Week 2, Part 2 (Head Further East)

If you've been following us, we're on week 2 of searching out hikes and new eats in all directions from Portland (N, E, S, W). This week we headed East to the Gorge, always our favorite. It just became even more of our favorite. Not sure that's possible, but nonetheless, get yourself East this weekend for a great hike and this place...

Don't worry, it's not that much further from your hike on Wind Mountain, but be sure to come hungry.
Solstice is the place to be for any occasion!

You'll want to start with a tasty beverage unless you plan on having 2 giant s'mores (yes, it happened).
How about a pickled Mary or sweet and spicy hot chocolate?

Then order up some fresh, local parsnip soup or head straight for several pizzas. You won't waste a dime for any variety of pizza you order, but be sure to order a couple. Seriously. In fact, order an extra one for your lunch the next day. You won't be upset, just broke. And that's cool.
Completely worth an empty wallet.

Care for...
1) siragusa pear with caramelized onion, bleu cheese, and fresh herbs (back right)
2) the special: homemade sausage with mozzarella and the "special" cream sauce (front right)
3) the award winning cherry chorizo with goat cheese and mozzarella (front left)
4) framani coppa with pineapple chutney and jalapeno crema sauce (back left)

Don't stop now. You may be full, but I don't care. Order a s'more or two. Two would be preferable. Trust us here. One for the restaurant and one to take to-go. It won't disappoint. Not when it has
a gluten free crust and homemade marshmallows.
I know. It's UNREAL.

Solstice is a family owned business which initially was started in Bingen, moved to the waterfront in Hood River (which PS-makes for another great outing after your hike and lunch), uses all local ingredients, and has not only pleasant staff but knowledgable. Who doesn't like people who know their food?! So nice and reassuring when there's no doubt of what is in their food. They not only do pizza, but offer a full menu of all sorts of other delicious items. We hear the coconut key lime pie is to die for, beer options are wonderfully local, and surprise surprise, they offer gluten free drink options. Let's just say it's gluten free heaven at this place! And unfortunately for everybody around me, I haven't stopped talking about it. Sorry I'm not sorry. In fact, I wouldn't mind a s'mores right now at 7am.

For events, check out their website or Facebook page....they just keep topping my list. Live music, belly dancing, wine nights, & weekend brunch specials. Yes, brunch pizzas. Who doesn't want pizza at 10am or for that matter, s'mores and a dirty Mary? Gah, I have to stop drooling.

In sum...take a quick hike at Wind Mountain so you have all the time in the world to eat and drink at SOLISTICE! Thank you Solstice for an over-the-top, amazing lunch.  We WILL be back for more,
lots s'more!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hikes & Bites: Week 2, Part 1 (Head East)

Hikes and bites doesn't rhyme. I know. I'm not stupid. I've been running over blog titles in my head each time I blog about a hike or a new place to eat and CANNOT come up with something catchy. I've got two more weeks to think of something. Heaven forbid I come up with another non rhyming title like this one or one like that last one. Let's hope something comes to me, sooner than later.

Can I just tell you all how much of an ordeal this whole hiking thing has become? The snow crimped my style on week two, this weekend the place we were planning on eating at closed (for a good reason like having a baby of course), and then this weekend was a storm. Thank the Lord for some of our favorite people, Aubry & Jack, who we pay to be our friends and coaches at CFE. They may not be born and raised Pacific Northwesters, but you'd never know. They still wanted to get out of the car after our drive through the fog, a down pour, hail, more rain, and nearly 4x4ing in the Honda down the wrong trail. And all for the blog, all because I made a goal for ourselves that we had to hike once a week NO MATTER WHAT. Unfortunately that's the way my brain works. All or nothing.

I'm going to over share photos here because I can do that. And why not, especially when days later I'm STILL talking about every part of that day. And how cool to hike where we tied the knot 1 1/2 years later! So welcome to Wind Mountain! A place where some tie the knot, some come to hike, and some may do things I don't want to know. Nevertheless, a perfect short, steep, and covered hike great for stormy days, a quick workout, an amazing view, and allows plenty of time to eat in Hood River.
Did I mention the winds can be about 50mph at the top? Be aware.

Hike: Wind Mountain
Distance: 2.7 miles, out and back/straight incline and down
Trail Users: dog friendly, kid friendly (if they can manage an incline the whole way)
Parking: Free!
Open: All seasons

FUN FACT 1: there are many "obstacles" aka down trees, slippery when wet slopes, etc. that
make this trail a bit of an obstacle course
FUN FACT 2: at the top there are preserved Indian "pits". Unclear if used for ancient signal fires,
tribal lookouts, or pagan religious rites. Great for a wind block and having lunch in a pit!
The inner Native American in me was super into it.

All eyes on Jack apparently...

I went looking for Ty and found myself lost in the storm.
There's a reason why people say to stay put when you get lost.

The property to our wedding venue!

Camping out in the pit!

I've decided that no view is ever the same in the Gorge. Sometimes you have to look through a small hole in a pit to find more of those gems. No view will ever get old out there!

Thanks to Aubry and Jack for being troopers this weekend. I'm pretty sure there aren't too many others out there that would still get of the car after the wild ride we had getting there.
So it's time for you all to head east, catch a glimpse of the various views on a hike you wouldn't think otherwise to do, get caught in a storm, and eventually make your way further east for some amazing grub (post on the restaurant tomorrow!).

(and our friends, A&J)