Well, it was then back to Portland for Round 2!  Launa was waiting for us - YAY!  We found a nice RV park in Gresham.  We spent 3 nights there!  It almost became like home :)  Such is our life now.

Grant took us on some more sightseeing adventures, and of course, more eating expeditions.  I'm sure his intent was to take us to EVERY eatery in Portland,   He was an excellent host and tour guide. 

Launa picked us up for church (this would be 8/1/10 for those of you tracking by date and we went with her to Evergreen church.  We thoroughly enjoyed the morning and then lunch - all at the same place.  Very Portland.
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After lunch we headed over to OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).  It was $2 day!  So we saved a ton of money and spent the afternoon at a pretty cool place.  The IMAX Hubble Space movie made me (Tina, obviously) a little queasy, but I closed my eyes when I just couldn't take it any more, and I admit, I dozed for just a few minutes.  Launa and Emily got to hang out and have some girl-time.  Or Launa-time.  I think they had fun.  Oh how we miss Launa in Tucson!

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Monday, Grant let us borrow his car, and we drove along the Columbia to visit a fish hatchery.  It was...fishy.  Herman the 5-foot Sturgeon lived there too.  He was charming.  We learned a bit about  salmon spawning, farming, and bowling (just kidding about the bowling).   Because we were on Grant's tour, even though he wasn't with us, we HAD to go to the ice cream cone place in Cascade Locks.  I'm still not sure how we even found the place!  They had that soft serve ice cream with the flavor dispersed on the edges.  Know what I'm talkin' about?  Let's just say the vanilla with orange burst was my DREAM ice cream cone!

 
 
On our way toward Yosemite (actually 8/8/10), we stopped for the day at Mt. Shasta in Northern California.  We drove Buster to the top...not sure why this appeared to be a good idea, but it was cool and the view was great.  Max and Joe convince me to ride bikes down the mountain with Max.  We rode 14 miles downhill, going 20+mph.  As we neared the bottom, Max says, "I'm done.  Are you done?  I'm so done."  I was done too. 
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the view from the top of the mountain...it was a long way down
 
 
Shelbie arranged for us to have dinner at a restaurant in Dundee, Oregon, named.....Tina's.  Michael, a friend of her's from high school, is the sommelier at this very quaint and enjoyable restaurant.  They use mostly local and organic foods in their recipes and it was a fantastic evening.  Joe and I dined alone for the first time in a long while. 
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Here is Michael, our very gracious host!
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If you're in the Dundee, OR, area, check out Tina's Restaurant.
 
 
On our way back to Oregon for some Portlandian fun, we stop at the famous Mt. St. Helens in southern Washington.  Joe wakes up early and starts driving up the mountain.  I don't even remember where we were sleeping.  I wake up and Joe is maneuvering Buster along the windy mountain road in dense fog.  We travel over bridges and around turns and rarely see another car.  The sunrise is spectacular, and i drink my coffee that morning in near perfect peace.
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We actually didn't sleep in Seattle, it was South Prairie.  We spent a few great days visiting with the Thomsons, who live in Enumclaw, WA.  After discovering that we couldn't (or rather "shouldn't") drive Buster down the driveway, for fear of getting stuck, we parked at a nearby RV Park.  We had a great dinner, and then a great day visiting downtown Seattle and the Museum of Flight with Cheryl and her youngest son, Derek.  Max and Derek had a great time.
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Emily particularly likes city life.  Pike's Place Market was a crazy place!  We saw the fish throwers, had our clam chowder, and shopped around.

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Emily and Joe had to hit the first Starbucks.  Joe is exploring his creative side with his "milk art".

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Walking along the Olympia waterfront.  The Washington capital building in the background.  We had found the Washington sunshine!

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So we head over to an RV park and there we have our first cookout on our new little cportable camping grill.  It's pretty nifty, folds down to fit under the bus AND it came with 2 soft sided coolers.  Wow!  We're getting the hang of this camping stuff.  We don't cook on the bus too much, only with the microwave.  I like it best because Joe does most of the cleanup!  It was karaoke night (a Tuesday?) so as we were cookin' out we got hear various people singing.  We couldn't SEE them, but could hear them loud and clear.  There were some not so great ones, but then a guy sang "I Can Only Imagine" and he was really good, so all was right in the world again.

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kids had fun riding bikes around the RV park...they reported back to us on the karaoke singers
 
 
Decided to spend the next few days camped in one spot, get some work done, relax after doing a lot of sightseeing in Astoria.  (For those of you who are "date conscious" this was last week, about 7/25, 7/26...something like that)  We spent 2 nights at an RV camp ground in Westport, Washington, a small fishing town on the coast.  We were in walking distance of the beach and right near the marina.  I was getting used to the fishy smell, but could not get used to the cold.  While cooking dinner out on our new little grill, we could see our breath!  Joe bought some fresh caught salmon and grilled it up for us.  It was kind of cool to see people walking in off the charter boats with big plastic bags full of fish.  Why must every town be remembered for what was eaten there?  Little Richard's Doughnuts were a big hit for Joe and Max, who went out on their bikes early to seek out the famous donut joint.  Turns out you could see it from where our bus was parked.

After the second night was colder than the first, we decided to move on toward Seattle.  Sorry, no pictures :(