Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Skamania Lodge!

Twice a year Michael gets to go to the WASWD (Washington Association of Sewer & Water Districts) conferences. Last April, Michael's Dad watched the kids for us so we could go to the one in Yakima. This year He and Ruth watched the kids for us and it was such a blessing. Plus they had a great time with the kids. This time the conference wasn't in Yakima though it was down south in Stevenson at Skamania Lodge. 

I had never even heard of it before so I looked it up online and once I saw it I knew I wanted to go! Gorgeous!!! It's so fun that I get to tag along with Michael. He still has to go to conferences and meetings and such, but that doesn't bother me at all. I enjoy the alone time! 

We left on Tuesday, April 16th right around noon. Our first stop was in Tacoma to eat lunch at Red Lobster and then we made a quick stop at the Dollar Store because I forgot floss picks. I'm only addicted to two things...chapstick and floss picks! There are worse things to be addicted to though! The drive to the lodge was quite curvy, but nice since you follow along the Columbia river. 

We did drive right by the Bonniville Dam, but we didn't stop or go on a tour. 

Welcome to Skamania Lodge! 

Here's the view of the lodge right when we drove in. 

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This is the picture from their really is gorgeous!!! 

The lodge has so many amazing things to course, driving range, spa, zip line, ax throwing and an aerial course. 

That first night Michael and I went to the main conference room where all the booths were being set up. We met some people he knows and just stood around chatting. We then got invited to go to the bar onsite for drinks and appetizers. It was so nice! 

The next morning, Wednesday April 17th, Michael headed off to play in the Golf Tournament while I slept in a bit. Around 8:30am I got a call from Ruth...they were locked out of our house! It was a bit nerve-racking/funny, but we figured it out and her and Papa were able to get in the house. It was actually nice that they called since I didn't want to sleep in too much, but the black out curtains were amazing so who knows how long I would have slept for! 

My main goal this trip was to blog! I have been so horrible this year with taking the time to sit and write, but I've been trying harder! 

I ordered room service for myself and got a Steelhead BLT. It was SO amazing and so were the fries! 

After Michael got back from Golfing we went down to the visit all the booths. I  really enjoy seeing Michael in his element. Last year the conference was all new. He hadn't even started doing the job of General Manager yet. This year was completely opposite...he knew what to do. He got to talk with so many people and even if you think that it might all be messing around at these types of's not. He got some great information on products they might use in the future and he got to meet people he'd never met face to face. It was really great! 

That night one of the engineering firms that Michael works with took us out for dinner and drinks. I especially enjoy getting to put faces with names so these events are great for me. I really do try to understand Michael's work as much as I can and I enjoy talking and getting to know the people he works with. I have always thought that I can be influential to a degree in Michael's career...whether it be painting or at the Water District. I try my best to be a positive presence and I engage in what he's doing and it doesn't go unnoticed. There were a few people that were impressed and even said..."Wow, you know about that!" Yep I listen and I learn! 

On Thursday April 18th, Michael had more conferences and meetings he needed to attend. So again I got to blog and I worked on my yearly online scrapbooks through Shutterfly. I didn't order room service though I just ate the bag of chips from the previous days lunch. I was starving by the time the booths opened. Thankfully they put out a bunch of appetizers so I was able to munch a bit. They also have an open bar and they give you drink coupons so I was able to get a couple of my favorite drinks...Cranberry Press! 

It was a gorgeous day outside so we decided to head out and look around at the grounds. 

Right outside from the bar where was a nice patio. 

We ran into some of Michael's fellow General Managers. These 3 guys call themselves the under 40 Club! 

There was this strange piece of art down by one of the trails so Michael and I went to look at it. It ended up being a different version of a sun dial. It was so cool and I don't know why it surprises me, but it was accurate! 

The view looking back at the lodge! 

Selfie....poor Michael was trying not to snarl, but the sun was SO bright! 

Later that night we attend a buffet that was headed up by another engineering firm that Michael goes with. It's always the highlight of the trip for me. I really enjoy the guys from the firm that work with Michael on a regular basis. In fact one of the guys even leant us the Maui Revealed book to use for our upcoming trip. 

On Friday April 20th, it was time to check out. We wanted to eat lunch at Joe's Crab Shack on the way home, but we weren't sure if we could eat there and get home in time to pick up the kids from school. We had originally told Michael's Dad and Ruth that they could go after dropping the kids off at the bus, but thankfully they were able to stay later. Again we are super blessed! 

Once we left we drove into the town of Stevenson to see if there was anything interesting. We didn't see anyplace that we had to stop at so we turned around and headed back on the main road. It was fun getting to see the lodge from far away. 

When we drove in we noticed this bridge called The Bridge of the Gods and we knew we wanted to cross it and drive back on the Oregon side. 

The view of the Columbia right before going over the bridge. 

The Bridge of the Gods...such an epic name! 

It was one of those open slatted metal bridges....I did not like it one bit! Thankfully it wasn't a long bridge. It did have a toll when we got to the other side....a whopping $2!!! 

Since we were on the Oregon side I thought it would be fun to stop at Multnomah Falls. We haven't stopped here since 2003! 

During that 2003 road trip we were with Michael's parents and my parents. We were originally supposed to fly to Washington DC, but then the terrorist level got increased to level yellow and it kind of messed with our plans. Instead we decided to head down the Oregon coast. It was a great trip....we went to Astoria and climbed up the tower, we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, stayed at The Inn at Spanish Head, went ATVing on the Oregon Dunes, saw family in Coos Bay and hiked up to the top of Multnomah Falls. And by hiked I mean Michael basically dragged me the last 10 minutes!!! 

The weather was gorgeous when we stopped on our way home. Nice and warm! 

We did end up walking up onto the bridge which was as far as I was willing to go this time, but we were sad to see that the trail ends right after the bridge now. Last year there was a major forest fire in this area and the trail has been ruined due to all the water and fire damage. I do hope they reopen it was really nice to get to the top of the falls even though the hike was brutal! 

After our little hike we went to Joe's Crab Shack and then headed on our way. We got home around 4pm and were able to chat with Papa a bit about his time with the kids. Everyone had a great time!!! I do enjoy these working trips with Michael and I'm happy that I got to go with him. There is another WASWD conference in September in Spokane and hopefully I'll get to go with him for that one as well. I do enjoy getting to be a part of his working world plus it's so nice for us to have that alone time together!