Tuesday, October 30, 2012

70% Family Reunion - Day 2

On Friday, we planned to head out to Cannon Beach.  We had a quick breakfast of bagels and lox.  Is there anything better, especially in Oregon?  Uncle Gary and Erik were joining us now and by the time we would get home, Aunt Kathy, Rich's wife, would be there too.  Unfortunately, Aunt Katie had to work, so it was just 11 of us that went out to the beach.  It was a two hour drive, but the scenery was gorgeous.  I love how green and lush Oregon is!  All that rain is working!  We went out to a scenic overlook in Ecola Park to see the ocean.  It was so pretty, but it was pouring and you wouldn't believe how windy it was.  Needless to say, we didn't last long out there.

The Pacific Ocean!

Everybody's all bundled up...and then there's my dad in shorts.

 It's a rocky coast.

We then got to drive through the little town of Cannon Beach before parking and walking out along the beach for a while.  The weather was much more mild down there, but it was still moist in the air and a little windy.  It turned out that my rain boots were the perfect choice.  I could walk through the water and no sand got in my shoes!  I can cross off another one of my goals of visiting the beach on the Pacific Ocean.  Score!

Walking on the beach.

Rachel's houndstooth rain boots were my best friend over the weekend.


Will threw a tennis ball into the ocean for Bella, she loved it.

Big rock!

Uncle Rob, Erik, Thomas, Uncle Rich, Sam (AKA the hair monster), Dad, Uncle Gary, Rachel, & Travis.

The brothers: Uncle Rich, Uncle Gary, Dad, & Uncle Rob.

 The cousins: Travis, me, Rachel, Erik, Sam, Thomas, Will (and Bella) via Sam's Instagram.

Rachel & Me.

We had lunch at Mo's, a seafood place.  It was delicious.  They had great clam chowder and an amazing hot crab melt that Sam got.  I stuck with the classic fish & chips, but Sam definitely hit the jack pot.  After lunch, we took the long way home to find Aunt Katie and Aunt Kathy.  After a dinner of pasta and a great sauce their neighbors made (and enjoyed with us), we played an intense game of Charades.  It was a blast!

Clam chowder, so yummy.

Sam & Thomas at the cool kids table.

 Sam & Uncle Gary in an oyster shop.

Monday, October 29, 2012

70% Family Reunion - Day 1

Since my Uncle Rob flew out from Oregon last year for the Buffs-Ducks game (here), I suggested we go out to Oregon for the game this year.  It turned into 70% of my family (yes, I did the math) reuniting in Oregon for the first time.

Mount Hood from our plane.

We left on Thursday morning at 5:00AM.  It had started snowing on Wednesday night and kept on going in the morning.  Our plane got delayed about 90 minutes because they were late coming in from San Fransisco and then we had to get de-iced.  It was a long morning.  We went straight to Uncle Rob's house for a quick lunch of sandwiches before heading up the gorge for some sight-seeing.  My Uncle Rich (Rob's twin brother) and cousin Thomas were already there as were Rob's wife Aunt Katie and my cousin Will.  We piled into two cars to go to Crown Point.  Unfortunately, the road was closed, so we had to settle for some other sights and a hike.  We stopped at the famous VooDoo Donuts to pick up some treats for later.  That was an interesting experience.

So many donuts to choose from!

Crown Point.

Me and Will.  I couldn't open my eyes, it was so bright.

Hiking along the river.

The leaves are so big and colorful in Oregon!

Sam, Uncle Rob, and me via Sam's Instagram.

The river, via Sam's Instagram.

Sam and me, via Sam's Instagram.

Next, we stopped at the second highest waterfall in the US.  It was so gorgeous!  You can climb up on the bridge, but we were all getting hungry and thirsty, so we went to dinner instead.  We ate at Edgefield, a great place near Portland.  They have a hotel, two different restaurants, a distillery, a winery, a brewery, and so much more.  It was great food and such a cool place.

Travis, Rachel, Will, Thomas, Aunt Katie & Bella (the cutest Golden Retriever puppy you ever did see).

The falls, via Sam's Instagram.

The falls again.

Thomas and Sam waiting for dinner.  American Gothic.

Uncle Rich didn't want to be recognized.  (He forgot his regular glasses at the house.)

We went back Rob and Katie's house for pie and some hanging out before turning in for the night.  Uncle Gary and my cousin Erik were going to be arriving later that night, but their plane got delayed so nobody could stay up and wait for them since we were all so tired.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


On October 3rd, my little sister Samantha turned 15.  (She got her permit on the 4th and we're all scared.  Just kidding.)  Last Sunday, we celebrated her birthday with a small family get together at my dad's house.  Sam asked me in September if I could make her a pink ombre cake (from white cake) with lemon buttercream frosting.  I figured that would be easy enough, but now that the task is done, I've learned some lessons.

I doubled my white cupcake recipe to make four 9-inch cakes.  This proved to be far too much cake.  Since I had to dye the batter before baking it, I had to divide it all evenly and it ended up being 3 cups of batter in each pan.  I would definitely amend this next time to 1 1/2 cups, which means I could use just one batch since I know now it makes exactly 6 cups of batter.  The layers were very thick (for a four-layer cake, but for a two-layer cake they would have been fine) and they took longer to bake than expected.  (About 32 minutes.)  I ended up making four batches of my usual buttercream frosting, one batch at a time so I wouldn't end up with a crazy amount of unused frosting.  (I still had about 1 1/2 cups left, but I could have put more frosting on the sides.)

I was so excited to make this cake though because I've seen it on Pinterest and I recently got a turn table and an off-set spatula, which made the frosting so much easier and way more fun.  They're cake decorating musts!  I just guessed on how much dye each layer would need.  In the darkest layer, I put 9 drops of red, then I went down to 6, then 3, then 0.  Next time, I think I would put 10 in the darkest and 1 in the lightest.  I didn't really love that the bottom layer wasn't pink at all, but maybe some people do.

The cake turned out delicious, but far too tall.  I cut a quarter of it (which was all 7 of us ate) and cut flat slices instead of wedges.  It made it easier to serve, but it was still too much cake for all of us, so we ended up cutting each slice in half and serving just too layers.

Follow me on Pinterest @hannah0032
Follow me on Instagram @HannahLarson42
Follow Sam on Instagram @samanthadale07

See what Sam and I did for her 13th birthday here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ten on Ten :: October 2012

Ten on Ten: Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments. Then share your beauty with us!

Adding up some blog statistics.

Our brick outside the high school football stadium.

Editing pictures for 30 for 30.  (And watching The League on Netflix.)

Knocking off my to-do list at work.

Left over birthday cake is a great afternoon snack.

Sometimes the mail man brings me presents.

Last time I wore this shirt to the gym, someone thought I was in the army.

Embracing fall for the evening.

Trivia with the family.

Winning, just not tonight.

Can you believe this is my first-ever October Ten on Ten??  Somehow I missed 2010 and 2011.  Whatever my excuses were, they are not acceptable!  (Although I'm sure they were "work".)  I started late today since we always play trivia on Wednesday nights and I wanted to include that.  Plus, it's basically the same old thing going from 8:00 to 5:00 on a typical day at the office.

{Link up here.}