Our West Coast Vacation, Part 3 // Personal

This, this was an epic trip. Absolutely the trip of a lifetime. And that's saying something, considering I had HUGE expectations for it! I almost don't know where to start, because it was such a big week. The next post or two (or three!) will be a jumble of iPhone pictures and pictures from my better camera, mostly because there were some places I could only take my phone - like Mt. St. Helens!

Day one of the vacation was absolutely the longest day there, but one of the most rewarding. After waking up at 4am to catch our 6am flight from Richmond, we got to Portland around 11 (and gained 3 hours!), then left right away to drive down the California coastline towards the Redwoods. And by right away, I mean we stopped at Tasty N Sons to eat first...THAT was an incredible meal. 6 hours later, it was one of the most beautiful - and exhausting - trips I've ever taken. I'll let the pictures speak for me. California sunsets are oh so dreamy!

 Portland - California - Seattle vacation // Maria Grace Photography
 Portland - California - Seattle vacation // Maria Grace Photography
 Portland - California - Seattle vacation // Maria Grace Photography
 Portland - California - Seattle vacation // Maria Grace Photography
 Portland - California - Seattle vacation // Maria Grace Photography
 Portland - California - Seattle vacation // Maria Grace Photography

The next day we all got up early (thanks to a lovely bout of jet lag) and headed over to the Redwoods. Y'all. I can't even begin to explain how HUGE these trees are. It's absolutely incredible. We hiked anywhere from 8-10 miles, and it never got old to look at these gargantuan THINGS that are just sitting right there, waiting for us to discover. The hike itself was not difficult, just long, and besides going barefoot through a FREEZING stream in 50 degree weather, we made it out alright. It was so worth it. Just know that there is not a chance these pictures can show exactly how big the trees are...but I did my best!

 California Redwoods in Crescent City | Maria Grace Photography
 California Redwoods in Crescent City | Maria Grace Photography
 California Redwoods in Crescent City | Maria Grace Photography
 California Redwoods in Crescent City | Maria Grace Photography

Next up, Portland! After a long drive back and an out-of-this world pizza dinner, we landed at our amazing residence we found through Home Away. You can see pictures of it here. Monday brought on a day of exploring around the city. From Voodoo Doughnuts to Powell's City of Books, Nathan and I both fell in love.

I also got to meet up with a friend who used to be my teacher when I lived overseas. That was so much fun! I have not seen her in over a decade, and now I am grown and married, and she has 3 kids. So crazy!

I went thinking Seattle would be my favorite destination, but Portland actually topped the list for me. We may already be planning our next trip out there...it's a quirky hipster town with the best food, a great vibe, and a much less urban feel than Seattle (which is pretty much New York City, only on the West Coast!) I loved them both, but Portland has my heart.

 Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon | Maria Grace Photography
 Famous Portland, Oregon, sign | Maria Grace Photography
 Stunning horizon view of Portland, Oregon, from the Portland Aerial Tram | Maria Grace Photography
 Portland \ California - Seattle Vacation | Maria Grace Photography
 Lunch at Lardo's in Portland, Oregon | Maria Grace Photography
 Chinatown in downtown Portland, Oregon | Maria Grace Photography

And with that, part 3 is wrapping up! Next up is Mt. St. Helens and then the city of coffee, love, and all my childhood dreams...Seattle!

Catch up on part 1 and 2 here:
West Coast Vacation, Part 1
West Coast Vacation, Part 2

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.