A Very Dairy Vacation

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association Annual Convention. For one of the break out sessions, I was asked to present on our nutrient management program called CAFOweb. The Convention was held in Salem, OR. I had not been to Oregon since I was a kid, so I decided to stay an extra day and see some of the sites with my mom and daughter.

Family visiting my CAFOweb booth
Family visiting my CAFOweb booth
CAFOweb booth at Oregon Dairy Farmers Convention
CAFOweb booth at Oregon Dairy Farmers Convention

This work trip got me thinking. It is funny how dairy producers’ idea of day off is to go visit other dairies or attend a board meeting or an annual convention. I was talking with a friend the other day. She was discussing her husband’s first day off from the dairy in over six months. How was he going to spend his big day off? He was attending the High Plains Dairy Conference. Exciting, I know (seriously, I was bummed I missed it this year). Once when I was a kid, my family took a two week vacation. We started in Southern California and drove all the way to Washington. I am sure when most people think of that trip, they imagine driving up the coast enjoying the views and hitting the hot spots like San Francisco. Nope, not my family. My parents thought it would be fun to take two kids (ages five and two) to every dairy in California, Oregon and Washington. One last example, my husband and I recently traveled to Chicago for the our co-op’s annual meeting. What to do the day after the meeting? Enjoy the day in the city? Again no. We rented a car and drove a couple hours down to Fair Oaks Farm to visit the new swine facility (hey, at least we changed it up from a dairy!).

Highlights from exploring…

Back to my week in Oregon, while I was working I squeezed in some fun activities. Here are a few things I highly recommend if you are in Salem or Portland, OR.

DaVinci Ristorante in downtown Salem, OR
DaVinci Ristorante in downtown Salem, OR
Sassy Onion's Sassy Blintz
Sassy Onion’s Sassy Blintz












While I was working at the convention, my mom and daughter got to explore Salem a little more. Their favorites for kid friendly activities were the Gilbert House Children’s Museum and the Salem Carousel. These are great options for kids and relatively inexpensive! During the convention we got to enjoy lots of great Tillamook cheese, yogurt and ice cream. We became slightly addicted to the Lemonilla ice cream bars! While walking around downtown in the evening, we found the DaVinci Ristorante for dinner. Great atmosphere in a beautiful old building. We enjoyed dinner while listening to the pianist. And for breakfast the Sassy Onion was amazing. The Sassy Blintz is a must when ordering!

Could not get a picture before I started eating!
Could not get a picture before I started eating!


Our last day we headed to Portland. Being a big foodie, my first stop…DONUTS at Blue Star! It was impossible to pick just one donut so I got a half a dozen for myself and called it a day! Dont worry, I shared (a little) with my daughter. While enjoying our donuts, we headed over to Powell’s Books. At Powell’s, we picked up Good Night Oregon and a BBQing book to bring home to my husband.





Finally, the absolute highlight of our trip was hiking Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls. The views were stunning. The waterfalls behind us and the Columbia River in front of us. This is a great hike for all levels. We were able to hike up to the bridges of both falls with my 22 month old. For a little bit more of a challenge, you can continue on to the top of the waterfalls or do the full 6 mile loop around both waterfalls.

Wahkeena Falls, OR
Wahkeena Falls, OR

I want to thank my wonderful grand-little from my college sorority for all the wonderful suggestions of things to do in Oregon. There were so many great restaurants and places we visited. It was hard to pick just a couple to include in this post. What an incredible adventure!

Uddlerly in love with life,

NM Milkmaid

Hiking to the bridge at Multnomah Falls, OR
Hiking to the bridge at Multnomah Falls, OR

3 thoughts on “A Very Dairy Vacation

  1. Your post just reminds me how hard working your family and all the dairy families really are. It is a 24/7 job and so many people don’t understand the hard work that goes into it. Thank you Tara for your blog and thank you to all the dairy farmers, especially the ones in this area that I know for they have always held a special place in my heart.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s