Another year is behind me and I find myself again feeling a little wiser for it. This year I decided to celebrate my birthday by enjoying all of my favorite things – my lovely family, some gorgeous landscapes and u-pick produce. Here is a photo-heavy recap.

The first stop on my birthday celebration was lunch at Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River. This small town is about an hour from Portland, but feels a million miles away.

The food was pretty good. The beer was fantastic. We will be back!

Next stop was Draper Girls Country Farm, which is on the Fruit Loop just outside of Hood River. We meant to hit more than one farm, but they had so many different crops ready for u-pick (apples, pears, plums, peaches, corn, raspberries) that we were content to pick everything in one place.

I ended up scoring about twenty pounds of huge, juicy peaches for canning. I thought I had already missed the season, but the farm’s higher elevation meant that the peaches were just ripe for picking.

I also stocked up on a huge supply of fresh corn. It has since been blanched and frozen for winter keeping.

The setting was absolutely gorgeous, with Mt Hood shining in the background. We kept trying to find reasons to stay.

Juniper met her first goat in their petting area. Does it get cuter??

All in all, we walked away with a wagon full of peaches, corn and some winter squash. I have since been chained to the canning pot at home, but it was all worth it.

This birthday was a celebration of where I am today. It has been a crazy last few years. This next year holds lots of promise for new beginnings and adventure. Here’s to another year of savoring the simple, sweet life.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson