Bend-ing: photos and a bonus video

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Our household took a trip to a remote town in central Oregon called Bend. Sure, it meant sitting in a car for three hours each way, but while we were there we lived it up—fishing with live bait, feasting on Lebonese food (we didn’t catch a single fish), skating the new indoor park, soaking up the sun, and generally exploring.

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A fierce guard dog, fangs slashing a stuffed donkey. So scary.

Why Bend? Because that’s where Ben and Tasha live temporarily in a super nice condo that makes them feel like they’re on vacation. And since we actually were on vacation, it all worked out perfectly. With that said, Bend’s got strange vibes right now—the town feels kinda … empty. So much shiny new housing, so many granite counter tops and nouveau Santa Fe motif decore, and no one to enjoy it. See, Bend was booming a few years ago and it got hit hard with the mortgage crisis. And you can tell. There’re only two other occupants in the little community where Ben and Tasha live, with a vacant dirt lot across the street full of crickets and tumbleweeds. But hey, that was cool by us—more parking, less traffic, and more air to breathe.

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Truck Stop, the indoor park that Ben just helped create.

Me in the back-room bowl. Kickturning's awesome.

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Attention pyros: go here to see the above feature burn to the ground in a "welding accident" during park construction.

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Tasha's a premium cook, and so this was the breakfast that awaited us Friday morning.

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If ever there was a failed fishing mission, this was it. Not a bite, not even a nibble. Considering I didn't even know how to cast, though, I ain't worried.

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Dinner at Kebaba—a bonanza of hummus and falafel.

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The way home. Decidedly not spring.