On day six of our vacation—the last full day—Melissa and I went solo to Mass at the Grotto in Portland, Oregon.

The Grotto is a sixty-two acre Catholic shrine dedicated to Our Sorrowful Mother. Without diving too deeply into the theology, that simply refers to Mary, the mother of God, with a particular emphasis on her sorrows and trials—especially that of watching her son die on the cross. It is meant to be a quiet, secluded, peaceful place for prayer and contemplation, even though it is located right in the heart of the city of Portland.

We attended Sunday Mass in the Chapel of Mary, and afterwards went on a walking tour of the Grotto grounds. It is a really beautiful place, filled with Catholic statues, shrines, artwork, and more. You’ll find many photos from our excursion below.

Afterwards we had lunch at a small Hawaiian restaurant nearby, and took the scenic route back to Hood River, Oregon via the Washington side of the Columbia River. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with family back at the house, and beginning to get everything packed up for the trip home tomorrow. All-in-all, it’s been a great trip.