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.

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.