Monday, April 20, 2009

Sobering Thought

Found this video via a delightful blog I follow written by a woman I met online through photos she posts to Flickr... it moved me enough to post it here in the hope that others will watch and spread it more widely.

The journey continues to Wilsonville, OR

After spending the first two nights at my nephew Dan's house (with his wife Wendy and son Elliott), Saturday morning found me on my way to Wilsonville (about 20 minutes south of Portland) to spend some time with my brother Larry and his wife Chris. Dan, Wendy and Elliott showed up in Wilsonville not long after I did ... we grabbed some sandwiches at a nearby sandwich shop and headed for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm hoping to see fields of tulips during their annual tulip festival.

It was a beautiful spring day, blue sky and warm temperatures. BUT, on arrival at the tulip farm we were disappointed to discover that there were almost NO tulips blooming in the fields due to the unseasonably cold (and snowy) winter as well as the cooler than usual spring weather. Not to worry... there were many potted tulips in bloom and we saw many other beautiful bulb plants blooming as well. And the view of a snow-capped Mt. Hood against the blue sky was spectacular! The potted tulips were quite nice as well.
Snow-capped Mt. HoodZombie (that's their name) tulips

We saw a notice at the tulip farm that the nearby St. Josef's Winery was having a tasting with MUSIC and souvenir glasses... so off we went over back roads in search of the winery. We did our tasting, then bought another glass of wine and sat outside listening to the band play and enjoying the sun. Great-nephew Elliott doesn't much care for bright lights and the sun was VERY bright... so he was wearing his shades. The fabulous Mr. Elliott definitely appears to be considering an important deal. (record contract or who to whack?)
Let me think about itOK... let's do it

At the end of an afternoon of adventures, Larry, Chris and myself headed home to Wilsonville and dinner out nearby... Dan, Wendy and Elliott headed home to Portland. Tomorrow... off to Seattle with Larry and Chris to see Lauren (their daughter, my niece). I'll be staying in the group house guest room... AND I get to meet Lauren's fiancé Justus too!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring in Portland, OR

Hmmm... been back already for 11 days and still haven't finished posting about my wonderful journey to Portland and surrounding area to meet my great-nephew Elliott, visit other family members and take a side trip to Seattle (with intermediate stops coming and going) to see my niece Lauren and meet her fiancé Justus. Where DOES the time go? (Seattle Story will appear in separate post)

In the interest of getting SOMETHING down before I forget everything... brevity is the watchword of this post...

Friday, April 3... morning spent babysitting Elliott (easy job) included wheeling him around the neighborhood during a misty rain (no worries, fancy buggy had a rain shield)... he slept while I snapped photos of spring flowers.
Star Magnolia BlossomEuphorbia Blossom with Raindrops

And mustn't leave out one of Elliott napping...

Friday, April 3... afternoon spent at the Japanese Garden of Portland, took a guided tour that was great (docents are volunteers), then wandered on my own to snap a few more pictures of the lovely gardens... rain off and on didn't interfere with my enjoyment of this beautiful place as evidenced by photos below.
Anthuriums in Ikebana ArrangementReflections of Sky in Pond

Getting a bit long so will continue with Saturday adventure to the tulip farm (not many tulips but fun anyway) in a separate post. (maybe will post tomorrow but don't count on it!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Family and Flowers

Weather in Portland, Oregon is iffy in the springtime. Since my arrival Thursday afternoon, clouds, rain, sun and cool temperatures have been the norm with sunshine one minute and rain showers the next.

Purchases at Powell's Books (first stop after arrival Thursday afternoon) included a book on Pacific Northwest flora, fauna, birds, etc., travel guides for my next trip, and, of course, some fiction for pleasure reading. Dan worked away at the gelato place (free wireless) across 11th Street from Powell's while waiting for me to finish my Powell's adventure and capture a few street scenes with my camera.

Downtown Portland adventures done, we headed to my home away from home. Larry and Chris were the first to arrive at Dan and Wendy's for our evening adventure in dining out nearby. After Wendy arrived home from work with the little bundle of joy, my great-nephew Elliott, we discussed dining options and settled on New York, New York... a nearby Italian eatery serving NY style pizza, Italian food specialties and, on Thursday night, crooning Frank Sinatra style by local performer John English. Here he is singing to Elliott while Elliott goes after the microphone.
Frank Sinatra impersonater (great voice) singing to Elliott

Signing off for now... Flowers are part of Friday's adventure which MAY be posted sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pending Trip to Portland, OR and Seattle, WA

Bright and early tomorrow morning, my friend Karren will be picking me up to take me to BWI airport for my NWA flight to Portland, OR (arriving ~1:15 pm local Portland time). Nephew Dan (wife to Wendy and father of Elliott... all of whom may be seen here) will be picking me up when I arrive. Even before going to their house, Dan and I will be visiting Powell's Books. If you are ever in Portland, it is a MUST SEE destination... a truly amazing place where one can while away HOURS of time. The biggest problem with going there is that I'm a bookaholic and must constantly remind myself that what I buy, I must carry home or pay for shipping it!

My first two nights will be spent with Dan and Wendy so I can get acquainted with my great-nephew Elliott who arrived on Nov 3, 2008. I'll also be spending time with Larry and Chris (brother and sister-in-law, parents of Dan and grandparents of Elliott) the first couple of days and then will head out to their place in Wilsonville (suburb of Portland) on Saturday morning.

Early Sunday afternoon (approx) Larry, Chris and myself will drive up to Seattle, WA so I can meet my niece Lauren's fiancé and his dog as well as most (or maybe all) of her house mates. Sunday is her night to cook for the occupants of her group house.

I hope to capture Elliott on camera (maybe get some REALLY great shots with my Nikon D90) and and also hope to get some lovely shots of the beauty of the Portland and Seattle areas and places in between. We plan breakfast at Pike Place Market on Monday morning before heading back to Portland via some other stops along the way. Abstracted from Wikipedia: Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street, and remains one of Seattle's most popular tourist destinations.

The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill, and consists of several lower levels located below the main level. Each features a variety of unique shops. Antique dealers, comic book sellers, small family-owned restaurants, while the area contains one of the few remaining head shops left in Seattle. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent from the Market on a daily basis, in accordance with the Market's mission and founding goal: allowing consumers to "Meet the Producer."
... (go here if you'd like to read more about it)

Depending on time and photo opportunities, I may post while on travel or MAY wait until my return.