Thursday, December 10, 2009

Portland in December!

Portland, Oregon was my home for awhile back in the 70's. I've always loved the city -- not too big and not too small, as far as cities go. Between the great outdoors and educational and cultural offerings there is something for everyone.

We took a few days off and went up to the City of Roses this past week. With relatives on both sides of my family in the area, some of whom I hadn't seen in years, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting and sight-seeing! My Uncle Don and Aunt Darlene live in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River, so we stayed in a hotel down the road from them. My uncle graciously loaned us his car so we could get around on our own schedule -- what a treat! My dad had arrived a day earlier so he joined in the reunions as well!  It was especially wonderful to see my cousin Becky and her husband Darryl after several years--we keep in touch through cards and letters, but face-to-face communication reminded me what a fun personality she has.

I also got to visit with cousins Nancy and Priscilla.  Nancy and I see each other every once in awhile, but I haven't seen Priscilla in years, so that was special, too!

Lys wanted to check out Portland State University as a transfer option for next year. The brochure said that it is difficult to tell where the campus begins and the city ends -- so true!

The Visitor's Center on campus:Lloyd's Center still has the ice skating rink I remembered:
We took Dad with us to tour Pittock Mansion which overlooks the city. Each room was enchantingly decorated for Christmas! We were inspired to come back home and decorate our rooms more intricately.

One very cold night we went to The Festival of Lights at the Grotto. This internationally known Catholic shrine is a rock cave carved into a tall cliff. For the Christmas season, the story of Christ is told with lights, a beautiful nativity scene, and choirs singing in the chapel.

Missing from the photos are:
~ The wonderful dinners we enjoyed each night with our relatives,
~ Learning how to play a new card game,
~ Driving through Washington Park, past the zoo, rose garden, children's museum, and so
much more,
~ Our rosy cheeks from staying out in the sub-freezing temperatures a bit too long,
~ The scrumptious breakfasts provided by the Marriot every morning,
~ The welcome warmth of our gloves and scarves,
~ The time spent inside the world's largest new and used bookstore (Powell's!),
~ The delicious taste of Stumptown cocoa and coffee drinks,
~ The bridges criss-crossing across the rivers,
~ Mt. Hood keeping watch over the city,
~ The jokes and teasing and oh so much fun.

I miss it already.

Note: Some of the photos are courtesy of my daughter Ash who has a real eye for photography and a much better camera!

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