Sunday, August 3, 2014


Every summer my sisters and I get together and this year was no exception as the city of Portland called to us!  We stayed at a hotel in Vancouver, Washington, very near to where my Uncle Don lives.  His daughter Becky drove in to spend the week as well.  In addition, my sister Linda brought her granddaughter, and my own daughters Ash and Lys flew in from San Francisco.  We gave Uncle Don fair warning that he would be greatly outnumbered by all the women with our chatter and giggles, but he assured us he was up to it!  Don is the brother of my father who passed away two years ago.  Their mannerisms, dry sense of humor, and quiet but wise ways are so similar, we wished we'd had a dollar for all the times we remarked to one another, "He's just like Dad!" 

We visited, played cards, went out to dinner, pored over family photos, hugged, joked, and generally had a ball just being together!  On Saturday night Uncle Don treated us all to a cruise on the Columbia River through the Columbia Gorge.  The problem was -- he came down with a cold and didn't feel well enough to go with us.  Bummer!

We passed the famous Multnomah Falls on our way to the Sternwheeler, but only had time for a quick photo opp from the parking lot before needing to hit the highway to Cascade Locks.
We boarded the beautiful Sternwheeler, mesmerized by the rotating paddle and the gorgeous scenery.  We were served a delicious dinner and savored the tasty desserts!  (Our family rule -- when we're on vacation we throw calorie counting out the window!)
Here's our route:
We went under the Bridge of the Gods, which joins Oregon (on the left below) with Washington (on the right):
It was a "see through" bridge ~
 See the semi truck going over it ~ yikes ~ not appealing to my fear of heights and tall bridges!
There is a beautiful Native American legend about the Bridge of the Gods, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. You can read about it here:  Native American Legends: Bridge of the Gods.
We also passed many of these crude docks, built by the local Native Americans for fishing per the Columbia River Inter-Tribal fishing rights.

Wind surfers and kite boarders also kept us entertained.  It was really a lovely cruise and all too soon it was time to dock.
In fact, we enjoyed it so much that on Monday we took another cruise -- this time on the Portland Spirit along the Willamette River.  And the good news was that Uncle Don was well enough to go along this time!  The wait staff even entertained us with a song or two:
 We left the city behind and motored past the hills, homes, and boats of the Willamette River,  It's hard to see in this picture, but there is a row of houseboats in front of the condos below:
Portland is a city of bridges ~
 And then the city came into view and we returned to the city shores ~
So far I've been telling you about visiting my dad's side of the family, but we also have relatives on our mom's side of the family in Portland!  Stay tuned for another post about those escapades! 

My daughters adopted two adorable kittens this weekend and have been texting me pictures of them!  Brothers -- aren't they sweet?
Here's Sherlock playing with Ash's shoelace, Sisko is in the background.  So far Sherlock seems to be the ring leader, while Sisko is a bit shyer. 
But "Sisko (Cisco) the Kid" did catch a little of "Breakfast at Tiffanys" on TV on this lazy Sunday morning:
So ends my lazy Sunday morning -- time to get busy around here!  Have a wonderful rest-of-the-weekend!

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