Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 5 - Portland trip

After a very challenging "sleep" with one coughing sicko we left Portland around 10am and drove north toward our Wednesday destination of Ocean Shores, Washington. It was an uneventful drive that included a shoe shopping stop in Seaside and a second stop in Warrenton to purchase bedding.

Solar powered road construction signal.

In Astoria we spotted a Holland America cruise ship anchored and made the decision to carry on across the 6.6km Astoria-Megler Bridge to Washington. It is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America and was littered with dead birds...why!!

After making another stop in South Bend for caffeine (and to view the world's largest oyster shell) our sicko was feeling much better (due to massive amounts of drugs).

Elixir Espresso in South Bend

Along the way we passed through Arctic, Cosmopolis and Aberdeen before arriving in Ocean Shores, Washington where we connected with Nicole at the Comfort Inn. Recognizing the special qualities of our sisterhood, she upgraded us to a sea view room with balcony. We breathed a sigh of relief, inhaled a bottle of wine, recognized the improved health of our youngest sister and appreciated a magical sunset!

At "Alec's By the Sea" we shared a Seafood Saute, salads and fish & chips...with a sampling of Washington Merlot. Fully sated we returned to our room to enjoy the sea breezes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 4 - Portland trip

Oh dear! Tara woke up with a horrible cold. She didn't want to miss anything so she soldiered on, keeping up with us as we explored more of Portland.

Our first stop was at the Aerial Tram station where we boarded a tram car that holds 79 people and travels 3300 linear feet during a four minute rise to Marquam Hill, also known as PILL HILL because it is home to several hospitals and a medical university.

View from the top

Shriner's Hospital sculpture

After descending we hopped on the MAX train for the first leg of a trip to the Alberta District. Enroute we decided to stop at a Fred Meyer for medical supplies (i.e.) kleenex, Dayquil, lozenges. Next adventure included a bus trip (our first) over to Alberta Street where we discovered FUEL and some excellent lunch food!

Turkey pesto panini, curry bowl and burger!

Alberta Street is very colourful with lots of funky shops and eateries....

...and murals.

A quick bus trip took us to Lloyd Centre and a bit more shopping
before we finally used two MAX lines to return to the Hotel.

Another dinner at Chez Elmer.

Tara is fully medicated and in bed.
Dorothy and I have our ear plugs ready!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 3 - Portland trip

Whew!! It was a shopping morning. 
We drove over to the Troutdale Outlet Mall 
and wandered through every store in search of bargains.

Some of the purchases.

This afternoon we rested before tackling the MAX transit system
to travel from our Hotel in the north to Clackamus Town Centre in the south.
Our cousin Dan picked us up and took us to his home for dinner.
We met his wife and enjoyed a delicious meal.

Dan on his 2003 Harley.

Apple pastry flowers with whipped cream for dessert.

Sculpture at the Rose Quarter MAX station.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Day 2-Portland trip

Yesterday's adventures included driving along the I-5 with the emergency brake ON!...and taking a short detour through Kalama in search of a Chevron gas station. Enroute we saw the tallest totem pole in the world...but no Chevron station!

We arrived at the hotel in Portland around 5pm and wandered down the street to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Lights out by 10pm and we all had restless sleeps.

Up early (thanks to the youngest sister) at 6:30am!! The hotel includes decent breakfast offerings so we enjoyed scrambled eggs, sausages, potatoes, toast, porridge, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice and coffee.
Back in the room at 7:10 we looked at each other and tried to decide how we would spend the next four hours until anything opened on a Sunday morning! Our first attempt at riding on the MAX system successfully filled the gap.

MAX mosaic map

After failure to  identify the correct exits, we enjoyed a scenic tour across the Willamette River to California. Disembarking, we were thrilled to spot a "Honey Bucket" in close proximity. Taking turns, we managed to gather again on the platform and reverse direction on the next train.

Our first stop led us to Voodoo Donuts...we sampled maple bacon donuts after a half hour wait in line.

The half hour line-up

Voodoo chandeliers

Look at those beautiful maple bacon donuts!!

Didgeridou with the drums at Portland's Saturday Market...on Sunday!

The Market yielded treasures as we wandered along the rows of artisan wares...everything from jewelry to doggie treats, many fantastic eateries and a variety of musical styles.

We walked back along the bridge to capture this great sign.

Back on Burnside we discovered Powell's City of Books. It was totally overwhelming! Tara wanted to buy an atlas but remembered that she would have to carry it back to the hotel! I finally convinced them that I was old (an Honoured Citizen in the USA) and needed to sit down for a coffee rest!

They allowed me a 22 minute break before we sauntered (at break neck speed) to Buffalo's which featured new and recycled clothing. From there we trekked to TJ-Max for an endless search through racks of bras, shoes and other unnecessary items. Once again there was a reality check when one of the sisters wanted to buy several full sets of bedding that weighed several hundred pounds and she was reminded that she would have to carry them back to the hotel on the MAX line!

Returning to the hotel, like seasoned pros, we picked up a delicious bottle of red wine, several bags of  nutritious chips and resigned ourselves to wait for the lunar eclipse...a specially ordered event for my sister's 60th birthday!! More later.

After a delicious meal at Chez Elmer, with handsome young Erik(a Texan) as our server, we searched the skies again for a lunar eclipse...and...there it was!

The finale ...60 years with my special sister!

The 60th birthday trip

Ready to head south!

Interesting sculpture at the border crossing

Dinner at Burrito's

Our view after a sleep deprived night!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


The temperature soared to over 20 degrees this morning during our walk. 
The lake was calm and there was just a slight breeze. 

The lake bottom is cracked and shows signs of exploration.

Soon after we returned home the winds picked up and the skies darkened.
Heavy rain drops are dotting our deck.
Leaves are flying.
Lentil/sausage soup for must be Fall!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pelicans and shrinking lake

Using my Canon Power Shot with a 20x optical zoom, 
I attempted to photographh this group of pelicans. 
They were about 1km away!

The lake is still shrinking every day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fall colours

The mystery branch

One branch of the maple tree decided that Fall had arrived!

Will this be the last line of laundry before winter?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Fall days

These early days of fall hold a certain magic
as the lake level continues to drop.

The old gas pump on the wharf waiting for next year.

One of three boats still tied up at the wharf.
The owners will have difficulty removing it at the waterless boat launch!

Shallow, soupy water under the wharf.

There are still several herons lurking around,
as well ducks and gulls but the pelicans had disappeared this morning.

Meanwhile at home we still enjoy visits from
the resident doe and her fawn.
She didn't eat my geraniums this time!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

sick and tired...

This weekend our daughter and son-in-law were visiting from Vancouver with our 6 year old grandson. On Saturday we had to prepare the house for 2 showings and vacate for three hours. Toys were stashed, luggage hidden, beds remade and bathrooms were cleaned in preparation for the showings.

When we returned there was a request by one of the viewing realtors for a second visit on Sunday morning. Once again everyone pitched in with de-cluttering, leaving the house by 9:30am on Sunday, ahead of the 10:00 am revisit.

We decided to share breakfast at the Prestige Inn where we waited 45 minutes for delivery of mediocre food to the table. After a walk to the wharf we returned home and discovered a message was waiting to say that the people changed their minds and decided not to take a second look at the house. When did they make this decision? If they had given us enough notice we wouldn't have inconvenienced our house guests and spent money on a so-so breakfast!!

I am sick and tired of trying to sell this house! Last week there were cigarette butts outside the front door! I am tired of rude and inconsiderate people! If the house doesn't sell by the end of October ..that's it! We will live out the rest of our days here!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What a day!

What a day we had today!
There were two house showings scheduled
so we all had to pack up and leave for three hours.

After lunch we visited the Art Gallery.

Augie was awed by the installation on display at the gallery.

Then we went to the skate park where Augie demonstrated his scooter skills.

From the skate park to the ball diamond where Augie showed us 
how to successfully slam the ball and run the bases!

Chris and John trying to locate the missing ball!

Back home we had a surprise visit from Uncle Adrian and his friends Blair & Kat.
Then it was time for some basketball before dinner.

We were all in bed by 9:00pm!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Clear and cool

The smoke has cleared and the air is much cooler.

It was nine degrees this morning and the furnace came on!
That is not allowed until October.

A family of four otters was playing and fishing at the wharf yesterday.
Honestly...they were there!!

Waiting to cross the train tracks... always a chance to view the gallery of graffiti
that travels across our country.