Travel, Food, and Slices of Life


Time Off

Thanks to my sister Laura giving me a special gift to celebrate 60 years, Graham and I enjoyed a brunch cruise on the Willamette River in Portland.We’d been on a dinner cruise a few years ago on the Ohio River out of Huntington, West Virginia with our friends Deb and Milt Hankins, so I sort of expected something similar.Willametterivermap

Not being super familiar with Portland yet we drove in early to give ourselves plenty of time to find parking (2 blocks away for $5)  and maneuver around the Rose Festival which had the riverfront area blocked off for concerts and rides and other fun fair activities.DSC_0058

We made it to the dock in time to chat with the captain who, while chomping down a commercial donut, told us how terrific the food is. (And it was pretty good!)  Missed that donut photo for you, though!DSC_0005

DSC_0002DSC_0035aThe cruise headed upriver, which is south from downtown Portland. The gray overcast cleared and we ended up with beautiful blue skies.  Activity on the river shows how much people enjoy having this playground. DSC_0002a

Development along a riverfront can tell you something about the way a City considered its access to a natural resource. While we did see one industrial business, it is only fair to tell you that most of the commercial and industrial development in Portland is along the Columbia River, not the Willamette.This has left the shorelines free for recreational and residential development for much of what we passed.OMSI (Science Museum) includes a submarine built after WWII

OMSI (Science Museum) includes a submarine built after WWII

I particularly enjoyed the floating houses.


And of course there were plenty of mansions.


As we returned downstream the number of bridges became apparent, from the aged Sellwood Bridge which is past time getting replacedAll bridges are given a safety rating from 1 to 100. The Sellwood Bridge rating is a 2. Would you drive across it?

All bridges are given a safety rating from 1 to 100. The Sellwood Bridge rating is a 2. Would you drive across it?

to the new Portland-Milwaukie light rail bridge which will provide a river crossing for mass transit, bicycles and pedestrians, but not automobiles.dsc_0014

We caused one lift bridge to disrupt traffic,but turned back south(upriver) before the next one.DSC_0052

Both Graham and I noticed some downtown construction features-a rooftop tree planted plaza and solar arrays over one roof.DSC_0064aDSC_0064  There are a lot of things about Portland that are truly admirable! The respect for the natural resource of the Willamette River that flows through the City is one great example.






New Food Adventures

A day or so ago on Facebook there was a “test” you could take to see how many strange and unusual foods you had ever eaten. I had a pretty high score but I noticed that most of the items I have not had a chance to eat were Asian. So it was with a sense of adventure and a short shopping list (4 items) my daughter Lisa and I joined one of my new friends, Jana Brown. She had offered to take us to an Asian market, Uwajimaya,  in Beaverton, one of Portland’s western suburbs, about an hour from our home.

As we were driving there she mentioned she had heard of another market that sold Middle Eastern foods and had never been. Lisa spent a few seconds on her smart phone and soon had identified Barbur World Foods in southwest Portland. We headed there first, not planning to do much shopping.  The joke was on us.IMG_2869

Ha! I can still surprise myself. We saw wonderful vegetables,

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

interesting choices for meat,IMG_2850 a terrific deli where we bought a few things to munch on,IMG_2858 and then aisle and aisles of food. Lots of olives.IMG_2861

lots of pasta
IMG_2868and so much more! They have tasting events and we look forward to going there at least every other month!

Then on toIMG_2871where we ate lunch first. They had a number of tasty dishes at their deli counter and a nice eating area set aside. Then we started with the produce,IMG_2880 moved on to where the fish and meat are (you can buy sushi grade to take home to prepare.)IMG_2879 and then the aisles and aisles of other foods.IMG_2882IMG_2885

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Uwajimaya also has a bookstore as well as clothingIMG_2889, tea pots and other cooking needs,IMG_2887 and gifts.

We brought home a trunk full of food, including a packed cooler. And now my kitchen cupboards and frig are full full full full of new things to try.

The adventure continues!


Some Places Just Make it Easier

Graham went to a professional seminar this past week and I needed to pick him up from the Portland Airport around 9p.m. on Wednesday.  I had no idea about traffic.

I knew on our other trips to and through Portland it seemed that a bit more than one hour would be a safe estimate for driving from our new home to the airport, but I reminded myself that Portland is a large city and you just never know, so I left with plenty of time. And of course Graham’s plane ended up being a bit late so it really didn’t matter anyway.

Well, it took me about an hour to get there. No traffic. Speed limit driving all the way in, even within the city where the highways go off and merge on hither and thither and I realize in time I will know it well and not have to depend on my GPS.portland at night

When I entered the ramp for the short term parking there was an electronic sign that said there were so many spaces available on level 4 and so many more spaces available on level 6. Wow.

On level 4, as I drove down the lane, there was an electronic sign that told me how many vacant spaces each row had, 11 here, 9 there, 12 here. As I drove down a row I noticed over each space was a light. Red over a parked car. Green over an empty space.airport Octb


Some places just make it easier.