Oregon, Portland

Portland, Japanese Gardens, Day 3

Monday was a day for exploring. I had been to the Portland Japanese Garden before, but Susanne had not, and I sure did not mind revisiting that wonderful place. However, I decided that I could no longer stand my hair so first we got that taken care of. After the Japanese Garden we went to Oblation Papers and Press and Dick Blick’s, and of course another trip to Powell’s. I took advantage of not having to pay sales tax or shipping for a few items at Blick’s, but I was good only because I did not have much room in my luggage.

^^^View from the room

^^Haircut

^^^Roses at the International Rose Test Garden

View of downtown Portland and Mount Hood in the distance from the Japanese Gardens

^^^”Forest of Dreams: Ainu and Native American Woodcarving” exhibition. This “Statue of Fusa Sugimura,” by Takeki Fujito, was carved from one piece of wood including the base.

^^^Susanne

^^^iris

^^^koi

^^^So much here is about shadows and light

^^^A bite to eat and tea at the Umami Cafe

Oregon, Portland

Portland, June 2019, Days 1 & 2

My friend Susanne and I headed out to Oregon on June 22 to attend the Focus on Book Arts conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove. We decided to spend a few days in Portland first. We got out there early and took the MAX light rail line and walked the rest of the way to a sweet AirBNB in northeast Portland on the edge of the Mississippi Arts District, something I will not do with heavy luggage again, although I would stay there again. The neighborhood was full of Craftsman houses and creative gardens and the historic Peninsula Park Rose Garden was only a block or two away.

We had heard of an awesome store named Cargo, so we called a Lyft and went shopping on Saturday afternoon. While we were there, we bought snacks and take-out dinner from the Japanese deli within, called Giraffe, and then drank a smoked marzen and pear cider at the brewpub next door, Hair of the Dog.

^^^Entrance to Cargo

^^^Happy Susanne in front of Cargo

The next morning we walked to a coffee shop for bagels and caffeine, then strolled around this historic park:

^^^Peninsula Park Rose Garden

My friend Cat picked us up from our AirBNB at 11 and we ate brunch at Gravy, then walked around on Mississippi Avenue.

^^^Lovely dying tree in front of our AirBNB

^^^Mississippi Avenue sidewalk

^^^Cat and I at Gravy


^^^Cat, Susanne and I somewhere on Mississippi Ave.

^^^Susanne, Donut Bitch, in front of Blue Star Donuts.

Cat dropped us off at McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel, where we dumped our luggage and immediately went to Powell’s City of Books, our happy place.

^^^The Crystal Hotel

^^^The Gillian Welch “Revelator” room

It’s kind of funny that we got the Gillian Welch room since the one concert that I attended with my friend Cat was a Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings show.


^^^”TriPPPy” Cider at Al’s Den in the basement of the Crystal Hotel, and the last photo with long hair.

We ate take-out from the Whole Foods deli across the street the rest of the time we were in Portland. I don’t usually shop at Whole Foods, but this time I was thankful that it was next door. Plus we had all those damned doughnuts to eat. It was just terrible, forcing me to eat doughnuts like that. I got a chocolate donut with CBD and the server seemed really concerned that I might not know what CBD is. Uh, I feel like I am pummeled with information with CBD constantly, so I am not that out of touch, thanks anyway, now for your own safety, remove your body from between me and that doughnut.

Oregon, Portland

Portland for a Day, June 26, 2017

When Susanne dropped me off at the Crystal Hotel in Portland on Sunday evening on her merry way south, I wanted to go out. I really did. But I was so tired, and it was so hot outside and the room was so cool and comfortable. So I let myself collapse on the bed with a copy of Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn, with an occasional peep out of my window to see the street life below.

This time my room was “Wrecking Ball” by Emmylou Harris, which is funny because Emmylou is an alumna of UNCG, where I went to college and now work. Each room at the Crystal is decorated on the theme of a song by an artist who has performed at the Crystal Ballroom.

I had one day to spend in Portland. Going to Powell’s Books is a requirement for me, so after breakfast in the Zeus Cafe downstairs, I headed there for a couple of head-swimming hours.

I decided to take public transit out to Washington Park to see the Portland Japanese Garden that afternoon. It’s a tad pricey at $14.95 adult admission, but well worth it on a mild sunny day. I wandered up and down the paths for a few hours, sitting occasionally on a shaded bench listening to a water feature or watching the koi.


When I returned, I drank a Crystal Terminator Stout on the sidewalk besides Ringler’s Annex (also part of the Crystal), and then I took advantage of the saltwater soaking pool in the basement for the first time. I will never skip this again. I wish I could go back in time and do it the two times I stayed here before. Then I went to Al’s Den (also part of the Crystal), and had a bite to eat while listening to an Irish band. In other words, I ate and drank everything during my day in Portland at the Crystal, and I was happy with that. I heartily recommend it, unless city noise really bothers you (there are earplugs), or you just can’t survive without a TV, or sharing a bathroom in the hallway is extremely objectionable to you (they are clean and I’ve never had a problem with it).

Montana/PNW trip, Oregon, Portland

Bend, Sisters, Portland, home.


^^^The Three Sisters

After the Painted Hills, we drove through an area where a lot of the forest had been burned by the wildfires last year. It was beautiful in its own way and I wish that I had stopped to take photos, but at this point I was ready to experience the area without a camera and I was driving to give Sandy a break.

We decided to stay in a cheap motel in Bend, the Rainbow Motel. It was a good value and clean, but there was a slight funky smell that I didn’t like but was able to get past. At least it didn’t set my allergies off. We went downtown and walked around a bit before eating at the Pines Tavern, beside a couple of large pines that grew through the roof of the restaurant. We were definitely winding down.

The next day we needed to return the car by 6:30 p.m. We stopped in Sisters and spent a few hours wandering around and having lunch, visiting a local weaver’s shop and buying some more clothes. I will need to make some clothing donations to Goodwill after this trip, but to be honest, most of my clothes came from thrift shops to begin with so the worn out ones will show up in some cloth woven squares.

We drove on to Portland, dropped our luggage off at the Crystal Hotel, and Sandy got to drive in rush hour Portland traffic. We turned in the car at 6:27 p.m. and then took the train back downtown and spent a couple of hours at Powell’s Books. We didn’t eat out – we were tired and I had a lot of really good snacks with us that we didn’t have room to take home in our luggage.

The Crystal Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and each of its rooms is decorated with the theme of a song by an artist that has played at the Crystal Ballroom. Our room was “Long Haired Child” by Devendra Banhart. I’ll probably stay there every time I go to Portland because I like being so close to Powell’s and the TriMet light rail system.

The next day we were beginning to feel the burn to our checking accounts and our hips so we walked around downtown then took the train to Washington Park, then a bus to the Rose Garden, which had free admission. We were there during the Rose Festival and even though I am not wild about formal gardens I have to say that the variety of roses were stunning, as well as the view of downtown Portland.


^^^I apologize but I had to laugh at this sign in Chinatown.



Two more visits to Powell’s Books (God, how I love that place) snagged me several books from my list, mostly on collage and fiber art. We ate pasta and seafood (but no crawfish) at Jake’s Famous Crawfish that night. We were clearly ready to go home, which means that we traveled for exactly the right amount of time.


Once again, we were assigned pre-check at the airport. Sandy took some nice photos of the mountains from the plane. Everything went great until we cranked up the car in Raleigh and the check engine light came on and the engine was running a bit rough. It was Saturday night on Memorial Day weekend so we pushed on home although it made Sandy quite unhappy. Later we replaced a coil and a spark plug. The cats were happy to see us but not stressed out at all. Thank you, Susanne!

It was a wonderful trip, and I came back with lots of ideas of where I’d like to visit the next time we go to Montana and Oregon.

Cannon Beach, Oregon, Portland, tapestry, weaving

We’ll be back

I didn’t do any serious weaving while we were at Pam’s. I played around with color combinations and followed along with her lessons with Susanne, which were very helpful to me too, since I never received any formal training in tapestry. I sketched an idea for another small tree tapestry and came home with many more ideas on the tree theme. I left my “98% Water” tapestry there and Pam is going to mount it for display for me – she is a very kind mentor and friend indeed. On Sunday morning, we packed up our things and waved a sad goodbye to her, with plans already percolating to come back in 2016.

We returned the Beetle to the car rental place, and they joked about charging 25 cents per pine needle stuck to the car. Then we took the train from the airport to downtown Portland, where we checked into the Crystal Hotel. Each room had been decorated with the theme of a song by a singer or band who had performed at the Crystal Ballroom. It seemed as if they knew something about our personalities. Susanne was in Gogol Bordello’s “Wonderlust King” room. I was in Silversun Pickups’ “Lazy Eye” room, with the theme of waiting, something that comes up a lot in my journaling. We loved this historic hotel in the heart of Portland.



We went to Powell’s City of Books, of course, and to Sizzle Pie for slices of pizza with names like “New Maps from Hell.” Their motto was “Death to False Pizza.”

We stood in line at Voodoo Doughnuts for incredible sugar highs.


And, what the hell is this bug that we saw on a Portland sidewalk? It was about an inch and a half long.

Then we got up at 3:30 a.m., caught a plane home, and we are here now.

Oregon, Portland, Wildflowers

Portland and on the way to Cannon Beach

I stayed in an Aloft hotel on Wednesday night, which I specifically chose for its proximity to the light rail system station so that I could explore on my own. My brain doesn’t function when I am sleep-deprived, and my sleep gauge was on red from several nights of anticipatory anxiety. I checked in around 3:00 that afternoon, spent two hours dithering over where to go that night despite researching it online beforehand, then gave in to a nap with the idea that I’d wake up in time to take the train downtown and hang around Powell’s for a couple of hours. I remember giving myself permission. Then I woke up at 9:30. So I skipped dinner, gave in to exhaustion and slept until 4 a.m.

A Benson Bubbler, a Portland kinda thing

At 6 a.m. I was on the train downtown with Voodoo Doughnuts as my chosen destination. I had just enough time to have a maple bacon doughnut, a cup of coffee, and to take the train back to meet Jeanne for my ride to Cannon Beach on Thursday morning.

We rode around a bit until Costco opened, picked up some food and drinks for the retreat, then headed to Cannon Beach. We stopped at this rest area in Clatsop State Forest for a little picnic lunch, and enjoyed the wildflowers on a nearby trail.

Marvelous meals, Oregon, Portland, Wonderfulness

On a Particular … Day

When I arrived in Portland, Oregon on the evening of August 21, I was met by my ray of sunshine friend, Cat. We went to her beau’s place, where he grilled succulent wild king salmon for us in the courtyard of his Pearl District apartment building. We relaxed with wine outside while he serenaded us on his acoustic guitar. A sweet, easy-going, handsome guy who can sing and cook? Go, Cat!

She took me to a house where I rented a room via AirBnB – a first for me. It was comfortable and clean, and I amused myself early in the morning by returning their escaped chickens to their fenced back yard and walking around a cute neighborhood. The poem above was posted in front of a creative front yard across the street, and it was so spot on for my journey here and beyond that I’ve decided to use it. I don’t know the poet’s name. I googled the words and received no results. M, who lives on N. Arlington St. in Portland, I am grateful for your beautiful words. Here they are, since they are hard to read in the photo.

On a Particular … Day

The light awoke the morning, silently
So fresh was the air, like a breath taken from the stars
An eastern horizon was like a memory
What beholds a given day, an hour, a moment
With the turning…so goes everything
A winding path, to the Sea, A gift left unopened, A footprint like no other and a flower, always a touch of beauty

M…

Then Cat and Matt picked me up and we went to Alberta St. for breakfast. Our first choice, The Tin Shed, was too busy so we ate at Halser’s. I had potato pancakes, and we drank beverages (Cat has steamed soy milk – she is so good!) and Matt treated us.

As it went with my previous trip to Portland, I had very little time to explore it. Next time I’d like to shop at some of the eclectic shops on Alberta St. Pam, my retreat hostess, picked me up and we picked up Linda at the airport, and we were whisked away to Pam’s cabin just south of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Oregon, Portland

Side trip to Portland

We decided that we would rather pay for a hotel room in Portland on Sunday night instead of taking a red-eye flight after the conference was over. I found a good deal for the Benson Hotel, a gorgeous old hotel in downtown, and Judy was kind enough to drop us off there. Unfortunately, Delta moved our afternoon flight back so that we had to leave for the airport at 10 a.m., so our time frame was not ideal for sightseeing. We made the most of it though, with a fabulous seafood meal at Jake’s Famous Crawfish, a long visit to Powell’s City of Books, a walk along the river at dawn, breakfast at a diner in the Pearl District, and a quick stop at a beautiful fountain park.

We had Dungeness crab stuffed salmon and a halibut/salmon/mushroom/hazelnut creamy hash that was to DIE FOR.

Oh. My. God. Part of the weaving book section^

Sunrise from our 11th floor hotel room window. Didn’t I do good – I wasn’t afraid of the elevator.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen a “sun dog.”

A rare good photo of me, thanks to Susanne. Our airport shuttle bus driver stopped here briefly to let us experience this wonderful park. We have to go back so we can play longer!

Seriously, Sandy and I are considering a move to the Pacific Northwest after he gets to retirement age (less than ten years away) and if we can find an affordable place to live near a nice town or city. Susanne is ready to go too! I think that Forest Grove would be a wonderful place to live, just from the few days we spent there. Of course, near Seattle would be wonderful too.