Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Downtown Portland

Start walking!

...check out the buildings, get lunch from a food truck, try on some Doc Martens, scan floors and floors of books and then buy a few, stroll the waterfront, try a restaurant, feed the ducks, people watch, there are so many ways to fill a day in Portland!

The gentleman who checked us in at the Marriott Hotel said he spent his
entire first year in the city trying a new food truck every day for lunch!

It is so easy to get lost in Powell's from the sheer size
 of the building and the quantity of books on display.

Doc Martens - even come in floral, who knew?

Beautiful path around the waterfront lined with cafes and ice cream shops and this view.

Cool way to promote and take care of electric cars in the city.

What is their story and are they possibly related?

Love the symmetry of fire escapes.

Voodoo donuts, seemed that everyone in town was carrying a pink box,
including fellow passengers on our flight back to San Diego.

Don't forget to look up at all the old buildings.

Good-bye Portland,

a city worth exploring....

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Too Pretty...

I love this shower curtain.

It was almost too pretty to be hidden away in the bathroom.

Perhaps spread out as a quilt on the bed? Tapestry on the wall? Rug on the floor?

But then it would have to compete with the rest of our hotel room in Pacific City, Oregon, with this view of Haystack Rock.

And that wouldn't be fair either.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Oregon Coast

So different than what we experience in San Diego.

Less crowded, primitive, often bordered by trees and thick forests, haystacks appear in the distance when the fog lifts.

327-foot-high Haystack Rock in Pacific City

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Super Bloom in Anza-Borrego

In mid-March we headed to the desert to see the Super Bloom, which was getting a mass of publicity in the newspaper and on tv.

After a wet winter, 7 inches of rain in the desert, and many years of drought ---- the wildflowers were out in abundance.

Even though we got up at 6 am to hit the road, there were many visitors that beat us to it.

Which is why these first shots are of people taking pictures of the flowers that we were eager to see.

Enough of that, let's check out the blooms.


There was also an abundance of caterpillars. 
Big Ones!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Dutch Birthday Celebrations

Today I am featuring a guest post from my college friend Molly, who met her future husband at a bike race in the desert, the Furnace Creek 508. He is Dutch, so she ended up in The Netherlands and is now a naturalized citizen of that country. Over the years I have received amazing pictures and heard funny stories about life overseas, here is just one:

Last weekend I had back-to-back 50th birthday parties, one on Friday night and one on Saturday night. Over here 50th birthday parties are a big thing. People regularly rent or borrow mannequins (picture the windows of Nordstroms) and set the mannequin in the honoree's front yard, specially dressed in clothes that are related to the relationship of the people setting the mannequin and the honoree, in our case it was running clothes.  

We aim to make our mannequin a spitting image of the honoree, complete with wig and a sort of Halloween-looking mask, except it is a grandma-sort of person. It is set in the birthday person’s front yard, usually accompanied by a rhyming story, written on a large white poster board or plywood that is painted white or an old sheet. 

This is all done the evening before the honoree turns 50. Then afterwards you are invited into the honoree's house for 'a borrel' or a drink, which can turn into a drink and munchies or if you are lucky, a few drinks and lots of snacks. 

Their front yard when Molly celebrated the Big 4-0!

Oil Balls and Sparkling Wine - Molly's signature dish!

I am part of a group of ladies who attempt to run together, about 14 or so in total. And the two gals who had 50th birthdays one day apart are both a twin, and not of each other!  Strange, wouldn’t you agree? Anyway, Ilse has a twin brother Casper, and Irma has a twin sister Yvon. Both Ilse and Irma have kids about the same age, so for two evenings we partied, at different locations, with many of the same people. It was pretty funny. Most of the people did very little on the Sunday after the two parties since both parties lasted until 1 or 2 in the morning! Monday I picked up the mannequins to return them to where I rented them from, and ran into others picking up their mannequins doing the same thing.  I've seen some people with as many as 7 or 8 mannequins in their front yards.
By the way, when I turned 50, three of my neighbors dressed up as the Supreme's and sang during my party in our back yard, that is how crazy people can be. It was hilarious. 

And something else I started doing when a few of our neighbors started turning 40 and 50 was to help them celebrate their 'old year's day' or the day before they turned 40 or 50, by baking them 'oliebollen' which translates literally into oil balls.  They are sort of like donuts. The Dutch eat them during New Years eve, so I applied that thought to the eve of their big birthday. I try to bake oliebollen and bring a bottle of prosecco and some plastic champagne glasses, I’m about ½ way through our group of neighbors turning 40 and 50!