I send a heartfelt apology to all the devout blog followers out there in the blogosphere. I have fallen drastically behind in my postings. We've been so busy having so much fun lately, that I haven't made time to sit in front of the computer for hours on end. But here I am now with some down time, a power source, and a good internet connection so here we go . . . I'm backdating the posts for an accurate time-line of the events.
We spent a wonderful (albeit wet) week in Oregon. Our first stop was Portland, where we hit up another of George's cousins for a nice dry place to stay. We stayed with Will and Mara in their beautiful house for 4 days while we explored Portland. One day we beat the rain and rode our bikes into downtown in search of Portland's treasures.
We found all kinds of treats including the best hot chocolate in town. We sampled the sweet hot chocolate, dark hot chocolate, and their mocha. Chocolate love!
We went all out at this cafe and ordered some tasty pastries too; a good reward for a long bike ride.
I loved this statue of a mama and baby elephant.
And of course we spent several hours in Powell's Books - one square block of books!
Another day, Will took us to the Japanese Garden - a tranquil, verdant, oasis in the city.
Adalaya has ranked this garden as one of her favorite places that we've visited. It was definitely a magical place.
The Japanese theme continued throughout the weekend. Chef Will was avidly practicing his Japanese before leaving for a 4 month trip to Japan where he would be working in a world-renown restaurant. After we visited the Japanese garden, we all went out to eat at Bamboo Sushi that evening. We let Will order for us and we sampled all kinds of delicacies including sushi, nigiri, urchin roe, and some really smooth sake. It was a great night of feasting and fun with family.
If you haven't noticed, we are eating our way across the country, but it has gotten more decadent since we hit the west coast! In the morning we went to the Portland Farmer's Market for more fantastic food. One vendor had a table full of different types of mushrooms; a definite sign that we're in the Pacific Northwest.
Portland is probably the "greenest" city in the nation, and it's not because of all the rain. It is extremely bike friendly - there are miles and miles of well-marked and heavily used bike lanes and bike paths which make getting around the city on a bike quite pleasant. They also have added a 3rd tier of waste disposal. Most cities now have trash and recycling pick-up, but Portland also has a weekly compost pick-up! Throughout the park on the day of the Farmer's Market you had 3 options if you needed to throw something away: trash, recycle, or compost. Let the rest of the country take note!
We had a great time visiting Portland. It was so nice to get to spend time with Will and Mara. Good luck in Japan, Will! And Mara, I hope your students behave!