The Essence of OR

It’s challenging to attempt to capture the soul of the Pacific Northwest in a few paragraphs, but I am a girl who likes a challenge. We arrived in the evening, so our first glimpse of Portland was the bright skyline framed by the steel of the five bridges. We couldn’t see it very well that night, but the homes surrounding downtown Portland are built into the mountain, reminiscent of San Francisco.

I was struck by how NICE everyone was; their greetings were casual AND sincere. This tendency towards friendliness often slowed things down to a pace that my Bostonian spouse found hmmm, troubling? It was easy to see looking around the city why people were so nice; mild temps, a view of Mt. Hood’s snow-capped peak, hiking trails and the coast just a hop, skip away. It’s a good life out there.

Our trip to the wineries revealed more than just some tremendous Pinot grapes. The hustle bustle of the busy road gave way with just one turn to a sprawling view of green hills and valleys with majestic mountains in the distance. Driving the Columbia River Highway was simply astonishing. The views were sprawling, the winds fierce (enough that when we reached Vista House at Crown Point I begged Steve to stay in the car), and the waterfalls inspiring. Steve and I stood below Latourell Falls (less than half the height of Multnomah, but amazing nonetheless). The experience of being that close (we weren’t ALL that close, but CLOSE enough if you ask me!) and feeling the mist was the invigorating stuff that “happy to be alive!” is made of. Both that falls experience and the sight of Multonmah Falls with its impressing height and postcard perfect image will remain in my mind as a highlight of life. It was that incredible.

The sites, the smells, the pulse of Oregon is unlike anything I have or will likely experience again. Without Auntie C’s bravery to spend some time working out there we might not ever have seen these wonderful things, experienced this place, or gotten to spend that time with her one on one, which really was the best part. She’s amazing that Auntie C; smart, silly, sassy, with a bright future ahead of her. Thanks for this once in a lifetime C.

Of course the weekend away crossed paths with a late winter storm that threatened our departure from Portland back to the Boston area. The flight got off the ground without issue and landed on a darn near clear runway under falling snow in Boston ahead of schedule. I need one martyr moment at the mention of the flight; I am a Goddess among women to have taken the middle seat on both flights. Note to self for future cross country flights in rows of 3 – secure an aisle and window and hope that some poor sap doesn’t take the middle leaving you elbow room and the space to spread yourselves across the entire row. That way you won’t spit nails out of your eyes when your spouse complains that he is uncomfortable while you attempt in vain to claim back the space the very nice gentleman to the right is extending over the armrest he hoarded for the entire flight. He was writing gourmet recipes on his Macbook, things like "Chicken Liver Mousse" which led me to refer to him as "Emeril" in my head as I cursed his big coat and elbow invading 11E. Martyrdom over.

Kiki, Papa, and Auntie k reported that our little girl was a charmer, a good listener, a parrot & a good girl. We were thrilled to share her, but so happy to wake up to her voice calling “mommy” this morning. Until we realized it was before 6:30.

Back to grind.


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