Portland, Oregon: Also, 100th Post!

Portland, Oregon: Also, 100th Post!

As stated in my April goals post, in the last week of April I flew to Portland, OR, to visit the boyfriend on his days off. It was his birthday present to me (my birthday is the 22nd.). It was a wonderful trip, though my second flight there was a less than ideal.

Honestly I had forgotten all about that flight until now. As usual, the night before my travel day, I could not sleep for excitement. I had been at work for eight hours that day, and my flight was just before six in the morning, but I couldn’t sleep. It always happens, so I don’t know why I’m always surprised and frustrated. I was in an aisle seat, which I hate, but can deal with, as flights are only a few hours long and the aisle won’t kill me. But the man in the middle seat was a manspreader, and also snored disgustingly the entire flight, so I couldn’t sleep at all. It was physically painful. Another thing was that the man in the window seat had closed the blind and fallen asleep. He stayed asleep the entire flight, and I missed the bird’s eye view of Mount Hood. But I lived.

I forgot all that as I got in the car with my driver, who made my morning much better. The weather was gorgeous, and it was projected to continue my entire trip. At the hotel and famished, I ordered food and waited for Ben to show. He did, and I saw him first. He joined me, and we shared my flatbread and discovered that he hates figs.

We went upstairs to nap, then walked to a coffee shop, where we sat and talked and drank before walking to Powell’s. DSC_0334Powell’s was a labyrinth of books, some new, some used. I bought the new book composed of a collection of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s inspirational tweets, a used copy of one of my new very-favorite books, The Sun Is Also A Star, and a copy of a book I had begun in another bookstore but never bought, Bittersweet, by the author of one of my other favorites, June. DSC_0341We had a snack at a pizza place catty-corner from Powell’s (Sizzle Pie) and decided to go to the Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden.

The Portland Japanese Garden was stunning! I couldn’t help laughing aloud sometimes because I could not contain my joy. It was a perfect storm; I love to be outside, to travel, in nice weather, with my love. We climbed up many flights of stairs set in the side of a steep hill, which had some pretty plants along it as well. It was the perfect time of year to visit, and the perfect time of day: golden hour. There was even a vista where we could see Mount Hood, finally. The International Rose Test Garden was much less impressive, as the roses are not yet even budding, but still delightful.

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We dined at Kell’s Irish Pub. I had a barley risotto with pesto and butternut squash, which was delicious. Dessert was at a Salt and Straw.

The next day, we picked up a rental car and some Voodoo Doughnuts for our ninety-minute car ride to Cannon Beach.

Upon our arrival, we drove the Pacific Coast Highway for a short time, then walked on the beach for awhile. I found a shark tooth.

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We walked through some stores, and lunched at a pub on the main street. I got some candy at a candy store, and we headed back to Portland, where we dined outside at a German place called Prost. My flight was a redeye that night, and I arrived at Reagan National before noon the next day.

Thank you, love. It was my best birthday yet.us japanese garden

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It’s Spring – Get Outside!

It’s Spring – Get Outside!

As you may have noticed from my post on Monday, spring is here, and I’m very excited about it! My favorite thing about spring (besides the flowers, of course) is the lovely weather. The wonderful thing about spring is that all Tiggers’ bottoms are made out of them – no, wait. The wonderful thing about spring is that it’s so warm outside, but there is still a wintery nip in the air that makes the heat bearable. I’ve put together some ideas for you to enjoy the lovely weather outside. Enjoy!

Go for a walk.

As I said before, one of my very favorite things about spring is the flowers. Why not go outside and enjoy the sight and smell of them on a walk in the sunshine? You can take pictures of them, pick a few to brighten your house, or just stop and smell the roses – literally.

Take up gardening.

If you’re like me – a hands-on lover of nature and of flowers and fruits and vegetables – you may (and this includes me) want to take up gardening. Gardening is true, white magic. You care for and love these tiny seeds, and hopefully, with attention and water and sunlight, they become something bigger and beautiful and beneficial. You get the benefit of being outside, exercise, and communing with the earth. Plus, there is a real, tangible reward for your efforts – something many of us don’t necessarily see with our daily accomplishments.

Go strawberry-picking.

There are so many benefits to this! For one, can you say healthy and delicious snack? For another, you earn your food, which is, depending on the farm you choose, organic and untreated. You literally get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and it’s yummy.

Have a picnic.

In my mind there is nothing more romantic than a big, plush outdoor blanket under a tree, in dappled sunlight, with a delectable spread of food and drink to enjoy with family, friends, and/or a significant other. Bring an instrument and have a sing along. If you’re by a body of water, wear your bathing suit and take a dip when it’s too hot in the sun. Or, if you’re alone, bring a book, or take a nap. The possibilities are endless.

Play.

Before you balk at this suggestion, I would like to remind you that all human beings, regardless of age, need to and do play. As adults we typically no longer play make-believe (except for DnD), but we still play. It’s good for us, and actually essential. Grab a frisbee or a ball and toss it around. Play pickup soccer, basketball, volleyball, or softball. Get out your cornhole set, or play water pong (it’s much more sanitary than traditional beer pong). Don’t be afraid of the word “play” – just do it.