Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why Not?

Beginning in 1998, we have taken an anniversary trip (almost) every year with our friends Bob and Donna.  When we first met them we discovered we had way too much in common to not become friends.  Not only did we each have 4 children...basically the same ages, we were also married the same month apart.  The similarities go far beyond sharing an anniversary year... it was inevitable that we would be friends, for many, many years.

On our 20th anniversary we started this tradition with a trip to Asheville, NC.  We laughed, we explored the area, we narrowly avoided being sideswiped on the freeway in Atlanta, we ate, we drank Dom Perignon, we listened to TJ slam the screen door multiple times very early in the morning while we tried to sleep in, we got to know each other much better and we vowed to do it again...and again.  Some years we only went as far as another city in Georgia, some years we visited new cities in the U.S., a few times we visited the other couple at their home and some years we travelled to foreign countries.  We have missed a few years... but not many.  In the years we did not take a special trip we would see each other at one of our kids' weddings or just a random visit and count it as our anniversary trip.

17 years ago
Who are these youngsters?
This year we decided to visit Portland, Oregon.  Why, you ask?  Why not!  Neither of us had been to Portland and it seemed like a good place to visit.  I really did not expect Oregon to be so beautiful! I don't know what I expected.  Bob and Donna arrived five days before we did and tempted tortured me with their beautiful pictures.  It only made me look more forward to the visit.

Tea rose at the International Test Rose Garden in Portland, Or 
and the theme of the trip!
We began and ended the trip looking at mother nature's beauty.  When you visit some cities you are there to see the city.  A trip to Portland is multi-dimensional.  The city has plenty to offer but outside the city there are amazing things to do and see in every direction!  Why not do our best to do it all?!  My introduction to Portland was a yummy lunch followed by a walk through the International Test Rose Garden.  The sun popped through the clouds at this point and the roses were stunning!

I could not take enough pictures, they were absolutely beautiful!
Our second day was spent outside again!  We explored the Columbia River Gorge and in spite of the typical northwest weather (fog, clouds and drizzle) we enjoyed the waterfalls and the scenic drive along the Columbia River.  I can just imagine how breathtaking it would all be on a clear day.  We hiked a bit to see some of the falls and deluded ourselves into thinking our exertion would justify all of the delicious food, beer and wine we found in the area!

On a clear day... we could have seen forever!
Yes, we hiked up to the bridge, why not?
That night we had dinner with my niece, her husband and the son of some friends back in Columbus.  I was expecting a nice table for 7 and found out we would be a party of 11!  Who knew we would also see another couple from Columbus and their daughter and son-in-law!  They were in the area, so why not get together?  It turned out to be quite the dinner!  Visiting everyone at a table of 11 is a challenge, so I got to have my niece and her husband all to myself and loved it!  I couldn't help but think as we dined with the newlyweds that I hope someday along their road they meet another couple like we did and form a friendship that survives time and distance and continues to grow for many years.

Saturday was the rainy day.  How does one spend a rainy day in Portland?  Wine tasting... why not?  Our driver, Roberto, chauffeured us to the Willamette Valley and we did our best to visit the most scenic wineries and taste some delicious pinot noirs and pinot gris.  It was tough work but we were up to the challenge!

Glad we all brought our rain jackets!

Beautiful....even in crappy weather!
That night we gave our dedicated driver a break and decided to stay home and eat and drink so he could participate.  It was a good idea but as "they" say, no good deed goes unpunished.  We played Euchre, snacked, drank and diligently did the dishes and started the dishwasher.  We were all fading and thinking about going to bed.  I went into the kitchen to get some water and looked down and my brain could not process what I was seeing.  A very large mass of white stuff on the floor....apparently coming out of the dishwasher!  All hands on deck!  Guess what happens when you put dish soap in the dishwasher instead of dishwasher soap?  BUBBLES!!!  Lots of bubbles!  We used every dry towel, a few sheets, bailed lots of bubbles and water out of the dishwasher, mopped and mopped, bailed and bailed, and watched very carefully when we restarted the machine.  None of us were very tired after beating down the bubbles.  We really should have gone out and let someone else do the dishes!  At least we all had a good laugh before bed!

Our last day started with donuts and ended with a sunset on the beach.  One of the most perfect days ever!  How could it not be with two of my favorite things in life?  I seldom indulge in donuts anymore because I can't stop at just one and more than one is just a road to Weight Watchers.  I do make exceptions and Blue Star donuts is an exception.  Their donuts are not just your garden variety donuts.  They have flavors like Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Buttermilk Old Fashioned, Real Maple and Bacon,  Lemon and Lime Curd to name a few.  I wanted one of each!  We ordered about 10 and shared them all so we could try the interesing flavors, why not?! The perfect way to start the day.
They sit and wait...calling my name! 
After we devoured the donuts, we walked them off at the Portland Sunday market before we headed to the coast with high hopes.  We at lunch at a brew pub and were seranaded by local sea lions, which are a town menace but great for tourists armed with cameras.
They are so LOUD!
Lunch with a view...and purple beer!
Next stop....the Pacific coast!  I expected it would be lovely and I was not wrong.  Again, the weather was not perfect but it was not bad either.  All day there was just enough blue in the sky to give us hope.  We timed our trip so we would end up at the coast in time to do a little exploring and end the day with sunset before we had to go.  I was beginning to feel like I had drug everyone on a wild goose chase in hopes of the perfect sunset that was obviously not going to happen judging by the cloud cover.  But we were so close... why not?  We were rewarded with some photo worthy vistas along the drive.
There were glimmers of hope on the horizon

And then there was just haze and clouds....
Haystack Rock is worth the drive alone.  We got lucky and it was low tide so we could walk right up to it which I think made the view even better!  I probably took 50 pictures at Haystack Rock.  It is hard to pick the best ones to share.  I was the paparazzi and the rock was the celebrity!  You know it is something to marvel when at sunset there are photographers lined up with cameras mounted on tripods waiting for the magic.  I only wish I had their knowledge....and equipment.
Aren't they cute?
So without further adieu
 Anatomy of a Sunset

The clouds are breaking, I have hope....

See?  Just wait!

Hang on, I see blue sky!  Ignore that cloud bank on the horizon.

This is our album cover photo, Odd Man Out.

I am highly encouraged by this sky!
 The low tide really was a photographer's blessing!

They are wondering if I "really" am going to wait for sunset...
or can we go now?
"yes...and no"

It's coming.....

Getting better!

Good things come to those who wait!

Thanks for waiting!
Happy37 years!

Perfect end to the perfect day!

It was a lovely evening and worth the wait....
at least for me!

1 comment:

TJ Mahoney said...

How can I not love this one!

Queue up the " Memories" music...

Glad I was there.

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