Okay, catching you up…. After my months in California, I flew to Portland, Oregon to see my son Paul, his daughter, Dominique and to meet Paul’s girlfriend, Sam.
It had been an insanely long time since I’d seen Paul and I could barely stop hugging him! Sam took this picture.
I spent a couple weeks at his place in Vancouver, Washington, just over the river from Portland.
Paul, Sam and I went out one day to see St. John’s Bridge, which is a real beauty. It traverses the Willamette River. I love bridges, they amaze me. Not only is the construction a great feat of engineering, but they can so often be beautiful. I had every intention of bringing my camera, but forgot it. As I’ve said before in this blog, when I’m with family, I rarely think of taking pictures. I’m enjoying my time with them so much I just don’t think of whipping out a camera and snapping shots. It just, plain doesn’t occur to me. Anyway, these first photos were taken with my phone…. better than nothing, I guess!
We were underneath the bridge the entire time. It’s really tall – it has two 400 ft. (120 m) towers and a 205 ft. (62 m) navigational clearance.
I don’t know what this sign was a part of, but I surely do like it.
I also went to Fort Vancouver, a 19th century fur trading post. I think my favorite part of the whole thing was the flower garden.
I do love sunflowers.
The rest of the fort was interesting, but none of my photos were really all that great. I think I just had more interest in photographing the flowers! But another part of the fort had old military housing that was quite beautiful. One was the Marshall House (of the Marshall Plan fame) that I took a brief tour of.
Inside I spotted this case which had an original newspaper announcing the death of President Lincoln. I asked the docent about it and she said when they were refurbishing the house, they found it inside one of the attic walls!
As I said, I also saw my granddaughter, Dominique. She’s as sweet and smart and funny as ever. One day Paul, Dom, my sister, Georgia and I went to OMSI – the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. That morning I’d asked Dom what she wanted to do while we were all together. She said, “Well, I know where I’d like to go, but it’s sort of expensive.” I asked where it was and she said OMSI. All three adults in the group jumped for joy – “Yes!! What a great idea!!” That ‘the kid’ in the group was the one to suggest a science museum speaks volumes to her great inquisitive nature.
There was a robot exhibition going on. Really fun and interesting.
There was a great hands-on area – a table with loads of sand and running water. It helped demonstrate how erosion occurs. Fun for all of us!
This was really fun – tubes with an upward airflow. You could take paper and shape it into different forms and see how it would ‘fly.’ We were captivated!
That’s my sister, Georgia, to the right of the tube (the only picture I got of her – see, I told you I suck at remembering to take family pictures!).
Here Dom is running her hands through sand while she is looking at a screen. The screen is showing the topographical levels of the sand.
We had a really fun day at OMSI and I treasure the time I got to spend with my dear, adorable granddaughter.
Another evening, Paul, Sam (who, by the way, is great!) and I went back to OMSI and saw one of my (and their) all-time favorite movies:Love, love, love Terry Gilliam.
One day in Vancouver, Paul and I were walking along and saw a man walking toward us carrying a guitar. A beat up old guitar. Paul, being a luthier and having an interest in them, said, “Cool old guitar.” The guy seemed to lament having just bought it (he said he had an addiction to buying old guitars!) and asked Paul if he wanted to buy it. Paul asked how much, the guy said $20 and Paul said “Sold!”…..and here’s Paul posing with it!
After visiting with Paul a while, my sister took me down to her home in Salem, Oregon. There we worked on organizing a few things (I have a knack for organizing and actually love doing it!), moving furniture around and generally playing house. It was really fun hanging out with my sis. We can sometimes get each other laughing like no one else!
So, now I’m writing this from Maine.
Yes, I’m on the other side of the country/continent now. I’ve been here a few days visiting my lovely, fun, wonderful, funny, intelligent (I could go on) granddaughter, Éva and her sweetie, Nick.
They gave me a tour through the building where they both work (it’s on the campus of the factory by the river in that first picture). It was a textile factory built around the mid-1800’s – a great old complex of buildings that used the river as a power source. It’s being refurbished for modern use. It’s so great when old structures are re-used instead of torn down.
One last thing….. if you’re ever in Biddeford, Maine, have breakfast or lunch at the Palace Diner. From their website:
“The Palace Diner was built in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1927 by the Pollard Company. It has been in Biddeford, Maine for its entire life and is one of two Pollard cars remaining in America.” It has a 15 seat counter and is Maine’s oldest diner. And, I might add, it has delicious food. I simply had scrambled eggs and potatoes, but what scrambled eggs and potatoes! Delicious!
There was old 1950’s cowboy and rock n’ roll music playing and I mentioned to the server that from the moment I walked in, I felt like I was in a Kill Bill movie! Seriously, I expected to turn around and see Uma Thurman walking across the road, dust flying off her body! He knew exactly what I was talking about! Great food and great atmosphere. As soon as people came in, everyone was talking with everyone. Good, old-fashioned diner.
Tomorrow I’m heading down to Boston to meet some of my first cousins for the first time! I’m very excited about it and I surely do hope I remember to take pictures!