Sunday, August 07, 2016

From Summer to Winter Overnight

I left Seattle on Thursday afternoon.  It was a beautiful sunny clear blue sky Seattle day at a comfortable 25 degrees.

I arrived home to a decidedly cool (about 3 degrees) Saturday morning in Taupo.  Extremely cold and a mix of snow falling with the rain most of the day, but not enough to create snow on our lawn.

Mount Tauhara, pictured above, is quite close to our home and we have never seen snow on it like this before.

Our cats had not forgotten me (fortunately) and Hershey has been fussing as if he is worried I might disappear again. Before I went to bed Simba was there waiting for me.  Then he and Hershey had a tussle about who was sleeping where (at least I think that is what is was all about) and so Simba slept by my feet all night and Hershey hopped under the bed clothes so I think my long absence has been forgiven.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

A Day For Big

I guess all things are relative but Sunday seemed to be a day of 'big' for me.  First there was Washington Park which was over 166 hectares.

Then we went to a games store where we met up with a friend of David's.  I couldn't capture the size of the store as the lighting was not good, but the shelves of this store were lined with every board game imaginable.

The floor space was filled with tables and chairs ready for anyone who wanted to play any of the available games.  Judging by the number of seated participants this looked like a pretty popular Sunday afternoon activity.  To my mind this games store was 'big'.

Our last 'big' of the day was a visit to Powells new and second hand bookstore hosting over a million books and boasting to be the biggest bookstore in the world. In the days of decline in bookstores it was pleasing to see the many people who were enjoying browsing here.  Three storeys high and with its own car park, it is worth asking for a map at the information desk to find your way around.

I found my way to the dedicated quilting section and had a good browse before we said goodbye to my last 'big' of the day.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Washington Park, Portland

In the hills above Portland, Oregon, is Washington Park.  It covers over 166 hectares of hilly, forested terrain and provided us with an enjoyable morning's outing.

When we left the downtown area that morning there was very little sign of life but I think a a lot of the population had preceded us to the park.  Finding a parking place was not easy but we got there.  Just when we were not sure what to do next we spotted a shuttle bus and so opted for this to take us around the parkland area.  This is not just a wooded park but within a lot of points of interest have been developed.  A place for archery, a large adventure playground, several different garden areas, a zoo, some museums, adventure trails and lots more.  You could probably spend a whole weekend here and still not cover all the available activities.

The rose garden itself was a treat to visit.  Although many of the roses were past their best for the year there were still plenty of blooms to enjoy.  The garden hosts over 7500 different roses - hard to believe.

We ended the morning by spending some time at the adventure playground.  Jackson found the swings and had a great time there on his own. The last time I saw him on swings his Dad was having to push him, so I witnessed another stage of him growing up.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Time for contemplation

Overlooking the Columbia River at the end of a full day, David and Jackson take time out together.

They could be contemplating the importance of this river to the north west region of the United States or they could be discussing the next strategy to capture as many Pokemon as possible before we return to Seatlle on Monday.

We had set out from Seattle around 8am.  We stopped for breakfast along the way and arrived in Portland about 1pm.  We ventured to a couple of craft markets, had a light lunch in the Pearl District and had a Thai meal in the evening.

Our hotel is just across the road from the river and there is a popular park along the river bank so we stopped there to soak up the atmosphere before a return to our rooms and an early night after our big day out.