Saturday, November 9, 2013

visits and views

At the end of October our little house was fortunate enough to host visitors.  Rachel's older sister, younger brother and his girlfriend came for a visit with a good chunk of overlapping time together.  The house was full and the adventure was non-stop.

 When Rachel's older sister, my cousin, Joanna - "Aunt Nanny" - arrived on Saturday morning we headed downtown to the Saturday market to have a look at some of the local artistry and take part in some serious people watching.

 Sunday evening, their younger brother - Uncle Steve - and his lady - Aunt Holly - arrived from Indy in time to watch the Broncos versus the Colts.  It was some serious football going on with Holly being a born Packers fan.  Eury now as a nice selection of "Pack" gear.

The next morning it was beautiful and we headed up to Sauvie Island to pick pumpkins.  Sauvie Island is north of the city proper about the size and shape of Manhattan Island.  The northern half of the flat island is a wildlife preserve and the southern half is farmland with many family-owned farms.  It was really very picturesque with views of the Mount Saint Helen and Mount Hood.

 Stephen was our self-designated pumpkin hauler.

 There was even a magical floating baby.

 The farm we stopped at had an animal menagerie in the barn and Eury really liked these guys.

We made a stop in St. Johns for an early dinner and enjoyed the fantastic outdoor seating at the McMenamins there.  The building is an old theatre which retains its original use but also is a great place to eat and socialize.  McMenamins has a history of turning old historical buildings - theatres, schools, hotels into eateries and pubs while still maintaining the integrity of its original purpose and design.  They were also a major proponent that brought the brewpub culture to Portland.

 There was even some dinner entertainment.  This is were Eury got to try her first food - a little catsup.

The evening was just beautiful so we took a walk down to Cathedral Park.  The park sets under the St. Johns Bridge and is a Gothic style steel suspension bridge over the Willamette River.

 It is called Cathedral Park because the bridge towers look like a Gothic Cathedral.  It was very beautiful and as we walked into the park there was a man proposing to a woman.  She said yes and we hollered congratulations as they ran off in excitement.

 The sun sank past the hills as we made it to the river's edge.

Holly and Stephen are quite the couple of characters.  They met in 4-H have been together for quite a few years.  I've always thought highly of her.  We've been around one another at family gatherings but I've never got to spend one on one time with her.  She's even more sweet and funny than I initially thought.

 This is Holly's response to Steve posing for a photo pointing at something.  These two.  I just love them together.

After a rousing evening game of Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase, our visitors were up early and only had to fight a (rare) two person line at Voodoo to score a Pepto pink box containing a beautiful assortment of morning donuts.  We were then ready to being a day of sightseeing along the Columbia River.

 Maltnomah Falls was our first destination.  

We arrived about the same time as the couples crowd while the sun was still on the other side of the hill.  It was crisp and cool.  There is a winding path up the side of the hill to the bridge and I think it was just as incredible the waterfall.

 The ferns and moss growing everywhere was fantastic.

 After a beautiful walk we were rewarded with a beautiful view.  Not bad for a Tuesday.

 Joanna, Holly, Rachel & Eurydice, Stephen and myself at the overlook.

 Bathroom selfie.  Yep.  We just had to - look at the bundled up baby with more gear than child.

There was that experience at the fish hatchery with the informational and beautiful grounds and the socking extraction process that left us a bit scarred.  We then took the Columbia River Highway on our way back.  With all the view and beautiful fall colors with was one of the remarkable stretches of road I have ever driven.  We stopped for the view and photos at Shepperd's Dell Dome.

 Gorgeous views all around.

 Check out these two cuties...right after five goofs of him trying to throw her off the side.

 Our final stop was Vista House.  It was so so windy up there but the view of the Columbia River was amazing.

 This place is going on my list of favorites.

After sight-seeing we dropped Joanna off at the airport, said our goodbyes until Thanksgiving and headed home for a rest.  That evening we went exploring on Mississippi Avenue.  After a little sushi we tried the yam fries at Bungalo.

 Mostly we just enjoyed their seating, contemplating the ideals of a hammock and where would be good place to put one in our own back yard.

This, however, would be a trickery feat.

Then we tried the frites at Interurban which were so good we needed another plate.

For Stephen and Holly's final day we did a little wandering downtown.  The children's section of Powell's was a fun stop.  Holly and I both love the picture books.

 Eury got a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit and a nap.

Nap time was completed at conveyer-belt sushi (it has a name but I like to call it this).  Remarkably our sushi the night before and experience at the fish hatchery had not diminished our love for Japanese.

It was a lovely way to end a lovely visit.

Having such familiar faces to get to know an unfamiliar city was such a treat.  Playing tour guide is such a good way to become acquainted with Portland.  Joanna, Stephen, and Holly were as sweet of guests as one can ask for and it was so nice to spend quality time with them.  Seeing them meet their niece for the first time and get to know her was priceless and I feel very honored to be a part of this family.


RARRAT said...

It was such a wonderful visit! Love the pictures you chose for this post. Especially the ones with that cute baby in them!

Lizzie said...

Those ferny and mossy trees are just absolutely beautiful! When we went to the pumpkin patch here, there were no floating babies. That seals the deal - we're going to have to move to Portland!

Katherine Ross said...

All these photos of Eury are a nice addition to your field barn! :) Love those chubby cheeks!