Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jonas and Bonus: Portland Part Three

Ben, a bit on the weary side from a long photo shoot in Seattle the day before, came over to visit us after we had breakfast.

We lounge around while Tom checks us out of the hotel.

A wonderful son! His smile always cheers me.

Ben gave us a mini-tour of the off-beat and interesting things near our hotel. First stop, the Voodoo Doughnut shop, a favorite haunt of locals.

Weird decor, unusual doughnut flavors, and friendly counter-culture employees made this quite an adventure.

So many items to choose from!

We decided to buy the Voodoo Dozen and let the shop pick our selections. (Yes, we ended up with 13. I took this as the guy was loading up the pink box.) We each took bites from every flavor - like a bizarre wine tasting only we didn't swish and spit. Bubblegum (pink one in picture) was gross, but the grape (not pictured) was tasty. The one with the orange frosting in the picture had a nutmeg and orange flavor. Quite good.

A thoughtful reminder that sorrow exists and we who are in good places are better people to remember and honor.

After a quick stroll though the Saturday Market we drove over to Powell's Bookstore, the biggest, funkiest bookstore I've ever been in. I've purchased used books online but have never been to an actual store.

A map is necessary in order to find the topic one is looking for as there are three floors encompassing nine huge 'rooms' Amazing!

"There is simply no place in America like Powell's. No bookstore is so big or so meticulously organized, and none has such a psychic hold on so large a community." ~~ John Balzar, Los Angeles Times
I found good prices on two Italian language reference books and Cassie and Caroline found some children's books written in French for reading practice. We reigned ourselves in, but it was oh, so hard. Getting away with a few language books was getting off easy. Forget the kid in the candy store, man, leaving here was torture!

Loving all things Italian, of course we had to duck into this gelato cafe for a tiny sampling.

Again with the decisions! I went with an authentic Italian sweet cream flavor. Warm day + cold gelatto = MMMM!

The above photos were taken at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) where we'd taken in an IMAX movie and snooped around the museum on Saturday afternoon. The last photo is of the giant projector used for the IMAX movies, the black vertical lines are the huge film ascending and descending as the movie plays. We watched Adrenaline Rush - and it was!

Portland is a beautiful city. Both Tom and I have lived there in the past at different times. Fun to visit in friendly weather.

It's good to be home again in our smaller berg where the air is noticeably fresher, the tempo slower, the green spaces plentiful, and the living easy.

Hope you enjoyed my showing and telling of the adventure!

Now we gear up for our annual Fourth of July party here at home. Friends coming over, Tom's got a new bbq ribs recipe he's going to try out, and more!

Gotta love summer!

Jonas and Bonus: Portland Part Two

After the concert we slept at The Benson Hotel, built in 1912. Beautiful, historic place. Comfortable beds! Wow! Tom and I slept great, waking up before six. The girls continued to dream peacefully so we parents quietly dressed and headed for the streets to watch the city awaken.

A 12 story, world-class hotel built in 1912 by Simon Benson, a Portland lumber baron and philanthropist, the Benson was designed by the city's most prominent architect of the day, Albert E. Doyle.

The interior walls and pillars of the magnificent lobby are finished in rare, now extinct, Circassian walnut imported from the forests of Imperial Russia. Beautiful! Austrian crystal chandeliers and sweeping Italian marble staircases with cast iron railings add to the hotel's grandeur. I took a million photos but will spare you.

While the girls slept Tom and I headed to Peet's for something warm and something delicious. We were not disappointed.

The U.S. National Bank is a beautiful old building! I LOVE pillars like this.

What do you think this statue represents? My first inclination is that it's a child bent over, head deep into a toy chest. Any ideas? Your guess is as good as mine. Tom saw an arm with a boxing glove.

Serene early morning moments.

This is the Wells Fargo building. If you look closely you can see the words Wells Fargo high up on the top under the eaves, the letters in circles, one word on each wall.

Amazing to walk the streets of Portland when empty of people and cars.

Good ol' China Town.

By the time Tom and I returned from our leisurely exploration the girls were awake. They met us in the London Grill, the upscale over 50 year old restaurant which is tucked below the Grand Lobby of the Benson. Easy for Caroline - with her mending broken foot and crutches - to leave our room on the fourth floor, enter the elevator, press London Grill LL, and have the doors open to opulence and mouth-watering gourmet breakfast aromas. Oh, the delicious food!

While we ordered plated breakfasts of homemade sausages, bagels, berries, fruit, ham, eggs, hash browns, toast, and juices these desserts were near our table and very tempting. They were part of a lavish buffet brunch that was to be available later in the morning. Our food was amazing!

Tom nearly nabbed one of these chocolate covered berries on the way out!

These photos depict the early part of our Sunday in Portland. My next post will show the rest of the morning and afternoon when Ben joins us and gives us a tour of some of the local favorite places in the vicinity.

Stay tuned...

Jonas and Bonus: Portland Part One

The long-awaited trip to Portland to see the Jonas Brothers has come and gone but the memories linger. So do the smiles. I'll let the photos do the talking.

In the car on the trip up. Giggles. So very many giggles. As it should be.

In front of the Jonas Brothers Bus. At last.

We all signed the side of the big rig, Caroline first.

Before we were ushered into the stadium a trivia contest was held outside the Rose Quarter. Cassie knows the answer!!

Caroline won a guitar pick necklace. She thinks the crutches helped her be chosen. The crutches also allowed us to enter through a special door for the physically disabled. Never have we had so many tweens and teens give us nasty looks as we breezed ahead of the loooong line and into the building.

There was one of those big screens like the ones celebrities stand in front of to have their picture taken at gala events. Cassie and Caroline hammed it up. "Oh yeah!"

Jonas Brothers STUFF!

The girls with the guys. Sort of...

The stage!

Nick on the Jumbotron. After this I put my camera away and enjoyed the show. Jordan Sparks was the opener as well as Honor Society and a girl group from Korea called Wonder Girls.

After the concert, riding the high!

The talented men put on a fantastic concert. High energy, very professional, and clean. Enjoyable for all. I particularly liked when they sang Sweet Caroline, the Neal Diamond classic. Of course, Caroline liked it, too! Most of the songs are written by the brothers who also play a variety of instruments. All genuine musicians and respectful, likable guys. Good combination, and rare these days.

A great way to spend a Saturday night together as a family!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


While one would think the highlight of a week of hosting graduation guests would be the graduation itself, and while the ceremony did bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart, the actual culmination of our week turned out to be a relaxed Saturday evening roasting marshmallows and clowning with friends and family.

But the partying started long before the campfire. Earlier in the week Jed celebrated his 20th birthday with his entire family - there are nine altogether - here with our family in our humble abode. Happy Birthday again, Jed!

Caroline, still with an autographed cast on her leg, rocks at Mario Kart! It's something she can do with her new friends. This party reluctantly ended at midnight. We laughed tears out our eyes! Hilarity!

The pup puts up with it all.

Now, back to the s'more-making wild night!

Tom keeps the campfire going while Grace enjoys her first chocolatey, marshmallowy delight. (Sammy waits diligently for droppage.)

Ben knows this is serious business while Cassie enjoys her smushed roasted orb a la cracker.

Andy keeps us laughing.

Abbi, my fellow photog!

S'more expressions...

Caroline finds herself in a sticky situation - she works it out.

Grace ritualistically burns the graham cracker box in a pyromaniacal moment, while Ben gives her bunny ears...

Oh! Glorious Torch!

Smelling of sugar and smoke, faces relaxed from laughter-workouts, bodies invigorated with night air, and spirits lifted on friendly banter we head for bed and sweet dreams.

Last week's partying dancing in my head quietly promises more such occurrences as the new season gets her steam.

School ends. Summer begins.

Let the good times roll!