:Portland…Our Last Great Vacation

Call me a pessimist if you will, but I often find humor in difficult situations. It helps ease the difficulty. With the current economy, I called this our Last Great Vacation. I didn’t want to call it our Last Vacation and jinx it, just in case it was indeed our last vacation for reasons other than moolah. The more I’m learning about the economy – thanks to podcasts mostly from NPR – the more I find myself thinking of my grandmother, the skills she used her entire life having been a young bride and mother during the depression. And while I understand very little about Commercial Paper Money, sub-prime mortgages, etc., for years I’ve thought all this ‘credit’ was a house of cards just waiting to collapse. Or as one expert more eloquently put it, just one default in this ‘unholy (global money) chain’ would bring it down. Appealing to my common sense, he summed it up, “these are all just symptoms we’re seeing. The world simply has too much debt.”

It was with a bit of guilt and unease on my part, we went on this trip. It was a celebration of our 31st wedding anniversary. The plane tickets, the motel room, the car rental had been bought and paid for before the job Rick had lined up was put on hold. (Anyone need some cabinets?? He does incredible work! And happens to have a spot in his schedule…) The only expenses left were entrance fees to museums and parks (often free) and meals. As Julie pointed out, there’s always the value meal at Mickey Dee’s. Note to all! Happy hours at brew pubs work almost as well!

Now I understand why the Oregon Lhasa Apso Club has Willamette in their name. The Willamette Valley. The Willamette River. The Willamette Valley Wine Region. Rick isn’t a wine drinker, brew pubs were the ticket instead. Oregon was the pioneer in microbreweries because of less stringent laws. There’s lots to see in the Portland area. Oregon is a beautiful state. Portland is a fun city, very intimate pedestrian-wise. Bikes all over the place. It quickly became apparent that some of the bizarre outfits were utilitarian. Lots of rolled up pants with knee-high stockings which look silly, but keep pants out of bike spokes and, yet, legs warm.

We split our time between city stuff and natural beauty. Devorah Sperber’s art was amazing, particularly her Thread Spool Works, which were on display at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. This photo was taken from the theater near Mt. St. Helen’s…

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