Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A train trip to Portland

Katie in the Edmonds train station

Since we can't stop birthdays from coming, we might as well celebrate them. Katie's and mine are close together, so she arranged for us to take a train trip to Portland to meet her friend, Francesca, and celebrate.

Getting on the train in Edmonds, after a drive and ferry ride

I drove over to Port Townsend on Monday evening, and after Mexican food and a sleepover in Mike and Katie's Cute Cottage, we drove to Kingston, left the car and hopped a ferry to Edmonds.

Katie brought everything in one big bag, because her wheelie bag didn't match her outfit

I dressed to match my smallest wheelie bag and we brought plenty of snacks for the 5-hour trip down. I cut and pasted in my notebook and Katie started another pair of socks, and we had plenty of time to laugh and talk.

Super Thai food in Francesca's neighbohood

Katie met Francesca at work in Spokane many years ago

Francesca, who also used to be a social worker, like Katie

The kid in the group, happy with the prospect of a great spread

Francesca lives on the 10th floor of a building right downtown, with a small balcony and a wide, wonderful view, from the city and up through the hills to the new building going up across the street. She has lots of art projects and instruments around  her apartment, and played Happy Birthday to us on her harmonium...a wonderful instrument with bellows. She also made us an amazing birthday cake with Real Whipped Cream on the side.

Our birthday cake with candle in the middle, glaze, and walnuts

Thank you, Thank You!! Francesca!!! She even bought us old lady bus passes for the first two days, and we went right to Powells the first evening. I was good and only bought 2 books...but roamed over the whole place in the hour I was allotted...what a treasure that store is! LOTS more graphic novels since the last time I was there. I bought a graphic novel on helping elder parents and one with design inspiration. Steve called while I was in Portland to say that Mom might have to move to a higher level of care. Luckily all my brothers are on board as helpers.

Wenesday, walking in Portland

There's So Much to see...and to EAT! We went to the craft museum, no one was too excited about the show at the art museum, we stopped to check out a Goodwill, and Francesca found a great tray/table top for a reasonable price.

An interesting apartment building across the street from GoodWill

I am trying really, really hard not to buy anything, and also could not breathe in the musty air inside the store. Katie and Francesca are experienced second hand store shoppers.

Portland Reflections...this place started in the year I was born

Good thing I wore my red jacket from Connie so they could find me when I loitered behind to take pictures. I've learned how to use my iPhone to cut down on extra equipment, but I still like my camera best.There is a faint reflection of me taking the picture in the window. 

We had a great Indian Lunch, and I was so excited, I forgot to document. I miss the Indian restaurant in Port Townsend, and must do more Indian cooking, because I love the food so much!

Great sushi for dinner!

It is still possible to find inexpensive places with great ethnic food in Portland...and I was happy to learn that we can mostly do the same on the Peninsula.

Katie and Francesca at Sushi

There was a picture of me, too, but I put it on my Facebook page. We did a potato chip and pop run to Safeway...they had the fancy blue cheese chips, and I a new find or re-find of mine, Lays Regular, because they are so thin and salty, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper for me...a seldom-indulged treat...that weird flavor. We watched a whole disc of West Wing, which I hadn't seen previously...a potential new addiction, as soon as I finish the Paradise Department store. Francesca favored us with another Harmonium tune...I wish I'd taken a picture. She has ordered a smaller version which she will be able to take on the bus for concerts....she has a rich and varied life on little money in the city.

River Walk

Green space near water, in the middle of a large city

Thursday, already, Quick trip with LOTS of visual, gustatory, intellectual, and emotional stimulation. Again, I was so excited, I forgot to take pictures of lunch from one of the pods of food carts...I went around twice before finally deciding on 4 different dumplings with 4 different sauces for $4 from the Dump Truck and Amazing fish and chips from a Scottsman whose speech I could barely understand because of the accent. There was a park nearby for eating, with the upper level for the homeless people sleeping there, with their blankets and possessions around them...something to think about.

Restored facade near the river

Architectural detail

Manhole cover for the Rose City

Hung Far Low

Tacos sign in a window. I am reflected in the bottom center

Portland is a richly-textured city, trying to be human-friendly. We had a conversation with a street cleaner, who will be marching in one of the parades this summer. Portland has a different vibe from Seattle. A number of times people on the street just started talking with us, happy to show off their home.

As in Paris, street texture invites photos...suggested by Katie

Selfie at Union Station

Union Station, and I was home in my own bed Thursday night

We'll be back!!!


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