August 12, 2013

Our Oregon Vacation Update: Loving it!

Betty and I will need a vacation after we get home from Oregon in a few weeks. Our social calendar and "what we want to do and see" list is never this full at home. Not even one week into the trip and we are having the time of our lives with dear, dear friends made during our visit to Portland last year. Still to come is a dinner with Mike and Tamara Reddy, another blogging buddy and husband we are so anxious to meet and turn into real face-to-face friends.

In 5 days so far we have:

* Been met at the airport and had lunch with Galen Pearl. Betty and Galen are having  "girl time" in a few days to have a foot and hand massage while I am being left to explore the Broadway area of Northeast Portland. Later this week we will join up with Galen for a dinner with her daughter's boyfriend's mother who is visiting from China and wants to prepare an authentic meal for us.

* Had dinner with Barb and Earl Torris at the fabulous Rock Creek Tavern. In the next few days we will join them at a minor league ballgame and enjoy a local farmer's market.

  * Driven to and from the old port city of Astoria. Part of the trip took us through walls of trees, bathed in fog and low clouds....things we never experience at home. It was heavenly!



 * Visited the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park which includes Fort Clatsop. Betty picked up a patch for her collection while I had our National Parks passport stamped and bought a book about Lewis and Clark. 






* Found a park just 3 minutes from our condo that includes ponds, fountains, and paths that wind through manicured grounds.







 
* Been to an outdoor concert in a park in Hillsboro. Listening to a jazz/pop group was the perfect end to that day.

* Fell in love with the convenience of the light rail and trolley system. I would buy a lifetime pass and rarely ever get in a car again if this were available at home. We picked up the light rail 5 minutes from our condo and were in downtown Portland in 35 minutes. From there we hoped on a trolley for a ride through virtually all of the important downtown areas. Since I wasn't driving I actually got to look at the sights and didn't have to worry about one-way streets and parking. It is an amazing value for $5 ($2 for me as an "honored" senior citizen!)

  * Explored Portland neighborhoods, filled with charm, funk, and coffee (in equal measure). There are roughly 100 more to explore and savor.








* Hiked in the massive Forest Park and being awed by the primeval feel of the place. At some 5,000 acres and 70 miles of trails, we could visit here every weekend for a year and never run out of new places to walk.



  * Had lunch on a floating restaurant, The Island Cafe, overlooking a marina on an island in the Columbia River. Watching the sail and power boats come and go while we sat by the water, listened to Jimmy Buffet music, and ate was delightful.





We have checked out several RV parks for future use and found two that especially caught our eye: Jantzen Beach RV Park and Portland Fairview RV Park. Both have well-spaced sites, plenty of trees and greenery, and friendly managers. The Portland Fairview Park is a little too far east of town if spending time in Portland is the goal, but would be perfect as a home base for the Columbia River Gorge area. 

Two other parks included the Columbia River RV Park which was clean and looked to be well maintained but could benefit from some trees or landscaping. Pheasant Ridge was one of the prettiest RV parks we have seen, but it was 30 minutes south of town, making it inconvenient for our purposes.

Our youngest daughter will join us in another week. She is giving thought to relocation to a place cooler and wetter than Phoenix; Portland is high on her list. By then, Betty and I will be accomplished tour guides to show her the best this beautiful and energetic city has to offer.

Portland captivated us a year ago and time has only made our hearts grow fonder. The friendships we have made here feel like they have been building for a lifetime, not just over a few weeks. 
 
There is a local saying: "Keep Portland Weird."



We have our own: "Keep Portland In Our Life." 

39 comments:

  1. So glad to hear/read you are enjoying Portland & LOVED the pictures! Traveling is on our list for next year.....great to see how many wonderful places there are to visit.

    pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe I'll be able to show you all the pictures from last year's trip and this year's if we get together during our October RV trip.

      Delete
    2. That would be awesome! I'm looking forward to it.

      pam

      Delete
  2. Great post, I'd like to do what you're doing. How did you find the condo, and I'd you drive up? Thanks looks like fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We rented from a friend. It has worked out beautifully for our purposes. WE can drive or take the light rail downtown in just about half an hour.

      No, we flew up. Driving would have been 3-4 long days each way, taking a week away from our time here. So, a 3 hour flight was much better than a 4 day drive!

      Delete
  3. Enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for placing the link on your Facebook page. Reading the blog from email isn't as nice as going directly to the blog page, especially for the comments.

    Great set of photos! Looking forward to reading more about your trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured a fellow whose name is photobyjohnbo would like the pictures! Many more to come.

      Putting a link on the Satisfying Retirement Facebook page and Google+ account does widen the market a bit. I'm glad you find it more convenient.

      Delete
  4. So happy you're enjoying lush, green Oregon. We lived there over 30 years and may still go back to retire after we've finished full-timing in our RV.

    Be sure to see Silver Falls State Park and The Oregon Garden, if you haven't already. They're both near Silverton outside Salem. And, hopefully, you saw Crater Lake National Park last year.

    Silver Falls State Park has 11 waterfalls you can hike to in one day, either as an 8-mile round trip or as shorter hikes from pull-outs along the roadway.

    I've been enjoying your blog. Do you have a way to get your blog out to the RVing community? Lots of seniors here. Seems the best way to find readers is to join some blogs, leave comments and people will see you and look up your blog. Not the masses you're looking for at once, but you never know who might see you.

    As far as the informal survey about the best social media...
    ~My favorite is Facebook. It's easy to navigate and has lots of users.
    ~Google + should be a favorite, but I find it cumbersome to use. Maybe I haven't figured it out yet. My blog is on Google's blogspot/blogger platform. I, too, use Google to look up any and everything on the web.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in Oregon. Will you still be there in late September. I'm flying home to spend time with my mom, son, sister and brother.

    TravelBug-Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We would like to see Silver Falls State Park this trip. Betty is a waterfall fanatic. It is on our to-do list.

      Whenever I have an RV-oriented post I do Tweet about it (with the appropriate hash tag, Facebook and Google+ it's availability. I do follow several RV-oriented groups on Google+ so hopefully it is seem by some of those folks. Of course, you are free (and encouraged!) to tell your fellow travelers about the blog. Word-of-mouth from friends is the best advertising!

      I just clicked over to your blog....I think it would make a nice addition to my blog roll.

      We head back to Phoenix at the end of August so I'll miss you this time around but who knows where our RV paths may cross. Betty, Bailey the dog, and I will be RVing in Central and coastal California for 2 or 3 weeks in October.

      Delete
    2. So happy you're going to Silver Falls. Both of us are waterfall fanatics. We have hiked to waterfalls all over the Northwest, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Australia and British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.

      Have fun!

      Delete
  5. Just got back from a trip to Oregon but we were mainly in the south visiting family. Had a wonderful time! Starting to consider RV-ing but in a small way! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had business clients in the Medford-Ashland area back when I was in the consulting business. Ashland is really quite special with the Shakespeare Festival and the pretty setting.

      RVing...ask me questions at any time!

      Delete
  6. Listening to Jimmy Buffet in Portland, gave me a chuckle. His is the music of summer, no matter where you are. Sounds like such a great trip! Love the pictures!
    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, Jimmy Buffet and Portland usually don't go together. But, they did at the cafe. It has a Florida feel.

      Delete
  7. You'll need a vacation from your vacation. Love the picture of the fountain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess we will plan to relax a bit on our October RV trip in California!

      The Dawson Creek pathway is quite a treat since it is so close to where we are staying.

      Delete
  8. So glad your enjoying your little vacation! The NW is a great place to spend the summers. Betty is an AMAZING photographer, Love the pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have passed on your reaction to Betty's photos. If enough people tell her I hope she begins to believe in her talents.

      Delete
  9. Great post Bob !!!!! looks like a wonderful place to vacation . Looks like you and Betty will need a vacation to get over your vacation !!!! Love all the pics !!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our RV trip to California in October will be very different from this one and much more slow paced. The great thing about our retirement is we can experience both types of getaways: the ones packed with social events and sightseeing as well as the ones that are slow, quiet, and restful.

      Watch more more Oregon pictures coming up!

      Delete
  10. Hi Bob, a very enjoyable post with some delicious photos.....it is like a mini tour through parts of the US for this Aussie! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My daughter will be in Sydney next year on a business trip. I hope she takes some great pictures of your country so I can experience being "down under" without the 14 hour flight!

      Delete
  11. Glad you're having a good time. And great pics! You make me want to get back to Portland again, where I haven't been for . . . oh man, too many years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may charge the Portland Visitor's Bureau for all the good publicity!

      Delete
  12. I love seeing Portland through your words and Betty's photos. It's so much fun to have you here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been not so patiently waiting for a year to come back to see you and your lovely city. Everything (and everyone) is exceeding our expectations.

      Delete
  13. Important note: I rarely censor a comment or have to delete one. But someone who decided to remain anonymous has left an extremely negative comment about Portland, its citizens, and the state of Oregon. This individual lives in Washington and clearly hates Portland and loves Seattle. I see absolutely no benefit to this post or my readers to publish those comments.

    I dislike deleting comments from someone who spends the time to leave one and I do not shy away from a different point of view. If someone wants to point out issues or concerns and does it in a respectful and constructive way, I will be the first to hit the "publish" button.

    But, I draw the line at poorly disguised hatred and ranting. That comment will not be published here.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cari in North TexasTue Aug 13, 08:40:00 PM MST

    Thanks for bringing us along on your vacation trip - Portland looks and sounds like a very interesting place to visit! I followed another blog a few years ago where the author lived in Portland, and many of his observations match yours. I'll definitely add this to my 'places to see' list! And it definitely sounds cooler than your Phoenix and my Dallas area right now - heat index has been around 105-109 the past week. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are several rather prominent bloggers who live in the Portland area. If I lived here I would certainly want to begin relationships with them.

      As I type this at 8:30 AM it is 55 degrees outside our condo....burrrr!

      Delete
  15. When I relocated in Oregon, I first stayed at the RV park you mentioned..the Columbia RV I think..it was right across the street from the Portland Yacht Club and just north of the airport..it was clean and very nice and just minutes from the Max station...it was great...and I hope you take a trip down the coast to Coos Bay, North Bend, Winchester Bay, and Bandon...amazing and many great RV parks to choose from..we love our cool adventure coast...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On previous trips to Oregon we have explored the coast from Newport south to the California border. This weekend we are going to Cannon Beach to take a look at a part of the coast we haven't seen yet. I'll pull out my Good Sam directory and see what parks are in the area.

      Delete
  16. Portland is a nifty place. My sister lived there for several years and we visited a time or two. Our visits seem similar to yours--the fog had lifted and it didn't rain. And I thought we were the only ones so blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sprinkling ever so slightly tonight but true Portlanders don't even acknowledge it! We have had a perfect mix of clouds and sun.

      Delete
  17. Okay, you have me wanting to do more exploring in a city I have called home for over 15 years and have visited all of my life! As a SNOB (Society for Native Oregon Born) member I welcome you to the most beautiful place on this earth! Okay I might be a little prejudice.

    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are just back from a day spent looking at waterfalls and parks along the Columbia River Gorge...all the way to Cascade Locks. Just spectacular.

      Sometimes it takes an out of towner to spur locals to reinvestigate their hometown!

      Delete
  18. Hi Bob,

    I relocatd to Eugene, OR 10 years ago and truly love it here. Silver Falls is beautiful, as is the Oregon Gardens. I got a kick out of you finding "The Island Cafe". We were up in Portland last year with my brother and his wife, and we stumbled upon the little place. We loved it, and I think they have the best french fries I have ever tasted! Also, if you are so inclined, take a ride on the jet boats that go up the Willamette River to the falls. It takes off from behind OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). It is a blast, and very beautiful scenery as well. Trip is a couple of hours. Glad you are enjoying this wonderful state that I have made my home!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am just back from a drive up the Columbia River Gorge with stops at several waterfalls. I saw the Sternwheeler at Cascades Locks - that looks like a fun ride down the river.

      I don't think we will make Silver Falls this trip...just too much to see and do, even in 3 weeks. We'll save that for our next trip.

      The Island Café was a very pleasant place for lunch on a sunny afternoon. And, you are right about the fries.

      Delete
  19. Stumbled upon your blog today while searching for 'simple retired living' and am so happy I did. I really envy you on your Oregon vacation. My wife and I were in Portland and Salem for 5 days in 2011 and fell in love with the state. I told my then supervisor the only reason I came back was no one offered me a job. I have retired at the end of this past April and am working hard on not working hard any more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Mike, welcome to the family, and welcome to the wonderful world of retirement. We spent today in Cannon Beach with friends and had a spectacular day. This state has surprises around every corner.

      I'll have another post about our Oregon adventures in a few days. i hope you enjoy the pictures and the stories.

      Delete

Inappropriate comments will be deleted