Monday, 31 March 2014

To Portland and Family

July 15, 2014
I have changed the publication date of this page so it appears first rather than last. That way it is not so public for people other than family.

So the travel day from hell arrived, from Paris, to Zurich, to Los Angeles to Portland. At CDG we missed asking about the lounge until we were through security, then, with all Euros spent, we discovered that the lounge there was for gold card holders, not business travellers. So no breakfast. We survived!

A smaller plane first to Zurich. I was surprised to see what appeared to be a nuclear power station on approach. I gather there are 4 such stations. Contributing to the cloud cover here though.

a Swiss power a swiss power 2

We travelled Swiss and the seats were separate and on the long haul we could lie flat and sleep.The  seats are in a 1 + 2 + 1 formation and each has a console beside it. The seat beside slides under the console in front to make the flat bed. So Nick and I were in side seats one behind the other. As Nick listens to music and sleeps and I tend to watch videos and not get to sleep, this suits us fine.

a Swiss long haul seats

We had a good lunch with a sea bass sashimi, beef fillet, berries and some nice wine.I was a little surprised that we still flew across much of the ice cap so I could see icebergs in the ocean when I woke and dared to lift the blind, as it was daylight all the trip.

a ice
Snow and terrain

a icebergs
Flecks of icebergs in the lakes

In LAX one has to go through immigration, then retrieve luggage, go through customs and re-check the bags onwards to Portland. No real problem except there is a long and rather steep ramp joining the two areas which we really couldn’t manage. especially Nick. We were rescued by a kind airport employee who whisked the two large suitcases up the ramp while we followed with the carry-ons and those blasted backpacks. Then we needed to get to Terminal 6 and were directed outside and to the right. It turned out terminal 6 was about a kilometre away. There may well have been shuttles but they weren’t signposted and we ended up walking it, me swearing because of the plantar fasciitis hurting so much. We sat at the first opportunity and had a cold beer, then off to the far end of the building (of course) to find our plane boarding. I sort of dozed into Portland, managing to grab a bit of a sight of some of the volcanic peaks as we came into PDX. More trundling of luggage until we got the car hire sorted, followed by taking a wrong turn on the way. But we arrived safe to Cam and Christine and some very welcome glasses of wine. 25 hours on the road. Airports are getting too big and we are getting too old for this caper.

In Portland we of course needed to fit in with work requirements but as Christine and Cam have different working times, and Ry has pre-school three times a week, each day was a bit different. So we got to go shopping, eat out, eat in with Kim and Kevin, take Ry to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) do a street fair, and take time out down the coast, plus just generally relax, which we were more than ready to do after the long trip. Cam had time off in the second week so that was excellent.

p St Johns bridge
St John’s Bridge
p ice cream flavours
Ice Cream Menu

OMSI (very low light so some are blurred)
I love how he moved from fear to interest to wonder to control (he could make the Stegosaurus move in different ways)

Ry worried Ry boy meets dinosaur Ry in control
Ry wonder Ry controlling dinosaur Ry fascinated
Things at home and nearby
Ry absorbed
Absorbed in the sandpit
P St Fair
Street fair (Kim in foreground)
Ry and doughnut
The all important doughnut
Down to the coast. First at Cannon Beach where the fog and sometimes rain had moved in, despite the fact there was a heatwave in Portland. Weather hits the slight range behind the beach and it is all cloudy. Not at all unpleasant but a bit cold so we moved on a bit, Nick and I to Wheeler, while the others packed up.

p Haystack Rock and fog p Cheddar p Christine flies a kite

Wheeler was pretty as we waited in a cafe near the river. Very peaceful with the clouds still around.
p wheeler2 p Wheeler p wheeler and boat

Then on to Rockaway Beach where we had an apartment right on the beach for two nights. Lots of shots of Ry (of course). His joy in simple things is just delightful and so apparent in his face.
Ry Rockaway Beach Ry sand angel Ry and kite
Ry and us Ry beach Ry zonked
Not to mention the other members of the family
p rockaway apartment p Cam, Nick, Cheddar Ry and Christine selfie
p Cam and his camera Ry and us p man boy
p paddling p man boy dog p mum, son, grandson, dog

In the end, a few things. We met up with a “virtual” friend, Rocky from Tripadvisor and had a lovely lunch. So nice to meet her again as we did last trip.We had a lunch at a traditional Delicatessen with Christine and I got a proper Reuben sandwich which was tasty and something new for me indeed. And we had a last day with Cam up at Pittock Mansion in a vain attempt to see the volcanic mountains around Portland. On a good day it is a “4 Mountain Day” but mostly we required the eye of faith to see anything. The roses, however, were very pretty, as befits a “Rose City”.

p Lynn and Tina (Oregon Explorer)
Rocky and me
p Deli
p Cam and Nick
Cam and Nick at Pittock Mansion
p rose Pittock Mansions
Rose at the Mansion

As we left the next day, at least Mt Hood had the good graces to to show itself over our plane as we walked out to tranship from, Portland to Vancouver and the flight home.

p Airport and Mt Hood

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