Now that my kids are adults and on their own, I fill my summer days with knitting, crocheting, spinning, gardening, sewing, and traveling. With a daughter and new son-in-law in San Antonio, I travel to Texas at least three times a year. I LOVE getting off the plane in 75 degree weather in December when I have left 25 degrees and 2 feet of snow behind. Having dinner on a balmy evening at an outdoor table next to the colorfully lit Riverwalk at Christmas was truly a treat! The Riverwalk is also lined with softly glowing luminaries during the holiday season.
|Holiday lights on the Riverwalk|
For a change in scenery, I visited my sister and brother-in-law in Portland, Oregon in mid July. Such amazing geography there is in the Pacific Northwest! We went to the Pacific coast, to Mount Hood, and up to Astoria. Astoria is the northwestern-most point in Oregon, where you can see the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the mighty Columbia River. If you turn around from that scene, you view the Cascade Range with its snow-capped mountain peaks spreading out along the whole horizon. It is a breathtaking sight! Astoria is also the location for the filming of many movies, such as Goonies and Kindergarten Cop, which I didn't know until this visit.
|Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean - Washington is on the other side of the bridge.|
One of the highlights of Astoria is the observation tower called the Astoria Column, which shows a pictoral timeline of the history of Astoria from the arrival of the Clatsop Indians, through the explorations by Lewis and Clark, finishing with the arrival of the pioneers. One can climb the 164 spiraling steps inside the column to reach the observation deck at the top. Well, YOU can! I only made it up 36 steps before I froze and had to go back down...the risers on the steps were open and I could see to the bottom of the column as I got higher. I have a problem with heights, and I REALLY thought I could climb that tower since the steps were enclosed in the interior of the column. No such luck! Even if I had made it to the top, I would have had to plaster myself against the wall of the observation deck. I was even shaking while taking the picture of my sister and brother-in-law waving from the deck, and I was standing with my feet firmly planted on the ground!
Another highlight of the trip was seeing Mt. Hood from different perspectives. The majestic 11,250 foot mountain can be seen from the top of my sister's street, and it is a breathtaking sight especially during a beautiful sunset! We drove an hour and a half to set foot at the timberline (6000 feet above sea level) of the snowy towering peak. What an incredible sight!
|Mt. Hood from my sister's street at sunset|
|Upper 5200 feet of Mt. Hood from the timberline|
They were great trips, and I plan to return to San Antonio and Oregon next summer for another visit! Now summer vacation is drawing to a close, and I am eagerly anticipating the start of a new school year.