Sunday, July 7, 2013

On the Road

I just got home after driving over 600 miles from Salem to San Jose - and I get to fly to Houston tomorrow, lucky me! I did have a very nice 4th of July weekend in Oregon, though. My brother and sis-in-law treated me to a tour of small Willamette Valley towns, like Dayton, above.

We had lunch in McMinnville, which is within striking distance of Portland. 

Local Raspberries - the Willamette Valley is famous for fruit.

The local grocery store was handing out fruit samples, including bits of Dragon Fruit, above.

 The Willamette Valley has quite a few wineries and wine shops.

A local product - Soy Candles.

Many of McMinnville's old buildings, constructed between 1885 and 1912, are still intact today.

We had some crispy noodles at a local Chinese place.

At my brother's request, we saw Despicable Me, which was actually quite good!

I resisted the opportunity to get a Happy meal when I stopped at McDonalds for some of their vile coffee and an egg white McMuffin (which was palatable).

There was a fair amount of traffic on the freeway in Northern California, but the views were great - that's Mt. Shasta in the distance. It doesn't have very much snow on it these days.

That's it for now - more from Houston!


Friday, July 5, 2013

A Day at the Beach in Lincoln City

My brother and I took a drive to Lincoln City, Oregon, which is a short drive from Salem. When we go there, it was overcast, foggy, and breezy - and I had to put on a sweater!

We stopped in for a latte at the local outlet mall to warm up.

Fortunately, the sun did come out later, and it was beautiful the rest of the day.

This is a view of Siletz Bay - a lovely estuary.

We stopped for lunch at a local cafe, which has been there for at least 50 years.

The landscaping was interesting.

The Halibut and Chips were pretty tasty, too!

After lunch, we went for a walk on the beach.

I've been really lucky with the weather on my trip - perfect weather.

Tonight, it's Tacos, but in the meantime, I think I'll rest up for the next adventure.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Portland Japanese Garden and Hipster Tour

My brother, sis-in-law and I celebrated July 4 by taking in the Isamu Noguchi sculpture exhibit at the Portland Japanese Garden. The weather was perfect, and enhanced by the shady beauty of the garden.

The exhibit was housed in the Japanese Pavilion building, a traditionally-built Japanese building in the beautiful Japanese Garden grounds. Alas, no photography of the sculpture was allowed.

You could however, take pictures of the sculptures situated outdoors. The Japanese Pavilion grounds have a spectacular view of downtown Portland in the distance.

There was a traditionally-constructed Japanese Tea House in the Garden.

There are many quiet places to sit and contemplate the lovely surroundings.

This is the entrance to the Zen Garden.

The Zen Garden, a traditional Japanese gravel garden.

Water Lillies at the Iris Garden.

It was a bit late in the season for Iris, but they were still there.

The entire garden, including the extensive water features, is meticulously maintained.

My brother bought a garden ornament for the new house.

The Washington Park International Rose Test Garden is right next to the Japanese Garden, and has hundreds of showy, fragrant roses.

The Rose Garden was very busy on the 4th of July, and the weather was perfect.

The garden also had an area that showcased their prize-winning specimens.

After touring the gardens, we set off to the Alphabet (Northwest) District for some lunch. We disposed of our Peets coffee cups in the Solar Compactor, above.

We decided to have lunch at Cheryls' on 12th. Cheryl's serves really good all-day breakfasts and brunch. It does attract it's share of hipster clientele, above. (I later saw the shorts on sale at Urban Outfitters!).

I had scrambled eggs and homemade corned beef hash, made with deli-fresh corned beef.

The Alphabet district is centered on NW 23rd Ave. Also called Trendy-third, this street is lined with lots of shops, mixed with cafes and restaurants. Above, a beautiful apartment building.

We stopped by the Urban Outfitters store, and I picked up a few things like a pair of shoes for $9.99!

We had some wonder coffee and chocolate at Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe.

We're off to dinner somewhere in Salem - I'll let you know where!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On the Road

Just a quick post to say I've been on the road all day, driving from the Bay Area to Oregon. I made some picturesque stops, like Williams, California, above ;-)

I always love driving past Shasta Lake - I saw a turn-off from I-5 and make a quick stop to take a few pics. You can see the freeway bridge in the distance.

The lake was pretty quiet today - just some locals and their boat.

This is Turntable Bay - peaceful and gorgeous.

Another stop in Yreka, California for gas - every small town has it's own wonderful weirdness.

After 11 hours, I finally made it to the Grand Hotel in Salem, Oregon, where I'm staying while I visit my brother and sis-in-law. They're completely gutting their house, hence the hotel!

I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight. It's off to Portland tomorrow - more later.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heat Wave Sunday

The heat is on in the Santa Clara Valley - just look at the weather forecast for the first week of July!

For those of you who prefer Centigrade - the temperature is going to be in the mid 30's!

The San Jose Sharks Fitness Face-Off was on - and it was 80F by 9:30 in the morning (that's almost 27C) and it was heating up fast. I walked past the booths at Guadalupe River Park on my way to Philz Coffee at Paseo San Antonio - it's about 1.5 miles from my house and across the street from San Jose State University.

I love to look at the Guadalupe River meandering it's way through downtown San Jose.

Too bad it was too early for the Bubble Tea place to be open!

I walked through South First Area (SOFA) and saw crochet-covered trees.

The area around SJSU is filled with old, historic houses, like the Reardon House, above, built in 1881. Amazingly, it's survived all the earthquakes so far!

Another popular food place - Las Iguanas, Home of the Burritozilla.

Finally made it to Philz, and I ordered a Dancing Water iced coffee with Cardamom. Delish!

I decided to take Light Rail back home, as it was now up to 85F heading towards 90F (over 29C). I made my way to the Paseo San Antonio VTA stop, which is nicely shaded by trees.

 I made sure I coated myself in high SPF sunscreen, and used a lot of blotting papers too!

The heat has convinced me to chop about 4" off my hair - have a hair appointment in Japantown before I head off to Oregon!