A-O River

Dipping my toes in the sand at Kelley Point Park.

I donned my tourist hat today and set out to conquer this fair town.

Well, I did this soon after galloping oh so gracefully around the golf course, running to the post office and returning stupid impulse buys from last weekend.

I saw stupid because they were useless. USELESS USELESS things that I deep down really wish I still had up in my closet. Being fiscally responsible sends me into a slump similar to being 16 and not being allowed to have the keys to your mom’s car for the evening.

But I digress… I didn’t need those sandals or lamp shade so moving on. They were useless.

I was on my own today as the Sweet Boy headed north to Seattle to visit his brothers. My options are endless when it’s just me. I could spend all day trying on shoes, eating seafood, looking at houses, eating at fancy sandwich joints, shopping for yarn, eating vegetarian food… notice a trend? You guessed it, lunch was one of my highlights.

I started things off at Grand Central Bakery. They have outdoor seating and today was just about as gorgeous as it could have been. One degree warmer would have been too warmer, and one degree cooler would have sent me inside. I noshed on a fancy sandwich (i.e., not just turkey and swiss), drank a fancy iced tea and watched fancy people walk their fancy dogs on fancy Fremont St. Afterwards, I spent a few minutes walking by all the fancy houses and lusting after their fancy yards.

It was my second encounter with a Grand Central sandwich and they do not disappoint.

I really like things between bread.

Especially with avocado smeared all over it.

And hot peppers.

Yum.

After lunch I spent a lot of the afternoon at Kelley Point Park in North Portland. This bit of land juts out where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers converge. It’s a sublime mix of the large tanker and cargo ships that move up and down the Columbia, coming in from the Pacific Ocean, and small sail boats and water skiers coming in off the Willamette. The sand is cool and soft and there are plenty of drift wood logs to park yourself on for an hour or so. For as full as the parking lot was, the stretch of beach was surprisingly not crowded. There were a couple of families and people playing with their dogs, but it was quiet and I was able to surround myself in my thoughts.

I thought a lot about the beauty that surrounded me right that very moment. I thought about what it took to find me in Portland. I thought a brief moment on how hard I worked to land in the job I have. I’m surrounded by great coworkers, funny people, supportive teams and one of the most desirable places to move to. I thought about how lucky I am to be so loved and to have a husband that didn’t hesitate to accompany me to Portland.

It was the most perfect thinking spot I’ve come across since moving here. I’m looking forward to going back… next time with a picnic, perhaps?

As I headed back across town, I stopped at a somewhat run down looking burger joint in a not overly populated area. I felt that a cherry milkshake was well deserved after so many calories were spent on brain things while sitting on the shore. I’m a little sad I didn’t find that place for lunch. Their onion rings surely would have sang the songs of angels had I let them and their burgers were truly worthy of their own episode on Food Network (at least, they looked like they were). The milkshake was quite tasty but I’m still thinking about those onion rings! They might have to wait until July, however. I’ll be working straight through the next two weekends and then heading south to Austin after that.

Ah well. The onion rings will be there when I get back.

The trees along the Sandy River stretch to the heavens

My last stop was along the banks of the Sandy River. This river is east of Portland, just before you get to the Columbia River Gorge. I didn’t spend as much time here as it was a bit more crowded than I wanted to deal with today. It’s clear, surrounded by trees so tall they skim the clouds and it’s calm enough for a nice, afternoon float. I’m looking forward to a hotter weekend day. I think I found my swimming hole.

The Sandy River (look past those pesky power lines)

Today was just what I needed before a long stretch in the office. I did my fair share of exploring when I moved out here, but started to repeat my activities the 2nd half of the year. It’s time to start branching out again. Who knows, rivers today and a hike to some hidden falls tomorrow?

That doesn’t sound half bad.

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