Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last Blog for 2017

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” 
― Frank Herbert

     I haven't blogged for the whole month of December, so for my final blog of the year, I am going to combine LOTS of topics!
     Early December, Andrea and I flew to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding of Dick's brother's granddaughter...or my great niece!  We planned to be there a bit longer to see something to the area.  On our first day, we did a personal walking tour....and went to the Portland Museum of Art.  One of the exhibits that was going on was a retrospect of Three Wyeths, N.C., Andrew, and Jamie!

A Window painted to honor the Illustrator, NC Wyeth
Three Generations of Wyeths

Then we walked to Powell's Bookstore....advertising to be the largest Independent new and used bookstore in the World!  And I can believe it! It takes up a whole city block and contains over 68,000 square feet of retail floor space....several stories high... nine-color coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections.  Needless to say, we did not see the whole store!

Just a sampling picture of Powell's
     That afternoon, my SIL Janice flew in for the wedding from Belton, Missouri and had planned to stay at the same hotel where we were.  She texted me when she got in and, coincidentally, she was in the room right next door to us! We had read about a craft fair down by the river that evening in a big warehouse, so we ordered a Lyft and took off.  

The Fair
Food trucks are a big item in Portland....we saw them near Powell's when we were there, but it was too cold for us to partake in outdoor eating....but this evening, there were several set up behind the building with many of those outdoor heaters.  We ate our dinner standing up huddled under a heater, then went in to join the crowds!  None of us are too fond of crowds so we stayed about an hour then called another Lyft to go back to the the bar for a hot toddy!!
     The next morning, we had scheduled a city tour for the morning.  The wedding was to be at 3:00 so we had plenty of time to check out Portland!  It was a good tour, although, again...chilly and damp!  But that did not "dampen" our spirits! One of our stops was a Japanese Garden which was very lovely...then a stop along the river, the Wilamette...and then a tour of one of the best known homes in the area, the Pittock Mansion.  It is now a part of the Historical Society of Portland and one of their moneymakers to go towards the up keep, is to rent various rooms at Christmas to different groups to decorate according to their interests.  Then, of course there are the fees for visitors...but it was a beautiful place...and again, very popular!
The Japanese Gardens
Andrea, Jay, and Jan with Portland on the Wilamette in the background
The Pittock Mansion overlooking the city
The staircase at the split at the landing and went to the left also.
     We returned to the hotel to shower and dress for the wedding.  It was a lovely affair; the venue was a unique location...I don't know what the building had been originally but the huge room, which the family had transformed into fantasy, was just perfect for this couple. After a very short service, the entire attendees, approximately 300, I think I was told, were served  fun buffet dinner of the couples' choice...tacos and all the traditional sides!!

Jon and Lauren
Sister of the Bride-Emily/ Mother of the Bride- Cathy (my niece)
Jay and Andrea having a great time at the wedding!
    Dick's brother, Fay, took all of us back to our hotel.  Jan was flying home the next day, so we made a plan to meet at the airport for a brunch before she had to leave.  Cathy who lives in Portland, picked us up and for a least a short time, we all got together...all 13 of us minus the bride and groom.   After we saw Jan off, we went back to Cathy's house to visit for awhile then the suggestion was made to go see Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland along the Columbia  Gorge. What a site!  611 feet of cascading icy water!

Multmomah Falls
Then Andrea and I were taken back to our hotel.  All of the family were heading back home on Monday; we had planned to stay another day and had scheduled an all day tour along the Oregon coast.
     That Monday, we woke up to sunshine for the first time we since we had come!  Although it was still pretty cool, it was good to have sunshine while we toured because we did a lot of getting in and out! The coast is beautiful; we did a lot of walking /hiking at various stops. At one stop we were really in the forest primeval! There was a steep path leading down to the beach which I only tried part way.  On the path, there were many surfers in their winter wet suits heading down.  Brrrr!  I headed back to the top to wait for the others!

Pacific Coast, Oregon
Rock formation at certain locations along the coast
A temperate rainforest with fantastic mossed covered trees.
Not a sign we see in Texas!
The next day, Tuesday, we had an early flight out and got back to the DFW area before noon. Great trip; beautiful wedding; got to see lots of relatives and lots of fabulous scenery!!
     The rest of the month of December was spent with my art groups, working with my art, and celebrating Christmas.   My first art meeting was the North Texas SAQA  at which we all brought goodies to celebrate the holidays. We discussed what we want to do next year and then our fab show and tell!!

     And my North Texas Art Quilters (NTAQ)  met at my house...again plans for next year and another fabulous show and tell...

And then we went to lunch at a new restaurant, Rise, in the  Shops of Clearfork area.  It is a souffle eatery, very yummy...the best French Onion soup I think I have ever had!

Most of NTAQ
    Another nice surprise...a couple friends took me to Dallas for a belated birthday dinner...a new place for me.
Yummy seafood!
     Andrea and Leo came over on the Saturday before Christmas.  Sunday we went to see "An Act of God" at Stagewest where we also had dinner.

Cast of An Act of God
    We had a nice quiet Christmas Day...Marti and her family had decided to go on a Caribbean Cruise over the holidays; they all like to do physical stuff...snorkel, zipline, etc. which Andrea and I are not that crazy about so we opted to stay home, saving our money for a trip next spring to Colorado.  I can say I had a Wonder Woman personal hero since childhood!

     Then on the 29th, Dick and  I would be celebrating our 54 anniversary if he were still with me.  As it was, I had decided to go out to the National Cemetery where he is interred in part.  I say in part, because I am still dispersing ashes when I go on trips where he would have gone too.  Andrea offered to go with me so I met her for lunch and we drove over there....very nice surprise...I did not know that Christmas wreathes were placed at each and every tombstone and along the columbarium.

Nor did I know that there is an organization where one can donate and/or volunteer to lay the wreathes known as Wreathes Across America.  I will get involved in it next year.  They may be the ones responsible for other times of decorating the cemeteries...I'll have to check it out!

     So in drawing this lengthy blog to an end, I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year with this card I stole off Facebook, posted by a fellow Unitarian Universalist!
Love to all, Jaye