Portland, Oregon is a profusion of greens and a mass of flowers. For a high desert, rock and juniper dweller, it is a bombardment of color. The senses are assaulted by sweet smells (at least away from the road), refreshing sights and, well, the sound of traffic. Okay, but the plant life is incredible when you are used to the sparse vegetation of dry land. The high price of this beauty is the lack of sunshine. For about 5 minutes a day, the sun graced us with her presence. The rest of the time was completely overcast, with drizzles common when it wasn’t actually raining.
We were glad to get out of the city several times. It seems there is actually sunshine in Oregon, after all. Every time we drove out to go for a day hike, or an overnight in Washington, I was amazed at the number and size of the trees on both sides of the interstate. Then there were the rivers and the coast. So much water in Oregon. So many trees. I hated to go back to the city, but at least I kept snapshots and videos in my head, of the mountains and trees and streams.
El Nino’s birthday arrived while we were in Portland, and we celebrated at Red Robin. I had not been there before and was pleased with the selection of hamburgers. The onion rings were pretty good, too. What was really fun, though, was discovering Italian cream soda, mmm. The relatives insisted on us sampling numerous restaurants in the city. The problem with eating out is that nowadays we are having digestive issues with many processed foods. When we’re eating healthy most of the time, we don’t have much of a problem with the occasional meal out. But when meal after meal is eaten at restaurants, our bodies start to protest. A few times we had to politely but firmly decline the invitation.