Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Zoo Lights Merry Nights

Embracing Christmas at the Portland Zoo

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous
holiday season!

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Other Nob Hill

Exploring Portland

My travel buddy and I lived in San Francisco's Nob Hill district for five years, from 1977 to 1982, so when I learned about the other Nob Hill in Portland, Oregon, I had to check it out.  To this day, San Francisco remains one of my favorite cities in the whole world.

"I could move here in a heart beat," I told him as we walked down Northwest 23rd Street between Burnside and Johnson.  The Painted Ladies.  The coffee shops.  Shoe stores.  Boutiques.  Restaurants.  Cinemas.  Bars.  One right after the other with gorgeous residential Victorians in between.

I felt at home.
I am happy to write that this time, even my travel buddy (mountain man that he is) was wowed by the extraordinary products that the shops offered.  We bought many unique gifts for ourselves and for our sons--now all wrapped with paper and bows to be opened Christmas morning.

Several people have told me that Nob Hill (also known as The Alphabet District) is their favorite neighborhood in Portland.  Now I know why.  I heartily agree and will be returning again and again.

I felt at home.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Walla Walla 99362

What a cool town!  The town so nice they named it twice is an often heard slogan.  Walla Walla, Washington whose population is 40,000, give or take, is located in the southeastern portion of the state.  The town is surrounded by the rolling hills of the Palouse and the snow capped Blue Mountains.  In the summer it has a hot Mediterranean climate so voila!, grapes grow well here and vineyards have exploded, which only add to its already romantic appeal.

My travel buddy and I spent a wonderful afternoon roaming the streets of downtown Walla Walla--even its name is cool.  As an added bonus is the cool public art transforming Main Street into an outdoor art gallery.  Cool.  Cool.  Cool.   (Okay--got that overused word out of my system, I promise.)
I'm afraid my travel buddy pooped out after a couple of hours so he waited for me in a wine tasting room while I popped into a few more stores.  I couldn't get enough of them.  I've been in a shopping drought of late and what the heck, Christmas gives me a reason to shop, right? 

I miss that camaraderie I had back in Santa Barbara with fellow fashionistas at the store I worked at, so when I found a woman who wanted to show me every single item in her new boutique, I happily agreed.  I took six outfits into the dressing room and she brought me six more.

  "I just want to see what they look like on," she said.  "No pressure."   

I ended up buying two sweaters.  Mimi models them below.

But my shopping didn't end there.  I walked into the Bontzu Cellars tasting room with six shopping bags (and came out with seven).  The stores here are exceptionally good and so is the wine.  I fell in love with Bontzu's Carmenere--a grape that is common in Chile, but not so much in the U.S.  

We then walked across the street to the Walla Walla Bread Company and had an excellent dinner.  My travel buddy had the cioppino and I had a meat and cheese plate--all accompanied by more wine, of course.  

Where there's good wine, the food will follow.  There are many restaurants in Walla Walla and I can't wait to return for a full two days of food and wine touring next summer when the vineyards are filled with grapes and the tasting rooms are all open.


Walla Walla.
Very Cool.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Walla Walla Jesus

Roadside Double Takes

While driving the Scenic Loop Road outside of Walla Walla we saw this sign and came to a screeching halt. 

Who knew Jesus had been reincarnated right here in the State of Washington? 

  To summarize:  William W. Davies was a leader in the Latter Days Saints church, but broke away from the Utah branch in 1867 and moved to this lovely spot in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.  He and his followers set up a communal society--the "Kingdom of Heaven on Earth."  You see, his son Arthur was the reincarnated Jesus and his second son was God the Father.  William himself was the archangel Michael.  And people believed him!  Except . . . when the two boys died of diphtheria  they started to question this revelation and in fact, got really really mad at being duped.  His followers sued him and won.  He was forced to sell the property and close down the Kingdom of Heaven.

I sort of get it.  I mean, this area of Washington, the southern Palouse, with its rolling hills and romantic vineyards is a little slice of heaven, don't you think?