Monthly Archives: December 2017

Mom’s visit to Portland


Friday through Monday, 27-Oct-2017 to 30-Oct-2017

My Mom does a fair bit of traveling for work; bouncing out to conferences and company meetings and such keeps her pretty mobile.  A nice thing about this is that a fair number of her conferences are on the West Coast… and she’s able to redirect her flights home to go through Portland!


This time, We had a fair bit of adventure planned for her – since both Sarah and I were unemployed, and were fully living in Portland, we were able to do a few adventures that we hadn’t while we were in Hood River… a nice change from the normally hectic visits, right?  We obviously got up to a lot of adventure and excitement, but a few of the standouts are:

Hiking Forest Park, Rose garden, and Bunnies in Baskets!

One of the first things we did, since it’s awesome to get to stroll and chat, and also awesome to watch Ollie run around like a jet fighter with full afterburners on.  It was a perfect day, thankfully, so we took an easy stroll through a loop hike that we’ve done a few times – starting into the Leif Erikson trail, and then finishing out on the Wildwood.

Not much to say aside from that, but it was really awesome to get to chat and walk, and the day was absolutely perfect weather for us to be cozy… but still need to keep moving to stay warm and cozy.

Afterward, we headed to the Portland International Rose Test Garden – a fairly famous rose garden where various florists test their rose hybrids.  It’s glorious, and a great place to wander around when the light is good.  The light was definitely great that afternoon.

To cap off the evening, we had some cozy relaxing time with bunnies!  Sarah and I had found a charity group called Bunnies in Baskets, which trains and cares for therapy rabbits.  They’re primarily sent to hospitals and clinics, but they do a weekly fundraiser where the public is invited in for “Hoppy Hour”, where a small cover charge gets you a drink and some quality time petting bunnies.

Bunnies are fluffy.

Bunnies are cozy.

Bunnies make us happy 🙂


Exploring the Art Museum!

Somehow, I’d never been to any of the major Portland museums.  I know, I know, it’s horrible to admit.  But it’s a thing, and our lives have been crazy and busy, and I make no excuses.

Having never been, this was a perfect reason to head out and explore the museum.

We had a blast – The main exhibit was for Laika, a studio south of Portland that makes stop-motion films, where they had tons of props and set pieces from the last few films that they’ve made.  I’d only seen one of theirs before, but seeing the craftsmanship and detail of all the pieces was really cool – especially when compared with the sheer number of pieces that are needed to make a complete stop-motion show.


Dinner by the fire!

Something that my Mom and Sarah have in common is their enjoyment of quiet relaxation.  I have trouble forcing myself to slow down and enjoy it, so I appreciate the push to just sit and rest sometimes.  Since this was her relaxation after a big conference, we made a point to schedule a few evenings of downtime.

They were glorious.

An excellent part of the house in Portland is our fireplace.  I’d bought a super comfy couch when I first moved to Oregon, and Sarah is a fan of fluffy blankets.  Those combined with the warm fire make for a dangerous combination… a combination that regularly leads to us passing out on the couch after a day of adventure.

My Mom’s visit was no exception – though with the subtle shift that it was her and Ollie asleep on the couch, instead of Sarah and I 🙂

Hiking the Wildwood trail, forest park


Throughout the summer and fall, 2017


Something that I love about Portland is the amount of green space in and around the city.  Boston has this too, of course, but it’s not quite as pervasive… and while the Blue Hills reservation and the Fells are both beautiful, they’re not quite as large as some of the parks here in Portland.

Because of that, I’d taken a fair bit of time to explore the Wildwood Trail in Portland’s Forest Park.  The trail itself is almost exactly 30 miles; hiking it all in one go is one of my big goals for my knee recovery, though for now we’ve been hiking short spurts of it with Ollie.


It’s a great time; Ollie loves it, and I enjoy just how quiet and removed from the rest of the city it seems to be… while it’s not actually that far away, the density of the trees really insulate you from the noise of the masses.