Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Portland, Oregon

The day after Mother's Day, Heidi and I took the Amtrak train from Seattle to Portland, Oregon. It was about a three and a half hour trip that took us along the Puget Sound. Talk about gorgeous! I hadn't realized that the Sound was so long. We saw many lovely homes on the western edge of it. Heidi shared with me that one of her co-workers used to have a home on one of the cliffs there and a few years ago after some heavy rains, the co-worker's and a next door neighbor's home slid into the Sound. They lost EVERYTHING! Can you imagine?!

When we arrived at the train station - a building that looked like it hadn't changed since the 1940's and looked to be a perfect spot to film a period movie - a classmate of Heidi's from UND met us and took us to a lovely restaurant along the Willamette River in downtown Portland. Heidi's friend is a pilot for Horizon Airlines and it was fun for me to listen to them "talk shop." It has always impressed me to hear the lingo Heidi has to use when doing her job (unlike Hans who seems to always talk in acronyms). I'm sure Peder's job has its own language also!

While we were dining alfresco, a fireboat began spewing out water spouts. It was really pretty - so I got out my camera to take a photo when all of a sudden the spouts changed from white to red, white and blue! It was gorgeous!

The day turned unusually hot for Oregon (96 degrees). Their average May temperature is 57. Both Heidi and I were trying to find some interesting (and not expensive) stores to wander around in because it was too hot to go to the famous rose gardens there, but resorted to spending over an hour in Nordstrom's cafe and a half hour in the Hilton Hotel lobby. We checked to see if we could board the return train early, but that wasn't an option. So we walked along the waterfront and relaxed in the train station prior to boarding. The train ride was really fun, but noticeably less efficient than the Japanese trains. We ate a little supper in the dining car which was sort of fun, and then just relaxed in our seats watching the beautiful scenery passing by.

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