There's snow on them there hills!
I have a collaboration with some glaucoma researchers in Portland and they are just the best people, lots of fun and really welcoming so I don't mind so much when they work me really hard.
One of the great things about these trips to Portland is that they always put me up at The Benson, which is my favorite hotel in America. Not because it is ritzy or has special shampoos, but because it is absolutely classic in the old school sense. It's not all false pretenses and veneer like most 'pretending to be posh' hotels nowdays.
Simple and elegant, and the bed is memory foam!
It is a 6-7 hour flight so when I first got in Mary (one of two fab collaborators) took me for a stroll around NW Portland where some of my favorite shops are. I popped into Lush (after smelling it from a block away) to get some bath yummies for the beloved. We also discovered a couple of markets or gourmet corner stores full of delicious cheeses, meats, vegies and such (that I'm sure weren't there last trip).
Part of said 'corner store'...I could have spent a lot longer browsing
Since I was pretty tired and there were no real plans that night, I decided to put together a picnic dinner that I could have in the comfort of my hotel - a couple of cheeses including a blue castello (common in Oz, not so much here), some mixed green olives and some salami. And some freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice to wash it all down :D
On the third day of the trip, after a fabulous breakfast at the St. Honoré Boulangerie (fabulous French bakery) I realised it was SNOWING! And not just the odd flake but a constant flutter. All the trees on the hill behind us were covered in a decent dusting of white! I got so excited - and I think that was a surprise to my collaborators who had already suffered through an unusually white winter and to whom the current fall was small fish... plankton even.
See, trees, coated!
Ahh snow, glorious snow.
A gorgeous little red bush that looked so pretty in the snow
The pine needles just hold the light snow so beautifully. Mind you, I wasn't game to stand underneath any of these because I wasn't sure just how tightly it was holding that snow!
All in all it was a great trip, not quite 4 days in total. We got a lot of work done, and I ate a lot of great food. And yes, I know there's still a big ass food post owing. Manyana...