Saturday, February 14

Portland in Winter

I'm home from a few days up in Portland, Oregon where it was deliciously wintry. The flight went via Denver (it is a long way from San Antonio to Portland!) and as soon as we got near Denver there was a sudden change in the lands beneath...Snow! And frozen lakes, and white spiky mountains and, of course, the eye-watering glare.

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. HonorĂ© 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...


Anonymous said...

You certainly had a good time by the look of those photos. The snow looks so soft on the branches, that one with the red stems is gorgeous.

Love Jeannie

Mothersupex said...

Your first night picnic, in the hotel room, would not have passed the 5 vegies etc, that we are supposed to have:-(

Your snow photo's are just magnificient and capture the moment. Thank you for sharing :-)

Hugs and much love,

Big A said...

Josie would have been sorry to have missed out on the snow. Or maybe her blood is getting too thin for that sort of thing after living in Texas?

Looking forward to hearing about the food!

CupKate said...

Looks like fun! I'm glad you get to keep going back to a place that seems fun and you like! The picnic looked tasty - even without veggies, and even though we can get Blue Castello here. xx

Bee said...

Wow, those trees are so beautiful. Just like in a fairytale :)
Did you know there is a Lush in Hobart now? On the same street as The Body Shop so there are competing smells all the way up Murray Street! Lush wins by a mile tho.
B x

Dumblond said...

Would love to hang out with you next time you are in the Northwest!
I'm sure the snow was's just not when you had to spend the better part of December digging out of it! :)

Jac said...

I would love to come and hand out with you guys. I have to get back to Portland soon, really soon (my next post will explain why) but maybe when the snow is well and truly gone.

And who needs vegies...I had green fruits, right? Plus I probably had 3 or 4 grapefruits in my bottle...

Jac said...

Hang. I meant hang out >_<

Anonymous said...

We've had plenty of snow to do us several winters, thank you. But yes it does look pretty when you arent having to get somewhere, or dig the car out.
Glaucoma..? My eye consultant thinks I may have the low pressure type. Can you enlighten me on the pros & cons etc, I know virtually nothing about it.