The weather has been divine in Portland. Yes, I know, "divine" is an odd word to use, but it has simply been divine. And when the weather is nice, what could be move divine then strolling through the Park Blocks with your mom and watching artists paint outside of the Portland Art Museum as part of the Tuileres Garden exhibit festivities.
Tartberry seems to have become a tradition when I come to visit family in Portland. When they see me, my nieces scream, "We just have to take Ellen to Tartberry!! Can we, can we, can we?!!" Although, I suspect my arrival may just be an excuse to get their mother to take them for frozen yogurt and all the candy toppings you can possibly cram into a bowl. In fact, why even bother with the frozen yogurt, when you can just get a bowl full of candy? That's 12 year old logic for you.
I've been having fun hanging out with my nieces and being goofy. 12 year olds know how to do goofy and they do it well. When I said, "Let's build a polar bear defense system out of marshmallows and a catapult!", they said, "Why not?" Of course, it is possible that they were just trying to humor me and they think that I'm the goofy one. (Don't worry, that's food dye on her hands from tie-dying marshmallows, not blood.)
My mom recently moved into a new place and she has some amazing views of Portland including downtown, the Willamette River, the West Hills and even the mountains. I've been soaking in the sights from her balcony - a great reminder of what a beautiful and livable city that Portland is.
In addition to eating frozen yogurt and goofing off, I've been helping my sister with some weeding in her yard. Keeping the blackberry brambles and ivy at bay is a constant battle at her place. With the nice weather and the chance to be outside, weeding has actually been enjoyable. It has also made me realize how out of shape I've become since we moved off the boat. Not having a car and walking everywhere, carrying all of your groceries in your backpack, pulling on lines, hauling buckets of water around and trying to keep your balance on a moving ship sure does keep you in shape when you're a cruiser! The weeding has been helping to battle those pounds I've been gaining while on land.
There has also been time to enjoy the outdoors and go on walks in the forest. Portland has some amazing gardens and green spaces scattered throughout the city including Forest Park, the Rose Garden, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and even Chinese and Japanese gardens.
Well, that's life in Portland lately...a great place to spend the summer!