Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chris and Ashley

My brother, Chris and his fiancee, Ashley, are out visiting this week. They got here Thursday and for dinner we attempted a bike ride to the taco cart. Unfortunately, our bikes, even with the seats all the way down, were way too big for them, so we had to change our plan and walk instead. I will say that riding my road bike around for that little bit reminded me what a great bike it is. If I can carve out some time and get some nice weather I'd really like to attempt a 2-hour ride soon. My back has been doing so great lately that I have been hesitant to change my workouts much. But I do miss long rides and we've got the Cycle Oregon weekend ride this summer so I've got to get some training in!

Yesterday, we took them on an all-day marathon walking tour of Portland. I was a little worried the whole time that they were going to get exhausted and stop having fun. But, they were both troopers and I'm sure by the time the day was over we'd walked over 10 miles.

We started with a walk downtown, across the Willamette River where I got this nice shot of them with the city in the background.
Our next stop was the cart pod on SW 10th and SW Alder. First, we did a once-around to show them all their options. It's really astounding all the great food choices we have from carts in Portland. Lots of Thai, Vietnamese, barbecue, Japanese, Greek, hot dogs, Egyptian, Indian, Brazilian, Cuban, soup, German, organic healthy, NW, fish n chips, bubble tea and desserts and I'm sure more than I can't think of. Eating at a cart in Portland is a quintessential Portland experience. Peter decided on a gyro, I went for chicken yakisoba and Chris and Ashley went for fish n chips. We ate our meal in the Galleria, got dessert at Cafe Bleu and started the long walk up the the Japanese Garden.
Along the way, Chris had a little fun with the creepy baby face statues.

We had a nice view of Mt. St. Helens with my favorite bridge, the sweeping Fremont Bridge.
When we got to the Japanese garden, we headed first for the view of Mt. Hood. Amazing.
Then, we wandered around the garden, admiring the azaleas and Japanese maples, taking pictures of koi, watching the zen stick slowly fill with water, dip down into the bucket below then lift back up and slowly get filled with water again. Mesmerizing.
On the way home, we showed Chris and Ashley Matt Groening's Bart picture near Lincoln High.

Then, we came home for an hour and a half rest. Chris and Ashley fell right to sleep, Peter and I made sandwiches and walked Dexter and before we knew it it was time to leave for the hockey game.

We always walk to the Rose Garden from our house. It's much more fun than driving. To my amazement, Chris and Ashley were still up for it which was so much fun. I felt like I was not only sharing my city with my brother and future sister-in-law, but I was showing it to them in the way that I, myself, love to see it. In my head I thought as we were walking to the game, This is, hands down, the best visit I have ever had with a family member.

The hockey game was fun, even though the Winterhawks lost. Kootenay Ice actually won the WHL championship as a result, though, so it was fun to watch them get their trophies and celebrate.

On the way home we stopped for another quintessential Portland experience, Voodoo Donuts. It was packed! Peter and I decided to try the bacon maple bar for the first time. Ashley and Chris got a bacon maple bar to share and my favorite donut, The Old Dirty Bastard (oreo, chocolate and peanut butter). We walked home and sat around the table eating our donuts (delicious!) and talking and laughing until the wee hours of the morning. It was a great day.

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