Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back home...fat and happy!

Warning... LONG post ahead and not a single bead photo in the bunch!

This is all about my trip to Oregon - I had a WONDERFUL time on vacation. It really was as close to perfect as you can get, I only wish it could have been longer. This post won't have any beady photos, but they are coming - really they are, I have been working on a couple of beaded things. I just have not had much time to take photographs and to write blog posts.

So now, if you're interested - stick around for crazy Aunt Grace's slide show. I took a couple hundred photos (and a few videos) but will only subject you to a small sampling.

The goal for this trip was to get away and relax with a few friends and to attend a dinner/fund raising auction for Candlelighters for Children with Cancer. I donated a cuff for the auction and on a whim thought it might be fun to fly out and attend the event. Everything fell in to place perfectly to make that happen.

My friend Anne flew out from Minnesota, we were met at the Portland, OR airport by Anne's sister Bobbie and another dear friend Sammie, from Seattle, WA. Sammie met us at the airport with her freshly baked blackberry cobbler. You know a trip is going to be good when it starts out like that!

On our way back to the house (Bobbie's house) in Hillsboro, we stopped at a wonderful little store for groceries (by my definition that means wine).

Bobbie lives just outside of town in a place with spectacular views. Coming from Indiana it was so nice to see hills and mountains again. I don't realize how much I miss them until I see them again. I believe that is Mt. Hood off in the distance.

Can you imagine the possibility of sunsets and sun rises every day like this??? Please click each photo for a larger view.

We relaxed and took in the beautiful scenery and caught up with each other. It was a great first day of the trip.

The second day of the trip took us into the town of Hillsboro to meet up with Lisa of Pursuing Art, Life and Dreams. She was generous enough to make the drive to meet us in town. Our plan was to do a little bead shopping at Planet Bead and then to have lunch. Boy did we ever shop! I had a great time with Lisa pouring over all the beads picking out all sorts of things.

Next stop was the Stratford House Tea Parlour for lunch. It was wonderful, we sat for the longest time enjoying conversation. The food was outstanding. If you click on the link above you will see an old piano. Our table was right by the piano bench. I think by the time we left we were the only people in the parlour. I did not get a good photo of Lisa and I together (but boy did we try hard!), there is a photo of us from that day on her blog linked above.

Lisa came bearing gifts for all of us. My friends were so touched by her generosity and I was just floored. She gifted me with several doll forms, an abundance of sew-ons, beads and sequins, a great quote and photo, scissors with swarovski crystals and an absolutely amazing set of antique type blocks to be unveiled at a later date :-) It was such a pleasure and honor to meet Lisa, I admire and am inspired so much by her beading. It will always be a day of warm memories.

The next day took us to the Columbia River Gorge. First I met up with my sister, then we all ventured out. It was another beautiful day and unusually warm. It was a great way to spend some time with my sister. The views were spectacular! Can you see that tiny speck of a building on the right side of the photo on that overlook? Click the photo for a larger view.

Here it is close up - pretty neat, isn't it?

From there we traveled on to Latourell Falls. This time we walked a path (seemed quite steep at times) to get to the waterfall.

How could one complain with such views though?

I love waterfalls.

We climbed many steps and hills that day, my calves let me know the next day - rather acutely, that I am out of shape.

But again I have to say... it was more than worth it! The above photo is Multnomah Falls. In person it is breathtaking.

Saturday was spent running a few errands and by errands I mean checking out the local, highly recommended Mexican food. Then getting ready for the dinner/auction. One of the organizers (one that does an endless amount of work it seems) is Sammie's daughter Shelli, a very funny and generous woman even though she has an extreme dislike for decorated socks. It didn't stop me from wearing my pumpkin socks though. Seriously, she opened her home and her heart to me and I am grateful (and better) for it. Shelli is also mother to Kayla, one of the sweetest young women I have had the pleasure of ever meeting. She has a wonderful connection with, and love for animals. She is also exceptionally sensitive to people that have had more struggles in life than most of us. She is a pure delight with a great sense of humor.

Kayla spent the next day with us on our travels to the beach. We were somewhere near Warrenton and the views, while very different from what we experienced in Hillsboro, were still spectacular as was the weather.

Kayla and Anne went on a great treasure hunt. Their booty... A rusty nail. But it sure was fun to watch them work for it!

On another part of the beach I ran into a life lost... a sad note

on an otherwise gorgeous day.

Even the sunset was amazing. By this time it was getting a little chilly though, so we walked back up to the house.

The next day our travels took us to Astoria. We visited the Column there, and enjoyed more beautiful scenery.

It was beautiful no matter where I stood.

Our next stop took us to the docks where the sea lions nap and lounge.

They are SO loud, but terribly cute (I think anyway).

We spend the rest of the day back at the beach, it finally started to get cloudy and a bit cold. It was still beautiful. We spent a little time combing the shore for shells and other interesting finds.

I'll end the post with a tribute to the wonderful people I'm fortunate to call my friends. The photo above is Sammie and her granddaughter Kayla. Their bond in undeniable and their love for one another inspiring.

Last but certainly not least - sisters Bobbie and Anne. It is heartwarming to know two women who are not only sisters, but also good friends.

One last note... I'm going out of town again November 5, returning November 14. This time I am going to Miami for work. My next post will be about BEADS and my latest projects among other things.

I will do my best to get a post up before I leave, but if that does not happen - I wish you a wonderful couple of weeks!


KV said...

Wonderful photos and post, Grace! I am so glad you had a great trip and enjoyed everything so much . . .

Kathy V in NM

Hélène H said...

That sounds like great holidays, Grace, good for you !

I wish you a safe work trip, and look forward to seeing your beaded pieces.


Lynn said...

Spectacular! Thanks so much for sharing your trip. Your photos are gorgeous!

freebird said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip. Glad you took the opportunity. These are some beautiful pictures. Now you need to learn to paint besides bead! Post when you can and we'll be back to see it.

crooked heart art~tabby said...

looks like you had a wonderful time grace! GOOD you deserve it :)
and how nice you were able to meet lisa!
and your pics are fantastic
i hope you came home fresh and rested
enjoy your day

abeadlady said...

Your pictures reminded me of the year I lived in Portland. I didn't realize how much I missed being up there. Everywhere you look, there is a beautiful view. So glad you had such a wonderful time with your friends.


Judibeads said...

Your pictures are beautiful! It looks like a fantastic trip!

Pursuing Art... said...

Oh Grace...I was hoping you'd share some of your pictures and they are STUNNING! I enjoyed each and every one of them and wish I could see them all. What a glorious and great week you had. I'm so glad you got to get away and come to Oregon, be with friends and visit so many places. I'm hoping you will come back soon! The second shot from Bobbie's...sure looks like a great photo of 'Hope' to me!

I so enjoyed seeing these photos and hearing about the rest of your trip! Have a safe trip to Miami and try not to work too hard! BTW...Madison, Alabama and Miami, Florida are only 730 miles apart!!! ~wink~ Just thinking out loud!

Hugs from me...~Lisa ;-)

P.S. How cool that your Grandma's birthday was May 13th too!

The Lone Beader said...

Beautiful photos!!! :D

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

*hootin' and hollerin*


So happy to see pics of your trip,

what a BLAST! You deserved the time off,

away from phone & 'puter.

Glad to hear you & Lisa shopped up a storm! :)

Missed you!!!!!

xo, Monica

Cotton Picker said...

Your photos are outstanding. Obviously, beading is not your only talent.

GardenGoose said...

looks like a terrific time. nice photos.
hope you havea lovely weekend.

Kathy Wagner said...

How fun to hear about your vacation! There's nothing better than time spent with other wonderful women!
Don't work too hard in Miami...
do they have bead stores there?!?!

Dot said...

Happy sigh....I have visited your blog a few times since you left this post. And pored over the photo's and re-read your words. What a wonderful, wonderful trip you had.
I am so pleased you had such a special time Grace. Your photo's are magnificent (I wanted to go on that walk to the falls with you).

And I saw the photo of you and Lisa on Lisa's blog and loved it (you have a very beautiful and kind face). I can just imagine you and Lisa at Planet Beads looking at all the goodies. Enjoying spending time together.

You made me laugh with this comment : we stopped at a wonderful little store for groceries (by my definition that means wine. You have a wonderful sense of humour and a love for life!

Much love to you and your kitties.

Dot xx

GraceBeading said...

Thanks to all for indulging in some photos of my trip - I do appreciate it and am glad you enjoyed them. It's nice to take my beady friends along on my trips!

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman