This week we finally had the chance to meet up with family, spending a day with Frankie and Maddi in Portland.
After giving them the grand tour of Libbie, we stepped into the role of happy tourists as they led us on a grand tour of The City of Roses.
The day began at Powell’s, the world’s largest independent bookstore. If not for wanting to explore the rest of the city, we’d have stayed all day. As it was, our two hours there netted us 25 new pounds of precious cargo.
A small section of downtown has been riven with demonstration and riots for the past year. Many, many fences and boarded-up walls stand as evidence – and a good many of those are covered with street art, lending an eerie quality to our walk. Burn scars on the pavement and melted trash cans are steps from iconic “Keep Portland Weird” signs and block-long murals. Alongside tent-towns rise story after story of new construction. The juxtaposition of destruction and creation is hard to reconcile.
But our quest to be active tourists was not deterred. We had lunch at Shigezo and shave ice at Wailua. Both were absolute treats.
Along the way we spotted a gushing fountain. To the astonishment of others nearby, Glenn and Frankie strolled casually through it, and spent the next two hours drying out.
After strolling the waterfront, we hovered over Mills End, the world’s smallest park.
The day ended with games and pizza, and the chance for us to see Frankie and Maddi’s pets, including one you’ve probably never seen. Meet Orzo, the axolotl!
All told, it was a delightful break from the rainforests and redwoods that have been our home for months, and being able to spend time with familiar faces was the biggest treat of all.