Our first stop was Chico in Northern California, home of my ever-beautiful cousin Judy and her family. Although we have been to Chico several times, we never really spend any time seeing the town. This time was no different:-). But we did stay in the old town and meet up with the family for dinner and then breakfast the next morning. Chico is one of California's college towns that has kept its early 20th century charm, repurposing old buildings rather than tear them down and build more modern structures. This alone makes it a great stop. Between family and cuteness, this was a great stop. And seeing Judy, Holly, the boys Max and Josh, and Hollys boyfriend Mike just makes you realise how important family is- they are truly fantastic and makes me lucky to have them in our life!
|Dinner with family! The smiles are all genuine- |
each of these people are as beautiful on the inside as the outside!
|My dear cousin Judy with Rich, Cody and I|
|Holly with her infectious smile! |
Meeting us on her break from work was the best!
|Main street in the morning|
|Every cool college town must have a store for Star Wars and video games:-)|
|This beautiful old building is repurposed to a Jamba Juice|
|Cool old building right out of Dublin, Ireland- so of course a bar:-)|
|As an example of how artsy the town is: benches are works of art|
|look for the blue and green eyes peering at you from this bench|
|The old theater|
|city park, with concerts in the summer|
|Every town in America has a tribute to our veterans|
Our second stop was Ashland, Oregon- another uber-cute town that always deserves more time than we have. We stayed in our all-time favorite hotel Lithia Springs Spa and Resort. Every room makes you feel right at home, only luxurious:-). This night, we met up with Rich's niece Renee, her husband Mike, son Mason, and his girl-friend Sarah. Stupidly, we didn't get pictures- but Mason has grown into a wonderful young man and hid Sarah is awesome. We of course love Renee and Mike with all our hearts!
After only 1 night in Ashland, off to Portland we went! Portland- the city we have always wanted to live in, after San Diego:-). Our first stop after checking into our hotel- happy hour:-)
I love my morning walks! Because I get up earlier than Rich and Cody, I MUST go get coffee and take a walk in the area we are staying, just for exploring and alone time.
|Rich, Cody and I with the Portland Convention Center behind us|
|The reason I love Portland- there are flowers everywhere!!! Much like Fresno's Blossom Trail (http://goblossomtrail.com/), the city always is in bloom! This simple view of trees is|
symbolic of Portland's love of nature!
|All across America, our cities and towns are learning to develop spaces that are both functional (what we do best) and beautiful (fairly new, and we are doing it well!!!)!|
The Japanese Gardens are so very beautiful every time of the year! Close by is the Pittock Mansion, and old Portland family with a beautiful home and fantastic view! VooDoo Donuts is THE donut spot of Portland- definitely part of the "Keep Portland Weird" Movement, which we love so very much!!!! Each weekend, Portland hosts an art and food fair under the bridges, along the river. Having never been here this ealy in the spring, the flowering trees (we think they are cherry trees) just brightened up an otherwise dreary day! Just another awesome example of creating outside spaces for people to enjoy. We were so lucky to meet up with two groups of people we love: Rich's brother and his family, and our friends Dick and Donna from Temecula, who, by some weird coincidence, took up a home exchange at the same time as our trip!!! So lucky!!!
Rich's brother Jose and his family, Justin, Veronika, Noah and Vanessa, all are lucky to live very near Portland! At 64, I always think I have more than enough energy for my needs. Well, after spending some time with a 4 year old and 2 year old, my view of "energy" has changed so very much!!! LOL
|Vanessa, at 16 months|
Views of Portland! Have to love this incredible city!!!
|This sign says it all:-)|
|Dick and Donna with us!|
|A view of the Convention Center from across the river- our last night in Portland:-(. |
Always sad saying goodbye