Friday, July 30, 2010

The City of Portland

We have been here in Portland for one week now and we have not had a dull moment. Last Friday after we set up and rested for a bit, we headed over to Tualatin Commons for the free concert on the commons that happens every Friday night during the summer. This Friday, in addition to a Jazz and Blues Band there was also the ArtFest with tents set up for the art displays. We got our chairs arranged on the lawn and then wandered through the various art works and noticed that there were no pastel artists, mostly watercolor and acrylic. There were also many photographers and jewelers. Further down the commons we found the farmers market and proceded to purchase giant sweet boysenberries, fragrantly sweet marionberries, fresh strawberries, and plump little blueberries. We polished off almost all of the boysenberries and marionberries before we even got back to the rv. On Saturday morning we drove to Portland for the mother of all farmers markets held in the parkway near the University. We spent almost two hours wandering around the many booths filled with produce, fresh flowers, fruit, pickles, breads, coffees, chocolates, meat, fish, eggs, spices, soaps, granolas, pesto, mushrooms, and many other local products which I am probably forgetting right now. We loaded up on croissants, pickled beets, pickled carrots, fresh basil, tomatoes, green beans, crookneck squash, fresh cream cheese, and eggs. We could have easily brought home a lot more, but we have an automatic brake called the rv refridgerator, which only holds what it can, and no more. While we were walking around the market we were entertained by bands positioned at either end of the market boundaries.
On Sunday during our "at home" day, we discovered that our oven pilot light would not light and so on Monday we made a service call to an rv repair guy who came out and determined the problem was the thermocouple line which ran up from the pilot light to the top of the stove where it was connected to the regulator knob. He came out the following day to install a new one and it was too short. While he was locating a line that was the right size, we entertained ourselves by going to the factory outlets in Woodburn. Thanks to the economy, everything was on sale, marked down from the object's original outrageous price to some lower price, which was then decreased further by 50% off of the lowest knocked down price. So Allan found some new sandal slides and a couple of shirts, while I was able to find some cargo pants. On Thursday, we were finally able to get the oven repaired and immediately afterward we headed off to Beaverton to check out used book stores. One of the bookstores that we visited was only for online trading although they took a look through the books we were trying to trade and picked out a couple they would take. Then we went to the Cedar Hills Powells bookstore where we offloaded some more of our recently read books and promptly filled up our bags with more books that we found in the store. So we should be set for a few weeks at least in terms of reading. In the same shopping center as Powell's, we found a little Italian restaurant called Pastinos and they had the best $6.00 lunches of a choice of pasta, salad, and ciabatta bread. We were in heaven. Today we went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland where we took lots of photos and then had tea in the teahouse while we were entertained by a Chinese man playing a traditional stringed instrument. Very Zen.

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