Sunday, July 3, 2011 B
We're calling it a relatively early night. The Boggle tournament was stimulating. There were five rounds, around thirty two players, on a five by five grid. No three letter words allowed, so I had to ignore those. The highest total score was over 200 points! I, on the other hand, only scored forty-three points. But I had fun. And it was nice to see our local friend Charles, who ran the tournament.
We met another friend, Peggie, for lunch. Julia has known her since her days in Maryland. So that was nice.
We saw two lovely travelogues, one about a couple's adventures in South Korea and another about their adventures in a travel trailer in New Zealand. New Zealand is a gorgeous country, full of scenic vistas.
After those, we saw the "Math-a-magician" Arthur Benjamin. He is utterly amazing with his abilities! It astounds me, for math is my weakest subject.
Tomorrow, the Japanese Gardens await.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 A
Yesterday was a completely wonderful day. The free breakfasts no longer available, we opted for the menu at the Bistro, the restaurant adjoining our hotel. Julia got a huge fruit plate, while I opted for the Northwestern Omelet, which featured chedder cheese and crab meat. Julia said of the 1/3rd piece I gave her, "How can it be so heavy and so light at the same time?" I enjoyed a few of her raspberries in return.
Then we did a brief wander to make sure we know where to catch the rail going back to the airport. We'll be finding it in the dark the day of departure, but I think we'll know the signs.
As we waited for those interested in the Japanese Garden tour, the number of people grew to around twelve. The leader organized us into groups for taxis, and those who would go in her car.
We got a true gentleman for our cab driver, who gave us a little town history as he drove and dropped us off as close as he could.
The Japanese garden is gorgeous! Its beauty puts one into a serene mood, and we appreciated all the benches where we could rest and relax as we took the sights in.
I wish the click-through led to a more detailed view, but my camera FAILED me!
The leader, Ruth, used to be a tour guide there a few years ago, so she could tell us the symbolism of Buddha stones and the lanterns, each of which vary.
Paths are created in switching angles, as this confuses the demons, which only can travel in straight lines.
One lantern's side decorations mean 'half moon' and 'full moon'.
The gravel in the rock garden is carefully combed with patterns depending on the time of year and significance of the day. All this is done while leaving no foot prints.
There is symbolism, too, with this smaller garden, the larger shape may mean either 'bottle of Saki' or 'infinity', and the 'o' shape the Saki cup. If you drink enough Saki, you might feel 'infinite', so the joke goes.
From one vantage point, we got an iconic view of Mt. Hood, with its snow covered top. Portlanders feel a special relationship with their landmark, feeling blessed when they are able to see it. As the frequent rains make it hard to see, its visibility means a sunny, clear day.
We had such a lovely day yesterday. The weather was perfect.
After seeing the Japanese garden, many opted to take a cab for the hotel. Julia and I stayed on with those going to the Rose garden. There are many types of roses, it is a gorgeous, fragrant place. Of course, I got busy with the camera here too!
If I've got the right info card, this is 'Fragrant Cloud Hybrid Tea'
I'm lucky to have such a smart partner!
Returning into town, Julia and I went into Ruth's car. What good fortune, for the other rider suggested we treat Ruth to dinner. The Thai restaurant, (named 'Typhoon'), had extraordinary food. Gluten free options were available and the other rider, a man whose name I can't remember except "Piano Guy" was in his title, is allergic to gluten. And plenty of 'fish-atarian' options were available for the non meat eaters. So we all shared our choices. I enjoyed all the selections, but the eggplant with prawns (my pick) and the pineapple curry with shrimp were the most tasty. And the marionberry tea was heavenly, too.
We were able to sit in an area which had its window raised up so all the fresh air could come in, too.
It was just a delightful, perfect day!