Friday, January 31, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 2

When I realized that the train pulled to a stop at a station and our railcar stopped in the midst of the It's a Small World attraction, I just about lost it. I had no idea that the would happen. No idea. Naturally before we made it back to the station, I asked Sharon and Jenna if we could ride all the way around again, one more time. They agreed, thank goodness, because if you saw my post yesterday, that allowed me to get in a very short line for Mickey Mouse and my photo with him! Yea!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 1

12:32 p.m. and I have walked through the gates at Disneyland for the first time in my life. Automatically, I feel like a kid again. Well, mentally at least. I know my body is the age that I am, but who cares. I know that there will be benches and low walls and rides and such to allow me the chance to rest when I need to. My friends Sharon and Jenna have been here before, so they are my aces in the hole, so I know they'll keep me from making too many missteps as we spend lots of time here over the next four days. I bought those sunglasses at the Rain Forest Cafe the day before so that I could deal with that bright sun. Sharon and Jenna remembered to bring theirs from home--see what I mean about experienced travelers to Southern California? Our hotel sells not only bus passes but also Disneyland tickets! By getting our four-day-hoppers before we left the lobby, we avoided one line at the park. Eyes glued to the flower-filled Mickey Mouse on the slope that led up to the Disneyland Railroad depot, I would have missed seeing my first characters. Thanks, Sharon, for pointing out princesses! Belle and Cinderella? Yes! I Googled to check my answer. Not bad for an ol' lady! We rode the train around the park, twice, at my request. I just kept looking and looking and looking. When we got off at the station, I looked across the street and saw a few folks in line, looked to the left to see what had grabbed their attention. Mickey Mouse! I took off across the street and got in line. Yes, my first character photo is with the greatest mouse ever! What a good hugger he was, too! One photo I took while we were on the train--Minnie Mouse being so sweet with a little girl. Wow. My face had started to ache a bit from the full-time grin plastered on it. And I'm certain that the excitement level in every word I spoke, every thought I had soared to the stratosphere, just like a rocket in a Disney cartoon! P.S. I apologize for the fact that the photos may be loading slowly--I think it has something to do with a change made at Flickr. There is nothing that I can do about it. I hope you'll still visit the blog and enjoy the photos. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Before we left the Rain Forest Cafe, we saw a rainbow and a waterfall, then we visited a Lego store on our way to the bus stop

Rainbows and a waterfall at the back of the Rain Forest Cafe--certainly I never expected to see these sights inside the place where we ate lunch. Plus, I had no idea that our late lunch would stay with us so well that we never gave finding somewhere to eat supper a second thought. We just went back to the hotel and crashed--hooray.

On our way back to the bus stop, we visited a Lego store. I couldn't resist posing with the Hulk, made of I don't know how many Legos. I had to alter the photo at PicMonkey so that you would have an idea of just how many Legos there are in him, and I ended up looking sort of weird myself. I think the photo alteration on myself only enhanced the overall impact of swiftly-setting-in-exhaustion.

Around the curve of the wall and to the right of the store's doorway, characters from Beauty and the Beast.

Between the doorway and Beauty and the Beast, it's Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story!

Straight inside the doorway, there stands this Lego girl and her little dog. Sort of gave me the creeps.

Finally, to the left of the doorway, a knight fights a dragon--all made of Legos.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fascinating fish at the Rain Forest Cafe at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California

Jenna was the first to notice this fish and its attraction to the bubbles in the tank which was behind me, over my right shoulder. She called our attention to it, and soon Sharon and I were just as fascinated with its antics. We watched the fish swim around the tank, return to the bubbles, play for a while, then repeat the entire process, over and over. See what I mean? It was like the fish was standing on its head. In this photo, the fish is at the top of the bubbles, and another unique one is swimming by--reminds me of Bob Hope! Behind Sharon and Jenna I had a great view of another fish tank. The slowly moving fish kept me looking and looking. Look at the variety--speckled fish, yellow fish, blue fish with reddish markings, orange and blue fish, silver fish. Seeing them was a colorful treat.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Everywhere you look, folks smiling either on the way to or while at the Downtown Disney District, Anaheim, California

If you ask me, it's great to have such a good reason for a trip to Disneyland. The back story: My work friend Sharon has twin daughters, Amy and Jenna. Jenna, smiling for the camera along with her Mom, walks half marathons, which means 13.1 miles, y'all! The three of us had more than just a fun time at Disneyland on our minds when we flew to John Wayne airport on Jan. 16. The goal we held dear--a successful Tinker Bell Half Marathon for Jenna! We arrived on time, got a shuttle to our hotel, checked in and set out by bus for Downtown Disney seeking food and, eventually, race central at the Disneyland Hotel. A bit I found about Downtown Disney online: The Downtown Disney District is a lively walking promenade featuring shopping, dining and entertainment at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. To tell you the truth, I had never heard of Downtown Disney, but I am glad that it exists because it gave me a chance to get some first-day walking accomplished which helped get me ready for our four-days at Disneyland and/or Disney's California Adventure. I couldn't resist asking Sharon to take what turned out to be the first of many character photos of me. I promise that I'm not getting familiar with someone in a costume. It's a statue. These two look much cuter on the bench than I do! And I'm glad that you can see the entire sign for the place where we walked and walked and walked (I'm exaggerating a little bit here) to get to for what turned out to be a really delicious late lunch. Thank you, Rain Forest Cafe for not only the food, but for the fabulous service, too. We left the cafe and walked over to the Disneyland Hotel so that Jenna could pick up her race packet and to go to the running/walking vendor expo. By the time it opened at 3 p.m., all three of us had been awake for almost 12 hours, with many more to go before we would hit the hay.
Checking in for the big event, that's our Jenna! I think we were inside a parking garage--we walked down a ramp to get inside and up a ramp to get outside, but it did have carpet everywhere, thankfully for our feet and legs and, more importantly for the feet and legs of all of the race competitors. Over several days, folks had come to either run or walk in races for kids, a family fun run 5K (4,500 participants), the Tinker Bell 10K (10,000 participants) and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon (15,000 participants). Here she is after she had picked up her race packet--that's the giant plastic bag it all came in that she's holding between her thighs so that she could hold up her pretty pink shirt. In this photo you can see the carpet and a few people--believe me, lots and lots more folks than you see here had to pick up race packets over the next few days--I just wanted to give you an idea of the massive space set aside for this important part of the events. We walked through the area in the Disneyland Hotel set aside for the expo that goes with the running events--a huge area filled with vendors of all kinds. Jenna saw these wings and asked me to take a photo. Turned out to be a great photo! One of the busiest, most popular vendors on site--SparkleSkirts, known as the world's most comfortable athletic skirt! A bit from their Web site: SparkleSkirts, The Ultimate Running Skirt. Comfortable and cute! Three huge pockets. Guaranteed anti-ride undershorts featuring moisture-wicking Spandex.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

In honor of my first visit to Disneyland, mixed in with some other entities, I bring you my miniature art car, "Icons On Parade."

Recently I got to make my first ever trip to Disneyland! Had so much fun! Can't wait to make it through the photos to figure out which ones to share here on the blog. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some of my creativity with purchased-at-Goodwill goodies!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Public Art, outside the Moda Center which used to be the Rose Garden--it's where the Portland Trail Blazers play NBA basketball

I took this photo at 3:06 p.m. on March 9, 2013, a particularly nice blue sky day for us. That's I-5 you see there behind The Little Prince. Those buildings are in an area known as the Lloyd District which is in Northeast Portland. One of these days I plan to be in good enough shape to walk there from my apartment. I'll take my camera and take photos to share with y'all!

In the past I've taken several other photos of this public art and have posted them on the blog. Click here to see four of them. In case you don't have time to click there to see the photos and read about the sculpture, I've copied and pasted the info for you here.

Bits I discovered online about the sculpture.

  • The Little Prince, by Ilan Averbuch. Copper and steel, 1995.
  • The Little Prince is a partially buried copper crown located at the south end of the arena in the Rose Quarter. It is a piece about imagination, desires and aspirations, conquests and struggles. It is the job of the viewer to create the story that goes along with the crown. Is it a victory and position of honor waiting to be claimed, or is there another story? Only the viewer can say.
  • Ilan's inspiration for this piece was the "Little Prince" by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, in particular, the first chapter where he talks about his drawing of a boa constrictor swallowing an elephant being misunderstood as a hat.
  • Ilan Averbuch's "Little Prince" and the Portland Trailblazer's Rose Garden Arena. Portland, Oregon . . . legend has it that the crown will be stood upright when the Blazers with their next championship.
  • The Little Prince, 1995, is a gigantic fallen crown, an image of a ruin of ancient majesty, of one-time splendor, and a version of another recurring theme in Averbuch’s work: the obsolescence of the monumental, former monuments in the soil, like ancient relics.
  • The Little Prince (Ilan Averbuch, 1996) is a copper crown, standing 15 feet tall in front of the Rose Garden. Inspired by the French children's story by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, the artist asks that you use your imagination to think of a story behind the crown. The crown is resting on its side perhaps waiting as a prize to be claimed or as a symbol of a triumph to come.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 11, In the forefront, the ladies of the wedding party, the photographer and her helpers. Toward the back, the men of the wedding party.

While I couldn't figure out from yesterday's photo just which man is the groom, in the photo the bride is readily recognizable in her beautiful white wedding gown. I like the shiny black and silver dresses for the bridesmaids--I can tell from another photo that the black dress is worn by the flower girl, at least I think that's what she is because she's holding a small silver bucket. Their dresses go very well with what the men of the wedding party are wearing. The bouquets look very pretty, too.

Here's the photo that shows the girl with the bucket. Do you think she's the flower girl? Naturally I took the photo just as the bride blinked. Do you like it that everyone has a similar hairstyle? Is that a trend?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 10, The men of the wedding party

Downtown Portland's South Park Blocks often provide a backdrop for wedding photos--I've seen several. Just I lucked out with this photo on August 1, 2009. Just north of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, these fellows relax in the shade and sun, waiting patiently for their time in front of the wedding photographer's camera.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 9, The family that cycles together?

May 20, 2011, I walked east on East Burnside, more than likely transferring from the 6 bus or the CL Line Streetcar to my last bus home, either the 12 or the 19, depending on which one arrived first. Naturally, this group of cyclists stopped at the traffic signal caught my eye. Although the sky is not blue, there is sunshine which probably made their ride more pleasant. May in Portland does mean layers are still a necessity. Here's what I think is happening with these people--the man and the children in the green helmets--love that sort of beetle bug shade of green--and the woman are a family. The other man is her brother, in town for a visit and altogether not too sure about this business of riding a bike in the big city.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 8, Who's walking whom?

June 2, 2012, back at sunny Director Park and Teachers Fountain, in downtown Portland. I surmise this well-heeled gentleman loves his dog. Shiny coat. Slim and trim. Bright red harness. Properly tagged at his neck. And the all-important doggy bags attached to the leash handle. That means that the gentleman also respects his fellow humans by following the city's guidelines about picking up after your pooch. I wish I could tell you what has captured the dog's intense attention, but I didn't get it in this photo or the one after it. I know. Let's imagine a pleasing female dog is right out of the photo.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 7, Another shot of that busy corner at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Sunshine brings people outside where they are together, talking, laughing, walking, looking. I took this photo of these people outside our NBC affiliate KGW's Studio on the Square. Several weekday broadcasts originate here. I took this photo, which is just a few feet north of the photo on Tuesday's post, on September 2, 2011.

See the bits of pink in the background? To the left, that's the box office for the Big Pink Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour. And the other pink, to the right, is the actually trolley, waiting on SW Broadway for tour-goers to board. You must be very careful when getting off, though, because that last step can be much higher from the sidewalk than you're expecting. My sweet friend Kay tore something in her knee getting off in 2012 and had to have surgery followed by rehab.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 6, motorcycle man wears it all well

Somewhere in Portland, riding a TriMet bus, I noticed this motorcyclist. His mustache caught my eye first, quickly followed by his sunglasses, helmet and pony tail. I sat there while the bus waited at a traffic signal, looking out the window on a sunny July 24, 2010, thinking of the times I rode behind my dearly departed husband LeRoy on his British racing green Triumph motorcycle. I thoroughly enjoyed holding onto him as we rode around Kansas City back in the day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 5, musicians must crave sunshine

Walking west on West Burnside, I noticed these folks enjoying the North Park Blocks and the sunshine on August 1, 2010. I wonder if he'd been playing his guitar earlier and was now on a break. Since stereotypically musicians work at night, I imagine that they must crave the sunshine and get out in it whenever possible.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 4, a shocking development

While out and about on a sunny August 30, 2008, I came upon this scene. My best guess is that the woman was driving east on SW Salmon between SW 12th and SW 11th when her car caught fire. She pulled into the parking lot, called 911, then called the man who arrived in the vehicle on the left edge of the photo. As you can tell, the fire's been taken care of by the fire fighters, and she's being taken care of by the man. I like the thought of the comfort he appears to be giving her as they stand there, surely she's still in shock at this huge change in her life.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 3 - Traveling Man

This fellow is either headed to his left to Union Station to take a trip on Amtrak. Or he's headed to his right towards the bus station to take a trip on Greyhound. Could be he's just arrived on the bus and is walking around until he comes to a bus stop or a MAX stop or a cab stand. Oh, I just realized that maybe he road on the Greyhound from somewhere east of Portland and is now walking to Union Station to continue on his way to somewhere that he can reach by train.

My best guess, he's going to his left to catch a train, all clean and shiny, unwrinkled, walking with a spring in his step. Take a good look at that rolling apparatus, loaded carefully. And his backpack appears to be packed, too. Plus, I've never seen jeans with pockets made of a different fabric--the one that we can see on his right leg looks stuffed to me. I think he's on his way to somewhere that he's prepared to visit for a while and where he plans to have a good time. I hope he enjoyed himself as much as enjoy seeing this sunny sight. I took this photo across the street from Union Station on July 24, 2010.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter Opposites - No. 2, Sunny Corner at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Here's another sunny photo that I thought appropriate to share with you as an opposite of our winter weather. I took it on September 20, 2011, as I stood across from Pioneer Courthouse Square. This particular spot is mere steps from all four MAX Light Rail Lines, numerous bus stops, parking garages, and plenty of sidewalks for this family's red wagon and the electric chair to use.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Opposites, No. 1

I've decided to go through some of my photos, seeking sunshine to enliven our memories of our wonderful summers. We're in the midst of some rainy, windy weather at the lower elevations and snow in the higher ones. I took this one families and individuals enjoying Teachers Fountain at Director Park on August 5, 2010.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Neighborhood walk reveals the disappearance of a large tree.

Now. About 40 minutes ago the sight of this tree stopped me in its tracks. No, it's not the angle at which it extends over the sidewalk. The absence of its nearest neighbor surprised me.

Then. You can see what I mean in this photo that I took on Feb. 27, 2011, while out on a walk. The loss of a tree in the city brings a sadness to my soul.