Saturday, December 31, 2005

Winter Wonderland

So, here in Portland, there is a place where everyone decorates their houses for Christmas. It's the mini-version of Chicago's Sauganash area. One full street that looks like you opened the door to some fantasyland. Horse drawn carriages go down the long street and you can buy hot chocolate at a stand. It's cute! Below are a few pictures...albeit a bit dark, of the lovely Peacock Lane. This link will take you to a site of slightly better pictures. As in most things, Portland's "christmas-y area" doesn't quite live up to the overdone lights in Chicago, but then, maybe this green city is onto something--- not making the electric companys rich!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Winter in the West

OK, I miss Atlanta! Well, I miss the weather :-). Although we had our ice storms in Atlanta, winter was pretty mild. I'm somewhat surprised by the impact of winter here in Portland. At the moment I am looking at maybe 1" of snow (with a layer of ice underneath) and the city is shutting down. They are apparently pouring gravel on the main roads for traction, but schools and events are closing left and right. We had Chicago sized winds today as well. It's just cold! Everyone here tells of the storm about 2 years ago where people couldn't leave their homes for a week! Buy some snowplows, people!!

The other recent wintry event was the new experience of buying chains for my tires. For a lovely New Year's Eve, I made plans to go to a local getaway with vegetarian food, hot springs, yoga and general R and R. After making reservations, I was informed that I should (and in Oregon it's the law from October-April) have chains in my car! The mountains here get pretty snowy and, again, no plows. So, this midwest city gal may have to pull to the side of the road to put chains on the Civic. THAT's why everyone here drives a Subaru!!

I hope to have more photos soon of snow, ice, mountains and all things west coast and wintry.
And, if you are reading this in December...HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!