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Monday, March 21, 2011

Our weekend in Portland...

The tiny bit of Scottish blood within my veins, meant that last night, (Sunday) I wasn't prepared to pay for another 24 hours of internet @ $9.95 when the previous lot ran out at 8pm, and we would be leaving at 9 am Monday! So I just worked on a word document and organised photos in Facebook. I love my new camera but I can tell you, I've certainly taken some dud photos over the weekend...but I think I've worked out what I'm doing wrong! lol Here's our weekend adventures with our friends:-
On Saturday, we started the day with a sumptuous breakfast at our hotel here in Portland. (Embassy Suites in Tigard) This is by far and away the best hotel in which we have stayed on this holiday. We did have to pay for internet connection but the advantages far outweighed that little inconvenience.
Then we met Pat and Richard and they drove us out to McMinnville some distance from Portland to the south west, where there is an Aviation and Space Museum. The sheer size of the complex is overwhelming and as you drive in you are faced with a large building which has a Boeing747 perched on the roof! There is an IMAX theatre and 2 other large buildings which house displays. I guess the most exciting thing about this museum was the fact that it has the ‘Spruce Goose’, the plane that Howard Hughes designed and had built. It is HUGE; 219ft long, compared to a jumbo which is 250.7 ft. However, the Spruce Goose tail is 79.1 ft, while the jumbo is only 64 ft. Wingspan of the Spruce Goose remains the largest of any known aircraft at 320 ft, compared to the Jumbos 217.8 ft. This plane is built of wood as they were not able to use metal because all metal use was only available for the war effort. They used 30 tons of nails to hold it together while the glue set.
Bruce had thought the Spruce Goose was at Long Beach California but this Museum in Oregon had raised enough money to buy it from California!!. What a sensational afternoon! Saw it and many other planes from full scale models of the Wright Brothers aircraft, US and German fighter planes, helicopters, to space vehicles including a Space Shuttle and Mercury and other booster rockets. We saw models of the lunar module, the moon buggy, V2 rockets, Saturn rockets, the recovery module used in the movie, Apollo 13 and as well as walking around by ourselves, we also had a guided tour of the ‘Space part’!
We then went to a McMenamin’s Restaurant for late lunch. We went to the roof top garden cafe and we climbed so many flights of stairs that Pat said she didn’t think the building was that high! It is in an old hotel building and obviously no lifts! The view from up there was worth the huffing and puffing going up the stairs. I don’t know about the others but I huffed and puffed!!! It was a great day out as the Museum is about 25 miles from Richard & Pat’s so we saw a lot of scenery. Pat was able to point out during the drive, places where she had grown up. There are large tracts of farms still in the area...and trees have obviously been planted in recent years in the area.
Met up again on Sunday with Pat & Richard and went to the movies to see Rango with Johnny Depp. It was great to experience sitting in an American cinema and the film was lots of fun to watch. Afterwards we went for a drive into Portland viewing the many bridges and other sights. Bruce took a video of driving across the suspension bridge and got other shots of the double-decker bridge we crossed when we arrived and had driven over. There’s also a ‘flying fox’ affair which links 2 sections of the hospital. We didn’t see a gondola on the cables when we drove by. Pat pointed out the university and numerous other buildings of interest including a those on Hawthorn Boulevard. We stopped for lunch at a cafe which was attached to an antiques centre. Pat and I walked around looking at some interesting things but we were both ‘good’; we didn’t buy anything!

Yes it was raining! This was a previous home of Pat and Richard

A bridge, which German Town Rd led to

A College

The delightful Hawthorn Blvd in Portland
One of Pat and Rick's cats, Bebe
The mommy cat
Pat and I. A friendship started on a holiday to Europe in 2008, which has continued to grown through Facebook!

Another shop on Hawthorn

Quiet night in the Hotel using space bags to try and pack the variety of  things we have bought so far – have already bought and filled an extra bag and we still have 5 weeks to go! (I had been beating myself us because I couldn’t find the Spacebags which are somewhere in our house...but found that here they are half the price of back home!)
Blogger takes ages to upload photos, so please bear with me, if tonight I paste a link to the photos from my Facebook album. They are mostly captioned or self explanatory and you don't have to have a FB account to access the album. It is a public link but people who use the link can only access the photos; no where else in my FB page. Sorry if you feel uncomfortable using the link.

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