Friday, June 27, 2014

Salem, Oregon

Friday
Well, we headed south to Salem & are staying at the Elks Lodge in Salem.This is on the south side of town. There is one in Keizer which is the north side of
Elks Lodge RV Park
Salem. We chose this one because it was closer to Costco, Trader Joe's & many of the other places we will be going to. Costco, Lowes & Home Depot are just down the street.


This is a fairly large size RV park (for an Elks Lodge). It has 36 sites & most have full hookups including 30 & 50 amp service & free wifi with a very strong signal. They can all accommodate slide outs & many are big enough to accommodate big rigs. The don't take reservations but when I called last week they had plenty of room. I was told 
Elks Lodge RV Park
to call the day before & they would put cones out to save a site for us. When I called again they only had 3 sites left. I guess they are getting a lot of travelers for 4th of July. The park host (yes, they have one there full time just like a regular RV park) told me they were having a 4th of July pot luck for the RV park & of course we are invited.

Today is just a "relax" day but we are heading over to the "Travel Salem" place to pick up some travel information & I have a list of things to do as well then we will head to Trader Joe's to replace all the frozen food that got ruined the extra freezer we have in a compartment had a power failure.

Saturday
The morning started off bright & early. I made a command decision to go out for breakfast so after feeding the dogs we headed to "The Original Pancake House" which was recommended by the girl at the visitors center. It was NOT cheap but let me tell you it was the best pecan belgian waffle I have ever had.

After breakfast we headed over to Freddy's for some green onions. Of course we left with a full shopping cart (one of the small ones). While in the housewares section I met a lady & we started chatting. She is a new RVer & we were comparing notes. We had a great chat & during our conversation we got on the subject of local stuff. She told me about the Saturday Market which is the BIG Salem farmers market in the area. 
Saturday Market Vendors


Salem Saturday Market
After we finished at Freddy's we headed over to the market & was I couldn't
believe how big it was. I have never seen such a big market. It covered a big 1 block square area & parking was hard to find but we finally found a spot. We found an entrance a few feet from the car & walked right into the food vendor area. These are the food vendors selling breakfast & lunch & let me tell you there was something for everyone. In one way I was 
Saturday Market Vendors
glad I had a very full tummy but I definitely want to come back next 
week before we head to Newport. I heard no comment from Al other than "that breakfast omelet is huge". So I guess that means we are coming next week.

This really should be called The Salem Saturday dog show because there was every shape, size & breed wandering around the market. You would almost think it was a dog park.

There were booths offering a large variety of things including: fresh locally
Al checking out the omelets
grown fruit & vegetables, herbs, hand-made crafts; bakery things such as bread, cakes & other pastry, etc; kettle corn, home-made dog treats, lots of organic stuff, home-made soaps, etc. Everything there was locally grown or made & there was row after row of booths with not much duplication other than produce vendors. Absolutely the best Rainier cherries at half the price of the local stores.


There are tables & chairs scattered throughout the area for people to sit & have a drink & snacks...lots of both are available from the vendors of course.

We have been to Farmer's Markets in a lot of places & most of them in Washington & Oregon but this one by far is the absolute best we have been to. Everyone is so friendly, the stuff they offer is the best & everything we sampled was the best we have had.

Local park behind the Elks RV Park
After we returned from the farmer's market we stopped to take a look at the 
Park behind the Elks RV Park
park. There is a small fishing lake that seems to be a gathering place for the local ducks & geese. The park itself is over 100 acres & has lots of trails. So, now we have a nice place to walk the dogs. We also discovered a large field behind the park that had no signs saying no dogs so we let them off leash to play & that is exactly what they did. Enough so that we could take them for a nice calm walk after that & when we got back to the coach they were quiet & relaxed.


Girl chasing the ducks
So far I am very impressed with Salem. It is a big, little city. It is the state capital but so far from everything we have seen it's not congested, it has the appeal of a little town & it has everything you could possibly want or need. Of course this is after only being here 1 1/2 days but I doubt my opinion is going to change. We have been here for Friday afternoon rush & the Saturday Market & while it was crowded it wasn't over crowded.

The rest of the day is just going to be for relaxing & looking through all our area brochures to figure out where else we want to go for the rest of the week. We have already picked out several places to check out but some of them aren't open on the week end so we will spread things out over the week.

Sunday - Ankeny Vineyards
Today we decided to take a drive down to one of the MANY vineyards in the 
Aerial view of the vineyards
area. This one was supposed to be one of the best ones in the area. They grow their own grapes & of course make their own wine. They also sell their grapes to other wineries. 

I read about the place in one of the books I got at the travel center. On the weekends they also make fire-roasted pizza so I thought it would be great to drive down today to do some wine tasting & perhaps have a pizza for lunch.

Wine Tasting Area
It was a beautiful drive & amazing how only 20 minutes from town & you are in wine country. It is nestled around the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge & absolutely beautiful country.

Once we got there I knew we had to just relax & enjoy lunch over looking the beautiful hillside where all the grapes are growing. It seemed like everywhere we looked there were grape vines.

First order of business was the wine tasting. You get to taste 6 different wines for $5.00 or it's free with a bottle of wine. After 
Deck overlooking vineyards
the first taste I knew we were buying at least one bottle. 

Their Pino Gris was amazing. This is how they describe it: "The Pinot Gris has been fermented in temperature-controlled stainless tanks with no secondary fermentation before bottling. This crisp, fruit-foward wine exhibits aromas of peach and mango with accents of floral, 
pear and apple. It also tastes like it has whipped cream in it. It was awesome. Al fell in love with
Fire roasted pizza cooking
the Red Velvet which is a blend of several of 
their Estate Wines make this spicy and semi-sweet blend perfect for Fall. It has Raspberry-strawberry preserves and a bit of smokey aromas & flavors make this rosé drink almost like red wine. I'm not a lover of raspberry or strawberries but I had to admit is was very good. BUT I was in love with the Pino Gris.

We decided to have their veggie pizza which had zucchini, green pepper, tomato slices, olives & onion. Everything, including the crust was organic & the crust was very thin
Partial view of the vineyards
crispy. We opted to eat on the porch & enjoy the view of the vineyards. The pizza was delicious & so was the relaxing view. When we finished lunch I realized I needed another bottle of the Pino Gris. Al agreed their wine was the best we have ever had.

We walked around a little bit before leaving looking at all the grape vines growing, the beautiful flowers & just taking it all in. This place was something to behold. We never got to meet
Pressing Pinot Noir Grapes
Lily, their dog & what they refer to as "the vineyard dog" in the world of the Willamette Valley vineyards. The dogs act as the guards over the grapes & also the neighborhood greeter showing visitors around.  


Our ride home Al decided to take the scenic route going the back roads through the country. We saw several vineyards & mini castles. I found it hard to believe this was all just outside of Salem. I suspect we will probably have to take another ride out there before we leave next Saturday...while we aren't big drinkers those 3 bottles sure aren't going to last very long & so far nothing we have had compares to these wines.

Monday
Today was sort of a day of rest. Shadow had a minor melt down while we were at the winery yesterday & we suspect that there might have been some fireworks in the park next door. This is the 2nd time he has had a severe anxiety attack that resulted in him trying to dig his way out of the motorhome. So, we headed over to Petsmart & bought a collapsible crate for him so he would have a "safe cave" to be in while we are gone. I won't worry about him or about damage to the coach. We tried him in it briefly today when we ran some errands & he did great. 

Tuesday
Carousel horse

Today we did more exploring. Our first stop was the Salem Riverfront Carousel. I was blown away...it turns out the horses (& now other animals) are hand carved by the Capital Woodcarvers club of Salem. The material we received about the carousel did not talk much about the making of the horses so I didn't know that they were hand carved. The Carousel is on city property but the non-profit organization rents the building that houses the carousel, gift shop,
Carousel horse
carving & painting rooms. Most of the workers & all of the carvers, sanders & painters are volunteers.


The Carousel has been up for 13 years but it took 6 years to get the horses ready before they could even open. The original carousel animals were all horses but now they are starting to carve other animals such as a frog (the first of the "non-horses", an elephant, deer, giraffe & several other animals are in the works.

The vice president of the carvers club, Jack,
Another carousel horse
explained the process. For the full size figures used for the carousel each piece of art is required to have a financial sponsor (or adoptee!). The idea & development go to the Executive Director & once approved is sent to the Artistic Director). 
The designer works with the sponsor to design & develop the custom characteristics of each project.

Original drawings are made into blueprints & then wood block cutouts are made by a local wood shop. A volunteer team of 3-5 carvers/sanders & 1-
Carousel frog
4 painters is formed with a team leader to coordinate the work. Jack told us that carvings can take approx. 1000 hrs, 200 hrs of sanding & 200-400 hrs of painting. Once it's painted they go to an auto shop for application of Clear coat.


They also make 1/8, 1/4 & 1/2 scale figures (replica's) some of these are used for sale in the gift shop to help support the carousel. Others are actually used on the carousel but they are not for riding. You can see in the photo below the smaller horse which is one of the half size carvings.
Small carousel horse & buggy


Jack & Dennis explained that they keep a variety of extra carousel animals so that they can rotate them from time to time. Since they also need to do repairs from time to time it's important they always have some ready to go if it's needed. I guess I never realized how riding a carousel animal could damage it but they said it's pretty common especially when someone decides to stand up instead of riding it. The part of the carving where
Dennis & the other carvers
the pole goes through is thinner so the saddle area tends to wear out & needs to be fixed &/or repainted from time to time.


After we learned all about the carousel & how they design & create the horses & other animals we hung around for quite a while chatting about carving, pyrography, gourds, etc. We learned from them & they learned a little from us & it was a lot of fun. Jack & Dennis suggested we head down to the paint shop & take a look at the elephant. They both suggested that I talk to Donna (Dennis' wife) who is a pyrographer.
Carved horse
Dennis thought she might be interested in talking to me.


After we finished up with the carving shop we headed down to meet Donna. Dennis walked in right after we did & introduced us. We spent another half an hour talking to Donna about the painting process. It was fascinating & neither of us had any idea that the painting involved LOTS of time & layering to create each horse. We then moved on to pyrography. Donna has been doing it
Carved deer & squirrel
for 2 years but said she has had some problems & we talked about that for a while & I suggested that she email me & we could chat more about what her concerns are & how I could possibly help.


It was apparent after talking to everyone that this was a true labor of love. It showed in their work, each carving & the carousel itself. I thought carving carousel horses was a dying art but it appears that it is alive & well. 
Drawings of Elephant & Frog

Jack did tell me before we left that Albany, OR was in the process of building a carousel as well. He said that their building was going to be much bigger & that their carving & painting areas would be quite a bit bigger than what they have in Salem. I detected a bit of envy because of their cramped quarters. He
said they are just getting started so it won't be ready for another 5-6 years because that is how long it will take to carve enough carousel animals to get started. He did say they they were going to be carving a variety of animals right off the bat, not just the horses. 


Painted figures
The last photo was taken in the painting area. It shows some of the other figures in various stages. All have been painted, a couple had the Clear Coat but they weren't completely dried. The carved elephant was already painted but didn't have the Clear Coat applied yet. It was ready to go to the auto shop to be sprayed. This Clear coast is the same thing that is applied to motorhomes as well as cars & carousel horses....a very versatile product!

Hopefully we will still be RVing in 5-6 years so we
Carousel DNA
can come back & see the new carousel in Albany when it is finished. There isn't' a carving group in Albany so I am assuming that the Capital Woodcarvers will be involved.


I almost forgot to add a very important photo. Before leaving Jack gave me a gift of "Authentic Carousel DNA". The Label on the bag says "Keeping the Dream Alive! He said it contained actual DNA from the elephant & frog. I wonder what it will look like when I put them together...Perhaps I will end up with an elefrog? that's a scary thought!

While looking at the Carousel someone took a ride on the carousel so I took a short video. It was just like I remember when I was a kid but of course now it seems to look smaller than it did back then...I wonder why ;)

video

If you want to check out there website to read more about the carousel & the organization here is a link to their site: Salem Riverfront Carousel

Wednesday
Today we did a little bit of exploring in downtown. I say a little because there is sooooo much to see. There is an abundance of quaint little shops & of course the state capital. We had hoped to see the state capital on this trip but it appears that will have to wait. 

We have decided that we are only going to spend 1 month in Newport instead
"The Oregon Crepe"
of 2 months. When we leave we will return to Salem for a few days to do more exploring. When we leave Salem we will probably head to Glacier National Park & then perhaps head down to Wyoming & then Colorado. The details are not finalized yet.


But back to Salem. Today we discovered 2 great little places in downtown Salem. There is a building that has been converted to lots of quaint little shops & cafe's on several different levels. We stopped for lunch in a place called "The Oregon Crepe". We had lunch crepes that were wonderful. The cafe has a very small open kitchen where you order & then you sit at cute cafe tables. Lunch was fabulous. After lunch we looked around the shops & then had dessert at a place called "The Little Canoli Shop". Another great experience.

Thursday
Well, people are already celebrating the 4th & Shadow is starting to freak 
Shadow's new hideout

out. After finding that he had found a way in to the drivers seat & started trying to dig his way out again I decided it was time to get him a crate for when we leave him. We had a crate at home but it doesn't do much good when we are 1500 miles away so we got a collapsible wire crate & are getting him used to it. It's big enough for him to stand up & move around & seems to be ok with it.

Shadow has spent a few times in it yesterday & today & he comfortable in it. After a few times going in (with a little coaxing) now he goes in by himself. He actually seems to feel pretty safe & is looking forward to it when there are "weird noises" he
Al & Shadow
doesn't like. So I think tomorrow should be ok for him which is good because the Elks Loge RV park is having a pot luck tomorrow afternoon.


I captured a rare moment with Shadow & Al on the couch. Shadow is not much of a cuddler but occasionally he does like getting on the couch & cuddling.

We are done with all our sightseeing in Salem for this trip. It's been great fun but we definitely need to return in August. The first stop will be the state capital. We drove by there a few times & just the outside is spectacular with fountains & water park for the kids to run in.

Friday
The Elks Lodge 4th of July pot luck....this was a big hit. This was a lot
Elks Lodge Pot Luck
better than I had expected. There were over 40 people attending including the Exalted Ruler, Lisa Pinter. There was enough food to feed an army.


The RV park provided the fried chicken, beverages & table settings. Everyone brought food & there was a wide variety of desserts (as my mother used to say, "life is uncertain, eat dessert first" so I am listing that first), salads of all kinds, deviled eggs, baked beans, watermelon & several other things I can't remember. There were 3 tables with food!

One of the food tables
Of course everyone over ate but nobody went away hungry. If they did it was their own fault because there was something for everyone including Al who usually doesn't eat at things like this.

Lisa, the Exalted Ruler sat with us for a while & when she heard we might come back in August she talked us into coming a couple of days early so we can come to their Annual picnic. After she told us what they were doing & what was being served I made a command decision that we would be leave Newport that morning & get here in plenty of time.

Everyone at the table was chatting about things to do in Salem & I realized we really had a lot more to see when we come back & the first stop will be the state capital.

So, tomorrow we head to Newport but we had a great time while in Salem.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Menchie's

Last week we watched Undercover boss for lack of anything else on TV. It
Menchie's in Clackamas, OR
featured the CEO of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt Shops & some of the shops he visited were in the Seattle area.


Al & I love frozen yogurt & have been to TCBY in Texas & Orange Leaf in Louisiana on a few occasions. We love tasting the yogurt flavors & of course there are all the add-in's or toppings you can add to the yogurt. We usually make this our lunch since it usually ends up being very filling. Thank god we don't do this very often. 

While I thought Menchie's was good I found the selection of toppings at TCBY & Orange Leaf to be more to our liking...less fruit & more good stuff that wasn't chopped up so fine that it was unrecognizable. Menchie's (at least the one we visited in Clackamas, OR)
Menchie's inside
had too much fruit topping. If I am going to endulge in decadence I don't want fruit! I was a little surprised too because they seem to focus on kids & kids parties & I would think less fruit & more tasty treats would be more to their liking.


While this is not a review of Menchie's I will add that I found the containers for all the add-in's to be small & difficult to scoop stuff out of. I think if they were opened at the top like all the other ice cream & yogurt shops it would be easier to scoop. They claim to have over 90 toppings & their website shows more than that but not even half of them at best were at this location & it seemed like the focus was on fruit. It was ok but we certainly won't be returning. The nuts & other toppings were chopped (more like pulverized) up so fine it lacked texture & much taste.

Given a choice if there was a TCBY, Orange Leaf or other frozen yogurt shop in the area I'd choose them over Menchie's.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fred Meyer...The Store That Has Everything

If you have never been to the pacific northwest you haven't lived. One of the things I miss most is Fred Meyer. This is an amazing place like nothing you have ever experienced. It's a complete department store, hardware store & grocery store all wrapped up into one.

About Fred Meyer - taken from Wikipedia

Fred Meyer, Inc., is a chain of superstores founded in 1922 in Portland,
Fred Meyer in Troutdale, OR
Oregon. The company was one of the pioneers of one-stop shopping, eventually combining a complete grocery supermarket with a drugstore, clothing store, shoe store, fine jewelers, home decor store, home improvement center, garden center, electronics store, toy store, sporting goods store, and more under one roof.


Fred Meyer stores are located in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. Before the company's merger with Kroger in October 1998, it traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FMY.
Apparel department is upstairs
Although the company is now a division of Kroger, the stores are still branded Fred Meyer, and the western region of the Kroger Corporation is headquartered in Portland.


Fred Meyer is sometimes known as "Freddy's", a nickname the company was given by its customers and which is used in its advertising. For a number of years, the company has used the marketing slogan What's on your list today? You'll find it at Fred Meyer! or, more simply, What's on your list today? in its advertising.
Ladies Apparel


On September 2, 1978, Mr. Meyer died at the age of 92. Until his death, Mr. Meyer had continued to play an active role in the day-to-day operation of his company. Also in 1978, Fortune placed Fred Meyer as the 45th largest retail company by sales. The chain had over $1 billion in sales in 1979.

Merger's

In 1985, Fred Meyer acquired Grand Central of Salt Lake City, Utah. The Grand Central stores in Utah and Idaho were converted to Fred Meyer stores, although most did not receive full supermarket departments until the mid-1990s.
Part of Freddy's Shoes


In 1997, Fred Meyer Inc. acquired Smith's Food and Drug of Salt Lake City, though both companies maintained separate operations. In 1998, Fred Meyer acquired Ralphs Grocery Company of Los Angeles, California, and QFC of Seattle. Both acquisitions also maintained separate operations with Fred Meyer, Inc. as the holding company. In that fast string of mergers, Fred Meyer quickly became the nation's fifth largest food and drug store operator.


Freddy's Electronics
In 1997, Fred Meyer converted its Columbia Falls and Kalispell stores into Smith's Food & Drug Stores, and closed its Polson location. 

In 2001, the Kalispell store was demolished and replaced with a newer Smiths location adjacent to the older, obsolete store. The Columbia Falls store retained the Fred Meyer decor (with Smith's logos over the old Fred Meyer logos) but only contained a grocery department, with none of the other departments or product offerings.

In May 1999 Fred Meyer, Inc. merged with Kroger of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2000,
View of grocery & housewares
the Arizona Fred Meyer stores, all of which were formerly Smith's stores that Fred Meyer acquired in the Smith's merger, were re-branded as Fry's Marketplace.



In 2004, Smith's Food and Drug assumed the operations of the Utah Fred Meyer stores, which were re-branded as Smith's Marketplace. Also, since the acquisition of the Fred Meyer Company, Kroger has been unifying standards across the company, adopting many of the Fred Meyer store standards, and implementing their own standards to the Fred Meyer stores. Kroger and Fred Meyer stores are slowly becoming more similar in management and merchandising.
Part of the produce area


Departments

A typical Fred Meyer store has the following departments:

Food: groceries, meat and seafood, deli, produce, bakery, health and beauty, natural foods, and pet care - They carry a full line of natural health foods including organic meats & produce. Their deli area also offers meals & an area where you can sit down & enjoy your food. They carry the best northwest produce & seafood in the area.

Apparel: clothing, shoes, accessories, and cosmetics - This is nothing like Walmart...think Macy's, Kohl's & other department stores carrying name brand clothing, shoes & accessories.

Home: housewares and home decor, bed and bath, home improvement and garden, furniture, sporting goods, automotive, toys, and seasonal merchandise - You will find almost anything you need here including pure cotton organic sheets & towels which I adore.

Electronics: televisions, computers and software, video games, cameras, music and videos.

Customer service: customer information desk with merchandise exchange, Fax and Western Union, money orders, game licenses, and tobacco sales.

Other Services: Some locations have a day care center, fine jewelry store, gas station & franchised Starbucks; lease space such as a locksmith shop, shoe repair or full coffee shop. 

If you haven't experienced Freddy's you need to check it out! You really have to visit a Freddy's to understand what an experience this really is & why they have so many loyal customers even after merging with Kroger.





Monday, June 23, 2014

Historic Columbia River Highway

Today we took a drive to check out Multnomah Falls, Bridal Vail Falls & take a
A sign!!!
drive back on Historic Highway 30.



I have been to Multnomah Falls when I used to live here but that was almost 30 years ago & I had forgotten just how amazing it is. It hasn't changed but at all but after such a long time it was still breathtaking & I am so glad I got to see it again. Al had never been here before so he was duly impressed.


The Multonomah Falls Tourist Trap
From Troutdale we headed east on Highway 84. It is a very scenic drive for an interstate highway. We started at Multomah Falls which is about 25 miles east of Troutdale & worked our way back to Troutdale via Historic Highway 30.

The first set of photos was taken at Multonomah Falls. There is an upper & lower bridge where you can get some really great shots but the lower bridge gives you the best overall view of the upper & lower falls. It is 2.6 miles round trip to the top bridge & back & it's a long,
Multonomah Falls
steep hill you have to walk up to get to the top bridge. Al & both agreed that the lower bridge view was probably a lot more breathtaking & it is the view that they have on all their souvenirs. I had been to the top bridge before & wasn't very impressed so I certainly didn't need to do it again. My hips & knees thanked me!


Just to make sure I knew which photos were which I took a picture of the Multnomah Falls sign.

There is a really nice restaurant, gift shop & typical tourist trap where a small cup of coffee is $2.50 & a small bottle of water is $3.00. But the food is good & it is a nice place to stop while you are there. 


Bridal Veil Falls
Our next stop was Bridal Veil Falls. It is well known but much smaller than Multnomah Falls It is also a VERY steep gravel path. I opted to wait in the car & Al make the treck & he said he was glad I didn't come because I never would have made it. But I got to see the photos & I agreed it would not have been worth it. Al is already complaining about his legs rebelling from his walk so I know I would have been hurting.

When we left Bridal Veil we headed back to town via Historic Highway 30. It is a beautiful country road but it is narrow & very winding. There is also a very steep drop off the highway & of course it was all on my side. I was shocked when I looked down & realized that some of the trees were over 100 feet tall.
Crown Point Vista House

Having had Douglas Furs in our yard in Lacy, WA that were about 55 ft tall I was amazed at how tall & thin they were. I remember what happened to a neighbor's house when we had a bad storm & one of those trees fell across their house, garage & their neighbors destroying a car & the roof of both houses. It scares me just thinking about it as we drove along & some of them were leaning.

One of the most amazing parts of the drive was
Crown Point Vista East Side
Crown Point Vista. They had built a circular viewing point with a house with glass windows all around. It was high above the river so you could view the Columbia river from different angles. It was a spectacular view & a real tourist attraction. That alone was well worth the drive. 


We drove through farm country with lots of vendors selling fresh fruit, produce & flowers. We even passed a Lavender farm with a wonderful field filled with Lavender. We didn't stop but I could smell the Lavender from inside the car.
Crown Point Vista West Side


By the time we finished the drive & got back to town we decided to stop in for some frozen yogurt & then do some shopping in Freddy's (Fred Meyer). This is our favorite store. It is a Northwest favorite that was established by Fred Meyer who wanted to create a store where people could buy everything they need under one roof. More on Freddy's in another post!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Troutdale, Oregon

We have 2 weeks to kill before we head to Newport, Oregon so I decided we would spend 2 weeks in areas we have never ventured. Our first stop is Troutdale. It's just outside Portland & since I have to pick up my recumbent bike in Portland this was a great place to stop for a week. Next week we head south to Salem.

I used to work in Portland & lived in Beaverton, both on the west side but I have never been in the Troutdale area & this is all new to Al. Our RV park is right on the river & is a nice little RV park.

Monday

Downtown Troutdale is so quaint. It gives you the feeling as if you are
Troutdale
stepping back in time. The shops & 
General Store really give it a small town feeling & it really is a nice little town. We will spend the week here so we have plenty of time to explore the area. The first day was filled with grocery shopping & relaxing. 

Today we checked out the local outlet mall & the local park where we can take the dogs for a nice walk. We also decided to check out one of the
Troutdale storefronts 
local restaurants in town. It was an Italian restaurant owned by a local family & came highly recommended. It was awesome!


There is a little park across the street from the restaurant where we ate. It has several bronze statues. The main statue is a fountain with two salmon. It is great. On either side of the park are statues of a little girl on a bike & a boy with his dog on a skate board.

There are also some amazing bronze statues in front of one of the stores. I
Storefront statues
have been by there several times since we got here but this is the first time I was up close. They are awesome! I'm using that word a lot around here because I just keep thinking I've entered a different time zone & back in Old Town Troutdale in the 1950's.


Later this week I plan on walking along the main street & checking out some of the shops. I'm especially interested in the General Store.


General Store








Salmon Fountain in the Park
Boy & His Dog in the Park