The weather outside will likely be frightful (after all, this is the Pacific Northwest in winter!), and could possibly mean a pretty White Christmas, but the fire inside will be most delightful for curling up on the sofa with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, and perhaps music on your computer. Ready to break out of the house? Take a hike at Salmon Creek Park (also known at Klineline Pond) with a swimming and fishing pond and a three-mile greenway trail within a mile of our house.
Since we are only a 20 minute or so drive from Portland, Oregon, you could jump in your car (or walk a few blocks to a bus stop) and head for the big city. Powell’s Books is the largest new and used bookstore in the world, and covers an entire city block with four stories. Grab a coffee in the coffee shop and sit and while away the rainy hours while sipping and reading in comfort. Not far from Powell’s is the “Living Room Movie Theater” that shows a variety of indie, foreign, and current films. Other favorite theaters in Portland are the Mcmenamin’s theaters--the Kennedy School is my favorite with food delivered right to your sofa or chair during the movie—pizza and beer, anyone? The Kennedy School is an impressive conglomerate of restaurants and little hideways tucked into a former school. Or, for something different, board the Portland Spirit for a lunch or dinner cruise. There are tons of things to do here, including
the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to learn something new.
Take an umbrella and stroll along trendy 23rd street, just a bit north of Powell’s, where you can splurge on fabulous desserts at Papa Haydn’s Restaurant, cup your hands around steaming hot chocolate at Moonstruck Chocolate, find hidden treasures in one of the many little shops, take a ride on the streetcar.
If being outdoors is more to your liking, you can drive to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in about an hour and a half where you can ski, snowboard, or warm up beside the huge rock fireplace. Built in 1937, the lodge is a historic landmark and popular tourist stop. They serve a huge and delightful mug of hot cocoa in the bar area on the 3rd floor.
Drive the historic highway through the stunning Gorge with towering walls of dark basalt showcasing numerous waterfalls, some which can be viewed from your car. The road is now open again after having been closed due to damage from a major wildfire. Despite a few visible burned areas, the drive is spectacular and worth going. Stop off at the Multhomah Falls and Lodge for a close up view of the magnificent falls, hot drinks, a bite of food, and browsing in the giftshop. If the winter is cold enough, ice will form on the rocks beside the waterfall, which makes for a stunning photo.
If you prefer to stay closer to our home in Vancouver, WA, there are plenty of bowling alleys, brewpubs, and movie theaters (we really like Cinetopia, which is a bit pricey, but a place where you can either eat in the gourmet Vinetopia restaurant or order food and wine to be brought to your seat in the Living Room Theater. There are several Regal Cinemas, including one with second-run movies for $3.75.
We live in a quiet neighborhood in Vancouver, Washington, which is just across the beautiful Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Our home offers Wi-Fi, Cable TV, and an upstairs fireplace (There is one downstairs, but we have a heater in there now.) We are just a short 10 minute (at most) walk from the popular Chuck’s Produce Market, which has become a big favorite for our cat sitters with hot food offerings--such as a complete turkey dinners every Tuesdays, a roaring fireplace in the dining area, and a huge variety of fresh produce and other yummy foods. Just a bit further north you will find Safeway, and Winco is a mile south.
We are looking for someone to care for our very shy senior cat, Bandit. Bandit insists on eating quite early in the morning (not my choice!) so he will need his food around 6:00 in the morning. He then eats again around noonish, dinner is at 5:00 p.m. and he gets a snack when you go to bed. However, if you plan to go out for the day, you can just leave a bowl of his wet food. He also nibbles on dry food. He loves to be petted and purrs happily to show his appreciation, but he doesn’t like to be picked up or held. It will take a bit of work to convince him to emerge out from under the bed, but once he does, you will see how sweet he is. If you are a “cat whisperer”, we would love for you to come and stay at our home with Bandit.
We will leave the afternoon of December 18 (after Ron gets home from work) and would actually prefer if you come the night before so we can meet you and show you what needs to be done, and we will return the evening January 2.
We hope you will come to stay with us--and my sweet Bandit!