Archive | July, 2013

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Willamette Valley Wah-hu?

Blooming Hill Vineyard Tasting Room

Blooming Hill Vineyard Tasting Room

This is Pinot country.

The deep fertile soil, long growing season and cool, wet climate of Oregon’s Willamette Valley are ideal for growing one of wine’s most finicky grapes. It’s no wonder that some of the world’s best, and most expensive, Pinot Noirs are grown here. It’s no wonder we set off to find, and more importantly sample, some.

Stretching from Portland in the North to Eugene in the South, the valley not only includes a whopping 300 wineries but also most of Oregon’s population too. Its close proximity to major cities makes visiting Willamette wine country an easy day trip. Along the way, we discovered something totally unexpected.

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A Tale of Two Gardens

Influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist philosophies, the natural backdrop at the Japanese Garden in Portland, OR, is an artfully arranged tableau.

Influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist philosophies, the natural backdrop at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon, is an artfully arranged tableau.

With extended travels in Europe next on the Everywhere Once agenda, it’s going to be a while before we trek across Asia. In the meantime, Asian-themed and inspired places and exhibits (like the majestic Terracotta Warriors) are whetting our appetites for the sites we’ll see on the continent. Helping to further fuel the wanderlust were visits to Portland’s Japanese and Chinese gardens.

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Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn, OR

Rethinking Everywhere

Rethinking Everywhere

Here’s a question I’m struggling with lately: Is everywhere really worthy of our tourism?

That question preoccupied me this weekend after reading about Marte Deborah Dalelv’s ordeal in Dubai. The short account of her tragedy is that the Norwegian expat was sentenced to sixteen months in prison for the crime of being raped. Officially Ms. Dalelv was charged with “having sexual relations outside of marriage.” That she never consented to those sexual relations is of small consequence.

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