Cathedral Park & St. Johns Bridge

February 18, 2008 at 7:32 pm | Posted in adventures, portland | Leave a comment

by Frank

Guess what? The sun shown on Portland on Sunday, February 17, 2008! That might not seem like a big deal to those of you in Arizona, but Sunday marked the first mostly sunny sky in Portland for weeks. To celebrate, Sandra and I enjoyed a picnic in St. Johns’s Cathedral Park, located under the historic St. Johns Bridge.

The St. Johns Bridge is a steel suspension bridge spanning the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. It’s the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley.

The bridge has two 408 ft tall Gothic towers, a 1,207 ft center span and a total length of 2,067 ft. The adjacent park of Cathedral Park is named after the Gothic cathedral-like appearance of the bridge towers. It is the tallest bridge in Portland, with 400 ft tall towers and a 205 ft navigational clearance.

At the dedication ceremony in 1931, designer Dr. Steinman told the crowds, “A challenge and an opportunity to create a structure of enduring beauty in the God-given wonderous background was offered us when were asked to design the bridge. It is the most beautiful bridge in the world we feel.”

“The Gothic arch was made of stone in the medieval days because steel had not been developed. It is really more appropriate in steel. Until recently the public took it for granted that steel bridges had to be utilitarian and unattractive, but now the interest is turning to the development of forms of beauty in steel.”

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our new place.

February 10, 2008 at 4:10 am | Posted in this and that | 1 Comment

posted by sandra.

shortly after the wedding frank and i moved into our new place. it’s about a half mile from our last place and thus still has access to many of the benefits of laurelhurst including the shops, theater, and park. however, now we’re even closer to two of our favorite places, pambiche and fred meyer. hooray!

if you never saw our old place then you never got to see just how small it was. in fact frank and i were crammed together in one tiny room. even newlyweds need some space sometimes. we also had the tiniest kitchen known to man (it was pretty much a closet converted into a kitchen) and no heat. really, the only thing we enjoyed about our old place was the cool sun porch and the cheap rent. (i’ll try to post pictures later on.)

on the other hand our new place almost has too much space. we now have a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, office and basement — each in their own room. (wow!) we have a yard and are looking forward to gardening next summer. and we still don’t pay too much for rent.

doesn’t it look cozy? please visit soon — we love visitors now that we have room (and furniture) for them!

we’re going to europe! we’re going to europe!

February 4, 2008 at 1:13 am | Posted in adventures, bulgaria, london | Leave a comment

posted by sandra.

we hate to sound like we’re bragging, but frank and i are thrilled to announce that we’re officially going to europe this summer. we’ve been talking about this trip for quite awhile, but we now know that we’re really going because we bought our plane tickets!

while in the peace corps frank lived in bulgaria. since returning to the united states he’s wanted to visit bulgaria and his host family again. he’s also looked forward to sharing this special place with me. thus, we always knew that our first BIG trip would be to bulgaria. we plan on spending about three weeks in the country, visiting his host family, the capitol, and the beaches along the black sea. while there we’ll also see ancient cities, forests filled with wolves and bears, a monastery, and roman ruins. if you’d like to learn more about bulgaria, check out this website.

below are two pictures from frank’s previous trip.

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frank and i were never sure of where we would begin and end our trip, however. living on the west coast, we knew we would probably need to stop in new york and somewhere else in europe on the way to and from bulgaria. we lucked out and found an excellent ticket deal with a direct flight from seattle to london, england. loving the price and the idea of visiting england frank and i quickly purchased two tickets. i visited the british isles in 2002 as part of a study abroad program. like frank, i’ve looked forward to returning and sharing the sights with him. we’ll be bookending our trip with a few days in london (or perhaps some surrounding cities). i can’t wait to see the tower of london, the british national museum, and perhaps cambridge again!

the way of the future!

February 4, 2008 at 12:40 am | Posted in adventures, film review | Leave a comment

posted by sandra.

during winter break frank and i wanted to get away for a few days for some much needed r and r. we had planned on going to the coast but decided the weather would make it just too icky. the mcmenamins hotels seemed charming (and cheap) so we decided to stay overnight at hotel oregon in mcminnville.

overall we had a good trip. the drive to mcminniville wasn’t too far away, but was far enough to let us feel like we were out of town. our experience at hotel oregon was typical of other mcmenamins; the food was okay and the service was awful. original to this one, the bed was so bouncy we couldn’t sleep and the shower was so strong it stung my face! all in all we wouldn’t recommend hotel oregon to our friends and family.

however, we’d definitely recommend the darjeeling limited and the evergreen aviation museum. we saw the darjeeling limited at a second run theater just a block down the street from the hotel oregon. like all wes anderson films we were left feeling quite puzzled, but delighted nonetheless. if you’re a fan of any of his other films, i’m sure you’d appreciate this one.

the museum housed a wide assortment of aircraft including the spruce goose, an airplane from mash, and a b-17. we were able to go inside two of the planes and the many docents were quite helpful. i was surprised to realize that we had spent 3 hours there. we were only disappointed that their smashed penny machine was broken! frank and i look forward to returning to the museum again, especially after their new space building opens.

evergreen aviation museum

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