What an amazing plane trip that was! We flew from Phoenix over the Grand Canyon, the Utah red deserts, and then into Oregon, where the snow-covered Cascade Mountains poke up from the trees like the Matterhorn at Disneyland.
I can certainly see where Portland gets its reputation for being a livable city. The streets are tree-lined, small enough to cross, and (this is such a small and yet welcoming thing) a pedestrian does not have to push a special button to make the pedestrian lights work. They just cycle through with the traffic lights, as if pedestrians were expected. This mixed-use neighborhood where our hotel is includes business, residence and hotel properties, including an intreuging world percussion store which was not open at 6 but to which I'll have to return. All the streets are one way; that's hard on motorists, I realize, but it sure simplifies life for pedestrians.
I have a little investment in those one way streets. My father was the Assistant Traffic Engineer in Portland in the early 50's, and he oversaw that transition. We moved when I was 2, so I don't remember living here, but it is good to return.
Events start today, and I've already run into some of my delegation and my two ex-interns. The family reunion begins!