Happy Birthday, Nelson!

Dear Liza,

Your Grandpa Nelson had his 68th birthday Wednesday, and we had a wonderful time.

We drove south down the Willamette Valley to Salem, the capital of Oregon. It is much smaller than Portland, even smaller than where we used to live in Salinas! But it is a very pretty city.

First, we stopped for lunch at a McMenamin’s restaurant that we had never been to, the historic Boone’s Treasury, just north of Salem. It was charming and delicious, with a nice patio. We had a lovely ceiling of maple leaves just coming out in their spring colors.

After lunch we drove into town and to the Riverfront City Park, 23 acres of lawns, trees, statues, an amphitheater, a nature preserve, a bridge over the Willamette Slough, and miles of waking and biking trails.

The biggest surprise was this larger-than-life statue of Tom McCall, a former governor of Oregon who was ferocious about protecting Oregon’s natural resources. Two of Mr. McCall’s projects were keeping our beaches open to everyone and a bill to make recycling become law in Oregon. It makes sense that his statue would be in this lovely natural area, and that it shows him fishing.

This enormous mosaic covered globe caught my eye. It needs some repair, but it is beautiful.

We walked across the pedestrian bridge onto Minta Brown Island along with dozens of other folks out enjoying the day. Bikes, dogs, kids and folks even older than us were all out and about.

Our last stop in the park was the beautiful carousel, which was hand-carved and hand-painted by dozens of volunteers and craftsmen. It was a true labor of love.

We walked into town and had ice cream at Momma Dulce’s. Silly Bridgett had a lick of mine and we were much refreshed.

When we had seen all we could see, braved the highway traffic and gotten home, Grandpa opened his present from Bridgett’s Mom Donna, which was some bottles of tasty wine. We had a small glass each and settled into couch for a relaxing birthday evening.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Nelson!”

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