The thing about the NW that I will miss most when we get back on a plane tomorrow are the berries. They are everywhere – on the side of trails, in people’s gardens, in farms. Mark’s mom has a rambling bush of blackberries covering her entire side yard and the first thing we did when we got out of the car was pick blackberries, sweet and ripened from the sun. Every morning Claudine would beg to go outside so she can pop blackberries in her mouth. On a visit to one of our old college music teacher’s house, the girls went crazy picking wild strawberries, small and red, out in his back garden. And finally, a blueberry farm on Sauvie Island, right outside Portland where we took a day trip to meet an old school friend and former housemate. The girls are expert berry pickers now and there’s nothing cuter than watching a toddler picking berries off a bush, with mouth halfway open in anticipation.
We’re back in Seattle today. We leave at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning. It’s been a long trip, but I don’t think we’re quite ready to leave. We could have spent more time in Portland, for example. It’s been about 12 years since we’ve moved from there and the city is barely recognizable. Next time we’ll need to spend more time. By the way, if you’re ever in Portland, check out Lolo on Alberta Street in North Portland, a Tapas Bar where we sampled pretty much everything on the menu. The food was pretty outstanding.