Saturday, September 26, 2009

The way we did it

The long awaited day had finally arrived. After weeks (well, years actually) of preparing, the final teary goodbyes were said, she took one last look at her now almost empty room, the contents which were stuffed in several hefty trash bags and piled high in a rented minivan. We were off.

College bound.

Our destination, Portland, Oregan was 992 miles away. We passed through California's drought dry valleys and high desert...

Agriculture and farmlands...

...gas, soda, tea and wee stops...

...we passed through Mountains and rivers, the further away from home we went the more anxiety and melancholy turned into excitement and anticipation!...

...this child in purple is the one we will be depositing at the University for higher learning, she's ready as you can see.... :)

At the Oregon border she began counting the miles to Portland...

HOURS later, we are here. In Portland there are many bridges, this one leads to the downtown, at least we think so.

Looking to the left the pretty Willamette River...

Yes! we are right, thanks to my sister Lindy, she's the worlds best driver and navigator. Here's our off ramp...

Seeing the dorm.

We are here!
Wait, where is the rain?

It was gorgeous out. Sunny and warm. Balmy even.

Move in time wasn't until the following morning so after checking in our hotel we took ourselves out to explore her new school and the city. On this corner is Powell's Books. Described as the City of Books, it's the largest independent bookstore in the world It is a must see if your ever in Portland. There is also a website (award winning) you can visit at

After attending orientation in August, Hannah knew a bit of her way around, and was a good tour guide for us, here is part of her new school. I like to imagine her here, filling her head with heaps of knowledge, who wouldn't be inspired to study in this environment?

We discovered the many forms of public transportation in Portland, trying them out for size. This tram thing was fun, the city felt and looked a little like Amsterdam, with trams and trolleys and bikes and pedestrians.
It's very cool.

I knit Hannah a new hat on the drive up, she wore it on the tram and all around town. I think she is so cute. :)

Coffee shops help keep students awake...

We walked and walked, wandered and window shopped and when we were completely worn out ...

We headed back over the bridge to our hotel, tomorrow is move in day, we'll need our rest!

Saturday morning, oh hello rain.

We saw the rain after all, lots of it.

But we came prepared, our nifty trash bag suitcases did their jobs brilliantly. Here is the move-in cart. There were many families just like us. We were all in long queues waiting for keys, carts, elevators ...

There were posters and signs to direct us, I still got a little lost, I think you have to be a college student to figure these things out!...

Fast forward several trips in the elevator and stairs, and Ta~Da! Her new dorm! We met her roomie and roomie parents. We met her RA's. Then in an excited flurry of activity a new home was made. Hannah's pet fish Couch, (last name Potato), made the trip with no problem at all, he seems to really like his new perch in the window. Nice view heh? Oh, but we weren't finished yet, there were a few more necessities left to buy so back out we went...

Sheets and spatulas, can openers and cooking pots, I think there ought to be a college shower instead of a wedding one, by then most people already have everything they need, don't you think? I really like my idea :)
After leaving almost every last penny I had in Oregon's Target, we made the last trip up the elevator with the move in cart.

Then out we went again, to the Portland Saturday Market, there were crafters, food stands, musicians and people everywhere enjoying the day. The rain had stopped and the blue skies reappeared making me fall completely in love with this city. Again.

Portland is a beautiful blend of old.

And new.

We went back to our hotel without Hannah this time, she wanted to sleep in her new room. I knew this was going to happen.

The separation is sneaking up on me.

We planned to eat at a downtown Thai restaurant, our last dinner together for awhile. Hannah had a mandatory meeting for incoming students so she would join us after. She said "Don't eat without me!" "Of course Darling, we'll wait", we said. Then, the texts started, "it's taking a bit longer" "I've met friends!" "would you mind if I didn't come?".

The separation is here.

Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel, and met our Aunt, who's lived in Portland for forty years, for breakfast, made a last trip to town to the student bookstore, and then the inevitable, it was time to say goodbye.

Where though?

My sister Lindy was occupied with figuring out our route to the coast, Kim was checking her train and plane schedule that she was catching to the Midwest that day, and Hannah had plans to meet her friends.

Crossing over the bridge on our way out, we chose our parting place where the trains come and go, freeway on ramps are close,
and friends could meet....

If you've done this before you know how hard it is. Words don't convey the feelings. I love you Hannah. And I miss you so much already. And please don't be mad that i'm writing about you here on my blog. I won't do it anymore. I promise.

I kept whispering to her be safe, be happy, be mindful. study hard.

I love you.

So much.

...she walked away confident and happy. And she never looked back. That's how she helped me do it.

♥ Shaky, sniffly, tissue clutching, happysad, Lori

P.S. This is part one of our trip, part two is how my sister and I saw the Oregon Coast (part of it) and how I forced myself not to call and text (over and over) the newly fledged college child.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

idle hands, anxious hearts

Life in the Bush

Do you think I have a little too much time on my hands? :)

Would you like to have some fun with your photos? Amaze (or annoy) your friends and family? Pyzhan of Prattle From the Flatlands told about Blingee on her blog. She is exceptionally good at this pasttime of adding sparkle and designs to photos. If you'd like to give it a go you'll find it's a sure way to:

1.) get creative.

2.) avoid chores.

3.) ditto work.

4.) waste time.

5.) giggle out loud.

6.) all of the above.

If your so inclined to this sort of thing you might want to visit, and really, no animals were harmed for this post! These lions had a good time, I think.

I'll be gone for 6 days, leaving this morning, on a road trip to Oregon. My last bird is leaving the nest, starting her new life as a college freshman. And I will be driving away (from college) as a new Mama of faraway children. 992 miles away. Oh dear.

Oh dear.

It'll be alright. I'm sure.

I hope you all have a lovely week! I'll have my laptop with me and may even get a chance to post from the road, but I'll surely read your helpful
comforting comments,
Thank you so much in advance.

♥ lots of love, Lori

Here she is yesterday, see her running down the path to the beach? I hope she adjusts ok, this will be her first time to live away from the ocean (and me). Oh, I know, it'll be waiting for her when she gets back.

and so will I. ♥

Monday, September 14, 2009

a wonder

The Zambezi river, Zimbabwe

I want to thank Janet for reminding me that I'd left out a part of our recent trip to Africa, one of the wonders of the world,

Victoria Falls

When describing the majesty of the falls, I think
Dr. Livingstone came close with,

'on sights as beautiful as this,
angels in their flight must have gazed'.

Our safari began in the town of Victoria Falls,
here at the ilala Lodge, which faces the falls,
and is just a short walk away...

It was hard to get a good photo, but from here you can see the spray rising up between the trees, and hear the thunder of the water, even before making your way down the path to the rim...

Sunrise over Africa,
highlighting the mist from the falls.

Welcome to Mosi~oa~Tunya or Smoke that Thunders. The first known name of the falls was Shongwe, given by the Tokaleya people. Later, the Ndebele changed the name to Amanza Thunquayo, or Water Rising as Smoke. When the Makalolo arrived it was changed yet again to Mosi~oa~Tunya. And finally when Dr. Livingstone was brought to the falls in a dugout canoe on 16 November 1855, he renamed them in honor of the queen. To me, it's so spectacular, it deserves four names, at least.

Once inside the park you'll find a network of tracks, meant to preserve the fragile rainforest ecosystem, and to take you to a series of viewpoints.

There are flowering plants, ilala palms, ebony trees and ferns, birds and monkeys. We stepped carefully on the wet stone foot path all covered in moss, sometimes ducking under branch's, that dripped
raindrops on our heads and backs.

We were advised to wrap our cameras in plastic bags, the flow of water was at it's height, the flood stage happening between March and May with the water at its greatest between April and June. About five million cubic metres per minute pass over the falls.

Your going to get wet.



Giddy as children playing in the rain, we quickly got our bearings and began to check out every viewpoint. With names like Cataract View (Livingstone Statue is here) where you were meant to climb down a steep rock stairway into the gorge (didn't happen, too much water!) and Danger Point, covered with soaking and slippery moss covered rocks only to look out over an unfenced sheer drop off.
Frightening and stunning.

Some tourists chose to wear protective rain gear.
We wanted to experience it all,
including the getting wet part...

...and we did that! the only thing dry in this photo is our
cameras. Just barely. We were not prepared for the amount of water...

...every photo here was taken on the same day in a period of a couple hours, you can see there are many moods of

I think I liked the rainbow mood best.

Now we are leaving. This is part of Victoria Falls airport. We asked our pilot if he wouldn't mind taking a turn around the falls so we could
have another look, an aerial look.

he said yes.

Here you can see the Zambezi bridge, on the left is
Zimbabwe and on the right, Zambia ...

now you can really get a good look at the
amount of water flowing...

The Zambezi River

Victoria Falls is 1.7 kilometres wide and drops between
90 and 107 metres into the Zambezi Gorge...

an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet
over the edge every minute.

A very short video

As we fly away, the Zambezi is heading for the falls...

The Smoke that Thunders can be seen from
miles and miles away.

I hope you will get a chance to see for yourself this great
natural wonder of our world. Till then,

It's been my pleasure bringing you along with me.

♥ Lori