Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Home Again – PDX – June 29, 2008

I'm feeling tried out still from the trip down from Vancouver yesterday. We started off the morning feeling mostly rested, chatted with the flat owner, wrapped up our packing and the remaining dishes, then packed up the rental car. Our plan was to park the car, walk in Grandview Park one last time, have some brunch, and pick up some treats to take home.

Upon entering Grandview Park we discovered that we were stumbling on one of Vancouver's two Pride festivals. Although there is a large festival in August there is also an "Eastside Pride" held at the end of June. The vendors were just setting up so we headed on to have brunch and figured we'd go back through after we finished.

We had thought to try Cafe du Soleil which is right by the co-op bookstore, we had hoped that the sandwich board outside showing the "vegan soup of the day" meant that there would be good brunch options for vegans. Unfortunately the choice was another tofu scramble and not much else. Since we wanted to pick up some halva to take home we opted to have the tofu scramble at Sweet Cherubim instead. Again, the experience wasn't disappointing. If you're ever planning a visit to The Drive, check out Sweet Cherubim, everything we tried on any day was delicious!

After brunch we purchased our halva to take home and wandered through the Eastside Pride festival. We even managed to get some questions answered about Zip Cars and will keep them in mind for future trips, especially when we fly into a city and only need a car for a day or so. We were pleased to see that there was a tent doing outreach for new foster families. Then we climbed into the rental and headed east.

It took longer than expected to get over the border, especially since we crossed back into the U.S. via the Blaine border crossing. We had headed east out of the city in Canada highway 1 but lacking a printout of the exact route back to Lynden, Washington we allowed ourselves to be tempted by the signs reading "U.S. Border Crossing" and followed them. We soon found ourselves in a line up promising to be at least 50 minutes, although we ended up there for a bit longer than that.

Once at the guard station we were told our information was incorrect on the documentation needed, however, since the Canadians had let us in we could re-enter the U.S. after being handed a printout that told us what we should have done. We didn't get asked what we'd purchased or anything much beyond where we'd each been born and what we'd been doing in B.C.

By the time we were hitting Seattle it was about 4PM; we were tired and hungry. We thought to try to hunt down a vegan place I'd eaten at while doing basic yoga teacher training in April 2006. Around Everett I'd suggested we could also pop off in a business area and hope for a Thai place. In going to turn about to try the other one-way street for the vegan place I spotted a sign for Araya's Vegetarian Thai! We turned around the car, found parking, and went inside.

The inside was welcoming, spacious and they'd just turned on the A/C (it was in the 90s outside). We found out that all dishes were vegan, the only non-vegan thing was that you could choose to have cow milk in a Thai tea or coffee. We ordered vegan Thai tea and were delighted to discover it was served with coconut milk -- delicious. We had just missed the buffet, which is very well reviewed, so for a meal we ordered the green papaya salad and orange tofu. The salad was exactly what I wanted -- refreshing and citrus-y. The orange tofu was rich, but the citrus note kept it from becoming cloying. It was served with steamed brown and red rice.

Eventually we got home at 8PM, got the rental car unpacked and turned in. AM, CK & I made our way over to an old favorite, Vita Cafe, for tempeh BLTs, salads, tortilla soup, french fries, and drinks. Somehow, despite the exhaustion of the long, long day in the car, I didn't get to sleep until past midnight.

Today a phone call woke me up around 8AM. I was groggy and had slept a little fitfully. I sat out on the deck with AM and Bodhi writing until around 10AM before going over to the community center to teach my Sunday yoga class. Only three students today so a quiet class. I was very gratified that a new student had practiced the thing he'd found difficult during the first class; sitting.

After that AM and I went over to SE Portland to pick up a 94 pound bag of concrete that he'd found on Freecycle. While driving over towards Trader Joe's we went past a Bike Gallery shop on Woodstock. AM, CK & I have all been talking about a bicycle for me. I haven't been in over 12 years, especially after my lowest disc in my back herniated. It is both difficult for me to have pressure on my tailbone and sit bones, but leaning forward is also hard. Despite all of this we have all thought there might be bikes that would work for me. Knowing all of this AM pulled over and we went in. I ended up trying out a 2009 Trek 7000. AM said that within moments of figuring out my balance again I had an enormous smile on my face.

Then a bit of shopping and home to meet with some people coming here to pick up an old dog house and planting shelves AM had listed on Freecycle. CK came over later for dinner and we all were able to enjoy a beautiful lightening storm while eating on the deck. Afterwards she and I walked up to the rose garden in Penninsula Park with Bodhi who is learning how not to pull my arm out of the socket when on a lead. The roses, all either in full bloom or just passing full, were headily scented and so vibrant. We discovered that the parks district is rebuilding the sunken entrance to the garden to include some ramps. It will be great to see this beautiful garden made more accessible even if it does mean changing the original construction.

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