I hate to admit this, but I may be turning into a curmudgeon in my old(er) age. Friday night, Tara and I decided to drive into downtown Portland for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square. Sounded like a great idea at the time. We’d grab a prime spot up front and enjoy the festive camaraderie of a few thousand other spirited souls while singing carols and enjoying sips from a Thermos filled with coffee and Bailey’s Irish cream. Fa-la-la-la-la, right?
Only the reality was much different. Tara had to work until 4 PM, which meant we didn’t even arrive until 5:20 – about ten minutes before it started. By then, it was standing room only, and we couldn’t get anywhere near the tree. We were able to see the top three or four inches if we stood on our tiptoes and craned our necks skyward. Meanwhile, we were being jostled and elbowed and stepped on by the hordes massed around us, all the while trying to keep warm against the frigid wind and bitter cold. Don’t laugh – it was 38 degrees! Adding to the ambience was a baby wailing in my ear and a homeless guy begging for change. By the time they launched into “Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer” I was longing for the warm, cozy comfort of the apartment. Don’t get me wrong; I love the holiday season, and the Christmas spirit arrived early for me this year. But I felt like I could have enjoyed it just as easily from the living room. After all, the whole thing was broadcast live on Channel 8.
Oh, well. Live and learn. Tara is from a small town and is not used to a lot of people. Hardly surprising, given that there are three traffic lights in the whole county. So I knew she wasn’t exactly in her element. Apparently, that lack of patience is rubbing off on me now. I suppose I should just get a tattoo like this one.
Saturday was more my speed. We were in the mood to see snow – well, I was, anyway – so we drove up to Mount Hood and were not disappointed. It was a regular winter wonderland up behind Timberline Lodge. And also about 26 degrees with winds gusting to, I don’t know, 50 mph? Which translated to bitter cold. We ducked into the Blue Ox bar downstairs and warmed up with Bloody Marys and cream of mushroom soup.
Afterwards we drove to Trillium Lake and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset that painted Mount Hood in lovely shades of pink and orange before darkness settled in. There were several inches of snow on the ground and the lake was two-thirds frozen over. People were walking on it and ice skating. Talk about a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Sunday we took down the fall/harvest decorations and swapped them out for Christmas ones. Put up the tree and even broke out the Marty Moose mugs. Ready or not, ’tis the season.
And right on cue, snowflakes on the blog!