You may have noticed that we tend to lean towards the country-mouse side of things around here. When you live in a town that doesn't break 10,000, it happens.
Yesterday, however, we got our city on. I won't go into the irony of the fact that we spent most of our time within the one square block of PDX that is walled in to create the oasis of peace and calm that is the Lan Su garden. It is one of the only things that irresistably draws us into the undeniably charming Big City.
My mum joined us for a morning of walking around in circles and meandering up and down walkways and sipping tea. This sort of thing doesn't need a lot of words, really. If you ever have the chance to spend time here, take it. Even on a busy summer morning, with several hundred people milling in and out and practicing their Tai Chi, it is serene.
After our full dose of garden and tea, we headed to the art museum. We walked up and down and viewed paintings and discussed plenty of things in exhuberated voices (not loud, just excited). We have learned to look at the Asian collections, the visiting show, then the Native American artifacts, and then break for lunch.
A run through the gardens, then back to see the Monets and Van Gogh's cow, and the Rodins. We discovered which guards are lovely, friendly, knowledgable and happy to share their enthusiasm with us, and which ones were only concerned that an eight year old boy not walk too fast.
The fourth floor held this gem:
It was interesting to me to spend the day in the city. I am not good at filtering out information, sights, sounds, smells, noises... I get quickly overwhelmed. It has been so long since I spent much time in big cities that I don't automatically adjust.
Still, even country bumpkins enjoy a day out once in a while.