Monthly Archives: November 2012

an autumn walk in Hoyt Arboretum

On the last day of our trip home, Marcus and I went for a walk with my parents in Hoyt Arboretum, nestled above downtown Portland. The temperatures had dropped significantly during our visit, turning the bright autumn colors a duller, winter version. We wandered over the hills as the late-afternoon air turned cool. Finally when our fingers were numb, we headed for dinner at Serratto and then back to Amsterdam in the morning.

the end of autumn

The last of the autumn leaves are clinging to the branches of the trees here in Amsterdam. The temperatures have dropped and my morning bicycle commute now requires a thick scarf and gloves. It’s pitch dark outside when I make my evening ride home and I can feel the edge of winter peeking around the corner.

I’m keeping it cozy with this book, this show, and cupfuls of peppermint hot chocolate. How are you bracing for the winter ahead?

Photo of Glen Torridon by Richard Childs

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband. Some ages are rung in with fireworks, others with a single candle after a momentous year. I am looking forward to all the years ahead of us and celebrating each one with you.

Photo by Chris Spira

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

While I was visiting Casablanca on a work trip, I took a walk in the late afternoon with my colleague Manja to see the city. One of the main highlights of Casablanca is the Hassad II Mosque, located on the edge of the city next to the ocean. Construction finished in 1993, so it isn’t exactly an ancient building, but it is certainly impressive.

To arrive at the mosque, we crossed a large courtyard with the minaret – the tallest in the world – looming ahead. The expanse of the mosque and the weight of the minaret create a sense of grandeur. Then we went in close and saw the detail carved into each stone, door, and archway.¬†Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside. We had only one headscarf between us and the mosque didn’t appear open to visitors at the time. But the sun was warm and the smell of saltwater was carried on the breeze as we walked around the mosque.

autumn in Oregon

Oregon is beautiful in all seasons, but autumn just might be my favorite. After my trip to Casablanca, I returned to Amsterdam for a few days before departing for Portland. The occasion was my father’s 60th birthday, which we celebrated with abandon. My father declared his birthday a season and has been celebrating the past several months with fishing trips to Bend and explorations of hidden lakes. We take birthdays seriously in my family.

The actual celebration of his birthday lasted about three days, starting with a large party on Saturday, complete with live music and an array of baked goods by yours truly. On Sunday, my parents, Marcus, and I went on a long walk through the orange-leaved trees in surprisingly warm weather. We wore summer clothing and sat outside, drinking lemonade and eating watermelon. On Monday – my dad’s actual birthday – we turned in our ballots, went book shopping, and gathered around the table for a family dinner. I’m thankful for such a wonderful family, a dad who has humor and wisdom, and especially for the love of nature he has inspired in each of us, which comes in especially useful each time I return home to Oregon.

Above, a few images from Instagram (clockwise): sunset over the Willamette River taken while hanging out with my two sweet nieces; the sun shining on the leaves of a maple tree in my parent’s garden; the Stayton-Jordan covered bridge; and the view from the Wildwood trail at Hoyt Arboretum.