When I gave it a little bit of thought, I wondered why Tom Hanks’ character in Sleepless in Seattle, a grieving widower, would move from windy Chicago to rainy Seattle. “Wouldn’t he be even more depressed by the overcast weather?” I mused out loud (to my disinterested Walt). But oh. There was a bit of a role reversal when I visited the Pacific Northwest a few weeks ago: it stormed and hailed in Austin, and it was nothing but blue skies and 65-degree winds in Portland and Seattle.

      It was my first time in Oregon and Washington; I’d heard wonderful things but had never experienced it for myself. This was my second time to visit Vancouver, BC, and I arrived by Amtrak so I spent most of the trip peering out of the train windows figuring out how I could retire on the Sound.

      The quality of light, the adorable Portland houses; Powell’s bookstore (a multi-storied palace of a million tomes, topped with a rare book collection that would make a person weep with happiness) and hippie-granola food joints: I fell a little bit in love with Portland.

      Spending time with my friend Andrea (whom I’ve known since the 7th grade) in her neighborhood…


      Visiting the Japanese gardens:

      portland portland

      Peeping Mount Hood:


      Sunset at the Skidmore Bluffs:

      portland portland portland

      Neighborhood walks and neighborhood animals:

      portland portland portland


      powells(iPhone photo by Kim Smith-Miller)

      Amtrak to Seattle:

      portland seattle seattle seattle

      Seattle tourism:

      seattle seattle seattle

      Sunrise from my AirBNB room…


      Water on the way to Vancouver…

      seattle vancouver vancouver vancouver

      All photos taken with my Canon EOS M unless otherwise noted.


      I love these! I went to Portland a few summers ago and fell in love and dreamed of moving there, until I remembered it was rainy most of the year.