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What a Difference a Day Makes!

Lopez Island was sunny and bright, and SO calm on Tuesday morning!We dinghied over to Sam’s boat and had breakfast with him and Anna, and then headed back to Anacortes. The wind picked up a little and Rosario Strait was, um…fun? Yeah. It actually was kinda fun. Wind was NE 25-30kts gusting to 38kts (we only saw that once), with a fairly strong flood current.

We got back to the marina all salty and…awww….the water is turned off. Hope it rains soon!

In the morning we left Airship and headed back to Portland. We knew there was more snow coming and news/weather was saying 4pm. Our ETA in Portland (according to Google and Waze) was 3pm, so we were feeling okay about it all. The further south we went, the grayer it got, and eventually we had snow on I-5:Portland: Not looking too bad, but the closer we got to our house, the slower we went. Our ETA pretty quickly went from 3pm to 5pm as the snow fell and people left work to try to get home. We spent about 3 hours right IN town just trying to move toward home.After inching along until about 6pm, I called and made a reservation at The Benson hotel downtown. It still took us a while to get there, but at least we were waiting in a line of 85 cars to do so:Ahhhhh.View:The folks at the Benson were awesome. They gave us a discounted rate, then upgraded us to a suite and threw in free valet parking. It was lovely. We put our few things in the room and walked across the street to have dinner (and a cocktail) at Imperial. Also fabulous. The service, the food…all spot on. And this cocktail was amazing:New Money…with smoked vermouth and a giant, super-clear ice cube. Delicious. (We’re suckers for smokey bourbon drinks.)

In the morning, Kevin took the hotel’s airport shuttle to PDX for a quick business trip, and I did some work in the room before heading downstairs for some breakfast.

Morning view:Breakfast view: This is a gorgeous old hotel and the rooms are very nice. My waiter at breakfast was named Bobby and he has been working at The Benson for 36 years. He was fantastic, and so was my breakfast/brunch.

After food, I got the car (we were driving the Toyota Camry Hybrid…not the truck) and headed for Les Schwab to procure some chains. I figured the main road our house was likely plowed and sanded by now, but at almost 1000ft, our steep driveway was definitely going to be an issue.

Heading west on Burnside: The smaller streets were still not awesome, but not terrible:Les Schwab (on NW 19th) put my chains on while I went next door to Pro Photo to look at the new Fuji X-T2 (mistake).

Okay, chains on, and I’m ready to head up the hill!! People out retrieving the cars they abandoned last night: Big tree break at the base of our driveway: Awww, the oldest and gnarliest rhododendron that hung out over the driveway eventually gave out from the weight of the ice and snow and snapped: On the back patio, another casualty. This one was leaning onto our roof, but luckily caused no damage that I could see. 

I got out there with the chainsaw and made a huge mess, but there are no longer tree branches leaning on the house. The temperature is supposed to stay below freezing until Sunday, so the driveway will probably be chains-only until then! Always an adventure!


  1. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    Any day that ends with breaking out the chainsaw is a good day

  2. GMertl GMertl

    I heard from my daughter in Portland about all this. We were there one year when a similar storm hit. Something like that is unexpected and the city isn’t prepared for it. Really shuts things down. Thankfully, it only last a short while. Glad you didn’t find more damage and made it home safely.

    • Thanks Gary! We’re pretty good at making the best out of a not-the-best situation, too. 🙂 Happy holidays to you!

  3. wally0 wally0

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and keep up the good work, looking foreword to your photo’s in 2017, Cheer’s Warren & Robyn (Australia)

    • Thank you Warren & Robyn! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both as well, and thanks so much for following along with us! Cheers!

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