The day that Jesse returned from Germany was also the day his sister, Hanna flew in to Portland to visit us. She lives on the South Island of New Zealand and we were excited to show her a bit more of Portland and the greatness of the Pacific Northwest (she visited us before, many moons ago now it seems).
Jesse and Hanna spent the first weekend of her visit in Vancouver, BC…sadly I had to stay behind this time. The following weekend we all traveled up to Seattle to take in some Space Needle / Pike Place Market / Great Wheel and other Seattle-y goodness. Unfortunately for Hanna, she missed out on the wonder of the Gum Wall – it had been cleaned off just days before for the first time in 20 years!
Later they joined some friends for a tour of the Boeing factory and I ran a Thanksgiving themed 10k event at Green Lake on a whim (my running buddy for this one was a 4 year old; but he was in the 250m dash! Look at him go!)
We concluded the weekend with a hike up Mt. Si with our friends and respective canine family members.
My first hike up Mt. Si was was with Jesse on one of our first dates. I remember it being snowy and I was hurting. I put on my bravest face and tried not to be sad about it, but I remember struggling to find footing on the ice and to keep up with Jesse; my leg muscles screaming all the way to the [false] summit. After many slow hours, we reached the turn around point, built a tiny snowman and headed back for the descent. This time? It felt like an easy walk right up to the top, with a sweet rock scramble to the true summit (I had even run a 10k earlier that morning!). I took a moment to reflect on how far I’ve come with my fitness and how much more enjoyable these adventures are when I’m not frustrated with the limits of my body. I felt proud just then.
We watched as the sky turned from blue to pink to black as the sun went down over Mt. Rainier and Seattle in the distance. The three of us shivered through some selfies (while our friends stayed behind with the dogs) and began our downclimb. We then hiked back with headlamps and flashlights, embracing the downhill. It was a fantastic afternoon – I know Jesse was excited to share his beloved Mt. Si with Hanna.
A few days later, Hanna and I enjoyed a Trailblazers game (although they lost to the Bulls). My parents arrived to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us and on Black Friday Hanna caught her plane back to NZ.
It seems like so long ago now, but it was a very busy and exciting November!