John’s conference was over early Friday, so we decided to take the red-eye out late Friday night, so he would have a chance to explore Portland a little before we had to leave. He had been in the convention center most of the week, while I explored Portland on my own. We look the light rail over to the river front area after his conference finished, in search of lunch, finally settling on the supremely delicious McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood. It was probably 78 degrees, breezy… just amazing. As New Yorkers who have been suffering through a painfully hot summer… we were pretty much in heaven. We sat for a long time, eating lots and lots of food, and watching the boats go by.
Afterward, we walked along the river front, settling onto the grass underneath a tree in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. We laid back, admired the lovely view of Mt. Hood, and dozed off a little bit in the summer sun. I don’t remember the last time I sat in a park with John and did… nothing. I took in all the sights and sounds… children laughing, a water fountain, someone strumming bad guitar. It was the most relaxed either of us have been in months, I think, between work and wedding planning. We didn’t talk about any of it, we just leaned together and enjoyed one another’s company.
Eventually we headed deeper into Portland to find coffee and see the city a little bit more, but we soon found ourselves drawn back to the waterfront park… for the peacefulness, the breeze. We knew it would be a long time before we would be able to enjoy weather like this in New York, and we found ourselves wanting to savor it. We sat on a bench and people watched and John made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
After a while, we reluctantly pulled ourselves away and headed back across the river to collect our things and head to the airport. I felt kind of bad that John didn’t get to explore Portland, that we lazed about in the nice weather, eating too much food and people watching. But I can’t think of the last time I’ve had a day so perfect, so lovely. The best day I spent in Portland was the day we spent doing absolutely nothing.
I didn’t even bring my camera along that day, and I’m so glad I didn’t. Yes, there were so many things I would have liked to have photographed – the view of Mt. Hood being number one in my mind. And as surprising as this may be, coming from someone who takes photographs for a living, I want to remind you to leave your camera at home sometimes. It’s okay. I would have never been able to properly photograph the perfect weather, the breeze, the way I felt just relaxing in the park. These are memories best kept in my mind. Honestly, sometimes stopping a perfect day or a perfect moment to take pictures of it… ruins it. It loses something. Not every moment needs to be documented or remembered on film… a lot of moments are best remembered in your head… they stay brighter and shinier. We had the most wonderful day imaginable, and I have absolutely nothing to remember it by, and that’s actually not such a bad thing afterall.
(The two photos below were taken the day before.)