Down by the Riverside

Did you enjoy your 4th of July celebration?  It's always a day I look forward to since it means spending hours and hours with my favorite people.  Erik and Mae arrived on the east bank of the Willamette River early in the afternoon and established a beachhead with barbecue, blankets, chairs, rugs, and pop-up shelter.  It can be a long, hot day, although yesterday's temperatures were just perfect.  It was in the high 70's with a breeze.  By evening, we were all donning our jeans and windbreakers.

Here's Erik relaxing when we arrived...

...along with the ever-glamorous Mae.

Matthew arrived later in the day with some killer guacamole that he made.  Food preparation is something Matthew has recently gone after with enthusiasm, and his guacamole was filled with big chunks of avocado, corn, and all sorts of yummy stuff.

Mike settled in for an afternoon of family and fun.

Excuse me?  Did someone ask what team we're rooting for?

Erik was very proud of his new invention, The Boomler.  It's essentially a car stero and an ice chest turned into a boom box.

It requires no electricity because it is powered by a car battery.  It even has a wireless remote control!

We had it tuned in to the Blues Festival on the other side of the river from where we were sitting.

We were north of the Marquam Bridge, which is where Interstate 5 crosses the Willamette River.  If you look at this image, you can see Council Crest, which is where the radio tower is.  Just below that is where the VA Hospital and Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital complex is located.  This area is known affectionately as "Pill Hill".  OHSU is on the right side, the VA on the left.  If you look closely, between the two buildings, you can see a blue line (below the radio tower and above the red brick structure in the lower part of the image).  That is the sky bridge that connects OHSU and the VA Hospital.  I was doing my first year social work internship at the VA when the sky bridge opened.  It's one of the best views of downtown Portland in the city. 

Here's an image of how it looks from the inside.

And you can click on this link to see more information and pictures of the sky bridge.  When I worked at OHSU, I used to walk back and forth there to get some exercise while on my lunch breaks.  (Not that one needs exercise when one works in a hospital.)  The bridge is an 8th of a mile across, so 8 lengths equals a mile walked.

Continuing on with where we were located, we were south of the Hawthorne Bridge.  You can see where paddlers put in there in the lower right-hand corner of this image.

We are located conveniently close to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) where they stay open until around 7:00 p.m.  After that it's the porta potties...one...for thousands of people.  Yes, the lines are long.  It's a good day to restrict your fluid intake.

Erik manned the barbecue.  There was all kinds of good food.  We had several different kinds of dips, salads, corn on the cob, brats (the hot dog kind, not the children kind), chicken, and for dessert, cookies.  

An OSU Beaver believer for sure.

The presentation of the roasted corn on the cob.  No one went home hungry.

My favorite couple in the whole wide world.

Close to sun down, the barge with the fireworks pulls up right in front of where we're sitting.  The police boats chase everyone out of the surrounding area.  They have to be either south of the Marquam Bridge or north of the Hawthorne Bridge.

I always like the way the flag across the river looks as the sun sets behind it.

And then we wait for the cracken boomers to start.  It's a wonderful day...one I look forward to all year long.  I hope you had a great day too, no matter how you celebrated.

I'll be back later today or tomorrow to update you on the rest of our trip to the beach.  I want to tell you about our hikes, our Oysters Rockaway, and the quilt shop I visited.  For now, I'm going to do some embroidery.  I haven't done any embroidery for about a week, and I'm Jonesing for it.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

What a fun place to spend the fourth and watch the fireworks. Our neighbors has some nice ones, so we watched those, not up to fighting the traffic to the beach.


Cath said...

What a wonderful day out to celebrate the 4th July. looking forward to more beach travels.

Teresa in Music City said...

Sounds like the perfect day! Lovely times with family - it doesn't get any better than that!

We had too much rain here for the usual festivities. We are in NC this year, but I understand at home they cancelled the Nashville Symphony for the fireworks show this year because of the rain. It's still raining!!!

quiltzyx said...

Well, I don't know about Matthew's guacamole - looks like he kept it on his own lap instead of sharing it! lol
Looks like you had another wonderful day at the river for the 4th. :D

I watched the fireworks laying on my couch & looking out the window on the 3rd. Spent the afternoon & evening with friends - we had BBQ steak, corn, pasta salad, fresh fruit salad (watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries that I can remember), mushrooms sauteed with Italian dressing that were incredibly delicious, garlic Texas toast & choice or apple or cherry pie for dessert. Whew! I didn't eat again until after noon today... :D

Pamela said...

We watched the fireworks from the Hawthorne bridge a few years back - the best fireworks EVER!

Kate said...

Looks like you had a near perfect 4th.

Diane Wild said...

About the Boomler. I don't see any room in that ice chest/boom box for the beer. Or is there?

Brown Family said...

It is fun to spend the 4th with family! We went to my daughters for a barbeque and then came home to see the fireworks.