Archive for October, 2011

Loving Kindness Meditation

October 31, 2011

Many meditation products are designed to help people who are new to meditation. Sometimes these products are simply an aid for even those who have a lot of experience meditating. These products range from CD’s for guided meditation in the Zen tradition, Mindfulness meditations, Loving Kindness (Metta) meditation, and others.

Meditation

One of my goals is to start making podcasts for visualizations.  These visualizations can be listened to while seated in meditation or while lying in shavasana.  I plan to post these podcasts here on my blog, on my website, and on my Facebook Business Page (Yoga by Fran Gallo).  It is a matter of figuring out how to use my new microphone and figuring out how to do/post the podcasts.

For now, I have written out the  Loving Kindness Meditation (also known as Metta Meditaiton).  Personally, I love the Metta Meditation based on the Insight (Vipassana) Meditation tradition. In this guided meditation, the listener is instructed to visualize a progressively larger group of living things, beginning with oneself and ending with the universe, while emanating love and kindness toward all. The person doing the meditation sends the following Loving Kindness phrases below to various groups:

May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be safe from harm
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

After having said the words above, you then start over and replace “I” with the following:

my family/ my partner/spouse/children

my friends

my acquaintances

people who are difficult to be with or difficult for me to accept or love

all human kind

all sentient beings, including all animals, trees, flora and fauna

the entire planet earth with her rivers, sky, air, land, forests, plains, fields, seas…

the entire universe

I think it’s pretty inclusive of everyone and everything! Don’t you think so, too?  I hope you will have time to try it!

We are always so pressed for time!!  Why is that so?  This whole weekend, I thought I would have time to finish a whole list of chores that I can’t get done during the busy work/teaching week. But, in reality, I got to about three things on my list!  My weekend is now winding down and I am ready to simply relax.  I keep thinking about a documentary I watched this weekend, Naked in Ashes.  It is about India’s sadhus who renounce all worldly things (except FOOD which they need to feed their physical bodies).  There are 1.3 billion people in India and there are 13 MILLION holy men or sadhus.  I find that number  quite mind boggling, even if the number 13 million represents only 1% of 1.3 billion. It is amazing that this many people renounce the physical world, their families, the comfort of home, all that is part of the modern world, and they venture forth to devote their entire existence to meditation and devotion in search of the divine!  And all I want to do is carve out 20 minutes of my day to devote to this simple Loving Kindness Meditation!  Put into this perspective, it should not be so difficult.

It’s strange, but there is the side of me that fantasizes about living like the sadhus.  But always, I think to myself, “Yes, I could do that for a year at most.”  Isn’t that lame?  I put time limits on myself. I could only do it for a short while.  I guess I am too attached to my worldly comforts. But since Jeanie died I think about what it would be like to give up a WHOLE lot and live like a sadhu for a short time. Something to think about…but the most important thing right now is to be fully integrated with my work as a yogini.  To practice what I teach, to practice loving kindness, and to continue to be REAL, which to me means to be fully integrated into this very life I live out day. I think it is a challenge we all face  day to day: how to be the best we can be, how to make the most of this life, how to be close to God while we have our feet firmly planted on this earth.

Yes, something to think about!

A Fine Autumn Day in Ocean Shores

October 24, 2011

Today was a fine autumn day at the coast.  Rick and I took a long walk on the beach and we brought our cameras along.   The sky looked like a valuable painting done in watercolors.  And at other times, my colored photos came out looking monochromatic.

Beach Grass and Autumn Sky

Surfers Seek Thrilling Waves

Watercolor

Another perfect "Watercolor"

Gull on Rock

Yoga Reading

October 19, 2011

Yoga Books!

I love to read.  In fact, I wish I had more time to read (and more time to blog)!!  I always have a pile of books on my desk from the library.  The only books I purchase are my yoga books because they are books I refer back to time and time again! So, some people collect designer wear scarves, others antique coins, dolls, stamps, postcards etc.  Me?  I collect yoga books!

Following is a list of some amazing books on YOGA or yoga related!  If you go through this list and see that I have not included a yoga book that is special to you, please comment below so that my readers and I can be more complete in our reading!  Here’s to 20 years of yoga reading…

The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda  (I have not finished reading this one yet)

Eco Yoga by Henryk Skolimowski

Awakening the Spine by Vanda Scaravelli  (This was the FIRST book I purchased on yoga and to this day it is one of my favorites, very inspirational)

The Bhagavad Gita by Gandhi

Bhagavad Gita by  Swami Prabhavananda

Inside the Yoga Sutras by Reverend Jaganath Carrera

The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali with commentary by Swami Satchidananda

Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi

In the Company of the Wise by Swami Sivananda Radha

Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers

Living Yoga edited by Feuerstein, Bodian and Yoga Journal

The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

Light on the Yoga Sutras by B.K.S. Iyengar

Yoga for Common Aliments by Monro, Nagarathna, Nagendra

Yoga as Medicine by Timothy McCall, MD

Hatha Yoga by Swami Radha

Kundalini Yoga for the West by Swami Radha and  Swami Sivananda

Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama

A Whole Life’s Work by Lewis Richmond

The Runner’s Yoga Book by Jean Couch

Chakras by Johari

The Book of Chakras by Wauters

The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Yoga Anatomy by Kaminoff

Ayurveda: A Life of Balance by Maya Tiwari

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope

Relax and Renew by Judith Lasater

Yoga and Psychotherapy by Swami Rama, Rudolph Balllentine, Swami Ajaya

Yoga for Transformation by Gary Kraftsow

Yoga for a New Age by Bob Smith andLinda Boudreau

Talks with Ramana Maharishi (Edited by Inner Directions)

Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Banda  by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (from the Bihar School of Yoga where my teacher Vikashanada is from, therefore my lineage!)

The Art of Power by Thich Nhat Hanh

Autobiography of a Yogi  by Paramhansa Yogananda

Illuminata by M. Williamson

Daily Meditations  by Julie Rappaport

Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By  by Leza Lowitz

Teachings of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein

Holy Madness by Georg Feuerstein

Tantra-The Path of Ecstasy by Georg Feuerstein

The Yoga Tradition by Georg Feuerstein

Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

Paths to God by Ram Das

From the River of Heaven by David Frawley

Western Seeker Eastern Paths by David Pond

The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone

Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel

Bookends!

October 18, 2011

In the middle of the night, I heard, “Miiii,  Nuna a va fare sessant’anni!”

I had been fast asleep, but this voice woke me up!  It was my mother’s voice, as if she were right there next to me, her voice clear as could be, saying in the Sicilian dialect, “Oh MYYY, Nora’s going to be 60!”  Was I dreaming?

All I know for sure is that my big sis, whom I love with all my heart, is turning 60 today!  How I wish I could click my heels and be with her.

As a child, I was always held by Nora.  I always sat on her lap and she was eager to help take care of me!  She tenderly combed my hair and dressed me. She bathed me and read to me at night.  She was the bridge of understanding between my parents, Italy-born and newly immigrated to the USA, and me, the first born American in my family. She was and still is an amazingly caring and nurturing person. She took care of my mom and dad and Jeanie over the years with such an amazing dedication.  She takes care of my sister Toni and makes sure that Toni is healthy, happy, and stays safe.  She is always there when I call. And if I have to leave a message, it is a matter of moments before she returns my calls.

Nora proudly tells everyone that we are “bookends”:  she the eldest, me the youngest, three between us.  She is an anchor  for me and I cannot even imagine my life without her.  And today is her 60th birthday!!  I want to wish her the best always.  I want her to celebrate her existence in the biggest way because she is such a special person.

Yes, the world is a better place because Nora is in it!

Nora and Francy

Nora and Francy


Issaquah Day Retreat: Yoga at Crystal Creek Studio

October 17, 2011

Crystal Creek Yoga Studio in Issaquah!

I held two one-day retreats this past weekend at Cathy Pierce’s home and studio in Issaquah at Crystal Creek Studio!  This is the third time I have offered these day retreats. They are held in the spring and again in autumn and they are purely magical!

Cathy’s house is surrounded by forest.  It sits on the side of Squak Mountain.  The trailhead is just a few minutes walk from her house and yoga studio.  The yoga experience starts with the early morning drive across the I-90 bridge as you leave the city and drive east.  There is hardly any traffic and the morning fog still clings to the trees.  After winding your way up to Cathy’s house and studio, the theme of the season welcomes you!  I am talking pumpkins and a psychedelic kaleidoscope-like Halloween themed lamp, vases filled with autumn grasses, and ghosts and bats floating  over the deck.  Every year, Cathy’s decor changes.  Every day, she rearranges the design and you discover yet more of her creative artistry at work.  Her warmth spreads into her home and studio and you immediately feel at home, comfortable, peaceful and cozy. She creates the universal home every human being craves where harmony, love, warmth, and security reign!  I find the setting very inspiring.  Add to the setting a beautiful group of people who come together in a pure spirit of exploring yoga and unfolding, wonderfully long yoga sessions, delicious healthy organic homemade lunches punctuated with macaroons, chocolate chip cookies, and pear upside-down cake all made by Cathy’s loving hands, and a hike in the forest where the trees are bearded with moss, and you have the recipe for a Perfect Day!

Squak Mountain hike/ Issaquah magic

The Practice   

The following sequence was done on both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday’s session was Gentle Yoga so postures were modified as necessary.  On Sunday, I amped things up a bit by repeating this sequence with more challenging variations.  All postures below were done on Side I and then on Side II.  Please note: We had a LOT of time so we went slowly and thoroughly, giving our bodies time to explore each pose, find proper alignment, and to soak in the benefits of each pose.  The sequence should be followed by Deep Relaxation which is then followed by a glass of Water!

Warrior I

Triangle

Half Moon

Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Steer while lying on the back (Gomukhasana)

Steer Seated with Arms in position

Pigeon

Three Legged Dog

Crescent Moon (Anjaneyasana)

Prayer Balance Pose (Parvritta Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)

Wide Forward Bend

Lord Shiva’s Dance or Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana) Do both side of this last asana and then REPEAT all Poses on the second side

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Part II: INTENSIFY  (Please Note: “Intensify” does not mean “Go Faster”…take your time and BREATHE your way into each posture.)

Warrior II  + back heel down and clasp hands behind the back, bend forward and reach head towards the floor

Triangle + Extended Side Angle and connect arms after wrapping them around the leg whose knee is bent. Look up.

Half Moon + Grab hold of foot while in the pose to morph Dancer’s Pose with Half Moon.  Look up if possible.

Steer (full pose) + fold forward while in the pose

Pigeon + Bend back knee and grab hold of the foot OR add a twist

Three Legged Dog + come into a back bend by dropping the raised leg behind the grounded foot..reach free arm over head

Crescent Moon + Hanumanasana (Splits)  can use a block placed under the sitting bone of the straightened leg

Prayer Balance Pose +Extend Arms for a deeper twist or wrap arms around legs

Pyramid Pose + Revolved Triangle Pose

Wide Forward Bend and move to PLANK to Chatturange Dandasana to Cobra to Child’s Pose to Downward Facing Dog to Forward Bend at the front of the mat to Mountain and begin this challenging sequence to Side II

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I asked each person to find something special on their hike. This task was inspired by Cathy’s earlier forest findings. She found a stone broken in two, embedded in the earth. When she picked up the two halves, she discovered they fit together perfectly to form one round stone.  She cradled the stone in a bed of  pine needles and neatly tied it together with a reed of grass.  It’s funny to be asked to find something in the forest. At first  you only see trees and path.  But when you train your eyes to really see, wonders emerge and treasures are found:

Cathy's Rock

Linda's Moss Garden decorated with wildflowers and tiny mushrooms from the autumn forest

Betty's leaf composition (on the left) next to Fran's chocolate colored Oregon grape leaf (mahonia) and triangle rock

Fog in the Forest

On Saturday, I asked each person to briefly describe YOGA, as if to give a definition for someone who has never done yoga before:

Yoga is a practice.  It’s endless. It’s reflective.  It is PEACE itself.  Cathy

I am a Virgo which means I tend to be analytical and I tend to be in my mind, reliving my past.  Yoga brings me to the present. It helps me with the physical (my body) and with the non-physical (my mind).  Barbara

Yoga provides a connection with ancient physical poses which have survived centuries.  These physical postures help connect me to the spiritual side of myself. Patty

Yoga can be whatever you want it to be. It can be ACTIVE! It can be Calming.  It can be Vigorous.  You use the practice the way you want to use it.  The yoga practice always addresses your needs.  Linda

Linda and Leaning Log

During Shavasana, I led the group in a meditation.  We focused on the mantra, So Hum. At the end of the guided meditation, I asked each person to add an image to the So Hum Mantra.

So Hum  I Am That

So Hum I am the Blue Sky, I am the Clouds.

So Hum, I am the Light in a Child’s Eyes

So Hum, I am the Sun, the Wind, the Rain

So Hum, I am the Perfect and the Imperfect

So Hum, I am my Whole Life, my Whole Self from Birth to Death (Cathy- as described on Saturday)

So Hum, I am the Warm Flame of the Fire (Dayna)

So Hum, I am Re-Grounded (Brooke)

So Hum, I am the Wind Rustling the Leaves (Betty)

So Hum, I am Green (Koren and Leslie)

So Hum, I am the Birds Chirping (Marilyn.. 11 parakeets chirping)

So Hum, I am Sleep (Howard)

So Hum, I am Mist on a Leaf (Britt)

Viparita Karani Asana: well deserved REST!

Tea. anyone?

The next Saturday and Sunday one-day yoga retreats in Issaquah will most likely be held the first weekend in May, 2012.  As soon as I get a confirmation on the date with Cathy, I will post the date on my website (www.frangallo.com).  Next May, both days will be Level II-Intermediate Yoga.


Day on Bainbridge Island

October 15, 2011

A few weeks ago, on September 30th, I had a reunion with some of the participants from last summer’s Yoga on the Beach Retreat.  It was a very special reunion in that I went over to Bainbridge Island to see Genevieve’s (and Elizabeth’s) beautiful home and garden.   We went wild mushroom hunting in a secret spot in a forest, met Genevieve’s  charming boyfriend who is a fisherman in Alaska, enjoyed his smoked salmon, went on a sunset hike though a forest to Gazzam Lake where we did yoga amongst the trees, gathered organic food from the garden, cooked together, and basically enjoyed a wonderful time with some dynamic women and fellow yoginis!  Here is the day and evening outing in photos:

Christine reaches for a chanterelle in the forest! I have been sworn to secrecy as to where this forest is!

On the trail in search of chanterelles!

Chanterelles, cleaned and ready for roasting

Freshly picked Pears and Greens

Alaskan smoked salmon!

Gazzam Lake Trail

Genevieve doing Yoga in the Forest!

Christine stretching her legs in the Forest

Grace: Brooklyn meets Forest

Yoga in the Forest

Hiking boots/Trail shoes and Yoginis Unite

Fran and Genevieve playfully do yoga in the forest: Navasana

Enchanted by the Forest: Grace (recently moved to the Pacific Northwest from New York City!)

Christine: Eagle in Forest

Eagles trying to balance on uneven forested earth

Muscles! Gigantic Roasting Pan filled to the brim with veggies

Doesn't get any fresher than this: Garden Salad with edible nasturtiums

The apple and blueberry cobbler we never got to taste! ;-( We suddenly realized how late it was and we had to dash to catch a late night ferry back to Seattle, foregoing this lovely cobbler!

The Fabulous Lisa Fox at Tula’s Jazz Club

October 14, 2011

Busy day yesterday!  I woke up well before dawn, taught my heart out, went back to Seattle Athletic Club in the afternoon and took part in a photo shoot for their brochure, went home for a little while (crawled into bed and read for an hour!), and went back downtown to hear the Fabulous Lisa Fox sing at Tula’s Jazz Club.  It was a great day!!!  Glad I got to sleep in this morning!  Here are some photos from yesterday:

Immortalized by the Seattle Athletic Club photo shoot (doing the photo shoot was actually EXHAUSTING for me!)

Our really cool group of yogis (some SAC members posing for the brochure)

Finished! A good job well done!!

Oops! Meant to write Thursday night above...Lisa Fox sings at Tula's Jazz Club downtown Seattle!

And here is Lisa on YouTube (filmed at an earlier date):  Lisa sings on YouTube

And after sleeping in this morning, Rick and I took a leisurely walk down our steep Phinney Hill, had coffee, and walked around some more along the canal, admiring the first hints of autumn!  We have had fairly mild weather and so the trees have been very slow to change to their brilliant autumn colors.  Here is a collage of photos from this morning’s walk. I wanted to capture the colorful houses on Phinney Hill.

Phinney Hill walk this morning: Autumn is HERE!

Sicilian Cats

October 11, 2011

This has got to be the BEST cat photo ever!  My sister Zina took this photo 3 years ago when we were in our home village of Grotte, Sicily.  It is fantastic.  We were there for Easter visiting aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It was one of the coldest Easters on record.  These smart Sicilian cats found themselves a warm motor and car hood.

Sicilian Cats: photo taken by Zina Brechbill

When Patience Runs Thin

October 9, 2011

I was surprised to get an email from a former Kuwaiti student I had years ago at Green River Community College, Hani Alkhulaifi.  He was in town visiting and wanted to meet up with me.  Thank goodness for Facebook because I was able to friend him and see photos of him.  I had not seen him in 17 years and, other than thinning hair and graying temples,  he actually looked quite the same.

Reunion with Hani at Pike Place Market on Thursday

We met at the market by the pig!  That is the best meeting point at the market, but still I laughed when he suggested it because the pig has such a lowly reputation in the Muslim world.  Hani went on to study at Pacific Lutheran University and graduated with honors.  He was one of my brightest students, always sitting at the edge of his seat in the first row, listening hard to catch every word, every nuance, and every bit of information he could.  He was always there during my office hours, wanting to know exactly why he got a 3.5 and not a 4.o on a certain essay or test.  His persistence was a bit annoying, but admirable all the same!

We had dinner together downtown last Thursday and Hani reminded me of an incident that happened 18 years ago, perhaps one that I would rather forget.  I found it interesting that after all these years, Hani remembered this story.  I was a very patient English instructor at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA., but once upon a time, I had a class that challenged me to the CORE!  Hani was in that class!  I swear  the director of the program purposefully assigned that particular class to me, thinking that if anyone could handle that group, it would be me.  Well, I was into the first week of teaching that class and my patience ran thin!

That morning, I walked into the class of raucous students and asked them to please take their seats.  Reluctantly, after much commotion, they did.  I then asked them if there were any questions from yesterday’s assignment and I was greeted with a blank stare.  I asked them to please turn in the assignments and 3 out of 25 students handed in their work.  Hani was one of those who turned in his assignment, but I could see that it was what I call “half-ass” done.  Things were not going so well.  I proceeded to go over the reading discussion and it was clear that no one had read the essay.  They might as well have asked me,  “You mean, we’re supposed to do homework??”  OK, time for the weekly quiz and I was met with 25 vacant eyes looking at me, silently saying, “You’re kidding, right?”  All week, nothing had changed.  My inner alarms went off.  This was the worst class, a teacher’s ABSOLUTE nightmare!  That is when I LOST it.  I was Vesuvius erupting, Etna spewing her lava full force, Mount St. Helen’s blowing her top!  We were 15 minutes into class and it was going NOWHERE.

I SLAMMED my roster book and notebooks SHUT.  I slapped my hands on the podium. The sting actually felt good against my palms!  At least the sting felt REAL and EFFECTIVE.  As if stuck behind a layer of mud, I heard myself scream, “I’m NOT wasting my time anymore…or YOURS!”  They were riveted, more alert than ever, frightened, shocked.  I heard myself say to them, “I am sick of this SHIT!”, as I grabbed my books and stomped out.  I pushed the door shut behind me and the push was powered by my anger. That and the heaviness of the door made for a big BOOM.  I was sure the whole campus heard it!  The loud BOOM matched the hatred I felt -at that moment- for my lazy students.  It took my having a hissy fit to wake them up??

I had no idea where to go, so I ran to the ladies’ room with shaking hands (ow, my palms now hurt!) and broke down into a heap of tears.  I hated myself for losing control like that, for letting the students get under my skin.  After I calmed down, I made my puffy-eyed way over to see Ross, the director of my program (read: Ross the Boss) to confess what had just happened.  I found him and said, “Something terrible just happened.  I totally lost it with my class and walked out on them in the most violent way!  Ross, I realize I could lose my job over this (yes, I said that with a glimmer of HOPE because God, I hated my job more than anything at that very moment!). Ross was quiet for a moment and then asked, “Where are they now?”  The image of their shocked faces came back to me.  “Um, I don’t know.  Still sitting in the classroom wondering if I will come back?  They looked pretty scared when I stormed out.”  I told him in detail what had just happened.  To my surprise, Ross said, “Don’t worry about it.  I’ll go talk to them.  Just carry on as normal tomorrow.  You’re the best teacher they could have and they know that.”  I left his office, feeling embarrassed now that my tantrum was over.

Apparently Ross did not have to go talk to my class. Instead, they came to him en masse to discuss with him what had happened.  They were very concerned and worried that I would not come back and asked Ross what they could do to make things right again. The next day I walked into the class.  Miracle of miracles, piles of assignments decorated my desk and there they were all seated in their discussion groups already going over the reading questions.  They saw me and the room went silent.  “Gosh!”  I smiled and said, “I think I have the wrong class!”

“No! No! You’re right!”  It was Hani.  “You are so kind and we made you very angry!  So sorry, Miss.  We are ready to LEARN…from you.”

Would you believe me if I told you that class became THE superstar class of my GRCC teaching history?  Never mind that I had to become a bucking bull to rein them in.  Without knowing it, I had spoken their language and now we could move forward as a unit.

I was proud to tell Hani last Thursday that what happened 18 years ago was a singular experience.  Of course, I remember the incident as if it were yesterday, but I had no idea that Hani would still remember it.  He told me it was a turning point for him and from that day on, he became the best student he could be, that is to say, a dream student (and one that came to my office to argue his every grade!).

Portland Visit

October 9, 2011

Early yesterday morning, Rick and I drive to Portland, Oregon.  Portland is beautiful as ever, with its great architecture and vibrant inner city.  I LOVE that place! We had a great time walking around the city.  Rick was a Navy Reserve Trainer for two years  in Portland  and lived there for a total of 15 years, so he knows the ins and outs of this fabulous city.  When we first arrived, we walked around the Pearl District, went to the famous Powell’s Bookstore, had lunch in Chinatown, had ginger tea at Pearl Yoga Studio/Cafe, and walked through a few parks. We then headed over to Rick’s aunt’s house where we visited with her and her husband and cousin Jimmy. It was really special spending time with them, especially with Diana.  She is my mother-in-law’s  sister and being with her was wonderful.  She is funny, a great story teller, very engaging, and incredibly sweet and kind.  We also enjoyed their three cats:  Lilly, Daisy, and Ghosty. Aunt Diana showed me her beautiful garden filled with anemones in bloom and bird feeders.  I am pretty sure that most of the birds and squirrels of the neighborhood hang out at Aunt Diana’s!  Diana and Ron have created a little paradise in their back yard.  Later, we all went out for a Mexican dinner at the The Iron Horse.  When we got back to their house, I went to bed early while Rick stayed up with Diana and Ron, talking late into the night. It made me happy to get this special time with them and to fall asleep hearing their voices drifting in and out of my dreams.

This morning, Rick and I woke up to sunshine.  We left  Diana and Ron’s house and walked along the riverfront, admiring the Willamette River, and then we walked through the Portland Saturday Market.  At 11 am we met Rick’s longtime friend, Steve, at the Bijou Cafe for brunch.  We enjoyed visiting with Steve and catching up with him.  What can I say?  We had the most perfect Portland visit.

Enjoy these collages and photos below.  I had a great time taking these shots!

Portland Chinatown

Collage from Portland visit with Rick's Aunt Diana, Uncle Ron, and cousin Jimmy

Collage of Beautiful Portland

Portland Umbrellas

Ginger Tea at Yoga Pearl (most beautiful yoga studio in Portland)

Portland is so cool!

Cool sign in Portland!

Reflections

Can't go to Portland without stopping at Powell's Bookstore!

love it...

La Ville En Rose

Brunch at the Bijou Cafe with Steve

Reflections: View of Steve and Rick from streetside


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