Tuesday, June 26, 2012


We have noticed that the weather in the PNW is quite different from Florida's weather. That is especially obvious now with Tropical Storm Debby pounding the Sunshine state. Parts of Florida have received two feet of water in a few days and here in Portland they are making a big deal about having the 4th rainiest June on record with a whopping 3.72 inches for the entire month! Locals have told us that there is a constant fine mist and sometimes a bit of a drizzle but that's about it.

We have watched dark ominous clouds roll in that would be real frog pounders in Florida and yet here they don't get a single drop. Tonight on the local news they reported that there have been twice as many days of 80 degrees this June as compared to last June although they keep saying that the 30 days of June 2012 has been one of the coldest on record. We have been exceptionally lucky and have had good weather all but two days in the PNW. Even then, we didn't complain because we came here to experience cold wet days.

The air out here is clean and crisp and surprisingly dry. Mornings dawn cold in the 40's and slowly warm up reaching the high temperature by 6 pm. Days are very long with sunlight until 9:00 pm and sunrise at 5 am. They warned us that it is the opposite in winter and quite depressing. That's probably why everyone is outside every second they can get during this very short period of decent weather. We are terribly spoiled in Florida.

Seattle is known as the connected city and we did get terrific Wi-Fi almost everywhere in Seattle. Vancouver's Wi-Fi internet service was so-so and Portland has poor/weak coverage. It's strange that the very high end hotels do not provide free Wi-Fi for their guests or even plastic liners for the room trash cans. You have to pay extra for every little thing. The middle to lower end hotels have plenty of amenities like free Continental breakfast, free internet and computer usage, free Wi-Fi and friendly satisfied customers. We enjoyed the Hilton Bellevue and Residence Inn by Marriott the most and give both chains great big thumbs up for making our stays exceptionally good.

Portland gets extra gold stars for being the City of Roses. Rose bushes and rose shrubs are used extensively along highway medians and road hillsides and in parking lot strips. Everywhere you go you see beautiful blooming roses. They use roses for landscaping the way Florida uses palm trees. The soil here is a rich black color and full of nutrients. I had people tell me that they just throw something in the ground and it will grow without any help. No wonder the roses are so happy!

It was fun to see the giant log trucks rumbling down the highways on their way to the sawmills. The speed limit on the freeways ranges from 55 to 60 and people actually stay within that speed! We've noticed that the drivers are very polite. People in the PNW as a whole are nicer and more trusting so it feels safer here.

Our overall impression of the PNW is: a land of skinny pale people who spend a lot of time outdoors doing insane things like running up and down mountains simply because they can. Lots of people in the cities have cups of coffee in one hand and a cell phone in the other while walking down the sidewalks. They wear dark dull colors and wear outdoor gear as every day clothing choices. Not much color out here. It is common for women to wear yoga clothes to every event. At the finest five star restaurant, it is not unusual to see customers in yoga clothes. Definitely more eco-consciuous and health oriented. Markets and grocery stores are more like Whole Foods. There are more Farmer's Markets with local produce. The eating sure is good out here and the people are very friendly and kind.

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