More Fun Things To See and Do In Portland

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Hopefully by now you read my post about my first day visiting popular places in Portland, Oregon. Could my Day Two top it? Yep, yep, yep. Long time friends S and her sister B, who were tour guides for my stay in the Rose City (S has lived in Portland for 35+ years and B is from Brooklyn), put together another agenda of fun things to see and do in Portland.

I left the Inn at Northrup Station, where I was staying (arranged by Travel Portland Tourism*), and hopped on the Portland Streetcar for a ride downtown. Having already traveled by Streetcar the day before, I was starting to feel like a local. I knew how to navigate departure and arrival times on the PDX Total Transit app.

The Best-Ever Farmers Market
Our guide Damon from the previous day’s Walking Tours of Portland had mentioned that there are 42 farmers markets in Portland. One of the largest markets is the Portland State University (PSU) Farmers Market at South Park Blocks between SW College & Montgomery Streets. The market is open year round on Saturday from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.

PSU Farmers Market; Portland Farmers Markets; Portland; pdx; Travel Portland; #YouCanInPortland; Oregon; boomer travel

PSU Farmers Market is held year round on Saturdays in downtown Portland.

How great was this market? It was SO GREAT! One of the best farmers markets I’ve ever experienced.

PSU Farmers Market; Portland Farmers Markets; Portland; pdx; Travel Portland; #YouCanInPortland; Oregon

Flower bouquets were a spectrum of many colors.

Portland’s soil is fertile from all the rainy weather, making it a wonderful place to grow fruits and vegetables and flowers. I was in awe of the abundance of unique produce — cranberry beans, red gold nectarines, long beans, bitter melon, artichoke flowers. Oregon is also known for its luscious berries, local honeys, and hazelnuts.

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Unique varieties of vegetables like Cranberry Beans are sold at the PSU Farmers Market.

I bought packages of Sun Gold Farm’s “Ruby Red” and “Shaman’s Blue” Heirloom Popping Corn to bring home to my kids. According to Sun Gold Farm, their popcorn requires no extra flavoring to bring out the subtle nuttiness and sweetness of the real popcorn. Continue reading

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A Glorious Day Exploring Popular Places In Portland

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50I promised I would tell you more about my trip to Portland, Oregon and I’m staying true to my word. If you read my previous post about the 10 reasons you need to visit hip and cool Portland, you know how much I loved my recent visit. As I share my first day exploring below, I think you’ll see why this city is so great.

I met up with two longtime friends, S, who has lived in Portland for 35+ years, and her sister B, from Brooklyn, who was visiting while I was there. They are both big foodies, so our plans for Day 1 included sampling several Portland specialities — coffee, chocolate, donuts, and eating street food from a food cart.

Portland; pdx; travelportland;Oregon; boomer travel

Longtime friends B (pictured left) and S (pictured right) were my fellow adventurers in Portland.

Navigating My Way To Downtown Portland
Since I knew we would be doing a lot of eating, I skipped breakfast at the Inn at Northrup Station Hotel where I was staying, grabbed a city map and free pass for the Portland Streetcar from the front desk, and made my way to the North South line to take the Streetcar into downtown. It was a 20 minute ride from the Northwest part of town. (If you are visiting download the PDX Total Transit app for all your transportation needs.)

Portland Streetcars; Portland, Oregon; alternative transportation

Portland Streetcars are a convenient form of transportation in the city.

The team from Travel Portland Tourism* had arranged for me to have a Walking Tour Of Portland, which is an educational way to learn about the historic sites and culture of the city. S and B joined me for the two hour tour and enjoyed it as well.

Downtown Portland; Portland; pdx; Portland art; Oregon

There is so much artwork all over the downtown.

Time To Eat The Donuts
Having walked for two hours around the city, the three of us were ready to go scouting on our own. “Where would you like to go now?” S asked. “I think it’s time to eat the donuts,” I replied. Portland is known for its gourmet donuts. Blue Star Donuts didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the scoop on these donuts: “Our donuts are made from a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to make and is made by hand every day; we start with a high quality bread flour, add cage-free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, and then fold in a European-style butter.”

Blue Star Donuts; Gourmet Donuts; Artisan Donuts; Portland foodie; Oregon; boomer travel

Portland people love to eat donuts.

How good are these donuts? We tried Blueberry Bourbon and Orange Olive Oil. They were so good, so good, so good.
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10 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Hip and Cool Portland

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Having arrived in Portland following three wonderful days in The Tualatin Valley (Oregon’s wine country), I knew I was going to love this city from the minute I stepped into the artsy Inn at Northrup Station Hotel in the Northwest part of town. The team from Travel Portland Tourism* had secured my complimentary accommodations and provided a list of activities to see and do in Portland during my two day stay.

Portland, Oregon; Portland Symphony; Travel Portland

The Portland Symphony sign is a landmark.

My research on Portland indicated that it is a hip and cool city, but after a Best of Portland Walking Tour, I was more convinced than ever why The New York Times Travel included Portland as one of its “52 Places to Go In 2017.”

Inn at Northrup Station Hotel; Portland, Oregon

The Inn at Northrup Station Hotel is a great place to stay in Northwest Portland.

If you’ve never been, or haven’t been back in a while, I’m going to give you 10 reasons why I recommend you visit this authentic city. The reasons are based on all that I learned from our tour guide Damon, who spent two hours walking and talking with us about what makes Portland so great. In upcoming posts, I’ll share more specifics. For now, hear me out: Continue reading

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A Beautiful Cycling Adventure on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail

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It was my last day in The Tualatin Valley of Oregon, courtesy of The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA),* and I was looking forward to a cycling adventure on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is one of Oregon’s Regional Trails and runs 21 miles through open glades of green, pine-scented forests and babbling streams.

 

Banks-Vernonia State Trail; bicycling; Oregon; The Tualatin Valley

The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is 21 miles.

Breakfast At The Trailhead Cafe
“We’re having breakfast at the Trailhead Café,” Jackie, a member of the WCVA team, said. “It’s a perfect place for fueling up before a ride or relaxing after one.” It was a short drive from my lodging at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. We met Ariel, her colleague, who would be my riding companion.

Trailhead Cafe; Oregon; The Tualatin Valley; Banks-Vernonia State Trail; boomer travel

We stopped for breakfast at the Trailhead Cafe before going cycling.

The Trailhead Café is a cute eatery near the trail. It specializes in made-to-order wraps, salads and panninis for lunch and boasts a selection of pastries, eggs and coffees for breakfast. My egg sandwich was quite yummy.  Continue reading

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One Life, A Treasure Chest of Stories

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersIn honor of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m pleased to bring you an essay written by Antoinette Truglio Martin, the author of an inspiring memoir, Hug Everyone You Know, A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer.

In 2007, when Antoinette was nearing 50, she received a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis. A speech therapist and special education teacher by training as well as a successful children’s book author, Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words, journaling and sending emails to family and friends who wanted to offer their support. The emails were addressed to ‘Her Everyone’ and she signed each email with the reminder to’hug everyone you know.’

Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of her memoir. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny. As the the press release says: “It speaks to us all.”

I hope Antoinette’s essay will touch you with the tenderness that it touched me. I give you Antoinette’s essay:

One Life, A Treasure Chest of Stories
by Antoinette Truglio Martin

Antoinette Truglio Martin; Hug Everyone You Know; SheWritesPress; breast cancer awareness month

Antoinette Truglio Martin is author of a new book “Hug Everyone You Know.”

“Stories fill our lives. We wake up, meander through our routines, and return to the day’s end. Along the way, stories collect. They are born from our observations, interactions, and adventures. The upsides of life are celebrated. The hardships are pondered and wrestled with as we attempt to steer from a dark abyss. Stories that stand out are shared. Memorable ones are retold, rewritten, remembered through the generations. We are truly the keeper of story treasure chests. Continue reading

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Enjoying A Day of Tasting and Touring In The Tualatin Valley

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50The sun was shining for day two in The Tualatin Valley, during my visit to Oregon’s Wine Country last month. My trip was courtesy of The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA).*

Jackie, a member of the WCVA team, picked me up early at my lodging at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, to begin a full sunrise-to-sunset of tasting and touring around the area.

The Tualatin Valley; The Willamette Valley; Oregon Wine Country; Oregon

The Tualatin Valley is situated in the northern Willamette Valley wine region.

Breakfast At Maggie’s Buns
Maggie’s Buns, known for its baked goods, is a fun, quirky cafe with delicious, homemade food,” said Jackie. It was a perfect place to go for breakfast. The cafe, located right by Pacific University, one of the oldest universities in Oregon, was packed with students.

Good thing I left my gluten-free diet at home. The pastry case was filled with freshly baked  buns, muffins and scones. Ooh, ooh, ooh, the smell of cinnamon filled the air, as did pots of Stumptown coffee, a favorite beverage of Oregonians.

Maggie's Buns; The Tualatin Valley; Forest Grove; Oregon

Maggie, pictured left, and her team enjoy serving homemade baked goods.

We sat at one of the mixed matched tables and chairs and poured two large mugs of coffee. Then Maggie and her team came out all smiles holding a tray of assorted baked goods. It was so good, so good, so good.

Maggie's Buns; The Tualatin Valley; Oregon wine country; Forest Grove; boomer travel; travel

Maggie’s Buns baked goods were scrumptious.

I could have lingered all morning, but we had to leave to make it to the town of Sherwood for our tasting at Ponzi Winery.

A Progressive Wine Tasting
I was eager to see what the Ponzi Winery had to offer, especially since The Tualatin Valley is situated in the northern Willamette Valley (WV) wine region, which was named by Wine Enthusiasts as 2016 Wine Region of the Year.” Ponzi Vineyards is internationally acclaimed for producing some of the world’s finest, limited production Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, White Riesling, Arneis and Dolcetto.

Ponzi Winery; Ponzi Vineyards; The Tualatin Valley; Williamette Wine Region; Oregon wineries; boomer travel

Ponzi WInery has been producing wines since 1970.

The Ponzi Winery, founded in 1970, is a family affair. Our guide Jake shared the story of owners David and Nancy Ponzi, who went to Italy to find their original grapes. “They brought back clippings in suitcases to start their winery,” said Jake. “Ponzi is one of six founding wineries in The Tualatin Valley. They share a lot of knowledge with other winemakers in the community. It strengthens the region.” Continue reading

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Happy October! It’s Time To Get Your Flu Shot

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“It’s October. The flu season has officially started. Let’s go get our flu shot,” I said to my boyfriend L last weekend. Since I’m a CVS Ambassador*, we went to the MinuteClinic at our local CVS Pharmacy for our shots. There was no line. We walked right in.

“Who wants to go first?” said Karen, the nice nurse practitioner. “Me, me, me,” I replied. I’m not a fan of needles so I wanted to get it over with. I rolled up my sleeve, took a deep yogic breath, and before I could say ‘one, two, three,’ NP Karen shot the vaccine into my left deltoid.

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I got my flu shot at the MinuteClinic at CVS Pharmacy.

It was L’s turn next. “Do you want the higher dose?” asked NP Karen. “The higher dose is recommended for anyone over 65.” L agreed and soon his left deltoid was vaccinated too.

CVS Pharmacy; MinuteClinic; flu shot; influenza; flu prevention

My boyfriend L went with me to get a flu shot.

Why Should You Get A Flu Shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is eligible and at least six months old get a flu shot when the vaccine becomes available, preferably by October. Plus, according to the experts at CVS Pharmacy, getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu.

“People may not realize that it can actually take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to build immunity,” said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. “For this reason, CVS Pharmacy actually recommends that patients get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available to ensure you have the best protection before flu season peaks. Additionally, influenza strains tend to change each year, so it’s very important to get vaccinated every year to make sure you are protected.”

Are you convinced yet? Continue reading

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Exploring The Great Outdoors In The Tualatin Valley

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Do you know where the Tualatin Valley is located? I bet you don’t, but you should. It’s right outside of Portland’s backyard. That’s Portland, Oregon. And it’s one of the most beautiful places to vacation in the USA if you like the great outdoors. I had a chance to visit this month, courtesy of The Washington County Visitors Association, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.*

As I get older, I like to be outdoors during my life after 50. Maybe it’s because I spent so much time indoors during my 30+ years working in a corporate environment. Now that I have more flexibility it’s great to have time to travel and explore new places. Much of my recent travel has been international, so it was nice to explore the USA, especially the Northwest.

The Tualatin Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon, boomer travel, post 50 travel

My plan included three days in the Tualatin Valley, about 30 – 40 minutes outside the city, and two days in Portland. It was a perfect mix of country and city living. Plus, despite all I had heard about rainy Oregon (and sadly the forest fires), we had sunny and warm weather the entire week.

The Tualatin Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon, boomer travel, post 50 travel

DID I SAY I LOVED BOTH THE TUALATIN VALLEY AND PORTLAND ? DID I SAY I WANT TO GO BACK?

Yes, Yes, Yes! And you will too.

Welcome To The Tualatin Valley
“It is our pleasure to welcome you to our version of paradise, the Tualatin Valley. Ours is a destination filled with vineyards and wineries, u-pick farms, golf course, shops, main streets, festivals, restaurants and a variety of lodging options, and much of what makes Oregon a must-visit location,” says the tourism brochure.

Between my arrival on Tuesday and departure for Portland on Thursday, Washington County Tourism team members Sylke, Jackie and Ariel made sure I sampled a bit of almost everything (except golf since I’m not a golfer). Continue reading

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It’s Nice To Be Recognized As A Boomer Blogger

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

When I started blogging 10 years ago, I never thought much about where it would lead or what type of opportunities it would bring. I just wanted to capture my feelings as I approached my milestone 50th birthday. As many of you know, losing my husband two weeks shy of my 50th, broke my heart and turned my world upside down. (You can find my original blog at A Baby Boomer Woman’s Countdown to 50.)

In 2008, I decided to start this blog that you are reading today. It was a way to share all the changes I was going through at the time during my life after 50 — selling my house, emptying out my nest, meeting a new man, leaving my full-time career, pursuing my yoga teacher training, and traveling the world. During the past 10 years I reinvented myself and I continue to do so as my life evolves.

Judy Freedman, Judi Freedman

Now that I’m a few months away from 60, I like the new me. I’m also proud of the recent recognition that my blog and my writing has received. It has helped me open new doors that I never thought possible.

The blogosphere, including the boomer blogosphere, has become much more crowded in the past decade. Yet, I have never wavered from my values. I treat my readers with integrity and respect, the same way I want to be treated.

Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs
“I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog A Boomers Life After 50 has been selected by our panelists as one of the Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs on the web,” said Anuj, the founder of Feedspot, in his email to me earlier this month. “I personally give you a high-five. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!” Note: My blog is #36 on the list.

75 Best Boomer Blogs

Feedspot curates blogs on the worldwide web. It was rewarding to see that they included my blog among other noteworthy boomer bloggers. I know many of the bloggers on the list and would like to congratulate their work as well. Be sure to check out all the boomer blogs.

Contributor to GettingOnTravel
Another way to be recognized in the blogosphere is to be accepted as a contributor to other blogs and websites. For example, I am a contributor to healthywomen.org, which features many of my blog posts, and to The Huffington Post. My writing has appeared on other midlife blogs, such as My Itchy Travel Feet and Midlife Boulevard.

This month, I became a contributing writer for GettingOnTravel, A Fresh Take On Luxury For Travellers Over 50. GettingOnTravel, was co-founded by two award-winning travel writers Irene S. Levine and Janice Mucalov. As the website says “GettingOnTravel is a premier online magazine for eye-opening explorations by seasoned travelers who are also great writers. Our awesome team of talented travel writers and bloggers are some of the best out there, writing especially for you!”

Getting On Travel; boomer travel; luxury travel for over 50

GettingOnTravel showcases information for travellers over 50 — including stories about cruises, food and wine, hotels and spas, adventure, books and gear, and more travel resources. They host fun giveaways too. Continue reading

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Honoring World Alzheimer’s Month: Keeping The Brain Healthy

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI read The New York Times blog called The New Old Age written by Paula Span. This week, Paula introduced herself in The Story Behind The Story column. She says that “With more than 20 percent of the American population projected to be over 65 by the year 2030, per the Census Bureau, I’m unlikely to run out of material.” In fact, she adds “the list of subjects I hope to tackle keeps lengthening.”

Let’s see, how old will I be in 2030? Hmm, hmm, hmm, I’ll be 72. Ouch!

As I approach 60 next year, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape. However, every aging body has something. Right? My one friend has knee issues, my other friend has rotator cuff issues, another friend has back problems. My vice is my teeth – I’ve got one implant already in my mouth and lately with the pain I’ve been having, more to come. Plus, I have flat feet, which is minor only when they hurt after a long walk and add to my difficulty finding comfortable shoes.

Alzheimer’s and The Aging Mind
Then there’s the aging mind and memory. I try to keep my mind active by teaching and doing yoga, reading the daily newspaper, and researching and writing this blog. However, with the growing statistics on Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s all so scary.

According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a number that is expected to rise as high as 16 million by 2050.

Let’s see, I’ll be 92 in 2050. Ouch! How should I keep my brain healthy as I age?

Since September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and many more women develop the disease than men, I thought I would take time to share my interview with Dr. Michelle Braun, a neuropsychologist, who knows a great deal about Alzheimer’s and keeping the brain healthy. Dr. Braun developed the Brain Health Quiz, which she shares more about in the interview below.

Note: This is a very long blog post, but there is so much good information that I wanted to share it all. So just read the Qs and As that you are interested in, or read it all if you are really interested! I’m sure many of you may also be caregivers to parents or other relatives who have Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Michelle Braun; Healthy Brain Quiz; Alzheimer's; healthy brain; aging

Dr. Michelle Braun is a neuropsychologist.

Here are excerpts: Continue reading

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