Every year, around this time, I try to notice all the wonderful things worthy of heartfelt thanks, because I'm thankful, yes, but also in case someone gets the bright idea--around the Thanksgiving table--to make everyone mention why we are thankful. During those times I gaze at the ceiling, and can think of nothing. I'm hoping by posting this, that I'll remember enough to blather out some of the below, instead of having to say the usual, "Um...I'm just thankful...ah," and all the family gathered round the table stare, with eyebrows lifted in encouragement and some of them even nod their heads as if that will help me think of something, "for...um...my family. Yes. And, um, for this meal. And for dessert. There is something for dessert, right?"
How lame is that?
So without further ado, let me take you on a tour of things to be thankful for in Vancouver, Washington. Because it really is a beautiful place, a nice photo opportunity.
Photo of photographer, photographing a family on Officer's Row
Ester Short Park
Ester Short Park is located in downtown Vancouver and is the oldest public square in the state of Washington. It was given to the city by Ester Short back in 1853. If you look all the way across the park, you'll see a silver vehicle which is parked in front of the Ester Short Starbucks. This is important information in case you are planning to visit our city.
Army Air Corps
Pearson Field is a lovely, small airport, located just behind/beside Fort Vancouver and houses the lovely Pearson Air Museum. If you look in the background you'll see our own Mt. Hood.
Okay, I took a close-up of Mt. Hood. Technically, it isn't Vancouver's mountain, since it is actually located in Oregon, and we don't pay any taxes on it. Which makes it all the more endearing to us.
Columbia River, taken from Fort Vancouver Park with PDX in the background
Technically, the part of the Columbia River from the east side of Vancouver, to the west side, belongs to Vancouver. It is what separates the "Normal Vancouver" Washington from the "Weird Portland" Oregon. However, we let Oregon share in the taxes, and even allowed them to place the airport along its banks.
Fort Vancouver is also the home of the Fort Vancouver Fireworks on the 4th of July every year. It is one of the best shows in the nation.
Fort Vancouver Promenade
One of the loveliest spots in Vancouver is the above promenade. It runs along the river and provides ample opportunity for runners, power walkers, dog walkers, strollers, skaters, bicyclists, joggers, and people on scooters to breath in the fresh air while watching sailing vessels and barges floating along the Columbia.
Vancouver Library, 2011
Vancouver has new condos, hotels, parks and libraries, but it also has old, historic sites. This picture shows the old and the new. Above, you see young trees outside of the library, but in the reflection of the library building, you see old, tall Douglas firs.
Fort Vancouver, Tower
Vancouver is fortunate to have its own fort, located along the Columbia River. It was built in the 19th century.
Hudson's Bay Company
Fort Vancouver was not a military fort, but was a fur trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company.
It is now a National Historic Site and is part of the U.S. National Park Service. You may stroll behind the gates of the fort to experience life in the mid 1800's at this facility. They make hard-tack and have trading beads, and Hudson's Bay blankets, and lots of people who appear to be straight out of history.
Marshall House, Officer's Row
The Marshall House is on Officer's Row, and is available to the public to rent for weddings, parties and my birthday.
Schedule today. You won't be sorry. Unless you are afraid of ghosts.
I've read that most of the houses on Officer's Row have ghosts. I've not seen one, but others claim to have spotted them.
Vancouver is a beautiful city and I'm thankful to live here.