Carol and I are both clinical social workers in Oregon, semi-retired. We have traveled widely in Europe and Asia, North and South America and Australia. We favor independent travel, always preferring the option to follow an unfamiliar route to discover what would not be on a guided tour. We enjoy chance encounters and exotic cuisine. Our interest in horticulture and landscape has taken us to Yunnan for the rhododendron bloom, to remote gardens in Scotland and Wales and to Chatwin's Patagonia. We can tolerate some discomfort as a risk of independent travel and are willing to explore without reservations made far in advance. At the same time, as former Stanford students in France, we return there regularly, always spending time in Paris with a visit to Chartres. Our interests include hiking, skiing, wine and other spirits, public markets, folk art, history, literature, horticulture, bird watching and politics. Portland, Oregon is an ideal base from which to explore the world.