Monday, March 31, 2008


Over the weekend, Daniel and I went down to Portland to see my college friend, Matt. I was originally thinking of taking the train (save the marmosets and all that), but then Daniel offered to drive...and why wouldn't I want to travel in luxury in his Acura, with him and his GPS co-piloting? :)

We made reservations at a Motel 6 near the racetrack, just outside of downtown Portland. We did this because it was a $60 room. The area wasn't so bad (a little industrial for my taste), but the motel had really thin walls, and the bath towels were the same size as the bath mat, and far thinner. I think next time we'll spring for something a touch nicer. I'm sure if I take the time to hunt around more before we go, we can find something a lot nicer for not much more money, as well as closer to downtown.

I was still sick, and Daniel developed a recurrence of his pinkeye, so we were really a sight. Daniel was wearing his sunglasses late into the night to avoid the bright lights (or, rather, changes in light), and I sounded like I had emphysema. But it was great to see Matt, and also see his friends Duff and Bryce, who I'd met a few times in the bay area, but never really hung out with - I see that time has made everyone mellow out. :)

Here is a shot of me and Matt at Powell's bookstore - they claim to be something of the world's largest bookstore... it's like stepping into Amazon's warehouse. There are different areas designated by color, and the place pretty much takes up a city block, which is not even mentioning the science-specific store they have about two blocks away. Matt picked up a Mark's standard handbook (a sort of mechanical engineering reference bible), and I picked up a book for my brother there.

At the "normal" Powell's, I swear the store threatened to take away my entire paycheck. I did well, though - I came out with two cookbooks, a gardening book, and two Italian workbooks requested by my dad. Daniel bought some fantasy novels, and some financial books to round it out - I am looking forward to seeing what "Smart Couples Finish Rich" has to say. (Maybe I should read my "Smart Women Finish Rich" to prepare for it).

While we were inside Powell's, it started to snow. Here is a shot of me and Daniel, outside a coffee shop where we stopped for a drink after lunch. If you look in the background, on the left side, the awning has some snow on it. (I am very proud to say that I made that hat and finished it on Thursday night - hand-spun and hand-knit!)

After lunch and the coffee pit-stop, we took a break and met up again for dinner. Daniel and I went back to the motel - it was really too cold for me to be out and about, and Daniel seemed to be getting a headache, so we went back, and he napped while I read. Then we all met back up for dinner. We tried the Kennedy school, which is an old elementary school that the McMenamin brothers decided to revamp and made two bars, a restaurant, and a hotel within it's confines.

Here are Matt and Daniel standing at the main doors to the Kennedy school:

We tried to eat dinner there. It was packed and there was an hour wait for dinner. We tried a wing joint, but they were packed, too. Duff decided on a Mexican place a little ways down from the wing joint, and we finally had some decent food. After dinner, there was talk of going to a strip club, but it was going to be too loud for me, and too much strobe-light action for Daniel (the naked women were not the problem for either one of us). So, after some hemming and hawing, we ended up at a bar.

We all had a drink, then Daniel and I peeled off, went back to the motel, and fell asleep.

We all met back up at Powell's late Sunday morning for breakfast. Finding a diner with room for 5 was another iterative process similar to the ones enjoyed the previous evening. After filling up our eatin'-tanks, we tooled around the city and went to the Sunday market, which proved to be more of a street fair than a farmer's market, but that was okay. Afterwards, we took the public transportation back to Powell's, and hit the head, and I bought those Italian workbooks. Then it was time to go, but not before Daniel got a picture with a big pile of kiddie bikes:

I definitely want to return to Portland, but, you know, when it's warmer and we're both well and neither of us has any weird ailments.

And guess what? Having 4 guys with me helped me avoid all talk of going to any sort of yarn shop...even Yarnia (sigh)... next time, I will prevail.

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