Wednesday, November 08, 2006

back home again

We're happily home again after a great getaway. We're reminded every time we leave that a few days is more than enough time away for us.

We drove to Portland, arriving Sunday afternoon. As soon as we left the coast, we were confronted with the changing leaves. The beautiful bright yellows contrasted warmly with the dark green of the firs. I never did get wi-fi in the hotel, they blamed it on the weather, or I would have written sooner.

The plan was to go out Sunday evening for some micro-brews. We walked around the mall and got some delicious Indian chicken tandoori. Unfortuately, after riding the train and streetcar around and walking in the rain, we never did find anywhere we were looking for. j. started getting crabby about our purposeless wandering, and we went back to the hotel with a six-pack to eat the sushi we had in the mini-frig.

Monday, I got up early for the nursing meeting. It was well-0rganized and professionally run, and the speakers were well-spoken experts who had something to say and were worth listening to. I came away with some new information and good reminders about old stuff. Of course, there is always plenty of food at those shindigs. I was appalled by the way many of my colleagues were dressed for such a thing. I saw lots of jeans and sweatshirts and very few who looked professional. What can you expect of people who wear pajamas to work, huh?

In the afternoon, we decided to take a second stab at going out drinking. We went to McCormick and Schmick's for an early dinner. I had Tombi Tuna, served rare on a bed of rice with wasabi sauce and greens and topped with pickled ginger. The whiskey sour on the side had me approaching very silly well before dessert was offered. For dessert I had the chocolate hazelnut pie, served warm with vanilla ice cream and an Irish coffee. Being well on the way to drunkenness, we went to Powell's City of Books, a block large, four-story bookstore in the Pearl District. I bought the Tao Te Ching, a lovely illustrated copy.

On the way home, we stopped in a bar where I had the experience for the first time of being refused service on account of my youthful appearance. j. reminded me that I should hang my ID around my neck for such occasions. We went back to the hotel and had a beer and hot wings in the rooftop bar.

Tuesday morning we went to the Portland Art Museum for the Egypt exhibit. The huge stone sarcophagus lid sat in the lobby. I loved the smooth, onyx-colored Isis and Osiris statues. There were funereal finger cots, masks and gold sandals as well as jewelry, a pyramidion and other cool stuff. The museum's Asian display is impressive with Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the six-armed woman as well as lovely woodblocks and paintings. The Northwestern Native American art consisted of intricate baskets woven from up to four different grasses, painstaking beadwork and traditional costumes. My favorite was the Raven Steals the Sun costume. (Click the link for the amazing story, or watch Northern Exposure season 3 episode 10.)

We went to Silk by Pho Van for lunch. I had vegetarian spring rolls, lotus tea, and noodles and shrimp. It was a great reminder of the food Hien Nguyen used to make me eat back when I worked homecare and took care of her. If you haven't had Vietnamese food, head out to your local Vietnamese restaurant posthaste and order something with lemongrass in the name.

On the way home we stopped at another mall, and I came home with a new bedside table, shower caddy, over the door hooks, and other such things. Now, we're back on a diet and a budget. This move and vacation thing has near bankrupted us. Also time to get back to doing yoga. I've been slacking and my body is complaining.

Anyone who made it this far in this post gets The Booby Prize as congratulations.


No comments: