Friday, September 18, 2015

A Fun but Brief Trip to Oregon

     I made a trip to the Portland area this past week. The primary purpose of the trip was to deliver Linda's baby blue Vespa to its new owner, our daughter Rachel.  Linda wasn't riding it and wanted it to get better use than merely as an ornament for our driveway.  I have to admit that I was a bit sad to think that Linda won't be riding her Vespa with an ear to ear grin any more. However, I'm very happy that its going to a good home. I'm confident the Vespa will make Rachel's heart go pitter-pat and provide the same happy place that it did for Linda.  Rachel will have to endure a little delayed gratification with the Vespa. It seems that Oregon has slightly stricter rules in that Vespa riding requires a motorcycle endorsement.  In Washington that wasn't necessary because the Vespa was less than 50 cc.  Rachel will have to take a class and pass a driving test before the Vespa can become her new happy place.

     I spent Wednesday with the Arnetts in Hillsboro, Oregon and enjoyed an evening of fine dining.  Rachel made alfredo sauce from scratch.  I know I shouldn't have been, but I was amazed at how much better it was than any alfredo sauce from a jar.  Rachel claims scratch alfredo sauce is pretty easy to make. We chopped up some smoked salmon I had brought down and sprinkled it over the fettucini alfredo for a little Northwest touch.  Rachel also transformed one of my sourdough loaves into the most marvelous garlic bread. She added some chopped herbs (Rosemary, Oregano, and Thyme) to the garlic butter she put on the bread. The meal was served with a simple salad with olive oil and vinegar as the dressing and aqua minerale.  We had plans to use some of Rachel's figs to make fresh fig clafouti.  As it turned out, we were all too full to even consider dessert.  She made the clafouti (a type of pudding) several days later and seemed pretty happy with how it turned out.

     While visiting with the Arnetts I also spent some time in Chet's recording studio.  It was a little brutal listening to a recording of myself singing. If I always remembered how badly I sound when I sing I would be much less inclined to play and sing in public.  Since I enjoy doing it, I've decided to exercise some selective memory and just forget about that incident. I will continue to sing in public and let the poor folks who have to listen to it to just deal with the consequences. The moral of the story is that it is always always better to sing and play with other people so there is some camouflage.
Honest, I really am very happy on the inside

      The following morning I drove to Forest Grove, Oregon for some quality time with the Kangs. A half hour after my arrival we were on our way to Tillamook.  We had a very fun visit to the Tillamook Cheese factory (as always), bought some cheese, and enjoyed some ice cream.   While eating ice cream at the cheese factory it was forcefully brought home to me that I need to make a concerted effort to smile more.  Sarah took a selfy of us enjoying our ice cream and I looked seriously grumpy in the photo.  I guarantee that I wasn't feeling the least bit grumpy on the inside, but I sure looked grumpy on the outside.  After the cheese factory and a mandatory stop by the jerky factory, we finally drove to the beach at Oceanside, Oregon.   It was a bit windy, but we all had a great time.
Yes, it was a very windy day at the beach

This was the best Chloe could do for the wind-blown look

    After we drove home from the beach, we went to Autumn's soccer game (a 6 to 0 win for the Forest Grove JV) and took girls to dance class.  Fortunately, the dance class was located near Momo's Hawaiian Shaved Ice. I finally got to experience shaved ice nirvana.  We then visited Barnes and Noble before we picked up the girls from dance class and went home.  It was a pretty busy day, but probably pretty typical for Sarah.  Somehow we managed to squeeze in a little ukulele time before we spent the evening working on family history. Sarah helped me get my iPad better set up for family history and gave then me a little tutorial on using the Keynote program.

    I drove home the following morning as I always do much better driving in the morning.  Just for some variety, I took the back way to Ranier, Oregon before crossing the Columbia over to Kelso, Washington. It wasn't any faster, but it was nice not driving through Portland and having less freeway driving. I had a great time hanging out with my daughters and grandchildren, but as always, the visit was way too short.


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