I got back from OR just after lunch time today. I had a great time on vacation visiting my family. We played a lot of cards (cribbage and pinochle), watched the fifth and final season of The Wire (best show ever on TV) and ate some decent food.
It was good to visit Portland, but it's strange to get culture shock in your hometown because you're not used to seeing only white people. There are also a lot of new housing developments and former ghettos are now prime real estate.
I brought rain with me the first three or four days. It was 100 the week before, but rained heavily just for me. Gah. I guess no trip to Portland is complete unless it rains unexpectedly.
I tried to follow my diet while up there, but did have pie and ice cream on a few occasions. I got exercise so I don't think I lost too much ground.
I took a fair amount of pictures so this post will be image intensive for sure. I'll just summarize the highlights of each day.
Firstly, my parents are renovating their kitchen in a major way. It used to be an ugly ass orange and yellow so they ripped out the flooring and the cabinets. Unfortunately, due to delays, it wasn't even close to being done when I was there so my style was cramped a bit. Below are some pictures of its current state. The kitchen faucets were installed towards the end of my visit and look good.
Secondly, Toby, my parents' bichon, is as funny as ever. I didn't get too many Fort Toby shots, but I got as many as I could. Amazingly enough, he is even greedier than I remember. He circles around looking for snacks and stuff to munch on. He really likes people, barks fiercely at the mailman and likes to look out the window. He can unzip zippers.Day 3:
My brother and I drove up to Portland from Sunnyvale in around 11 hours. It's about 670 miles so we were bookin' it. I drove around 500 miles because I get too bored in the car if I'm not driving. We stopped for gas, piss breaks and lunch at In N Out Burger in Redding, CA. Protein style cheeseburger for the win. Below is my "before" shot on the day we left.Day 4:
My brother and I hit Costco up. I got a blanket for my bed and a couple of cutting boards. We then picked my mom up and hit a running store, Foot Traffic, where I got a pair of Asics running shoes. I'm going to get back on the track to help get my fat ass in shape and I needed a good pair. This store is pretty cool. They videotape you walking on a treadmill to get a sense for your walking/running style. I'm pretty neutral though I've got a mild case of duck feet. The shoes are wicked comfortable and well-cushioned.Day 5:
My dad took the day off so we went for a hike in Portland's Forest Park, which is the largest park within city limits. There are probably thirty miles of trails, but we did a seven mile loop. My knees held up pretty well, but I was tired by the time we were done. My blisters were a nice red as well. The first picture is of an "electric gun" that was in the backseat of a car parked at the trailhead. You can see by the picture on the box that it looks like some sort of military weapon. Weird. Maybe they were shooting hippies in the park. As you can tell, I always rock the high socks when I'm hiking.Day 6:
My dad and my brother both took this day off. The whole family had breakfast at Zell's in SE Portland. My family liked it, but I didn't. I have some crazy bad luck with breakfast joints though so don't listen to me. Anyhow, my dad, my brother and I packed up three bikes and drove to Hood River to do the Hood River to Mosier trail. It used to be part of the old Columbia Gorge Highway, but they sealed it off and now it's a bike and running path. It's only 4.5 miles long, but has some hills. I got going 30 mph on the way down the hills and only 6 mph up them since I'm out of biking shape. The water shown is the Columbia River which separates OR from WA. Back in the day, it was one of the wildest rivers in the country, but all the dams took care of that.Day 7:
I met my friend Daniel for lunch at Marinepolis Sushi Land in the Broadway area. You can't beat tasty and cheap sushi. Before that, I hit Lloyd Center for a shirt and some boxers. I have lost enough weight that my boxers, pants and shorts no longer fit well so I'm slowly replacing them. I got another polo-type shirt for work because it was on sale.Day 8:
I went to the bookstore with my mom and got Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. My allergies were buggin' me so I spent this day reading and relaxing.Day 9:
We went out to breakfast at the John St Cafe in N Portland with my uncle Dale and his new wife Dovie. It was good to see them and my uncle always has funny stories.
My dad, my brother and I hit the Nike outlet store in N Portland and I got a nice pair of basketball shoes and some dri-fit shorts so I'm good to go now that my knees are ok.Day 10:
I drove the 270 miles from Portland to Medford in about 4.5 hours. I stayed at The Rodeway Inn which was perfect: clean, cheap ($55/night) and chockful of cable channels. My room is shown below. It's a real king, not two smaller mattresses side by side. I had pizza from Abby's Legendary Pizza. While not legendary, it hit the spot. Also shown is my "after" picture. No, I didn't shave the whole time I was there.Day 11:
I woke up early, had my free continental breakfast and hit the road. I drove from Medford to Sunnyvale in less than six hours which is pretty good considering it's 400 miles. I guess that's what happens when you drive a bit over the speed limit.
Below is a shot of everything I bought in Portland.