Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Convoluted Vacation Wrap Up

(This is Mt. Shasta, taken on the way home yesterday)

Hello Bloggy Blog Blog Blog, I've missed you so. I've posted, sure, but it's not the same as actually writing something NEW, and I haven't been reading my friends' blogs, and I haven't been commenting, and boy, I have a LOT of catching up to do.

Let me start by saying, I'm still Biff, because I'm thinking...One Week Ago Right Now...I was getting ready to go to Seattle...on vacation. Sigh. So, today I'll tell you what we did on our vacation to the Pacific Northwest. (Mostly Portland.) We left home and drove to Ashland, where we hoped to see a play, but we got a bit of a late start, and it being a Saturday in summertime, it may not have mattered anyway, because they were sold out. No worries. We went to dinner, and walked around a bit. I really like the feel of Ashland...it's such a pretty town. I do wonder if the locals get truly SICK of being such a tourist town, though, because aside from the college, I don't see any other real employer around there. Sunday after breakfast, we went to the Elizabethan theater so we could show it to Maya. She studied several Shakespearean plays last year, and they have a reproduction of the Globe theater there that's pretty cool. I wonder if the one in Orinda is as nice?

From Ashland, we drove up to Portland, where we checked into a beautiful hotel. Ted had booked a suite for us, so Maya would have her own bedroom, which was GREAT. We walked around downtown a bit, went to dinner (Shula's Steakhouse, but that's another post...) and went to bed. Monday we went to visit my sister, nephew, and new niece. :) Yay! New baby! She was so cute and wonderful, and my nephew has grown SO much since we saw him last. It was great to see how much he enjoyed having a big cousin to play with. :)

After visiting with them awhile, and stopping by my step-mom's yoga studio for a short visit there, we went to meet the family whose house we would be watching for the rest of our Portland stay. Wow, what a house. This place was HUGE. And beautiful. Probably built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, it was 3 stories, had 6 bedrooms and a yard that took Ted about an hour to an hour and a half to water. It was great. We did decide, though, that really, that's too big of a house for us. I could have happily lived with about half of that house. Then, it's built on a hill, so from the street level, it looks even MORE imposing.

Check out the size of the front door!

Happily, there is a less imposing back door, which also doesn't involve going up two flights of stairs to access. :) The best thing about the house, though, is how close it is to my dad and stepmom's house. Here's a picture from the upstairs window of the house we were sitting...you can see dad's house at the top of the hill there, with the upstairs windows open. It was GREAT.

The house sitting gig also came with a dog, to help keep us from pining away for Genevieve. So we watched Tilly, a young golden retriever, who was a lot of fun. :)

Tuesday, we took a train from Portland up to Seattle, because Ted really wanted to see the Experience Music Project there. That gave us a chance to see my niece Chloe, who is almost 2, and her daddy. :) She was VERY cute. Maya is named for my sister, Maya, who is Chloe's mom. So Chloe called Maya, "Cousin Mommy". Way too cute.

The rest of our stay was taken up with visiting family, walking in Forest Park, eating yummy food, and just relaxing. I took a yoga class with my step mom that was level 2 Iyengar, whereas I'm level 1 whatever, and it kicked my butt. It was GREAT though. If you want to take yoga in Portland, you gotta go see her. :)

We went to visit my Grandma, who is suffering from Altzheimer's disease. She was doing better than I expected, which was a relief to see. Maya and her Grammy (my stepmom) went to a toy museum one afternoon.

We got to celebrate my nephew's 3rd birthday.
There was cake involved.

Overall, it was a great vacation, one that I could write about in boring detail for you all, or I could just say that it ended WAY too soon. The best part was just relaxing, seeing family, spending time there, getting to know the city a little bit better. Portland really is a beautiful city. Wish we had another week there. That would have been great.

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