So last week I used 40 of my hard-earned annual leave hours to fly up to Portland. I had originally planned on simply visiting my mom and brother (it was his birthday on the 19th – happy birthday, Paul!), his wife, and new daughter Adelaide. However, additional vacation duties also included helping my mom pack up her house, clean it, and drive back down to Escondido for her move back down to SoCal. I still had a good time though, even though Mom’s cat, Leo, had to be put down the morning I arrived in Oregon. Leo will definitely be missed, although I don’t think we could have fit him into the car for the long trip south considering that the parrot and dog took up the majority of the available space.Other activities involved visiting two (!) REI stores, walking around Lacamas Park in Camas, initiating a corruptive influence on my beautiful and awesome niece (I bought that ABCD onsie for her when she was only a fetus!), celebrating Paul’s 33rd birthday at Deschutes Brewery in downtown Portland, and spending the better portion of a day walking around the Pearl district.
Lacamas Park in Camas
Corruption Phase 1 Initiated
Packing for the trip home…
The drive back down to Escondido was fairly uneventful, and let me tell you that the landscape only gets MORE BEAUTIFUL as you travel south, leaving the lush green fresh scenery of Washington and Oregon for the shriveled brown smog-laiden traffic-scape of our urban coastal community. Sigh. And, to make things even better, Michael (Mom’s parrot, severe macaw, actually) took the opportunity to fly away the evening of our arrival home. She went missing for two days, but Mom miraculously recovered her after plying her with wheat thins, peanuts, and a squeaky ball. I’m thinking that with this experience, Mom now has the know-how for earning supplemental income recovering rogue feathered pets.
Then it was back to work on Monday…it will only take another five months of work to gain those 40 hours of annual leave back, so I’d better get on that I guess.
I flew up to Portland for Christmas this year to spend the holiday with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law. I stayed with Mom, who lives in a really cute house in Camas, Washington. Camas is home to a huge Georgia Pacific paper factory, or as it appeared to me, a tree crematorium. Paul and Anne live across the river in Portland, and they came over to open presents Christmas morning. Lots of presents. I think I like giving presents better than receiving them, especially when I get to give presents to the fetus that is nestled in Anne’s tummy right now. I gave the fetus a black one-piece outfit that says “ABCD: for those about to read we salute you”. Awesome. It snowed a little on Christmas day, but was otherwise gray, dark, rainy and cold. Huh – who would have thought that winter in the Pacific Northwest could be so dreary? I enjoyed sitting on the couch by the fireplace during most of my visit, staying warm and dry. Here are some pictures to enjoy!
Christmas Eve – yup, that’s a pink tree, and “A Christmas Story” on the TV behind it.
A very bad picture of me, but clearly Mom’s cat (Leo) and I bonded during my visit.
Below, Bailey savors the remains of his stuffed turkey, destroyed and eviscerated within 15 minutes of presentation.