Thursday, July 31, 2003

Vacation, all I ever wanted,
Vacation, gotta get away
The Go-Gos

We're off to Portland, Oregon to visit my family for the next two weeks -- so I will blog no more forever (apologies to Chief Joseph). No blogging for 2 weeks, anyway. DH is bringing his golf clubs, RockStar is bringing his Gibson, and I'm bringing Aran Go Round. We'll be arriving in the middle of a heat wave (98 degrees with 70% humidity -- ugh). I'm going to park Mom in front of the air conditioner and have her model the Aran Cardie for me; I'm worried it's too big, but she assures me it's not.

Later in the first week, DH and I will be driving up to Seattle for the day. We'll be touring the Boeing facility (DH is an airplane nut). The next morning we're off to Vancouver, British Columbia to visit a dear friend and his family. We'll be there for several days, then it's back to Portland for the rest of the visit.

We're going to take a drive up to Mount St. Helens and show the blast zone to RockStar. I was living about 20 miles south of Portland when Mount St. Helens erupted on Sunday, May 18, 1980. Within hours, everything was covered with a light layer of ash -- and I was living about 100 miles away from the blast zone. Portland was even worse. I had a friend who was living in Longview, Washington at the time, and she remembers a blanket of ash at least 4" thick covering everything. Mind you, Longview was on the west side of Mount St. Helens, about 20 miles away. The blast was on the east side of the mountain and the prevailing winds blew most of the ash eastward. Nearly 230 acres of forest was obliterated. Today, you can visit the 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Monument. More adventurous types can even climb Mount St. Helens.

Portland is a great city with lots to do and see. A "must-do" whenever I go home is a visit to Powell Books. Before there was Borders or Barnes & Noble, there was Powell Books. Encompassing an entire city block and two stories tall, Powell has new and used books in just about any category you can think of. Powell has spun off a number of targeted satellite stores including one for cooking, travel, mystery, and technical books. Portland's funky Hawthorne District is on the southeast side of town, and is a lot of fun for window shopping. Every Saturday under the Burnside Bridge, Portland's Saturday Market is billed as "the largest outdoor arts and crafts market in continuous operation in the United States." Portland's nickname is the City of Roses. The International Rose Test Garden is at its most stunning in late spring/early summer.

OK! My ambassador duties fully discharged, I will see everyone in two weeks. Behave yourselves; no partying in the house while I'm gone.

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