Tag Archives: tourguiding

Preparations

I decided a glass or two of wine would be nice last night, so I opened a bottle of Monticello rioja that we had. Eventually, I went to a friend’s house, where I had a glass or two of boxed wine.

Boxed wine has come a long long way since the days of the scene from Grumpy Old Men (or was it Grumpier Old Men? I get the two confused). I keep a black box of merlot for when I want to have just an occasional glass without finishing a bottle, and while it’s not the best wine I’ve ever had, it’s definitely servicable.

Franzia, on the other hand, is still the same thing it ever was, so this morning instead of getting a ton of stuff done, I am nursing a huge headache and wondering what got into me last night. I know at one point, it involved a great big trampoline. Fun stuff, but ow.

Two days until Gretchen, my niece and nephew come, I can’t wait. Lots to do in prep, and I’m a little nervous about keeping an 8 and 9 year old entertained for three weeks, but Gretchen assures me that the Wii will keep them amused during our slow times and that we will go buy Legos!!! to keep at the house. I can’t wait.

A long post, or the last five days.

Alright – I know I’ve been quiet again, I will probably be online a little less for a few weeks while my sister and her kids visit. I’ll try to at least post a picture or two occasionally.

We took Carrie to Seattle yesterday to go to the bachelorette party that was technically the reason for her visit. Carrie is one of my best friends, and she was visiting us for the first time from Madison.

We never had enough downtime to actually write, so here’s kind of the overview of what we did.

Saturday, we got up and went to the coast. We took her to Burgerville on the way to get a strawberry milkshake (I got the strawberry lemonade, it’s soooo yummy). Stopped at Mo’s to eat some clam chowder and have a Rogue’s Mo’s Ale. We walked on the beach and looked at the harbor seals, but the beach was pretty crowded so we didn’t stay very long.

We stopped at Boiler Bay – it’s a tradition now, I think.

After that, we went to Yaquina Head lighthouse. I always forget how incredibly windy it is there, moreso than anywhere else on the coast. I have a great picture of Carrie where she looks like she is being blown away, but she didn’t like it so I won’t put it up here. We waited to go to the top of the lighthouse (217 stairs) and found out that there are more lighthouses in Michigan than in anywhere else in the U.S. Hmm.

Yaquina Head has some nice tidepooling, so we did that for a while. It’s nice because you are almost guaranteeded to see something interesting at low tide, so it’s a pretty good place to bring a new person. Tidepooling, if you don’t know what that is, is going to the pools on the rocks that are formed when the tide goes out. All sorts of interesting creatures live there, and like many things in Oregon, the more patient you are, the more you are rewarded. We saw sea stars, mussels, crabs, anemone, barnacles, limpets, snails, a mossy chiton, purple urchin, and probably a lot of other things I’m not remembering now.

We followed that up by going to Seal Rock and then to Newport to get a beer or two at the Rogue Public House. Not too many sea lions in Newport that day, kinda odd.

The following day I drove Carrie around Portland showing her the neighborhoods. We went to the Rose Test Gardens to admire all the sweet smelling roses (lovely), and then we went shopping on Hawthorn. Ate lunch at Por Que No, which is still my favorite place in Portland to eat. I found out they are opening a second restaurant on SE Hawthorn, I’m so excited. Also started a taco card – I would have filled it a few times by now if I had known about it.

We grabbed Brian when he was done working for the day, and went to take the tram for the first time. Completely worth the $4, we will add that to our list of things we like to show people visiting us. There’s some gorgeous views of the city that I don’t think I’ve seen before, including a great one of Mt St Helen’s and Mt Hood. It’s perhaps not the best thing for someone who has a fear of heights though.

We did the Kennedy School for dinner and sat outside to drink beer. Headed to the Green Dragon to have a beer there too, yum. So much for giving up beer, huh?

The next day, Carrie and I headed up the Gorge. We stopped at Multnomah Falls (well, it *is* traditional), and continued on to the Bonneville Dam. The fish ladder was hopping, and we hung out underneath it trying to get a good picture of a fish swimming by, but we just got some of the little ones. I had fun telling tourists about the fish counter and how that works. We also wandered down to the fish hatchery to oggle Herman the Sturgeon who is 9 or 10 feet long (very prehistoric looking).

On the way back to the house, we stopped at the Vista House, which was finally open when I was there (they are open every day of the year, including holidays, but I seem to get there just as they are closing for the day). I discovered that they have a gift shop there and a cafe, who knew? And of course a pretty spectacular view of the Gorge.

We had an hour to kill before Brian was done with work for the day, so we stopped off in Troutdale at Edgefield to have a beer and an appetizer. Carrie hadn’t known that the phrase “poor farm” came about from a real place, so she was pretty startled to be at a former one and at how large it was. It turns out she’s a fan of the McMenamins’ Ruby beer, so everytime we ended up at one, that’s what she drank. Although she did do a tasters’ tray at the Kennedy School so she got to try quite a few.

My neighbor Mary was a complete sweetheart and had bought us a gift certificate for Jake’s Famous Crawfish so we went there for dinner and had a completely overwhelmingly fabulous meal. We walked around in the Pearl until we felt slightly less full and wandered over to the Pix on N. Williams for yet more food. Carrie had said she was going to be okay if she only gained 10 pounds on this trip, and by God, I wanted to make sure we at least approached it.

Feeling mellow the next day, we walked up and down NW 23rd – Carrie had a present she needed to get, and I had lost an earring I was hoping to replace. Ate at a Chinese restaurant that was blah, won’t be back there anytime soon. I wanted to show Carrie NE Alberta too, since that’s the neighborhood I spend a lot of time in so we did that before going to get our farm share and stuff for dinner.

We grilled seafood that night – eating out every night of the week is apparently expensive and unhealthy. After some fresh strawberry shortcake, we went to Doug Fir to see Per Se, Sophe Lux, and Rachel Taylor Brown. Carrie was not fond of any of them. I liked Per Se a lot, and Sophe Lux had stuff I really liked too – I’d go back to see them, I think. I kept running into Per Se when I’d go to the ladies’ or go get a drink or whatever.

So there. That was the whirlwind tour that I remember, minus some drinks and at least one visit to Por Que No (we went twice, mmmmmmmm). Hopefully enough of a taste that Carrie comes back for another visit.

Carrie’s visit

Having a blast – going non-stop from morning until the wee hours. So far we’ve done the coast (Lincoln City and Newport), the Gorge (Multnomah Falls, Vista House and the Bonneville Dam) and up Mt Hood to the Timberline.

We’ve spent a good amount of time wandering Portland to show her the places we liked to get great beer and we’ve been feeding her well too – we’ve eaten great seafood every single day.

So I’ll probably be quiet until Saturday, there’s been very little downtime to be on the internet!