Back from Portland. Tired. We had a good trip…perhaps not too eventful. Rhonda and the girls went a day before me, on Friday. I took them to the airport then came home to wrap up my work week, take care of the dogs, etc. Friday night home alone, right? All the things a guy can get into when given a temporary weekend bachelor pass? I am just cool enough to get a pizza from my favorite place and eat the entire thing in bed, catching up on Celebrity Apprentice and Sober House. Wind me up and watch me go.
I flew on Saturday, actually laying over in Denver for two hours. That part sucked. The Denver airport is not close enough to anything to make two hours useful. My mom and I thought about meeting in the airport for lunch, but I just wasn’t convinced that I’d be able to get in and out of security in a timely manner. In the end it wasn’t too bad because the Final Four semi-finals were on. I got some Mexican food, had a beer and watched the second half of a great game. Then I hopped on another plane and took a nap. When I finally go to Oregon on Saturday night, there was an enormous crab boil going on. Perfect. Shrimp, corn, smoked sausage and fresh Dungeness crab covered an entire table. Cold beer was in an ice tank on the patio. Does it get better than that?
I actually rented a shitty hotel room right around the corner from where we were staying so I could keep pace with my east coast work schedule. Hey, I practice what I preach. I always say that I don’t care where people are so long as they get their work done. Sunday night I went to the room late so I could be up and functional by 5:30am Monday morning. Tuesday was brutal. I went to bed at the house with Rhonda sometime around midnight Monday night, couldn’t sleep, so I went to the hotel around 3am. I had a call at 6, so I figured I’d just stay up. But of course…an hour later I was ready to hit the sack again. But I stayed awake because I was afraid I wouldn’t be up in time if I tried to nap. 5am…5:30…6am. And my call was canceled! Ugh. No sleeping though…the work day had begun.
Despite it being rainy and cold, virtually everything we did reminded me of how much I love Portland. I worked there in 2002 and fell in love with it then. Not much has changed. Lush landscape, manageable city, easy access to mountains and water, a community affinity for microbrews and coffee. I could live in that town in an instant. Though it wasn’t warm, I knew my girls would get a kick out of seeing all the waterfalls and rivers. We took a drive out east on Monday to see Multnomah Falls. I was right. They loved it. Both of them found the neon green moss that covered everything to be a curious sight. Lily was willing to touch it. Ava…not so much.
We did get to see Henry and Jessica while we were gone. They live up there now. That was nice. With the two of them engaged now and Henry is on the heels of losing his dad, it was a good time for a visit. Still, we didn’t get much time to talk. They came over to Rhonda’s cousin’s house for food and to hang out. Henry knew a few people there beyond just me, so it wasn’t awkward I don’t think. Still, we didn’t get a chance to chat about anything all that intimate. Then again Monday night I went downtown to watch the Final Four championship with some friends I have in Portland and they came there as well. Again, not much of a venue for talking. Anyway…better than nothing, and I decided that it makes all the sense in the world to go back up there sometime this summer.
One other highlight, at least for the grown-ups, was going to the Nike Employee Store. I guess these things exist so people who work for corporate Nike can buy their products at super deep discounts. Well… someone in Rhonda’s family works there and had access to a few of the highly coveted family passes. That place is awesome. It’s like a large department store with every Nike product imaginable, including some of the other brands that they own, like Cole Haan. They’ve got golf clubs, team wear, winter coats and anything else you can imagine…including thousands of shoes. We spent $713.99 on shoes, golf wear, clothes and…hmmm, maybe that was it. I was going to buy a couple golf clubs but I couldn’t figure out how to get them back. As it was, I had to buy an extra piece of luggage just to get the nine pairs of shoes we bought back to Ohio.
I felt good this weekend. Last Thursday was a blistering session for me in therapy and it took a lot out of me. By the time Rhonda and the girls left for Oregon on Friday afternoon, we had barely talked. I just didn’t have enough energy yet. I wasn’t done thinking. But when we had a half a second to ourselves in Portland, I told Rhonda some of what has been going through my head and a couple things I dealt with in my session last week. In particular, how being a parent as well as the current thought of only being a parent to girls has stirred a bunch of things up in me relating to my dad. Things that, even though I have previously dealt with and archived them, have been pulled out of storage and splattered all over the front of my brain and the back of my eyes. It was good though. As I said. I felt good this weekend. I feel good now.