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07 July 2009 @ 05:35 pm
*points* I went to there  
Me: I am longing to go to Oregon. LONGING I TELL YOU.

Grandmother: I have a jillion frequent flyer miles, if you want 'em.

Me: ... !!!!!!!

So I flew to Portland on June 21.

Saturday, June 20

Father's Day lunch, because Dad was going out of town on Sunday. Dinner with new friends (new IRL friends YAY), then home to pack. Finally got to bed at 2, fell asleep at 3:30, got up at 5 to head to airport.

Sunday, June 21

Because first class was all that was available going out, that's what I got. :) Getting to check in at the first class line was fun. Getting seated first was totally fun. I love not having to stand in the jetway. Seats were super roomy with both butt and leg room. They weren't leather, though, just that same blasted airline seat cloth. I was a little disappointed.

Landed in Portland around noon local time, and WOW. Sunny blue skies and gentle breezes. I am so in love with Portland. Got my rental car and headed out on the highway towards the mountains. I drove for an hour, hit Salem, and missed my turn. Ack! Then I realized that hey, I could drive another hour, hit Eugene, and catch a different road up to where I was going. Also, I was tired and hungry, and if I'd made my turn, I'd be on the road for another two hours instead of one. And Eugene is a total hippie college town, and that sounded nice.

When I got to Eugene, I had dinner at The Strand, a combination music venue/pizza place/coffee house/internet cafe. I was already a little jittery without a computer, so the internet cafe was especially welcome. In fact, I was getting so jittery that...

I checked Craigslist to see if anyone in Eugene was selling netbooks. They were! I emailed one kid who'd listed his Eee PC for $180, he emailed me back, and we made plans to meet up the next day. Woohoo! Computer!

At that point I was completely wiped, having only had a couple hours sleep, so I found a hotel and crashed the hell out.

Monday, June 22

Woke up at 8, thanks to my body still being on EDT. I turned on the TV, and found myself trapped by an America's Next Top Model marathon. I hate reality TV. I watch no reality shows. Yet I got so sucked into it, I watched the show for the next three hours. I would have stayed, but I had to check out or get charged for another day.

It was another gorgeous sunny day (and yes, I know how rare that is in Eugene). I needed to get some sewing supplies, so I tracked down a Jo-Ann's. On the way back from that, I stopped in at Goodwill to see if they had anything interesting. Yowza.

You know when you live in places that get cold in the winter? They have wool clothes. Wool coats, sweaters, shirts. I've been reading about cool things to make with felted wool, and then I remembered how for years I've been wanting to make a braided wool rug, and I went nuts. I grabbed every 100% wool garment I could find (10 blazers, a shirt, and a pair of pants). The total came to $67, which is not at all terrible for that much stuff. And it was WOOL! I came out with three giant bags. Awesome. I had a plan.

I met up with the kid selling his netbook and bought it. Super awesome. Now I have a netbook. :)

After eating, it was time to go up to the mountains. I can't remember if I've explained the vacation situation there before or not. So I'll explain again.


My grandparents moved to Albany, OR, sometime in the mid-1950s. On vacations, they'd drive up into the mountains of Central Oregon, to a place called Camp Sherman by the Metolius River. They'd camp there, first in tents, then in a trailer. My mom and uncle grew up going up there, and they kept up the tradition with their kids. I remember camping in a trailer when I was five or so, but somewhere around age six or seven, my grandparents bought some land up there and built a small vacation home. From the time I was seven till I went to college, we went there every summer. There was a creek in the back with a little bridge over it. My grandfather hung a swing between two giant pines for us. The backyard sloped down to a split-rail fence that separated us from the horse pasture. (We went skinny-dipping in the creek in the horse pasture once. Hee!) Beyond that, you can see Black Butte rising into the sky. In front of the house stands a totem pole that my mom's uncle carved and painted. We call the place "the cabin," even though it's a normal house, not a log cabin. (Does a cabin have to be made of logs to be a cabin? What constitutes a cabin?)

My grandparents had intended to retire there. Unfortunately, soon after my grandmother's retirement, my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. They ended up moving to Florida, where my mom and uncle both lived, and he died here a few years ago.


I started for the mountains, instinctively going west, because west is the way you go to go inland, away from the ocean. ON THE EAST COAST. It wasn't until I was almost to the Oregon coast that I realized the ocean is on the wrong side! So I got up to the cabin two hours later than I would have if I'd done it right. I was tired again by then, so I skipped buying food and just went out to the awesome pizza restaurant in town. The town is Sisters, named after the Three Sisters mountains nearby. I finally got to the cabin and fell right asleep. Dammit, only five days left and I'd wasted most of this one traveling.

Tuesday, June 23

I woke up with no food in the house, so I went back to Sisters (about 15 minutes away). There I bought a cinnamon roll and hot cider at the coffee house, and set up my computer. Yay for wifi in the mountains. :) I downloaded some games and did some reading. After breakfast, it was time to shop!

Sisters has a fantastic shopping area. There's lots of crafty stores-- a store that sells fiber and spinning wheels, one quilt store that is famous worldwide, and antique stores all over the place. I actually avoided buying anything at the quilt store (that time), but I did buy some dye at the spinning store. I wanted to dye my wool things. :) I also went to the grocery store for supplies, then came back home. It was time to start Projects.

I had a ton of movies and TV loaded on my ipod and my phone, and a speaker thingie to plug in, so I watched costume movies and ripped up blazers. Piece by piece, those fuckers came apart. I pulled out the lining and the interfacing and the padding, cut off the buttons, and ripped open the seams. This took a lot longer than you might think.

I also spent time reading out on the back porch. The smell of the air, I can't even describe it. I think a good part of the effect it has is childhood sense memory. It's the place we went to that was always peaceful and safe. When I breathe in, I can practically feel my hindbrain spasming in joy.

Wednesday, June 24

Sourdough bread is good. Naps are nice. :)

That evening, I ripped some more. I'd had a long nap, so I wasn't tired. I ripped and ripped and ripped and ripped... And saw light in the sky. HAH!

Thursday, June 25

I figured since I was already up, I'd watch the sun come up. So at 6 I went out to the front yard, dressed in one of the unripped blazers and my pajamas. I looked at the lightening sky and waited. And waited. I meditated some, and it felt good, but I wanted to see the sun. An hour later, it still hadn't come up over the hills, though it was broad daylight out. I gave up and went inside for breakfast.

I finished ripping everything to pieces, and began the dye process. That was also lengthy, as I had five different colors to dye, and I had to wash each in Synthrapol to fix the dye after. So I spent the day doing ten loads of laundry. I dried them all together, and when I opened the dryer, the lint filter literally had a brick of lint in it. Hee.

Well, there I was with two paper grocery bags of dyed felted wool. And I realized there was no way I'd fit this into my suitcase to go back. Oh yay. So it went into the closet, where it will wait until the next time I go up there and want to do a project.

So then I had no project! I'd finished my book, and though I could have just spent the rest of the time relaxing, I am apparently a fucking nut for projects. I hadn't bought anything at the quilt store last time, so I went there again. This time I bought fabric for two wall quilts (after hours of browsing and thinking and planning and deciding). I went back to the cabin and began to cut and press fabric strips. I did go to bed after dinner, though.

Friday, June 26

Last full day at the cabin. :( And after having been up all night... I slept. I did get up to eat, but then I slept again. Read some. Slept.

Saturday, June 27

I got up early enough to get going on housecleaning. I had loads of trash, most of it old lining and padding, and I had to get that bagged up, do all my dishes, clean the kitchen, dust, clean the bathroom, strip my bed, wash the sheets, remake the bed, vacuum all the bits of thread off the carpet, and pack.

Three hours later it was all done, and I went back down the mountain to Portland.

I knew thesugarmonster was there, and I wanted to meet up with her if I could. I also knew that there were three fat girl boutiques I wanted to visit. I went to the first one, Fat Fancy and chatted with some people outside. When I got in, who did I find but thesugarmonster! We were stoked. :D I tried on some things, including a floral print dress that screamed to be paired with Docs and a 90s spiral perm, but I came away with a lavender plaid miniskirt. I can't wait to wear it with black tights this winter.

thesugarmonster and her friends sarrabellum and S's husband (not sure if he's on LJ) followed me to the next boutique, Size Queen. Hee hee. At SQ, I found an incredible hot pink shimmery skirt and a beautiful loli skirt, but I couldn't afford to pay that much for stuff I can't wear to work. I did get a lavender wraparound miniskirt. :) thesugarmonster got the most incredible cupcake skirt. We all heard it screaming her name.

While at SQ, I called over to the last boutique, Savvy Plus, which was 10 minutes away from closing. I begged them to stay open until we could at least get a quick look around. The owner wasn't really feeling it, but did agree to stay open late. As soon as we were done, we raced over there.

Holy crow. It was the absolute freakin' motherlode. She kept the store open for like an hour and a half for us, and I tried on at least twenty items. I only bought 12, but I got the whole thing for just over $100. Try THAT at a mall! I was so excited, I put on one of my new dresses in the car. :D We sat on the grass by the side of the road and just chatted afterward. The sun was going down, the breeze was blowing, and the grass was so soft and green.

We decided to go find dinner. sarrabellum and H had heard of a crepe place down the street, so we drove down to find it. It wasn't a crepe place exactly, but a food cart.

Portland has these areas called "cart pods," little spots where several food carts set up together. We were at the SE 12th and Hawthorne pod, and the selection was outstanding. I had crepes and organic lemonade. Everyone else had fries, and there may have been more crepes in there, and I know for sure there was sweet tea and RC cola. We stayed until almost midnight, eating and talking and loving the atmosphere. Oh, and there was a naked Critical Mass ride that came around. That made me smile all night.

I went to my mom's friend's house to spend the night. She's a neat person and I love her.

Sunday, June 28 Time to go. I stuffed all my purchases into my suitcase. Somehow. I got to the airport, caught my plane, and flew away. I called Rob during my layover and told him it was a good thing he and Saffie were cute, because that was the only thing bringing me back at that point.

Upshot: Portland is awesome. I want to try living there. I'm sure Rob would love the city, and I know I would. We could rent a house on the east side, where all the cool stuff is, and we could take good public transit to work, or bike even. It doesn't snow that much, and I like weeks of gray rainy days. There's lots of water, there are lots of trees, and there is a collective environmental sensibility. Am I weird to want to be in a place where I'm not the most liberal? I like the idea of being a moderate without changing my political beliefs.

Also, if we lived in Portland, we could go up to the cabin in winter and go skiing. I haven't skiied in forever, but I remember having fun doing it, even if I never did get beyond the blue slopes.

If we lived in Portland... I might be okay with not having a farm. That's how big it is.
cianconnellcianconnell on July 8th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
It sounds like you had a great, relaxing time. I'm jealous!

Hee to this:

I figured since I was already up, I'd watch the sun come up. So at 6 I went out to the front yard, dressed in one of the unripped blazers and my pajamas. I looked at the lightening sky and waited. And waited. I meditated some, and it felt good, but I wanted to see the sun. An hour later, it still hadn't come up over the hills, though it was broad daylight out. I gave up and went inside for breakfast.

Since I figured that after your last East coast/West coast mixup and the mountains, you might just have been looking in the wrong direction. I kid, yet my semi-famous cousin (okay, not really, but he played in the major leagues in baseball for almost a decade) was once semi-famously (okay in our family only) quoted in Sports Illustrated for doing that...but he's from San Diego and was caught trying to catch a sunset on an East Coast beach and kind of not...getting it...when the light got brighter, but he still couldn't find the sun.

I'm glad you got to relax and reconnect with your childhood, even while incorporating parts of your now-hood into it. My family went back to where we spent every summer from the time I was born till I was in my 20s (Litchfield Beach, SC), a few years back, when we were still living in Georgia, so I know exactly what you're talking about. There's just something about that salty, semi-rotten-fish smelling air and stifling humidy/heat of the summer that takes me back in such a better way than that description has any right to do.


Edited at 2009-07-08 01:13 am (UTC)
the baffled queen composing hallelujah: awesomesarrabellum on July 8th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
I think that was one of the best Saturdays of my life. We had such a good time, and you are so fabulous, and I couldn't be happier that we met. <3

Duncan's sleepwhenimdead but he hasn't updated in ages.
vlynnvlynn on July 8th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful trip. So glad you got to go!