I'm back from my 2nd tip to Oregon. I arrived on July 2nd and only intended to stay until the 9th but Amber and I were having such a nice time that I stayed until today.
This was not just a trip, it was an adventure to say the very least. Without going into specific details, because I will leave it up to Amber to share or not share, this visit had enough awkward twists and turns that in the end we both knew, as people, what we were made of. In addition to all the fun stuff, this trip included doctors, specialists, the emergency room and a genuine near death experience. This was just in the first 3 days too! Exciting!
The order of events are a bit of a blur so i'll just go at what comes to mind as I write.
After the exciting events, we met Amber's sister Audrey and brother-in-law Chad at a local coffee shop and chatted over milkshakes. They took notice as I brushed the hair out of her eyes as we talked.
One original goal we had was to go to the waterfront and watch the July 4th fireworks but when we heard that Vancouver had canceled theirs and many were coming to Portland, we made alternative plans. Neither of us would do well amidst a couple hundred thousand people in a very small area, so as night fell we made our way to the roof of her apartment and watched all of the fireworks, large and small, from everywhere. It was fun!
On another day, we took the MAX and went to the International Rose and Tea Garden at Washington Park. It was very pretty and serene. Though it was said to be wheelchair accessible, some of it was not but we were able to get to everything by shortcutting across the grass. There was also the Japanese Rose Garden there but we decided not to go in as it was getting late and we were quite starved. The lady who drove the shuttle bus gave Amber a free pass to the garden so she can return at any time.
The trip there was quite a lot of fun too and it left me feeling good and sort of, well, awestruck. Any time she goes somewhere on the MAX, Amber makes it a point to strike up conversations with whomever is sitting closest. On the first trip we conversed with a violinist who she later went to see play. They discussed music and theory at length. Another time it was a young woman with her therapy kitten. On this trip it was a man named Doug who was a chef at a french restaurant and instructor a culinary academy. They got to talking about cooking and within a few minutes it turned into a discussion on theories involving quantum mechanics. A few minutes later another man, Davidm who just got his PhD in that very subject joined in the conversation. From there is went on to ideas how to best educate people of different cultures about concepts of chaos, string theory, etc. Everyone traded cards, info, myspace and facebook info and we all went on our ways. Amber is an uber-geek and that's just plain cool.
Mostly, we just enjoyed doing geek stuff on our computers, or watching Discovery Science or running around rock shops and electronics stores.
For the last few days, I was knee deep in various geeky projects which I'll leave in a post when I return home to Phoenix. Really cool stuff.
What was nice is that in those entire 12 days, neither of us ever uttered the words "I'm bored" and no disagreements on where to go or what to do. We enjoy all of the same things.
The rest of the story needs to be written and I plan to do everything in my ability to make it happen.
Sadly I did have to leave, and on that day it rained yet again.