Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Parents Come To Town

Once a year (usually), my parents hitch up the 5th wheel and drive up to Oregon from Phoenix, AZ to visit family. Well, they SAY it's to visit family, but I think it's all about getting away from the 110-degree heat in Arizona during the summer. Whatever the reason, they are here. Usually they will stay at my sister's place outside Redmond/Bend for a couple weeks before heading north to see their siblings in Washington. I'm typically the 3rd stop on their itinerary.

They pulled into town Monday afternoon, after leaving Yakima, WA that morning. Got together out at the Fairview RV Park they like, and then went to dinner at McMenamins Edgefield. Met up with Deb and her kids, and introduced everyone. The kids were a hoot, especially the 3 year-old. He was hamming it up for my mom. They are both so cute, but quite a handful, as you can well imagine. As usual, service there was bad, but the food decent, and beer outstanding. We ate out on the Loading Dock patio, enjoying the beautiful weather. Walked over to the Little Red Shed grassy area so the kids could run around for awhile. It was a great night, and everyone had fun.

Tuesday, I took a half-day off work, and we went up to the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park. Very cool, relaxing and serene. If it hadn't been 100 degrees out, it would have been much more enjoyable, I think. The Koi pond was my favorite feature, followed by the Zen Garden. Afterwards we hiked down to the Portland International Rose Test Garden so Mom could ooh and ahh over all the roses. Unfortunately, they were getting cooked by the sun, so most were not looking so nice. I got some pretty good shots with my new Canon PowerShot SD1000 digital camera. 7.1 megapixels of picture-taking power in a tiny little package. Love it so far. Here's a good example:
Portland Rose Garden Specimen

After baking outside for several hours, we had to buy an air conditioner for my place, as it was just unbearable inside. After installing that, we went to dinner at the Marina Fish House (previously Newport Bay at Riverplace--same menu/staff/owners, but a different name) out on their floating dock in the Willamette River. I had the cedar plank salmon w/butternut squash risotto. Delicious! Some "cool" guy was tearing up and down the river in his $250,000+ Fountain sport boat. The twin Mercs on that thing sounded incredible, even as he whipped by at 70+ MPH out in the channel. I was a bit envious. His stripper (not hatin', but who else would wear 4" stilettos on a boat?) girlfriend was pretty hot too...

Tonight, we're headed up to Vancouver to visit my cousins, after stopping by to see my old roommates, Jim & Christine, and their new baby, Sienna. Should be a fun night as well. My parents will be leaving Thursday morning, headed back to Redmond to see my sister and her family for the weekend. Then it's off to Nevada and back to Arizona, just in time for the infamous Arizona Monsoon. Oh joy. So far, it's been a very nice visit. A bit on the warm side to really have much fun though. Wouldn't you know it, they drive up to Oregon to escape the 100+ degree heat of Arizona, and it's 100+ degrees in Oregon...they're just lucky I guess!