Sunday, August 26, 2007

Trip home to Portland

We went home to Portland earlier this month for a week and a half as our yearly check-in. It was really nice to be home. I think I was a little home sick and missed some stuff about the US but I'm still glad we moved to New Zealand. The family and friends would be the reason we would move back to the states.

We started off with a couple nights in Portland which were much enjoyed. Portland is such a great town. The vibe of Portland is crazy but in a really cool way. People definitely spend the time just to chat. The bicycle traffic jams were good to see.

Our first party was my dad's 60th birthday party/retirement party. Dan(Gene) had been working for some 29 years at Intel and said that he was done last month. Good on him.

The party was on the farm so we were able to have about 60 people show up. There were all sorts of cool people there which were a mix of family, dad's co-workers and friends. There was a huge table of food that got put out which was devoured at a frightening speed. Maybe getting lost in the country trying to find a goat farm makes people hungry.

After the party about ten of the people set up tents and camped out over night. It looked like a wee little hobbit village. I know, I live in New Zealand.

Pretty much the next four days were devoted to eating and shopping. Things are more expensive in NZ so it is good to buy things like clothes and bass amps while stateside. I also bought a Costco sized box of Peppridge Farms Goldfish. Mmmm....

Our friend Dan happened to have two seats left in his three person raft so Roberta and I spent a day floating down the Deschutes River. It is amazingly relaxing on a raft because there is really not much do aside from chill out.

We got back from the rafting trip at 7:00PM, I showered and was playing a board game called Talisman by 8:00. The game happened to take four hours so I wasn't in bed until 3:00. What I forgot was that I had to get up at 6:00AM and do some stuff and then head to a wedding up at Timberline. Needless to say the wedding was rather difficult for me.

The wedding was great, not too formal but more than just some simple party. Mt Hood was a great backdrop for the festivities also.

We had one day to pack before we had to hop on a plane. Roberta and I are good at judging exactly how much crap we can legally check onto a plane. We had 5 checked bags in total. Four of the five bags weighed as close to 50 pounds as possible. We put all the heavy pots and pans and books in our carry on bags since that is free weight if they don't catch you. We found out the hard way that freight M-Bags no longer exist but it all worked out.

The plane trip back wasn't as good without sleeping pills but it wasn't horrible. Our plane out of Portland to San Francisco was late so when we got to SFO we had to run to make our plane to NZ. In NZ we waited at baggage claim until the last bag came out and then they put the sign out "There are no more bags for your flight". Crap. They managed to lose all five of our bags. That wasn't particularly bad since Roberta and I didn't really want to carry 300 pounds of stuff through the airport. AirNZ shuttled the bags to our house the next day. If you get the opportunity then fly Air New Zealand. I have never flow with anyone better.

Back to NZ.

Here's some pictures (30)