Hello lovely readers! I’m back from my brief summer hiatus. Did you miss me? I’d love to say I was off in Mexico helping baby sea turtles into the ocean or partaking of a cruise to the Virgin Islands, but my absence wasn’t based on anything quite so exciting. I just got caught up in the chaos that is moving and didn’t have the time (or energy) to go out adventuring for a few weeks. But I’m finally feeling more settled and ready to get back to my wild ways.
As you may have noticed by now if you’re a regular reader (and if you aren’t WHY NOT?), I go to lunch with TheGramma on a pretty frequent basis. Not as frequent as I’m sure she’d like right now, but enough that I still think of myself as a pretty ok grandkid. Last week we went out twice as my aunt was in town - visiting all the way from Corvallis, Oregon - so it was a special occasion. We headed over to Wendy’s up on the South Hill first and had some good ol’ French fries dipped in chocolate Frosties as well as chicken salads (mine was spicy chicken Cesar, in case you care). It was fun and casual and a bit messy which seems to happen when we go out to lunch. A couple of days later we all headed up to The Chalet where they always know us and our waitress can usually figure out what we are going to order before we even open our mouths to tell her. I had another chicken Cesar (I love them, so sue me) and TheGramma worked her way through a giant plate of shrimp and nearly a half dozen dipping sauces. She practically makes performance art out of utilizing condiments during lunch these days. It can really be a sight to see.
My tiny/tall gal pal (who is also now my tiny/tall roommate) and I took our chances on a couple of occasions and headed up to Comstock pool to beat the heat. About 500 other people had the same brilliant idea so I bet you can tell just exactly how much real swimming we were able to do (that would be none if you are too lazy to figure it out on your own). We were able to bob around in the water relatively un-harmed, however, and it certainly cooled us off when temperatures broke the 90s. The last time I was in Comstock pool was at least 20 years ago but I have fond memories of visiting back in the day and I didn’t have any problems really with visiting now. It was just busy, but what can you expect of a public pool?
Remember how a few blog posts back I decided this would be my Summer of Why Not? And I’d go out and try new things that I’d never managed to try before? Well a weekend or so ago I managed to take a break from all the dumb moving stuff (I love my new place, just not all the work it has taken to get set up there) and started to learn how to drive a manual vehicle. A friend made the offer to let me practice on his Jeep and I jumped at it. There are lots of classic cars (oh ’57 Plymouth Fury I lurve you) that I’d love to be able to drive and at this point I can’t because I’ve never learned how to drive a stick shift. I’d like to be able to say that my first real driving lesson went amazingly well and it turned out I’m preternaturally good at manual driving – but alas it wouldn’t be true. I may not have dropped the transmission in the road, crashed into any buildings or other vehicles, or broken anything, but I did kill the engine more than once and I did scare my tiny/tall gal pal (who was taking a driving lesson as well) enough to hold onto the seat as if her life depended on it. Oh well. I think it went pretty ok aside from that. I’m looking forward to my next lesson with only a little trepidation (and I’ll make sure to warn the world before I take to the actual roads – so far I’ve been learning in an abandoned Costco parking lot.)
I managed to take my adventuring a little further than normal this last weekend and roadtripped with my sister and four-year-old nephew to visit friends in Vancouver, WA. This is what I got from the weekend: children are LOUD, and dirty, and loud, and they move around a lot, and did I mention that they are loud? Vancouver is nice and sprawled out and flat, which reminded me a lot of Katy, TX where I spent some of my formative younger years. We had excellent Thai food for lunch on Saturday at a place called Arawan Thai Cuisine, then headed over to BevMo! to pick up some adult-style libations for later in the evening. BevMo! is like a grocery store only they’ve taken most of the food (aside from salty or chocolatey snacks and cheese) and replaced it all with booze. We also took a trip through a craft store because it was there and crafting can be cool sometimes. On Sunday we drove over to Portland and went for a walk through a fun neighborhood with lots of little artsy shops and eateries. We had excellent pizza at Mississippi Pizza Pub, I bought an adorable Totoro (it's an anime thing, if you know you're cool and if not well no one is perfect) wallet at Missing Link Toys (where the cashier was the most beautiful woman I think I’ve ever seen in real life) and then went to the park to let the children run around and scream and be loud and dirty to their little hearts’ content. I even took my turn on the swing set because SWINGS. It wasn’t what I would call a relaxing weekend but it was a whole lot of fun and it was great to see friends that live far away.
Well that about wraps it up for this week. I’ll be back next Monday to talk about rock bands, geek girls, street fairs, and maybe even gun shows (you never know where I’ll end up really). Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!
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