(Some Pictures near end)
On Saturday morning a train arrived in Portland bearing Susan, Kim, Jessica, Nancy, Lisa and Kurt all from the Tri-Cities area of Eastern Washington. Unfortunately I wasn’t waiting on the platform to greet them. Many of the streets in downtown Portland are one-way and they now have designated the right hand lanes as mass-transit only. I could see the train station. I could see the parking lot. However, I could not see a way to get there without breaking about six laws in the process. Eventually I parked some blocks away, in a rather seedy part of town, and walked to the station. We couldn’t all fit into the Echo anyway and since it was unlikely to be the target of a break-in all was well. After bathroom breaks, hellos, hugs and introductions (Lisa and Kurt came on the trip for the first time, but they are soon moving to New York) Susan whipped out her phone, pulled up a map of yarn stores and we were off. There were gifts as well, but I wish to do them justice a little later.
The first stop was at Dublin BayYarn. What a delightful store! There were yarns available for most price ranges and the charming owner and her mother served tea while Kurt was able to sit on the couch and watch t.v. Next we walked to a little store called Knit Knot Studio (at least I think that was the name). This store is rather small, but the owner is extremely friendly and will talk your ear off if given the opportunity. The next yarn stop was at Knit Purl. Knit Purl has some nice yarn, but they tend to cater to the more up-scale knitter when it comes to prices. And an obnoxious old lady was there with her ankle-biter in tow on a very long leash. At first I thought she was just darting in to pick up something quickly and had brought the pooch. But she loitered and shopped for some time. The dog was well-behaved, but that is not the point. Anyone with phobias or allergies had to endure her being there. Considering the price of some of the yarn I was surprised that the owners didn’t object because of dog hair. Sorry, I digress. We all trekked up to The Button Emporium and Ribbonry and browsed the trimmings. At some point along the way Kurt had left us in pursuit of other endeavors and he rejoined our group here.
Lunch was at The Deschutes Brewery Pub. Nancy and Susan both partook of a beer named, “Streaking the Quad”. The cold temperatures would have required more than one glass in order for this beer to live up to its name though. The food was unique and delicious. I can’t recall what everyone else ate, but I enjoyed a Portobello mushroom, hazel-nut and goat cheese sandwich… with a diet Pepsi. For some strange reason, we’ll just call it laziness, the waiter said that he was unable to split the bill into more than two. When all was said and done Susan bought my lunch. Thank you Susan.
The final port of call was Powell’s Books. Here we all separated and browsed for quite some time. I found some books for the girls for Christmas. By this time exhaustion had set in (I blame the M.S. because who wants to admit that they’re middle-aged and out of shape) so I found a bench near the entrance and sat down. Jessica showed up and entertained me by translating Hardanger Lace books from German into English. The written directions were quite spartan, but the graphs were detailed. Everyone finally emerged from their ink-enduced Shangri-Las and rejoined the real world for our journey back to the train station.
Although I did remember to pack my camera, the batteries died so I couldn’t take nary a photo of our adventure. Susan took pictures though!Once home and the batteries had been replaced the first order of business was to take pictures of these lovely socks!
Aren’t they pretty? These were a present from the ever-talented and lovely Jessica (who is sadly blogless). They fit like a dream and I love them to no end. I’m wearing them to work this morning to ward off the chill of 20 degree weather and recess duty. But that’s not all, Jessica also gave me a lovely batt of wild and crazy roving, appropriately named, “Cat Woman”.
It’s loaded with sparklies and lots of surprise colors. I can’t wait to start spinning it.
Another surprise while we were out was this adorable key chain set from Kim.
I’ve not put in on my work keys because I’m thinking it would make a fine necklace.
The day went quickly and our time spent together was delightful. Thank you everyone for the gift of your company, especially during this hurried season.
Speaking of which, my D.H. took the girls up to Ridgefield so that A1 could sing with her choir. While she was singing he walked around perusing the sights with A2 and A3. He didn’t take any pictures either.
Sunday morning my D.H. had to fly out for training. The girls and I decided to decorate the house for the holidays. Rather than drag Old Scratchy (our 8 ft. tall artificial monstrosity) down from the attic we bought a smaller, real shrubbery from the Boy Scouts. The girls decorated it and we hung the stockings, etc. It was A1’s turn to top the tree (we rotate years). She chose to put on the 45-year-old wax angel that was purchased by her grandmother in Germany for her dad’s first Christmas. This is the first time we’ve used her, as she’s very delicate.
Because of our newest addition, Roxie, we opted to put the train under the tree and forego setting up the Christmas village.
The birds have been temporarily re-located to the sun room so we could rearrange the family room without providing kitty access to their cage via the back of the sofa.
Weather permitting, we may work on outside lights this week. Hopefully everyone is enjoying their December so far.