Monday, April 30, 2007

Vacation wrap-up

The problem with not blogging daily is that you get out of the habit of doing so. And then, when it comes time to update, you either don't want to, or have so much to say that you don't know where to begin. And/or, you certainly don't remember everything.

So, now that the vacation is over - I go back to work tomorrow - I find myself in the position of having a LOT to talk about, but very little desire to actually take the time to type it all out. The lesson is that when we go on our next trip (be it vacation, or when we leave Las Vegas for good) that we certainly need a lap top. Or I should write things down as we go, so that I can remember things better.

Anyway. List time. Because listing things (in no particular order) seems to be how my brain works best, and because it's one of the laziest ways of blogging and getting information out. The trip was overall a great one, but it wasn't all liquid sunshine and Pepsi. I'll start with the bad, to get it out of the way, and also so that I can end with the positive.

The Bad

- Harper was killed.
During the conference, there was a game of "Assassin" being played. Assassin is played pretty much like this:
Everyone who is playing puts their names on a slip of paper, and the names go into a hat. Draw a name. Whoever you picked, is who you have to "kill" sometime during the conference. To kill a person, you simply have to touch them on the shoulder and say, "You are dead." or "Gotcha" or "I just killed you", or something to that effect.
The catch is - there can be no witnesses.
So, traveling in groups is a safe way to avoid being murdered. However, if you are constantly in a group, it means that you can't do any killing either.
Once you kill a person, they have to give you their target, and that becomes your next person to assassinate.
Harper ended up being killed by a teenage girl who was, apparently, quite good at the game (she had already taken out 10 other people before getting Harper). But the fact that she got "killed" was highly disturbing to Harper. She was inconsolable for at least 45 minutes, until eventually, she was "brought back to life" by the girl who had killed her, and they agreed that they would work together to get Harper's target.
Assassin was fun, though, and I think if Harper plays again, she'll be better prepared for it.

- We got sick
Harper, Irina and I started getting runny noses and sore throats around Wednesday (the 25th). Steph didn't start feeling bad until yesterday. For the most part, I'm over my illness, although I still have occasional bouts of coughing. Being sick is never fun, even when you're in Oregon.

- My boss was in a car accident
On Wednesday the 25th, I got a call from work, informing me that my supervisor had been in a pretty bad accident, and would be out "for a while". The initial call was pretty much right after it happened, and a lot of the information was inaccurate. (I was first told that he had broken his back. I was told later that he has a fractured vertebrae, which is marginally better, but still pretty scary.)
The rest of the week (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) I received calls from work, either giving me updates, or asking me work related questions that only I - or my supervisor - would be able to handle.

- We got pulled over for speeding
In Tonopah on the way home. I was doing 51 in a 25. Because 25 is a ridiculously low speed to drive. And also, it didn't feel like we were moving that fast.

- Steph's camera broke
On Thursday night, as we were going into our hotel, Steph's camera was accidentally dropped.
On Friday, when we went to our last fun spot before beginning the boring drive back, we discovered that due to the drop, it was not going to operate anymore. :(

The Good!

- The pictures were still retrievable
If you check out Steph's blog, you can see many of the photos from the trip. Even though the camera won't be taking any new pictures, the ones that were on the card were still able to be put on the computer. Yay technology!

- We were let go with a warning
Thankfully, the cop in Tonopah didn't give us a ticket. (Even though I was going double the posted limit!) A ticket would be the last thing we need. To my credit, I drove the speed limit the entire way home. (Even 25 in all the small towns in Nevada)

- Powell's book city
Portland is a very interesting city (although I don't know 100% how I feel about it, and whether I would want to actually live there) but one of the most amazing parts of it was Powell's. Powell's City of Books is pretty much what it says. It's about 4 city blocks worth of used and new books, located in downtown Portland.
Going to Portland for that alone would be worth it. We really needed more time to actually walk through that place - it's huge! - but at least we've now seen it.

- The Oregon Vortex
This was where we discovered that Steph's camera was not working, so we had to buy a disposable. (For 12 bucks!) I just wikied up the Oregon Vortex, and the short article there kinda dampened some of the enthusiasm from the visit, but even if it was just optical illusions, it was still kinda cool to see a golf ball roll uphill, and to witness Steph grow several inches just by moving a few feet.

-Abby's Legendary Pizza

- The Talent Show
Steph got video of the girls doing their hula-hooping at the talent show this time around. Both of them have improved their abilities quite a bit - and they were already really good at the previous conference. Saren even worked in doing some jumps and hula-hooping on her knees.

- Barefoot Boogie
The last night of the conference, there was an all-ages, 3 hour dance. Irina was hilarious, and the girls all had an amazing time. I even let go of my reservations and danced with the crowd.

- Portland Zoo
The San Diego Zoo gets all the press, but I think the Portland Zoo is the better of the two. It's smaller - which means less walking! And maybe it was because it was cooler, or because it was Portland, or because it was a school day, or I don't know - but it was also much less crowded, so that was another plus.

Best radio station I found during the trip.

- Newport Aquarium
Even though I was sick, and completely energyless during our visit to the Newport Aquarium, it was still fun.

- Done blogging
I know I'm forgetting/leaving out a LOT of the experience, but that's what Steph's blog is for. ;)


Amy said...

Dude. I can't even comment properly because I wouldn't know where to start.

YNAY!! (Yay with a little nay thrown in for good measure.)

Soupytwist said...

Portland is weird. But I think all of Oregon is weird!

Powell's is amazing. I love the way it smells.

I wish I had been paying closer attention to where you all were going - I would have totally come down to see you in Portland for cookies and tea.

Why cookies and tea? Because.

Simon said...

I am gladdened by the addition of reviving abilities in traditional "Murder" games. I likes the sound of that.

Glad you (mostly) had a good time, sir! May there be many more in the future.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this travelogue greatly, especially when supplemented with Steph's photos.