Eden and I actually spent most of Memorial day apart this year; her family has a tradition of visiting Grandpa Dan's gravesite and sharing a meal; what with Portland traffic, she was gone almost the entire day. Since I knew I had a few hours, I decided to go get lost with a camera! I had a lot of fun just taking turns at random and watching the scenery for interesting things to shoot. I ended up mostly north of Battle Ground, and saw a bunch of parks that would be nice to work in, but of course they were too crowded with the holiday. After drifting through some amazingly vibrant clover fields, I actually ended up at Lucia Falls, and although the park itself was essentially inaccessible, there were just a whole bunch of amazing houses along the river to browse through and dream. All in all, it was a peaceful way to spend the day.
Since Eden was essentially still laid up, save for intermittent bursts of energy, I played in the kitchen a bit over the next few days, and have added a few more recipes to the list of food I can make that Eden likes. This pic is an incredibly easy pretzel recipe that I found a while ago and had been wanting to try. The results are delicious, and I've had the opportunity to make 4 or 5 batches now, each time getting better. There is a slight problem of over expansion that I'm still trying to figure out how to manage (rolling the dough down to make the twists works until about a 1 cm diameter, then the dough starts falling apart). Regardless, they've pretty heavenly with Beaver sweet hot mustard. I also made a batch of apple pies (best crust ever here) and some vegetarian lasagna that got some fairly critical acclaim. I've told the family that it's just a Betty Crocker recipe with a few liberties taken, but they insist on giving me all the blame
Eden's nephew Nicholas arrived for the summer on the 7th, so we spent a lazy afternoon at Vivian's greeting him. He's not self-conscious in front of the camera, so I got a few good shots of him on the skateboard, as well as a few of Suzanne playing on his bike. They both were great sports.
On the 13th, Eden and I went wandering again; although we took the long way to get there, we actually ended up close enough that I had to show Eden Lucia Falls, and our possible dream homes. We spent at least a couple of hours wandering around the amazing rock formations and falls there. There were actually a number of fish jumping down the falls, but I wasn't fast enough to catch more than their splashes on the camera. The water there is pretty cool too - crystal clear at the top, with a bunch of standing foam and even what appears to be red algae bloom in one section. I also got the chance to spend a morning with Suzanne and Fizgig at the local dog park - it's awfully nice to have her home again, and we got to talk for quite a while.
The gay pride parade on the 14th was a blast, and a great opportunity to play with the camera. Nearly everyone had a great time - it really seemed like the performers were having fun. I was really impressed by the number of churches and politicians openly marching there - it speaks well for the community.
Unfortunately, there was one member of the press that did a good job of trying to ruin the parade for everyone in a two block radius; she kept on jumping in front of floats and stopping them until they posed just the way she wanted. Of course once they acceded to her demands and she finally got out of the way the float would speed past at 30+ mph just trying to catch up. Finally one of the performers got fed up with it and beaned her with an oversize soccer ball that was handy. Seriously, this guy is my hero!
Cassie came home for a few days before heading on to the east coast, so we took advantage of Nick's current proximity and went to visit. Apparently one of the bigwigs in Mt. Hood was a former crew member on the ship, so the town threw a big shindig as the boat arrived. The coast guard took the opportunity to do a few helicopter drills, and a few local groups set up mock pirates and British soldiers to exchange cannon fire. It was nice to see them both, and a nice preview for later in the summer, when they'll both spend some time living here.
We spent the 18th at the coast with Cassie, roasting marshmallows and just enjoying the sights. There wasn't quite enough wind to play with the kites, but it was still a good time. We finished the evening at the local Mo's, with delicious fish and chips. The girls had some fun scrawling in the sand, although Cassie's "C + N" got a bit washed away before I got a good shot of it, which of course made Cass miss Nick again!
Eden and I headed to Long Beach on the 21st on the basis of several recommendations, but unfortunately it wasn't what we were looking for. Despite a visibly burgeoning tourist industry, the beach itself was just a disappointment - pretty much just flat and nothing, even when we headed another 10 miles north to the Pacific Pines national park. I guess we're just more compatible with the Oregon coast. After that disappointment, we ended up heading back down to Cannon Beach for another marshmallow roasting session. Unfortunately, just as soon as we got the fire set up, rain clouds blew in and forced us to evacuate. Doubly unfortunate, my camera decided to abandon pocket at exactly that moment and got sand in the gearing, so there will likely not be any new shots for a while until I find a place to fix it for a bearable price.
Finally, we went down to Philomath to celebrate my birthday early with the parents, as well as a belated Mother's and Father's day. I did get a new Ipod touch, as I had requested, which makes me mighty happy. It should make studying on the go much more practical. I also got a partial diagnosis of a pain that had been bothering me in my left knee, that also happened to blossom in intensity on the trip down; it appears I have some sort of infection just waiting to invade the synovial fluid in my kneecap, so I'm on antibiotics and laid up for the next few days, as that possible invasion is apparently a Bad Thing (TM). I think that catches everything up, so I'll close here.
Picdump 06-23-09 [Show image locations on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.