May 18th, 2006


Portland trip continued

My meeting began yesterday and will go through Thursday. Today we started at 7 (instead of 8), so we could leave early and take a sightseeing trip up the Columbia River gorge. We headed up the historic scenic highway, stopped at Chanticleer Point and then at Vista House for the views of the gorge, then started on waterfalls: Latourelle (wonderful columnar basalt outcroppings), Bridal Veil, and Multnomah.

I liked the placard at Multnomah that described a 400 ton, schoolbus sized rock that plummeted from the rockface of the falls into the upper pool in 1995, throwing a huge wave of water over the bridge that crosses between the upper and lower falls. The bridal party that was on the bridge for photographs got drenched. Various members of the wedding party were hurt by rock chips, including the groom who was hit in a rather...sensitive...location.

We then headed for Edgefield and McMenamins, the site of a former poor farm that has been developed as a winery, brewery, hotel, restaurant complex, you name it. We ate at the Power Station Pub after a short wait, during which we entertained ourselves by wandering around the old buildings, beer in hand. Good burgers.

I must mention last night's dinner spot, too: Jake's Grill in downtown Portland. It sounds like another burger/bar food sort of place, but in fact is upscale seafood and steak in a restored ca. 1900's hotel. Extensive wine list, too--Bruce (the local person) and his wife enjoy wine and picked this restaurant in part for the wine list. I had a sirloin steak Bordelaise with asparagus, Dungeness crab, and Yukon Gold potatoes, and it was luscious and perfectly prepared. After dinner, three of us walked to Moonstruck Chocolates, where I finally managed to buy chocolate Lab truffles (extra bittersweet) for my dog- and chocolate-loving friend Krissi. Oh, and a selection of dark chocolate truffles for me, too--I'll ration them out over a few weeks both for the calorie count and the financial aspect.

Contractor check-in

I called Betsy as we headed up the Columbia River gorge and left a message asking for an update. She called back promptly (it was about 6:30 EDT) and let me know the sheetrock guy has been back applying more mud, and that they might be sanding on Friday.

Other news: the floor tile has come in, even the 6" that was back-ordered. Mary will go pick it up and they might start laying it on Friday, too. ( I suspect one or the other of these activities might occur, but not both.) And the cabinets are supposed to ship on the 26th to the wholesaler, so might could be installed the week after that if all else is ready.