Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Finishing Up

Ok so I didn't do so well with blogging this trip. I am back in St. Louis and all set to start work again tomorrow (ok maybe that's a bit of a stretch). But I will try to fill in as much as I can of what I missed. Lucky for all of you I kept a written journal of my travels so I can refresh myself. (And by the way I HIGHLY recommend written journals when you travel. They help you remember details of your trip that not even photographs can.) Ahem...

The next day after Crater Lake was our float trip down the Rogue River which runs through Grants Pass. We took the easy course; Tracie didn't want to put us through too treacherous of a time. We lazily floated through most of it, riding rapids every once in a while, drank some beers, and dodged out of the way of jet boats that came careening through. We slothered sunscreen on ourselves the whole time so I didn't burn at all, except on the top of my head where my part in my hair exposed my scalp. It was very very fun. I was glad we decided to do it.

That night we headed over to Tracie's dad and stepmom's place for a family dinner, which ended up being a very good time. We crashed there for the night.

Next day was the excursion with Dad and Stepmom, and we went to RoxyAnn Winery for a tasting. Yum. Tasted nine wines and was pretty happy afterwards. We had planned to go to another winery after that, but decided it wasn't necessary. We headed off to Rogue's Creamery instead to try the Best Bleu Cheese In The World. Seriously, it was given that distinction at some contest in Europe. You have to wait a year to taste it though. But the Smokey Bleu was pretty good. This is also where the Pesto Cheddar and Oregonzola came from that we had bought earlier in our trip at Del Rio winery, so we had already had a taste of some of their cheeses. Very very good. I liked just about every cheese I tried in there. They even had a Chocolate Stout cheese. Quite interesting.

That night I went to Saturday night Mass with a family friend, Dani. Then she took me out to the Josephine County Fair, which had been going on in Grants Pass for most of that week. Tracie's mom and stepdad were running a booth there for Barricade Gel. This stuff is supposed to save your home and other flammable posessions from forest fires. Spent time wandering the fair looking at jewelry and art, mostly. Pretty cool.

Next day we drove back to Portland with Margy (Tracie's mom) and Ron (stepdad). We stopped in Salem along the way for lunch. So now I can say I've been from Salem, Massachusetts; to Salem, Oregon, within the span of a year. Coast to coast. Awesome.

Stayed on a yacht on the river in Portland. It belonged to Tracie's aunt and uncle. We took a little river cruise the first night we were there. Ahhhh.

Next day we explored Portland: went to Powell's Books, the "largest independent used and new bookstore in the world." It was about the size of a city block and about four floors high, to my best guess. Very huge. Wandered around looking at all my usual favorites: travel books, historical fiction, fantasy, etc. Didn't buy anything though.

Next came lunch. Ah, lunch. Ate at Jake's Famous Crawfish downtown. I just learned from reading that link that it is the oldest restaurant in Portland, founded 1892. We didn't care. We just wanted crab. Ordered steamed Dungeness crab. And boy, did we get it. A whole plate of an entire crab. We ate happily and not much crab went to waste. Finished it off with the best crème brûlée EVER. Perfectly crispy on top and deliciously sweet on the bottom. That was a whole meal of happy. We left happily STUFFED.

That night we went to one of the coolest places to drink I think I've ever been to: Edgefield. This place had it all: brewery, winery, distillery, golf course, garden, hotel/hostel, movie theatre, and bunches of little brewhouses and pubs and shops. I can't even describe the charm of this place. We wandered around from setting to setting, beer in hand: from a traditional pub, to an abandoned-looking alehouse, to the porch on the second storey of an old hotel where we watched the sun set, to the winery tasting room. Best Merlot ever, loved the Cuveé: bought a bottle of each. After that we went to a tavern where Tracie's cousin Aaron worked and got pleasantly schnockered, much to Tracie's boyfriend Preston's chagrin.

Next day was the return home. We connected through Dallas and I got to see the new D terminal. Very nice. Very good Mexican restaurant there called Cantina Laredo, I think. Yum.

Stayed with my parents for the night after I landed, did laundry the next morning, and then that afternoon I went to WalMart and made a bunch of prints of pictures. I also have them on CDs. So I officially have no excuse to not post any. But we shall see, after this long post, if I will post some tonight. If not tonight, then expect them soon...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the Kristi that knows who I am? Would be quite cool if it were... or was... not sure which word belongs there... =>


rhiwalsh at yahoo dot com if ya are!

8/24/2006 10:39 PM  

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