09/13/2007: "How I spent my summer vacation"

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: ok

Ah, you know, I never meant for that last brewblogue to be at the top of the page. At all. Ever. In fact I had fully intended to immediately, within an hour of posting that, put up another post detailing our then-recent trip to Portland. Which was, for the record, fantastic. In fact, let me reach through the hazy veil of memory and see can recall about it.

Well, we got back into Portland (from Lynnea's cousin's wedding - the initial reason for the trip) on sunday afternoon and immediately made our way from schmancy (dare I say... schmopulent?) room at the Marriott (yay Priceline!) over to the Oregon Brewer's Festival, which happened to be going on the same day and just up the way. Which was pretty much the only real disappointment of the entire trip. Admittedly we got there a little late in the festival, but it seemed at least 75% of the beers (certainly 90% of the interesting beers) were already gone and, the annoying part, _had been replaced_ by different beers. So say you were line for Siletz Spruce Ale for 5 or 10 minutes, you'd get up to the front of the line to see Stone Pale Ale or Anderson Valley IPA or some such thing scrawled in sharpie on the table and you'd have to just get out of line or else waste your beer tokens on something which, down here at least, is as common as water. Furthermore, it was hot and everybody was drunk and rowdy and the air was thick with cigar and cigarette smoke (note to beer festival planners - it is difficult to taste beer when drunk people are smoking cigars everywhere). It really wasn't my scene... the San Diego Craft Brewers' Festival was way nicer. Still, I had a couple decent beers... a Scotch ale and something with a viking on the logo that I remember being quite good... I should have taken notes. Ah well.

Other than that we had a great time eating things and buying books and records and the like and riding around on the MAX and the other usual things we do in Portland. The most notable dining experiences were probably the Bijou Cafe where I had about the best omelette ever (goat cheddar, bacon, and green onions) and of course my favorite restaurant that I have ever been to, the Rheinlander. This time around I ordered the Eisbein. Which is essentially a huge chunk of pork wrapped in fat. It was a least a couple pounds of pure pork fury, but I managed to summon up some ancestral German eating spirit (Lynnea will confirm... I was starting to seriously flag when suddenly I got a fire in my eyes, anime style, and leapt back into the fray) and actually finish the entire thing - sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and all. For which our waiter awarded me a balloon, which was quite amusing (although he confessed that he really just did it because he likes making balloons).

Other than eating and record shopping and the like we also managed to go and check out the Japanese gardens... which were really amazing. I think I definitely would have to spend more time there if I lived in Portland. Ah, someday. I'm sure we did quite a few other things but that was a good month and a half ago so I don't really remember what they were at this point. Which brings me to our trip to Seattle a few weeks later.

I guess I don't have that much to say about Seattle really. It's a really great city and we enjoyed our trip there immensely. I can tell you that Capitol Hill is very cool and the place to be, and that I had just about the best bowl of ramen I've ever had at Samurai Noodle in the International District but that's about it. Oh and the Capitol Hill Everyday Music is impressive. I don't think I've ever seen an electronic section that big. And Ballard is kind of a cool neighborhood too. You can get cupcakes there. And Fuel makes good coffee. Oh, and the public library is the coolest building I have ever been in. It's a 70s science fiction movie come to life. Oh, and fish ladders where you can go and see the salmon swimming up them are cool (it's like... real fish doing real things!) Ok, so I guess I had a few things to say about Seattle. In fact, I liked Seattle alot. I don't know if it's as good as Portland, but it's definitely plenty cool and I would move there in a heartbeat if I had any reason to.

So I guess this post really turned into a how I spent my summer vacation post. I'll have to title it accordingly. I hope I get a good grade...

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[Lynnea] on Saturday, September 15th

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