16 September 2003

The parents descend on PDX... Mt. St. Helens (revisited)...Mt. Angel Oktoberfest (revisited)

Mom and Dad just left PDX this morning (Tuesday). They flew in Thursday night. It was my father’s first time and my mother’s second time in PDX. We had a fabulous time. It was nonstop go-go-go nearly the entire visit.

Our first stop was John’s Market for beer. Those of you who don’t live in Portland, won’t know it, but John’s is the best place to buy beer in the world. Well, that’s a little hyperbolic, but it’s true from my experience. Dad and I picked (with careful glee) a 14$ (USD) six-pack of beer, including beers from OtterCreek (Middlebury, Vermont), the Rogue Brewery (Southern Oregon), Chimay (Belgium), and Späten Octoberfest (my dad’s favorite). One of the best things in this life is drinking a good brew with your father. Here’s to you pops!

Friday, I took the day off, so we could all be together. We dropped Holly, Mom, and Hannah off at play group, which was at a super cool park, way out in suburban Tualatin. Dad and I ran some errands then picked them up. After getting some sandwiches at the Grand Central Bakery, we headed out for Multnomah Falls. They are beautiful. After taking tons of pictures, we continued (butts and backs were sore, for sure, after this day) east on I-84 to Hood River, where we took Highway 35 South to loop around east and southeast of Mt Hood and return westward on Highway 26 into Portland. That is one beautiful drive.

Friday night, mom and dad graciously watched HRH for us while I surprised Holly for our 6th anniversary (each year we take turns planning the anniversary activities and surprise the other). This year, it was my turn, so I decided to do something to really surprise her - an evening filled with Indian culture. I had found out that Ravi Shankar (sitar) was playing at the local symphony hall, and that this would fit perfectly with our recent hankering to go out for some Indian cuisine. The only tickets I could afford were the cheapest, so we ended up sitting in the most posterior seats in the house, right next to some woman who kept farting. It was hilarious. Holly was squeezing her nostrils and mouth-breathing. Anyway, the concert was nothing short of incredible, and the food afterwards was a real treat. Later, in true Horner fashion, we swung by Jimmy Mak’s for some live jazz and then called it a night. What a woman Holly is!

Saturday, we headed to a small German town south of Portland (Mt. Angel) for the annual Oktoberfest. It’s a huge affair that draws many, many people from afar. There was a ton of umm-pa-pa umm-pa-pa, beer, and lederhosen. Fantastic. The wursts (mit kraut und brot) were filling. Saturday night we took Dad out to dinner for his birthday at a fabulous restaurant down the street (a seafood place, Seasons and Regions). Amazing food. Happy birthday Dad!

Sunday was the debacle of the visit. We went to church in the morning and then headed out for a visit to the volcano, Mt. St. Helens. Let me just say that it was a CLEAR DAY when we started. However, when we got there, it had become completely socked in with fog. Normally, the entire field of view at the Johnston Ridge Observation Center is the crater, but we couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front of us! Alas! You’ve gotta love the NW weather. Hehe.

Everytime someone visits, there must come that time when they have to leave. So, it was with sad, but fulfilled faces that we said goodbye to mom and dad at the airport.

We had a fabulous time with my parents, and I’m so very thankful that we’ve had the opportunity to host them here at our home. Thanks mom and dad! We had a blast! We can’t wait to have you here again. I’ll try to get some pictures up soon.

Posted by pederhorner at 4:43 PM

04 September 2003

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, part II - Uncle Marty Visits...Oregon Wine Tasting... the Pacific Coast...

Holly’s brother Marty (Uncle Marty to Hannah) visited us last Saturday through Wednesday, and we had a FANTASTIC time. From the moment he arrived, we were busy seeing the sites and spending some great quality time together (all four of us).

First, we went to the Portland Bite, the PDX food and music festival. It was hot, but we were able to enjoy some good music (the Flat Mountain Girls played!) and good food by some of the local restaurants, including plenty of Widmer Hefeweisen beer and bratwursts from a local German deli. I don’t see how any festival can be complete without good beer and German sausages. Do you?

Then, we took Hannah home, rested for a half an hour, retrieved the babysitter (she’s only 14 and can’t drive, you know), and headed downtown to get some Italian food before going to the Nickel Creek show at the Roseland Theater. They brought down the house. They played an energetic (and long!) set, then broke for encore. When they came back for the encore, they played, at the front of the stage, huddled together, 4 encore songs, the last being a (nearly) acapella version of Be Thou My Vison.

Posted by pederhorner at 5:02 PM