Friday, September 21, 2007

Portland, Oregon (no Shanghai Tunnels here, keep moving)

Last weekend I visited the lovely city of Portland, Oregon. My pal Heidi recently moved there and my friend Katy's brother was getting married in coastal Astoria. We all converged and had a great time. With the promise of resurrecting Iowa City's exclusive "the girl djs", I got an invitation and carried out the dancing/party-starting end of the girl djs work at the reception. (Actually playing music? P'shah, I didn't do that.)

This was my second visit to Portland (both have been in the Fall) and I had a great time: delicious microbrews to drink, interesting sights to see and this thing called...rain. I love photographing funny, interesting, odd signs; Oregon had an especially high number of signs I needed to photograph. I'll post two of them here:

Astoria is a small, sleepy coastal town which provided a great trip-within-a-trip. Our hotel was along a very wide section of the Columbia River. We drove over the mammoth Astoria Bridge to the state of Washington and back because, if you see a crazy bridge like this one, you have to go over it.

The wedding in Astoria was a lovely, stylish affair. The rooftop dance party was a fun, if chilly, good time. I suspect "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy rarely booms at full volume after midnight in Astoria. (fist in air).
"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." ~Caskie Stinnett

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Improving My Luminosity

I recently started a new job in a new department (same Universitarian Bureaucratic Conglomerate) and things are going well. Out with the hematology/oncology, in with the dermatology - so, some cancer is still on the radar. I don't blog much about work because; it's there, it pays the bills and I work-to-live, instead of live-to-work-and-blog-about-it.

There are some new fringe benefits to my current position: it is much closer to my home and allows me to walk a few blocks, catch a free bus up a massive hill, then walk several more blocks to-from work. No more $55/month parking fees. No more constantly filling up the gas tank. No more potentially dull times sitting in traffic. My commute wasn't too strenuous before, but my current arrangement is pretty sweet. Living in Southern California, the commute can be an issue. Ed Begley Jr., do I make you proud??

This location is very neighborhoody. Good neighborhoody. As in: restaurants, shops, places selling Aveda products and pet supplies. Walking to businesses easily is such a treat. Apparently this week 'treat' = chocolate shakes.

Another added bonus to the current gig is: product samples. Oh, glorious product samples! Hand lotion. SPF. Anti-wrinkle cream. Even the occasional hair product. {This girl dreams of the day lip balm tubes show up in a cardboard delivery box...} It sure is nice and it sure is plentiful. SPF is an important daily routine here in Sunny San Diego. It all makes sense now that I spend much more time facing the sun as I head home.

"Apply Truth liberally to the inflamed area. This is The Colbert Report!" - Stephen Tyrone Colbert

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Today is my "anniversary" of returning to San Diego. I moved here originally in 1995 and stayed for nearly 6 years. I returned to Iowa - just prior to the "worst winter in 100 years" - as that seemed like a good idea at the time. I lived there for almost 6 years. I was restless for many of those years, not feeling particularly comfortable or settled in my life. I decided another big change was in order and high-tailed it back to SD and its wonderful climate, beauty and delicious burritos.

So this is the part where normally I would reflect on all the things I've experienced, learned and enjoyed during the past year...but I don't have to because I have this blog! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Boston - Day 6

I enjoyed one last delicious breakfast in Boston and confirmation that the University of Michigan did in fact lose to Appalachian State in college football the day before. (ha!)

I strolled around Boston along the river, enjoyed a delicious slice of pizza from Regina Pizzeria and completed some more spectacular clothes shopping. I took the T back to the airport, waited about 45 seconds in the security line and boarded my lovely, TV-filled, barf-free flight back to San Diego. Thanks JetBlue! Hooray for Boston! Hooray for travel! My next trip? Portland, Oregon!

"Yankees suck!" - Boston Red Sox fans, every 10 seconds

Boston - Day 5

Saturday in Boston. Post Fenway. What is a girl to do? Shop more, eat more and see more cool stuff! Katy and I headed to The Freedom Trail for our last full day in Boston. We wound around the narrow Boston streets seeing history up close and personal: Faneuil Hall, Old North Church and Paul Revere's house.

We dined at a wonderful restaurant in Boston's well-known North End: Taranta. Our meal lasted about 3 hours and consisted of 3 courses w/one fabulous bottle of wine (none of which I photographed due to the fact it was kind of a fancy place): antipasti, delicious spinach salad with an amazing fruity vinaigrette and freshly made pasta w/seafood. Katy had the incredible lobster ravioli w/shrimp. Sadly, we had zero room left for dessert!

We both agreed that heading back to the hotel to veg out would be best: what was on the TV? Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Bucholz throws a no-hitter!! A pretty exciting end to a wonderful day.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Boston - Day 4

Fenway! Fenway! Friday we headed to the ballpark area hours before the game to hang out, drink beer and enjoy the game day vibe. We eventually found a screen to watch the Cubs on...then they lost. The Red Sox had just been swept in a three-game series with the Yankees in New York. Our game was against the Baltimore Orioles. I was able to drink Guinness at a Major League ballpark - very exciting! Fenway holds a lot of history and is a beautiful park. Now I have been there - and it rained a little -hooray! But the Red Sox lost...