First, I want to thank everyone for their comforting words regarding Lily's death. Your comments really meant a lot to me and helped me get through this hard time.
I am feeling better now (meaning I don't cry all the time anymore or have day-nightmares about the experience). I think my mother is getting better too. The bird lady we bought Lily from three years ago is raising more baby lovebirds right now and she told my mom she could have her pick of the litter after the birds are ready to be given away in a couple weeks. So, hopefully that will make things better for us.
I wanted to share my Portland trip with you guys. I did it journal style, because I always keep a travel journal when I venture out. So these are basically passages from it.
I hope you enjoy!
Our flight was supposed to leave at 3 p.m. but because of weather on the East coast, it got delayed until 8 p.m. Since we had already given our car to the rental company for storage, my parents and I were pretty much stuck in the airport for five hours with nothing to do.
To emphasize how crappy this is, I should tell you about our airport. We live in a city bigger than Portland, yet the airport is complete crap. It is divided into three separate buildings (with barely any transportation between). Two of the buildings are bustling with people and energy. One of the buildings isn't. Guess which building we were in.
To make time fly, my mom decided she was going to spend five hours shopping...in the two small identical bookstores our building had. So she was going to basically look at the same magazines and luggage over and over again for five hours. Have fun.
I was even more irked to discover that my dad kept running into people he knew and he hung out with them, instead of hanging out with me.
So I sat alone for five hours and texted people who were to busy to text back and called people who didn't answer their phones.
It was pathetic.
My parents and I spent the morning at Portland State, where my dad got one of his Masters back in the 1960s. PSU has a really pretty campus and it was fun to walk around and see all my dad's old haunts (which now look completely different obviously). But the physics lab where he taught hadn't changed a bit, so he was comforted by that.
That afternoon we met up with my former coworker Michael, who quit his job at the newspaper one year ago to teach English in China. He is in Portland for the summer visiting his parents before going back to China this fall. It was great to see him again and catch up on old times.
Michael accompanied us to Multnomah Falls, a beautiful giant waterfall near Portland. And then we all went out for pizza.
That night my mom and I watched the Miss Universe pageant, while stuffing our faces with fudge.
My parents and I spent all day in downtown Portland, shopping and eating. I bought a really cute black dress at Forever 21 and a pretty beige cashmere sweater at a vintage store.
That afternoon, however, a fashion disaster occurred.
You see, I was in this vintage store when I spotted Juliette Lewis. I was a bit perturbed. I mean, what the hell is she doing in Portland? She noticed me staring at her, and to make up for it, I asked her if she worked there. She seemed a bit taken aback but assured me she didn't.
Ten minutes later, I was trying to try on a few dresses in the dressing room, which was about half the size of a bathtub. Outside, I could hear people coming up to Juliette and asking for her autograph. I freaked out because I was missing all the action and fell onto the floor, twisted in my dress. The result? I broke my new Kate Spade sandals, which I just bought a month ago. It was only the second time I had worn them. I'm not sure if they can be fixed. I was devastated.
I went back to the hotel that night and had three gin and tonics.
We spent the morning in Oregon City, looking at old houses and walking around town. It was unremarkable.
That afternoon, however, I helped my dad track down his old hippie buddies. The outlook was grim.
One of his friends committed suicide in '84. Another died from a drug overdose in '78. Another one left her husband and ran off to India in the early 70s. And his ex-girlfriend became a French professor at PSU and is now a lesbian. That left us with one remaining: his extreme hippie friend Hope, who he had met in yoga class. Hope had been a beautiful hippie girl with long wild blonde hair and radical ideals. For instance, when bar codes started being placed on grocery store items, Hope told my dad "scanners are going to take away jobs from Americans!" so she dragged my dad to literally every grocery store in town where they ripped bar codes off of every item. Crazy, right?
So when we headed over to her house for dinner, I was fully anticipating hippie chic.
Um, not so much.
Hope, it turns out, lives in a freaking MANSION. After college, when my dad had moved to Chicago, Hope met a wealthy older man who is now CEO of a Portland-based company.
She opened the door to her mansion wearing a cashmere sweater, nicely pressed slacks, and a single strand of pearls. I smelled Chanel.
We sat in her museum-like living room, while she laughed off her hippie lifestyle.
"I was so young and naive back then," she admitted, with a laugh. "Such a silly, silly girl."
My dad laughed with her and said similar things. He also became boring and normal after leaving school and becoming a physicist. He hasn't done yoga since the early 70s and he quit being a vegetarian back then too.
It was dismal. How can someone believe so strongly in ideas, only to have them evaporate without a care years later? How can someone lose their passion so swiftly? I had been prepared for a wise old hippie and all I got in return was a Stepford wife.
Hope then spent the next three hours over dinner telling us every detail about her gorgeous daughter Eloise (who is my age) and who is getting her PhD in biophysics and is also a professional ballerina in her spare time. Oh, and she's engaged.
I went back to the hotel and had four gin and tonics.
The ride home was uneventful, except my parents made me drink. Literally. My dad had five drink coupons to use up on this trip and after I refused, he made a scene.
"If you're not going to drink any alcohol on this flight, don't expect to come on trips with us again!" he roared. People looked over at our aisle with alarm.
I had three more gin and tonics.
I think I'm done with alcohol for a while.
And now I'm home and you know the rest.
Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a great weekend!