Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Homecoming away from Home

I have felt a little nostalgic lately- I think the quickly approaching fall has made me a little homesick. Fall was always my favorite season in Boone and the changing leaves have left me reminiscing on past memories of cool days on the porch at Mellow Mushroom, trail runs through the fall slush, and calm drives through the bright leaves on the parkway with the windows down and heat on (add a good mixed cd and you have my ideal driving situation).

Homecoming at Appalachian is next weekend and I must say I am very sad I won't be in attendance this year (if for no other reason I will miss Mom and Larry swing dancing at the alumni dance). Homecoming at ASU has always been one of my favorite weekends of the school year, and Ambassadors was a big part of that. Hearing former Ambassadors tweet and facebook about catching up, hanging out, and loving ASU at the football events makes me remember why Ambassadors and ASU as a whole was so important to me. Two years ago (senior year in college) at this time, I was making frantic and somewhat crazy last minute preparations for the float, alumni dinner, and other Ambassador Homecoming festivities- I think I even earned Homecoming Nazi title (and this is NOT a compliment). And while it was stressful, crazy and very time-consuming, I miss Ambassador Homecoming, and I definitely miss Boone.

I received a piece of mail today that definitely sped up my walk down memory lane. My papa has been very adamant about my adding some new pictures to my photo wall, preferably ones of him. Now what he doesn't know is that I have a separate photo wall (one I look at every day) that is a giant cluster of pictures and on this wall he appears not only once, but twice (ranking up there with Eisley!). But today I received a new picture, and Papa, I can guarantee this one will make it on the wall!

But with the change in seasons, it is very exciting to see how Portland celebrates fall. We are enjoying our little porch and the cool breeze that passes our way. The leaves are starting to change here as well and Forest Park provides plenty of hiking opportunities when I am missing the parkway. There are lots of exciting festivals and events in the fall and we are taking the chance to attend as many of those as possible... especially CYCLOCROSS!!!! Cross Crusades is a massive schedule of cyclocross races in the Portland area and we are learning that mud, crazy competition, beer gardens, and even wasps are all part of the festivities. More details to come on this after Sunday (first race of Cross Crusades). Stay tuned!

(No that's not Ross, but it gives you an idea of what cyclocross is really like!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The best and the worst

Mom and Larry made their big trip to Portland and from what Larry tells me, they are lucky to have made it! After a delayed flight leaving Charlotte, the two adventurers had to sprint through the Minneapolis airport to make their connector flight to Portland. All the while I am at work, stressing that they won't make it on schedule. Needless to say, my boss saw me super excited in the morning, stressed and freaking out at lunch, and jumping for joy at 3pm when I called it quits for the week and went to the plane to pick up my visitors.

Upon arrival, I soon learned that I wasn't the only one who had a stressful day. Apparently Mom was being obnoxious on the plane. Larry describes her incessant chatter in such a way: "First she poked me. The she told me what she was going to tell me. Then she repeated it. Then she asked if I heard what she had said. Then she turned to her other neighbor and interrupted his reading to talk to him." Mom made so called "best friends" with her aisle seat neighbor on the plane, asking endless questions and sharing her flying anxieties. Apparently she started their conversation by interrupting his novel with "So, are you going to Portland?" Keep in mind this was on a flight to Portland and there were no connections to a further point except Alaska... odds are, he was going to Portland. Larry says he could tell that the man was planning a way to hang himself from the oxygen mask tubing by the end of the flight.

I imagine the scenario looking something like this... Mom as the child and Larry the Mother.

After the drama of the flight we enjoyed a relaxing weekend full of sunshine, porch chats, local beer, and scattered meals. The usual day consisted of getting up at 6ish and going to bed around 9, but hey, that's not much of change from my every day life.

Mom's favorite part of the trip was Saturday market at the water front, aka the best people watching location in the city. She insisted that I take pictures of every pack of runners and every cute dog, but I was conveniently a little slow to get my camera out. I did consent to one picture of the sun-goddesses on the nasty steps of the Portland waterfront.

After trying all the local favorites, Widmer beer, NW 23rd happy hour, and pictures in the gorge, we said our good-byes for now. See you at Christmas Mom and Larry!

In other news, Eisley has relapsed with meningitis. This will be the fourth time she has had to go on prednisone (aka steroids) to treat her mysterious illness. We are hoping for a speedy recovery so she can go back to eating Henry.