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Monday, September 18, 2000

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Visiting in Portland

Lauri, her sister Aurora and I went to Portland to visit Aurora's inlaws today. We picked up Aurora at her friends's place near Seattle and I had a second breakfast. They have a big house with natural wood siding and a comfortable looking freeform yard. It looks like very comfortable place to live.

We made pretty good time to Portland, or rather, Vancouver, WA on I-5 and I-205 even with potty and coffee stops. It's a nice drive through a scenic countryside. We listened to part of the first Harry Potter book. I've never read one so it was interesting to see what all the fuss is about. Now I need to get the book to see how it ends.

We stopped in Vancouver to have lunch with Aurora's father-in-law, his wife and his daughter. The daughter came to guide us into the neighborhood as it's a bit complicated but a lovely place. They have a deck that overlooks a narrow garden where they've done a nice job in landscaping it and putting flowers.

We ended up at the Cosmic Cafe for lunch which was cosmically strange. It's just a tiny little new age coffee shop and they didn't really know what they were doing. Most of their business is takeout to local businesses and it was like they didn't know how to handle walk in customers. We finally got our sandwiches and after eating Lauri, Aurora and I continued on to Portland on WA-14 and I-5 to visit Powell's.

We got very turned around in downtown Portland thanks to all their one way streets and transit only streets. I like downtown Portland but it's very tight for driving though great for pedestrians and transit. We finally made it to Powell's parking garage which is a tiny four story place with very tight corners, but it's free.

We spent a couple hours here browsing. Elliott's, in Seattle, is similar but Powell's is tops. I've met people all over the country who know Powell's. The greatest thing is that they have both new and used books shelved together so you can find both out of print and new books by the same author. This is so cool if you're trying to read all of an author that you've just found. I picked up several mysteries and would have liked to get more but I showed restraint.

After tearing ourselves away we went back to Vancouver to have dinner with Aurora's inlaws. It's always a little strange meeting relatives of relatives by marriage since you only have a tenuous relationship and in this case it was even more tenuous since they were Aurora's inlaws but on the other hand, not totally unconnected. Other languages are so much better than english at explaining these distant, by marriage, relationships. It was very enjoyable and I was glad I came.

It was dark by the time we started back to Seattle and I let Lauri drive since I had driven down and don't really like driving at night. Mike was asleep by the time we got back and I just said goodnight and went to bed, ready to sleep.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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