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PORTLAND, OREGON
7/15/04-7/19/04
As the photos suggest, Portland was sort of a blur.  Combine an all star weekend of Dave Aman and Michelle's engagement party, with Kalley and Cereseto, Peter and Ryan, and Steven and Susan in town, as well as the opening of Rob and Josh's new bar - the Slow Bar - what else would you expect.  Thank gawd Fred and Cherish put us up all weekend, complete with a stocked fridge and Star Wars videos, or who knows what would have happened. 

Thursday night began with a return to Montage, which is an old favorite, specializing in comfort food and malt liquor, mmmmmmm . . . malt liquor!! It was a great turn out, with Mary Jane Aman making a surprise appearance.  We were all having a great time, until Josh and Julia showed up, and Mike and Josh got into a good ol' fashion tequila fight; then we had an even better time.  Luckily it was called a draw before any serious liver damage could be done. 
Friday? was pretty sweet.  We forced in a good long run, complete with grazing on roadside blackberry bushes, running on railroad ties, and getting a rather disturbing view of some unlucky cat sawed cleanly in half by a train (Ruthie did not want to include this part in the update, but hey, it was an experience).   The rest of the day was spent wandering around downtown Portland and its Northwest section (which seems to be getting fancier and fancier), buying a big "rocket box" at REI for the top of the car (ahhhh, organization) with Fred and Cherish's, errrr . . . help, getting a much needed car wash (our car was starting to smell like a football locker room), and checking out the newly revitalized Pearl District.  The Pearl was a bit of a shock, compared to what it looked like even a few years ago, but we agree that it is a great new edition to Portland's culture and feel.  We even ran into our friend Jeff Gunderson while eating at a sidewalk table at Manzana.  Over cocktails, he regaled us with stories of his Central American and Southeast Asian travels.   By the way Jeff, hope the 5:00 a.m. surf was worth it the next day, as you missed a pretty crazy night. 

Feeling pretty gamey, Kalley and Cereseto were good enough to let us exploit their hotel room shower, which had a fantastic view of Mount Hood.  Then it was off to Slow Bar, which has been getting rave reviews in Portland, and it lives up to them all.   Nothing quite like going to a bar owned by your buddies.  Long story short, and three or four bottles of Veuve later, we concluded that Slow Bar is indeed very well.  High back red leather booths, big LCD screens, and funky minimalist art.  These qualities coupled with a great p?unk rock juke box and stiff drinks will no doubt keep the joint in business indefinitely.   The night ended, sort of, at Jenny and Trent's house.   In a nutshell, we learned more about the two of them that night than we had in our entire seven years of friendship - thanks you guys - your new house rocks!

Saturday was late sleeping (surprise, suprise) and more city walking, which is endlessly satisfying in Portland, and an afternoon nap.   Mike says:  mmmmmmmm . . . afternoon nap.    Then we were off to Scott and Nicole's for Dave and Michelle's engagement party.  It was perfect.  The perfect house, perfect food, and a keg-er-ator full of Bridgeport IPA.   Anyhow, the weather was nice and balmy, we saw a few rainbows, and it was a pretty relaxing evening, that is until we ended up at the Boiler Room singing Karaoke with Dave and Michelle, Fred and Cherish, and Elaine Brown.  As always, we sounded better than the originals!!  

Sunday was one of the best parts of the stay, a 3 hour hike along the Waukeena Falls Trail in the Columbia River Gorge, with Gabe, Elain, Steven, Susan,  Gabe's childhood friend Elam, and of course, Ursa (Fred and Cherish's over zealous black lab).  There were truly breathtaking waterfall views, as well as Multnomah Falls itself, but of course we forgot the battery pack for our camera.  Oh well, go to a website and look up pictures of the falls, they will likely be better than ours.

The trip ended with a tasty Brats BBQ at Darius, Shannon, Isiah, and Delilah's beautiful new house by the law school - damn, Darius can cook!!  We loved the house, which was immaculate and modern, yet in the forest.  We had not seen Isiah in two years, and he is practically a man (well a small man, but he is more articulate than either one of us, knows where Redding, California is at the age of 9 years old, and he gets to get corn rows next week.  Oh yea, thanks for the new linens Shannon and Darius.  We checked out the new Lewis and Clark law library the next morning - what an incredible addition.  It fits the school seemlessly, in steel, wood, and concrete, is well hidden in Tryon Creek Park, and seemed to have ethernet connections every six inches.  Mike was not sure if he should be happy for the achievement or to feel ripped off since it was not there when he was.  Su?ppose the former one will win, it is better for the psyche.
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