Long time gone

Sorry for the length of time between posts. I was in Seattle and Portland on vacation. Bethany had a conference out that way so we decided to have me tag along and tack a couple of days on the back end to enjoy a little R and R.
We had a great time. Seattle is a really nice city. Very hip and cool and all of the things I had heard about it. Good food. Good shopping. Great views and fast efficient public transportation. It reminded me very much of the Twin Cites with it’s well kept and defined neighborhoods offering a real since of community. Lots of local businesses and home grown flavor. Trendy without being forced.
My good friend Avery came down with his wife Maureen came down from Vancouver to hang out with me there while Bethany was slaving away at her conference. I had not seen him in a while and it was a real treat. Especially since he was kind enough to bring down some cigars that are not available in the states due to our country’s outdated and backwards thinking trade policies.
Portland was a little different than expected. I had read several recent magazine articles about the city and it’s revitalization and its new found swank. Therefore, I was expecting it to be like, well, Seattle. Like I wanted it to be more than it was. What I found instead was a city that was very bohemian. Hippy but not hip. Many nice little spots but no cohesion. No overall sense of what it was or wanted to become.
I always find it interesting to visit other cities in our fair and free country. Especially because I think the “feel” of a city directly affects the people, companies and press that comes from it. Portland has been getting a ton of good press lately. It is the sort of press that Seattle used to get in the early 1990’s before they became “Seattle”. It seems like a city on the rise, attempting to capitalize on and refine it’s bohemian roots yet not quite sure it wants to go there.
This is not to say that we did not have a good time in Portland. Seeing my friend Paul was a blast. I had not seen him in several years. He was an excellent host easily flowing from his personal experiences in the city (he has lived there most of his life) to local history, politics and geography. We did some hiking in the mountains, had some great meals (breakfast at the Tin Shed was a highlight) and some unexpected surprises (McMenamin Pubs and an impromptu art viewing at his friend’s gallery).
On a sad note, I lost my digital camera while in Seattle. Bethany, Avery and Maureen (his wife) ate dinner at The Bombay Grill on Friday night. The food was very good but I brought my digital camera in to take pictures. It was in a case and I sat it by my chair. I forgot all about it and, therefore, never moved it from beside my chair. We were having a good time and were the very last people in the restaurant besides the staff when we finally decided to leave. Bethany and I arrived back in our room and it was then that I realized that I left the camera at the restaurant. I called the following day and several days after and they claim that it was not found… Now, this means that someone must have taken it (i.e. one of the staff) as we were the last ones out that were not staff.
I wish I could say that this was simply a plan to provide a reason to get a new digital camera especially the one I have been lusting after for a while. Alas, if it was, I would have made sure that I could afford a new one first. Since I can’t, I guess I will have to be without for a while.