This weekend was one of those amazing weekends you don't want to start blogging about, because you're acknowledging that the weekend has past. Little expectation turns into an unforgettable weekend--those are the best kind of weekends. It would be like Barry Greenstein calling you up and asking if you could fill in for him and take his seat on High Stakes Poker for a night--and play with his money.
"Well, Barry, I had planned on sitting on my ass in front of the computer with a bag of cheetos and a few MGD's, but sure! I'll take your seat!"
The weekend started out with a bit of indecision on my part. I had talked with "Leia" about possibly going on a motorcycle ride on Sunday or Monday, but she had a previously arranged bowling get-together and the weather looked terrible. We had talked about going over to a hot springs on the Olympic Peninsula and making a long day-trip out of the ride, but she intelligently pointed out that we'd be riding back in the dark and rain. We'd both be tired and wet, which could be disastrous on a motorcycle. I didn't have high hopes for the kind of ride I wanted to take with her this weekend. Although to be fair, the summer ride along the coast with a sunset isn't going to happen anytime soon.
Another indecisive thing going on was Andrew's invitation to come down to Portland for the weekend. He called me Thursday evening and was looking for a clue as to whether I would be coming down. I looked up the weather forecast, saw rain, and decided that I wouldn't be coming down for the weekend. The cost of gas to drive down in the Explorer is just silly, and riding down on the motorcycle in the rain just wasn't appealing. I might still be doing something with "Leia," so I decided to keep my options open with her.
Friday rolls around, and I start my last day of observation at Salmon Bay. The day is gorgeous, and I start to question my decision to put off the visit to Portland. I didn't have any big plans in Seattle on Saturday, and the sun was shining, so I called up Andrew and asked if it was still alright with him if I zoomed down after my classes and observation. He was excited for me to come down and finally see his and Becca's new place.
The sun mixed with clouds to scare me into ditching out early from my observation Friday afternoon. I wanted to get down to Portland as quickly as possible, and in the least amount of traffic, so I headed out around 2pm from Seattle and left a note for Anna saying I'd be back Tuesday to finish up my observation.
The drive down was alright for the most part. I hit a couple patches of rain, but I got down to Portland around 5pm, which isn't bad at all for a Friday afternoon. I only stopped once, and I didn't even get off the bike to get gas, which is a bit rough for a 180-mile stretch of 70mph highway riding. On the way back up to Seattle, I stopped for gas and walked around, then stopped again for breakfast.
Made it down to Portland and got there just as Andy (Andrew other roommate) was on his way out the door for a bus ride up to Seattle. The two of us got an hour of Guitar Hero in before picking up Becca and heading out to the Olive Garden for dinner. The three of us met Po and his girlfriend and it was Po's girlfriend who really wanted to go to the Olive Garden for some reason or another.
Dinner was an absolute blast, three of us got the all you can eat soup, salad and bread-sticks combo, and Andrew and I split a 2-liter bottle of wine. Nice! Po's girlfriend actually turned out to be a pickier eater than I am. I have never met a pickier eater than myself, outside of severe allergies or veganism--and even then the vegans and allergics eat a wider array of food than I do. We were listing off foods we liked instead of disliked.
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches? Just peanut butter.
What do you put on your hot dog? Nothing, just have it plain.
What do you have for breakfast? Bagel for me, Cheerios for her.
She drank the broth out of the soup bowl, but not the actual vegetables in the vegetable soup.
The only thing I don't eat that she does is salad dressing, but we found a few things I eat but she doesn't, so she won the "Pickiest Eater" title.
After getting back to Andrew's place, we grabbed a few tall-boys and hit the 9th floor hot tub and had a pretty cool view of the rainy city. I love hot tubs. We got pruned and decided to see if the trolley was still running. Andrew and I headed down to Ground Kontrol to drink some more and play arcade games. Always a good time at Ground Kontrol, even though the PBR Representative wasn't there this time... damn! I beat Andrew at Missile Command and he had to do 10 push ups, sucker--don't challenge or accept a challenge from me at that game, boyyeeee!
Once we were finished playing arcade games, we made the mandatory trip to Voodoo doughnuts, and Andrew got hit on by this intoxicated girl. We were both wasted by that point too, and we both found it incredibly funny. I'm not sure of the exact conversation, but it went something like this:
"I know you!" she says.
"No you don't."
"Were you at Mitchel's Bar tonight?"
"Do you live in North Portland?"
"No, you don't know me."
(Another guy walks in, and she says to him:)
"Hey! I know you!"
"Heeeey!" the other guy says, and tries to cut in front of all of us.
"Hey now, no cutting!" she says, as she pushes him to the back of the line, while Andrew swoops in and cuts them both.
"Hey! You're not that pretty, you can't cut!" she says to Andrew.
"First of all, I am that cute..." he says to her.
"OK, you're right, you are." she says bashfully.
"and second of all... here's your spot back."
The sly Andrew also managed to get off a nice "Nice Box" comment to a few ladies leaving the doughnut shoppe', who were carrying a box of doughnuts out. They responded "studly" on the way out. Andrew is just a big, happy, chauvinist drunk. Good times. We stumble back to his condo and I pass out very quickly.
Wake up Saturday with a monster hangover. Bottle of wine and four beers will do that to you if you don't drink usually. I eventually shake it off with plenty of doughnuts (we bought a dozen), water, and Guitar Hero!!! Again, the day was beautiful, so the two of us decided to head out to the nice Portland State turf field and kick around the soccer ball. I love to hack, but I suck at soccer. We must have kicked it around for a good two hours, before heading back to his place. We were hungry for something other than doughnuts, so he hopped on the Honda Ruckus and I got on my bike and we headed for Monsoon Thai.
That place is bomb. So much Thai for $9. We stuffed ourselves and bloatedly got back on our bikes to play more guitar hero and hot tub. When Becca got done helping out at her mom's veterinary clinic, the three of us headed over to Stacey's work and had some drinks and food. Andrew and I got a game of snooker in, where he had a pretty good come from behind win against me. I was due for one of those losses, I'm just glad it didn't come at the hands of Marc. Stacey joined us back at Andrew's place for some guitar hero (after all, she does play a bass in a band). She was rocking out hard and a good time was had by all.
Becca crashed early and eventually Stacey had to go. Somewhere in there I had a chance to check my email and "Leia" emailed me back about our little motorcycle trip. She had canceled her bowling outing on Sunday, and wanted to start early. I gave her a call for the first time and let her know I was down in Portland, but if she wanted to start a little later, I'd be up for it. We decided on just biking up to the cabin and staying the night. I wasn't sure if she'd want to stay the night with practically a stranger, but she seemed pretty cool with it.
I wasn't really sure what to expect with "Leia." I gave her a massage in the hot tub in Hanford without knowing her name, and she seemed to like it, but I wasn't quite sure if this motorcycle trip would be platonic or not. I knew we'd have a good time either way, and I was totally fine with either option. I'm not the one to pressure anybody into anything, except my really good friends when I know they are just being a wuss. This motorcycle trip was her first trip longer than a few miles, so she was excited to get out on the road.
It didn't rain on us until the very last stretch up to the cabin. We decided to head into town instead of going up to the cabin right away, because the cabin is cold and we wouldn't want to get back into our wet gear to go have dinner. Dinner was scrumptious, we both had burgers (well, I had a french dip), stuffing ourselves thoroughly. It was dark by the time we left, but not raining.
As soon as we got onto the road, it began to rain again. Balls. We slowly made our way in the dark up to the cabin and were pretty much surrounded in dark once we parked our motorcycles at the cabin. We had a high-five at making it, then I fumbled around with the keys in the dark. Finally got the door open and the light switch didn't work. Uh oh. Dad distinctly said he left the breaker on, so the lights *should* work. But the storm had been hitting the area for a while, so I was a bit concerned!
I tried a different light switch and that one worked. Phew! Apparently half of the light switches either don't do anything, or don't have light bulbs in the lamps. Got me, Dad! She zoomed over to the fireplace and got cracking on getting a fire going, and she got one up amazingly fast, although I think being an engineer had something to do with her success. I grabbed some wood from outside so we wouldn't have to go outside later, then we popped open some wine and played a few games of gin. Prop bets ensued, which led to your hero receiving an amazing back massage and returning the favor. More massaging ensued, and we fell asleep in front of the fireplace.
The next morning we got up and had some glorious breakfast sandwiches. We struggled to leave the heat of the fireplace, but eventually got out and walked around. I showed her the garden where I wanted to pet a bear when I was 4. We walked down to the Brison's gigantic log cabin and to the creek where salmon come to procreate and die. It was, of course, raining, so we didn't last very long.
Back in front of the fire and snuggled in, it wasn't easy to leave back for Seattle. We made a few failed attempts, then finally got our gear on and headed out, in the rain. By Arlington we were Popsicles, so we ducked into a diner and got some hot chocolate to warm up. We saw a patch of blue sky, so we darted out and road until almost Everett, but that took us an hour due to heavy Seahawks traffic. We stopped at a Thai place and she called a friend to let her know she'd be later than expected. She was planning on getting back to Seattle for her dance class, but with a 90 minute Everett to Seattle commute (which usually takes 20 minutes), we decided to just stay at the Thai place and have dinner.
The trip was amazing. We got to know each other, which was easy to do at a cabin with no phone or TV or anyone else. We're probably going to hang out again this weekend and see what happens. The really coincidental thing that happened with her this weekend is that she is going down to Las Vegas for a frisbee tournament the same days as the poker blogger get-together. Which may have tipped the scales in favor of me heading down to Vegas as well! Any available room to crash in, if I get any sleep? Still not 100% coming, but getting closer!
Labels: Andrew, motorcycle, poker, Portland, Seattle, Stacey