I'm finally on my way. So far so good, no cancellations or terrorist attacks. Keep your fingers crossed. Tomorrow at noon I'm off to Houston, TX for the night. While I'm there I get to see Mom's side of the family. On the way back I'll get to see Grandma and Grandpa Schauer. The other day I was trying to remember the last time I was in Houston. The last time I can remember for sure was when I was in 1st grade; but it seems that there was a more recent time. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
For the past few days I've been in Portland visiting with my aunt and uncle Jay and Amy, my cousins Ben and Liam, and my other uncle Tom. I think the last time I was in Portland was about 10 years ago. Its going to be nice to see almost everyone on this trip.
The first day I was in Portland I went to go visit PSU for a possible grad school. The school was really interesting in that it is mixed right in with down town. I wouldn't have known I was on the campus if it wasn't for the banners that said PSU hanging along the street. It was a really nice visit and pretty fun to check out a different school. I am kind of excited to go check out other schools and see what else there is.
On Saturday we all went to the zoo, using pretty much all of the public transportation. First we took the tram at the Oregon Heath Science Institute, then we took the street car to where we would catch the light rail to the zoo. It was really fun to go with Liam and Ben, who just turned 5. They ran from exhibit to exhibit. It wasn't long before Jay and I were carrying them on our shoulders.
The next day we kicked back a little and went out to get a Christmas tree. It was a good thing that Tom and I were around, because it was quite a chore to get the tree on the car and in the house. Part of the problem was that it was raining and the tree hand some extra water weight, but the tree is also 13 feet tall and has about a six foot diameter. As it was Jay had to trim down the trunk so that it would fit in the stand.
Yesterday Jay and I went out to the Crooked River to go Fly Fishing. I hadn't been fishing for a long time; it was nice to get out and go fishing. The Crooked is about a three hour drive from West Linn. The drive was great. We drove through a bunch of different biomes and there were some great road cuts. It really gives one a great respect for the Columbia River Flood Basalts. It is pretty impressive to think that parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho were covered in 100 feet of molten lava, repeatedly! The fishing was great. I think I caught 6 fish; 2 rainbow trout and 4 whitefish (it was hard to keep tract, as sometimes I would catch fish on each cast). They were all a pretty good size, at least 9 inches long. Sadly we were too busy fishing to take any pictures.
It has been really fun to stay with Jay and Amy and watch them with Liam and Ben. It is amazing how time flies. I can slightly remember being their age with Jay and Amy. Right now Mickey, their cat, is sitting on my lap. It is mind blowing to think that when I was Liam and Ben's age Jay and Amy had just got Mickey. What a cat, to say the least, as he has overcome diabetes, a stroke, a tumor, and Karl and me and is now patiently accepting the love and affection of two five year olds.
Tomorrow I am off to Houston, then Guatemala. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to update the blog, but it will be on my list of things to do. Until then, have fun and try not to work too hard!
One of the birds at the zoo caught an extra snack.