It is somehow fitting that my first day back in the Lab after my vacation is one that is wet and rainy and dripping. I can’t complain about it – this is the first rain I’ve seen in almost two weeks, and the glorious weather held until the very last minute of my vacation. Not too shabby.
What IS shabby, however, is the 796 emails sitting in my inbox waiting for me to read them. I purposefully avoided checking my email until I came into the office this morning for fear that the overwhelming amount of crap would scare me into hibernation, and lo – if not for the giant Diet Coke permanently affixed to my left hand, I would be cuddling a grizzly right about now.
796, by the way, is not an exaggeration or hyperbole. It is truth. Time to apply some filters, I guess. And here I was all proud of achieving Inbox Zero at home!
Our drive home was less scenic than the drive out, but still fun. We took the Bay Bridge on the way out, driving past Berkley and Oakland to eventually meet up with the I5 and a pretty direct route home. I missed the ocean, but there were mysterious mountains, Red Bull in frightening 16oz cans, and a very fancy rest stop with free cookies and Tang. Ed discovered a deep and satisfying love for Carl’s Jr (I stand by my claim that Burgerville is the greatest ever), and there may or may not have been a stop along a deserted road in southern Oregon for a quickie in the back seat of the Mazdabator. What? Road trips make me horny.
We stopped in Salem for the night. I had an excellent reason for not going all the way to Portland, but I forgot it by the time we checked in to our horrible little hotel – I really wish we had just kept going for the last 40 miles or so. The room we ended up in was smelly and gross and it had no internet access; a complete fail all the way around. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner because it was the only thing in the phone book that looked halfway appetizing, and even though we shared an entrée it was way too much for me to eat so I pushed it around on my plate to make it look as though I was eating it, and picked at my salad instead. I’m sure Salem has some charm somewhere, but we didn’t find it that evening. I was glad when it was time to sleep.
We woke up bright and early for our last official “away from home” vacation day. We were going to PORTLAND! Oh, I love Portland. We took advantage of the whole “no tax” thing with a stop at a mall so I could stock up on skanky summer clothing and shower gel, then a trip to the Corazzo office where Ed tried on every scooter jacket known to man. He eventually chose a really cool jacket in this style, and we both picked up a pair of fancy gloves with armoured knuckles. I also bought a pair of these for Shan as a belated birthday present, and $400 later, we were on our heavily armoured way.
By the time we finished lunch at Burgerville, it was almost 2pm – we had to hit the road if we wanted to make it home before Sunday some time. Getting out of Portland was a huge hassle as the holiday weekend traffic started early, but we were soon on our way north. We’ll be visiting Portland again for a weekend later this summer, and I’ll get to go to Powell’s then. I love Portland. I think I may love it more than Seattle, and I *adore* Seattle. I would probably move to Portland if I could – we knew it was time to head home when we started looking at “for sale” signs and wondering how much a condo would go for in Oregon.
We stopped in Seattle to see Ali, Doug and River and avoid the rush hour holiday traffic at the same time. We gave River the dress we bought her in Chinatown while in San Francisco, and had a great time visiting. River is very talkative, and showed me all her cool things. Ali had made a delicious salmon dinner, and Ed and Doug got in some quality Guy Time. Before long we had to hit the road again, but we made promises to visit again soon – at least in July for Ali’s performance, if not sooner.
The border crossing was almost empty, and we rolled into Canada with no trouble. We eventually made it home just after midnight, making our trip almost exactly one week long. Josh and Shan were still awake, and helped us unload the car and hand off the borrowed items for their trip to Sasquatch. Exhausted but glad to be home, we poured ourselves into bed and looked forward to the three days of nothingness ahead.
I love San Francisco, but this morning’s ruling out of California makes me think twice about urging people to experience the city at the first opportunity.