Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend in Portland

We had a nice weekend in Portland. It's nice being able to visit family no matter how far away they are.

The first night we stayed in my in-laws house. The second night we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express as my sister in law would be staying in the house with her daughter and her girlfriend Kelly. The third night we were back in the house as Jami stayed in Portland with friends. The fourth night we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in Portland next to the airport.

My niece Haley is absolutely amazing. Her mother ,Jami, is doing an excellent job raising her. I have never seen a 23 month old with such an extensive vocabulary. Haley can carry on a conversation with no problem. Haley is also really tall for her age. I mean really tall. Something in the water in Sacramento.

Jami also brought along her new girlfriend Kelly. We met Kelly back in February when we went to the San Jose. At first Haley had a problem with two women with the same name, Kelly and Kelli. Being so intelligent she got over it quick. Kelly is very nice and down to earth, much like Jami. Kelli and I are glad Kelly and Jami are happy together as they are a good match.

Saturday morning we went to the Portland Rose festival. We had a good time. All of the rides had age and height restrictions. Riders had to be 2 years old and higher than this arbitrary line. Haley isn't two yet...but she passed for 2 easily. She rode a few rides without a problem. She rode the Merry Go Round once without being rejected for being too short. The second time though the employee said she was too short and refused to let her ride. Hmmm yeah. We left soon after that, Haley had a good time.

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Kelli the Unibomber

I love cotton candy. I eat it whenever possible. Cotton candy is also something I give to Haley and Gianna (my other niece on Kelli's side of the family) whenever I see them.

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I give cotton candy to Haley each time I see her, mostly because I love it and she makes a mess

Kelli and I love a TV show called Man vs Food. We have plans to visit many of the restaurants he visited. So far we have visited two; The Big Texan in Amarillo and now Salvador Molly's in Portland.

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On the TV show, Salvador Molly's looked huge. In reality it's pretty small. The host of the TV show, Adam Richman, tried the Great Balls of Fire challenge at Salvador Molly's.

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The Great Balls of Fire Challenge is simple...eat 5 cheese fritters and all the sauce. The catch? Well each cheese fritter has at least 5 habanero peppers inside and the sauce is almost entirely made of habanero peppers. I love spicy food. I have eaten many spicy foods before. I figured this would be no problem.

I was wrong. I was really wrong. The first bite sent flames through my mouth, down my throat and into my stomach. Did I say I was wrong?

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I already had a plan on finishing. I would use A LOT of sauce on each bite to avoid having to drink the sauce at the end.

John, my father in law, ordered me a glass of milk. Before it arrived I drank 1/2 a gallon of water. The only time my mouth wasn't on fire was the first few seconds I had liquid in my mouth. I finished...but I was in pain. I could barely speak. Pain.

I ordered a jerk chicken taco plate for lunch. I couldn't eat it. My mouth was in pain. My stomach was boiling. Bad idea. I will have my photo on the "Wall of Flame" for a month or two (they appear to rotate them in and out).

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I ended up taking the lunch to go. Afterwards Kelli, John and I did our favorite past time. Gambling!

Oregon has Indian casinos. The one we went to was waaaaay out of the way. John had previously won a good amount of money on some kind of video poker machine that is part of the state lottery. We used some of that money to gamble at a real casino.

We all had fun. I was up maybe $30 at one point. I quickly went down. Slot machines were the only games we played. They did have a few games I have not seen before in person. I also saw a ten cent machine for the first time. I have seen nickels, quarters and dollars....but never dimes! After an hour Kelli was up $120. John and I convinced her to blow it and try to win more. She lost it all. We all left broke.

The drive back to Albany was interesting. John called our GPS crazy and took us on a shorter....scenic route. His route was shorter....but I don't think it was faster. Oregon is a beautiful state and we saw a lot of interesting things. On the way back I ate my lunch. My stomach had finally settled down.

Sunday we drove down to Eugene, Oregon to have lunch with Kelli's Grandfather. Sunday was his birthday. For lunch we went to Sizzler!

Sunday evening my brother in law Bryan came over to the house with his wife Jessi. Kelli's family loves board games. I have never really been into them. They played two games before we had to leave. It had been a long day. Our flight back left at 6AM Monday. We would have to get up at 2AM to check in and then leave the hotel by 4:30AM. I wanted to be in bed by 10PM Sunday night. I had to be the "bad guy" and make Kelli quit playing games by 7:45PM to make the drive to Portland and get gas twice. We were low on gas in Albany. Oregon is one of the two states where it's illegal to pump your own gas. Getting gas can be very slow. At 7:48PM we were backing out of the driveway. I asked Kelli what time she thought we would be at the hotel. She said "9:30PM". She then admitted she had no idea where the hotel was. Hmm yeah. I punched the address into the GPS. The ETA was 9:44PM and we had not stopped for gas yet.

Kelli is just as stubborn and hard headed as I am....maybe more so. She was determined to make 9:30PM. She made it....but only by speeding at least 5MPH over the speed limit the entire way. We were in the hotel at 9:28PM. Bed by 10PM.

We checked in at 2AM and were numbers 1 and 2 on the list. We left the hotel at 4:30AM. By 5AM we were walking into the airport. At 5:50AM we were sitting in my least favorite first class seats....3A and 3B. These seats are bulkhead seats at the front of the cabin. Eh....still better than coach.

The flight was fine.

Our next trip is in 3 weeks. We will be going to Sacramento for a wedding. I am sure getting there could get interesting. I am betting we will fly into San Jose or San Francisco.

Slot machine should arrive today.

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