Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Camping and Downtown Portland


We didn't have too much time left together, Jackie was leaving to teach in Korea soon, so we headed out to camp at Nehalam Bay State Park. Before we started dating, before I moved to Portland, she had camped there alone. I remember that time well. I spoke to her on the phone at night whilst laying in my car after work, staring at the empty skies and wishing I were with her. Now we were headed to the same place. I was excited.


Both of us worked Black Friday at Cost Plus World Market. I stocked shelves at night and she came in to cashier (slash, do customer service). It was the first time we worked at the same time. Usually I work overnights and she works during normal hours. Everyone had to wear elf's caps... I was stationed at the door greeting the early bird shoppers. That was pretty easy. It is not easy to keep smiling at people when you're not that interested. I think I did okay though. I'm my own worst critic.

When Jackie finally got off of work we headed to the campsite. First we went to eat at a place Jackie had been the last time she camped at Nehalam, the Sand Dune Pub. It was packed. We took quite a while to be seated, the two of us, but the food was okay, nothing spectacular. Santa Claus was there. He drank a lot. A lot. Lots of girls took pictures with him. He seemed to have a hell of a time. A band set up for the entire time we were there. No music was heard, however. Plenty of televisions showcased the day's college bowl games.


I have to say, I was not the best company the whole night (or the next day for that matter). With being tired from work, the stress from Jackie leaving and a lack of sleep, I was all over the place. It is a wonder she even put up with me that whole time.

After dinner, we headed to the campsite. We pulled up to the people who were in charge and they gave us the rundown. It was not very expensive at all (less than $10, if I remember correctly) and they were very nice. We got our assigned campground and drove out to it. Our space was pretty close to the bathrooms. Lucky us. We went to brush our teeth and get ready for bed. On the way back I nearly got lost because of the lack of light. It gets dark out there, you know? But I managed my way back and waited for Jackie.

The night was hard to sleep through. It was cold and we didn't have much sleeping bag to share. Plus, night is a vicious force which attacks my mind. Again, Jackie is amazing to still want to be there after dealing with me. We still managed to take some nice (and weird) pictures when I was well.



Morning broke and she went to the beach. I stayed in. When I joined her she was way down the beach. I ran to catch up. It had been raining and I had taken off my glasses. I put them in my shirt pocket. Finally catching up with Jackie, we had another photo session. She's a great subject to work with.





I touched the ocean for the first time. Even though I had seen the ocean once before, I hadn't actually touched it that time. Then, after I touched the ocean and took the above tennis ball picture, I realized my glasses were missing. This ruined my mood, which was on shaky ground to begin with. We retraced my steps and found them after a bit of searching. I'm lucky the tide hadn't swept them off to the abyss. Later, a dog came up and played with us. And we walked back to the campsite, ready to go home.







Arriving back in Portland, Jackie wanted to take me to the Saturday Market. I had never been. It is interesting to see. There are plenty of things to check out and buy, and plenty of people to see. Despite it being cold, there was a great deal of people mulling about. We decided to eat and, after waiting in line for about ten minutes, I got fish and chips. It was a bit disappointing. We ate at the riverfront. A band set up near us, but we left before they started to play.

Next we wandered around downtown Portland. Somehow we get turned around and could not find the parking garage where we had left the car. Great. Eventually we found it and started to drive home. On 99W heading south, we noticed we were driving next to a really fancy car. It just kept driving alongside us like it was no big deal. You don't see a lot of $185,000 Aston Martins in Tigard... (And, yes, I googled it to see how much it cost when I got home) The driver was a young kid, maybe early 20s. His passenger was a kind of pretty, but very bored-looking girl.


Voodoo Doughnuts again. This time it was too busy to stop.
 




New Mexico!


That afternoon I broke my hand, stupidly. Jackie made me put it in ice water. I swore it was not broken. Of course it was. I still went to work the next day, unloading trucks and stocking at Cost Plus World Market. Essentially, I balled up my hand and tried to get away with mostly using my weaker left hand.
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