I feel like I’ve been shirking my duties in reporting all the fun things Tara and I have been doing lately. I apologize. I hate to shirk anything, especially duties.
The past four days were hectic. We had wristbands (thanks, Tracy!) for MusicfestNW, an indie rock music festival that is Portland’s answer to SXSW, and that kept us hopping every night for hours. Literally. The music was infectious! But it meant late nights and little sleep (even when I had to work the next day), so as much as we enjoyed it, we’re both glad to finally have an evening where we don’t have to go anywhere and can get to bed at a respectable hour. The rock ‘n roll lifestyle wears you out, even if you’re not in a band! It didn’t help that the weather turned unbearably hot late last week; Thursday night we found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of sweaty hipsters on a wooden dance floor that bounced and swayed with every gyration from the huddled masses, and there were lots of them gathered in the Crystal Ballroom to see Passion Pit. The energy and excitement were through the roof! But it had to be 90 degrees in there, and Friday night was even warmer. We found ourselves walking down 3rd Street in downtown Portland well after midnight to cool off, and we stopped by a food cart (who knew they were open so late?) for some late night Mexican food that was really, really good. Saturday night’s venue was smaller, more intimate, and air-conditioned. Ahh, sweet relief! Last night’s finale was an open-air concert in Pioneer Square featuring Silversun Pickups. Mercifully, the day had been overcast and cool, and we actually wore long sleeves. All in all, we ended up seeing eleven bands over four nights, most of them local Portland groups with fervently passionate but small fan bases that really deserve recognition. Bands like Helio Sequence, And And And, Radiation City, Holcombe Waller, and – especially – Typhoon. I love the music scene here, and am proud of our local talent! I believe that Portland today is close to where Seattle was twenty years ago in terms of rock ‘n roll, and I mean that in the best way possible (for a fuller review, click here).
Last weekend, we finally made it up to Windy Ridge for a close-up view of Mount St. Helens. It took Tara three tries to make it there. Last time, the road was closed and we ended up rescuing an elderly couple who were stranded in the snow. Ten years earlier, Tara and her mom were dangerously low on gas as the sun was setting and had to turn around before reaching their destination. This time we made it there without a hitch (although the kids were feeling carsick thanks to the winding mountain roads), and the weather was perfect. There was a mixture of wildflowers and early fall color, which gave us some fantastic photo ops.
Speaking of fantastic photo ops, the weekend before that (seems like ages ago now), we went up to Seattle for the requisite visit with family. You can’t stop a baby from growing, and Tara wants to see as much of her nephew as possible while he’s still cute and small and innocent rather than the bratty teenager with an attitude he’ll turn into one day. Whoops, pardon my cynicism. Anthony is adorable. So cute he makes my ovaries ache. Ahem. After spending the day with him, we headed downtown for dinner along the waterfront and a visit to the Space Needle at sunset. That was the plan, anyway. The dinner part happened without a hitch (though it took us forever and a day to find parking, one more reason why Portland kicks Seattle’s ass); we ended up eating fish ‘n chips, clam strips and chowder on a bench overlooking Elliott Bay. But sunset was fast approaching, and even though we made it to the Space Needle with twenty minutes to spare, the wait to get to the top was an hour and fifteen minutes. So we decided to head to Kerry Park for the best view of the skyline in the whole city, and weren’t disappointed. Then we drove to the Denny’s where Tracy works to kick back in the bar and listen to live music. Yes, I said Denny’s. Yes, the same Denny’s that’s well known for the Moons Over My Hammy. I had never seen one with a lounge before, but the place was happenin’ and we had a great time! Turned out to be the highlight of the trip. Go figure.
The weekend before THAT…
…was hiking and The Moondoggies. So I’m all caught up now. Yay, me. No more shirking over here.
Interestingly (and fondly), one year ago I was in Ely “to see about a girl.” That was a magical trip, and I’m happy to report that things turned out very well. But I’m sure you figured that out long ago.
Here are some pics from the last few weekends.