Thursday, January 05, 2006

Labor Day Weekend ~ 2005

Our favorite Denver band, Devotchka played Berbati's Pan in Portland Friday night. I got all dressed up ~ hair, makeup, stockings and event in itself ~ and picked Gregg up from work. We got to Portland about half an hour before doors opened, so we stopped in at a little bar around the corner from Berbati's Pan, and had drinks and shared a bowl of yummy noodles with peanut sauce while we waited. When we got into Berbati's we noticed it is a non-smoking venue...another great surprise. We always go early, and endure the mediocre to very bad opening act, so that we can get a great seat. Berbati's has a lot of seating for this kind of venue, and there really weren't a lot of early arivals, so we got lucky. While Gregg was checking out the CDs and getting us drinks an older Russian couple showed up and sat with us. Alex and Xena. He's a retired taxi driver, and she repairs hardware for Sun Microsystems. They only moved to Portland from the San Francisco area a little over a year ago, and they definitely haven't adjusted yet. They really don't like the weather. They get out to a lot of shows, but I don't think anything like this before. They didn't know anything about Devotchka, except that it's the Russian word for "little girl". Xena seemed to be really interested in the band. They're a pretty ecclectic group. The drummer also plays an accordian. There's also an accordian/violin guy. The standing bass player is also the sousaphone player ("Tuba Girl"). And the singer also plays the theramin. I think Xena was really curious about the theramin. Anyway, I think the noise was too much for Alex, and they left about halfway through the show. We stayed to the last note, and then walked next door to the Voodoo Doughnut, where I got the Rasberry blood filled Voodoo doughnut with the pretzel stick stuck in it's chest. Great fun. We finally arrived home at 2:30...not bad considering all the fun that was had after a full day of work. That's packing a lot into a day.

Saturday morning we slept in (duh). I meandered down to Legacy Coffee at about 10 a.m. for my favorite Coffee & Danish. It's a dinky little shop that mostly sells coffee beans (grean and roasted) and other coffee equipment. They're a block from the Saturday Farmers' Market, so on Saturday they make home-made Danish and brew up coffee, and sell the pair for $2. It's the best Danish I've ever had. So I sat down there for half an hour drinking my coffee and eating my Danish, walked through the Farmers' Market and picked up some fresh tomatoes and Basil, picked up a couple of Petit Fours at New Morning Bakery on the way back to the car, and went home to pack a lunch. Meanwhile, Gregg was getting his bike ready and riding out to Newport (yes, 55 miles away). So I had a lazy, leisurely morning, and Gregg had an ambitious athletic morning.

When Gregg got to Newport I was on the beach. I'd accidentally walked into a scene where a mom was screaming and crying (basically falling apart). Her son(s) had apparently been out in the ocean with her, and when she got to shore she found one of their boards (boogie maybe, not surf) and was sure he was out there drowning. Apparently from Gregg's vantage point up at the parking lot everybody could see the two boys, and they were pretty far from where the mom was pointing the rescuers to. We watched three coast guard boats, a coast guard chopper, one or two coast guard trucks (and a bunch of coasties), two fire trucks, two ambulances, and a couple of state police vehicles. I'm pretty sure I've never seen such a big rescue presence, and they got there fast. It was pretty impressive. Of course, the two boys floated in safely before the rescuers even got to them. They were probably pretty damned cold and freaked out, but they walked out of the surf.

After all that adventure we played in the surf with Demi a little bit, and then decided to head a little further up the coast. We pulled over at a lookout where we knew there were supposed to be some resident Gray whales. We had several excellent sightings of whales...blow, back, and a couple of great fluke sightings. It was very cool. And Gregg (his father's son) was a chatty tour guide for all the tourists. It was fun for all, and the best whale sightings I've had. We're looking forward to the Whale Watch weekends coming up this year.

And tomorrow we'll cap off the weekend by going for a mountain bike ride in the afternoon. How much fun can you have in one weekend?

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