what do you do when you wake up at 4 am?

we both did, yesterday morning, and I almost just went back to what probably would’ve been unrestful sleep, but he persuaded me to wake up and suggested a day trip to Portland.

somehow, that just clicked. (did I say that I’ve been bored?)

we got up – Chad shaved (back down to the goatee) and I did my exercises, we both showered, packed a couple of sandwiches and enough clothes & gear in case we ended up camping someplace…now that we have sleeping bags and a tent.

and we were out the door and on the road in the grey pre-dawn. a little drizzle south of Olympia (where we stopped hoping for B&B, but ended up with Starbucks instead), and a solid couple of hours of driving. not a lot of traffic, so we rolled along at top speeds. Chad driving, of course; the freeway thing stresses me out pretty hard.

we got into down and drove around in circles for a bit, looking for the Saturday Market. finally found it, parked (fed the meter), and wandered about. the market hadn’t really gotten rolling for the morning (it was only 8:30 am), but there was some kind of people/dog fun-run getting ready to go. so many dogs….

but it was entertaining walking around the early morning market, watching people set up. my favorite vendors at these sorts of things are always the ones selling things they’ve made: jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, painting, woodwork, etc., etc. then we wolfed down the sandwiches and took off to Powell’s Technical Bookstore, to drool over the tech books and up the street, originally to head for the main Powell’s, but we ended up wandering around a Whole Foods store, buying some potato salad (saved for later in the cooler), and looking up the address to a pizza place Chad knew of.

the last time we were in Portland was also a random drive down, tho then it was to go to Fry’s, where we bought mobo/chip combos and a hard drive. but we also went up to Washington Park, but not all the way through. this time, we drove through most of the park and wandered around a little in the Rose Garden (no blooms yet, of course) and the Arboretum.

and I finally saw the Pittock Mansion. eight or nine years ago, when I lived in the Hell House, Myke had a vid that he’d taken there of the outside of the house, the gardens, and the panoramic view of the city. it always seemed like a very cool thing, but I’d never gone myself. we didn’t go inside ($5 each?!), but wandered around the perimeter. and yes, it’s a fabulous view of Portland. the house itself is quite intriguing as well; as Chad said, it’d make a great basis for a “country estate” in a story or game: huge stone building in (I think) a Gothic Revival style, with copper accents and red tile roofs.

then back down into the city, this time to 23rd (Ave?) NW for pizza at Escape from New York Pizza. faux surly guy at the counter, asked me where I found “that guy” – Chad’s reply that he’d just turned up, counter guy replied “you gotta watch out for those Clark Kent midwestern types.” indeed. very tasty basic “old school” ‘za – one big slice of pepperoni and I was happy. then we walked around a bit – wow, that neighborhood has gotten yuppified. Pottery Barn & everything!

<detour where=”into the past”>
Myke lived on Glisan just off of 23rd, back in 1992/3, when I first met him, in a big old house that was being changed over from a (girls’ home? nursing home?) into something else. Raul & I stayed there for a few days during my spring break freshman year. it was an eerie house, obviously very old, with a native beauty to its structure, but since then abandoned, torn apart, covered over, etc. Myke, and his friends who stayed/dropped by, lived in it like transients almost, tho Myke was pretty well settled in. his room had this weird ceiling – some kind of plaster effect so that it looked to be frozen as it dripped. or something like that.

that trip was probably the second most memorable thing that happened during my freshman year of college.

and my impression, vague as it was, was that the whole neighborhood had that feel – like old town Pas. at the end of high school – of a place about to be: a little hip, some cool quirky things, but still run-down.

and, like old town, it’s been taken over by the yuppies. 🙂 at least they looked like the hipper class of yuppies.

we got ice cream, and went back down to the market to pick up a wall hanging from a hippie chick stall.

more in a bit….