This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 29, 2002 1:28 AM. The previous post in this blog was Back on the blog. The next post in this blog is Bizarre Idea of the Week. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 29, 2002

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

My record as a host to house guests has been somewhat checkered over the years, but I just finished a successful stint in that capacity for in-laws from the East. What a nice week we had, even when their toddler and ours joined forces to gang up on the adults.

One experience that I have always particularly relished is playing tour guide around Portland. As frustrated as I get with the local politicos and powers around here, this is still a great town to spend time in. And just when we locals get cocky and try to show the tourists that we know every nook and cranny of the town, something new pops up to surprise us.

Escorting newcomers to such places as the annual Italian Festival, Jamison Square Park, the Bonneville Dam, and Multnomah Falls is easy. But even such seemingly humdrum spots as Oaks Park, the new food stands in the vacant lot on SW Fourth (where the porno shop used to be), and the Nike Factory Outlet Store show a little sparkle when folks are seeing them for the first time. One of our guests is a bicyclist, and he greatly enjoyed the bike-friendliness of the Rose City. A change from his usual routes in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Our brush with greatness came when we were denied access to the main Nike Town store downtown because the Leader of the Free World was coming in to give a campaign fundraising speech across the street. We managed to leave the scene before the now-routine Portland Bush riot ensued, but we were buzzed by a military helicopter for a good 10 minutes as it hovered over downtown.

The folks of the lovely nearby hamlet of Corbett may have provided the highlight, though, as we stumbled across an anniversary party for the local grocery store and deli. The featured attractions were pony rides, and a wagon ride big enough to accommodate all 6 of us adults and 2 kids. The horses were all "rescued" animals, being cared for with great enthusiasm (and, as far as my city slicker eye could tell, with great skill) by an outfit called R & R New Options Equine.

As they say on TV, priceless.

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