We’re back from Oregon, and Thanksgiving was overall a very enjoyable experience. We got about another inch of snow Wednesday night, but luckily the roads weren’t too bad for our drive. We arrived in Vernonia with plenty of time to relax and visit with Paul’s parents Wayne and Kathy, and his Aunt Ronda and Uncle Mike. Mike and Ronda have two daughters, Stacy and Lindsay. Stacy’s my age, married with a three year old daughter, so she wasn’t at the house for Thanksgiving (she spent it with her husband’s family). Mike picked up Lindsay though, and we all ate dinner together and then played Dominoes.
Friday morning we were up by three thirty to drive to Hillsboro for Black Friday shopping. Our first stop was Fred Meyer. Ronda and Lindsay stocked up on socks, and Paul and I picked up a couple movies. We bought “The Hangover” for Mike and Ronda. We also checked out sales at Kohl’s (where the crowds were just too much and I convinced Paul to walk across the parking lot to Del Taco to get iced tea), Target, Best Buy, and Costco. Kathy and I wanted to go to Barnes N Noble, but they didn’t open until nine, so we grabbed coffee at a nearby Starbucks and talked. Then everyone joined back up and headed over to Shari’s for breakfast. We weren’t all that impressed with the food: the bacon was limp, the hasbrowns were barely cooked, and Lindsay got eggs over easy instead of scrambled, which grossed her out.
Back at the house, we watched “The Hangover” and relaxed until dinner, which was baked lasagna that Paul and I picked up from Pizza Bank. We exchanged Christmas gifts with Wayne and Kathy. We got Wayne both of the newer “Batman” movies, Kathy a wine bottle stopper that’s shaped like a crab (she’s a Cancer, like me), and gave both of them Windows 7 for their computers. They gave Paul and I each a gift card for $100 to Eddie Bauer, so we could get warm jackets for our vacation to Yellowstone in February.
Saturday, Paul and I drove to Beaverton to meet up with my cousin Melanie and her husband Bryan. First we went to the Washington Square Mall to spend our gift cards. We eached picked out a coat. With the sales, Paul’s gift card covered the price of his coat, and I only had to pay $34.95 for mine. I was amazed by the mall and wished we had more time to check out the stores in it. We were meeting my cousins at eleven though, so we headed t McMenamin’s pub to have lunch. I love Bryan and Melanie. They have three kids, Caitlyn, Cristyn, and Camryn, and had all but Caitlyn in tow for lunch. We spent a very nice afternoon munching and hanging out. Then we went back to Vernonia, where Ronda had prepared ham and scalloped potatoes (one of our favorite comfort food dinners). After dinner we played cards. Game nights are one of the things I miss the most about living closer to Paul’s parents. Meeting up in Vernonia worked out really well for us.
On Sunday morning Wayne and Kathy headed out early to go home. Paul and I drove to McMinnville to have lunch with his cousin Stacy and her husband Curt. They had their little daughter Hallie in tow, and she was easily one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen. We ate at a local Mexican place, and the food was fabulous. Better than places I’ve eaten at in California by far.
After lunch we headed home. Traffic was heavy but not too slow, but still, it was a long trip home. I was tired and ready to be in my cozy bed, and I missed the kitties. I always miss my cats when we’re away, but since I have been away and haven’t had my mom to watch them, I worry about them more. For this trip I didn’t get a sitter, and just left out lots of food, water, and extra litter boxes. We finally got home, checked in on our babies (who were just fine and glad to see us), and went to Boston’s for dinner. They have a s’mores martini. Paul wasn’t all that enamored, but I think it’s fabulous and could drink lots and lots and lots of them.
Monday I decorated the house for Christmas, and Paul helped me put up the tree. So far the cats knocked down six ornaments overnight, and four while I was at work. Overall I’m pleased with how the decorating turned out. Since the downstairs area isn’t all that big, a little bit of decorating goes a long way.
Tonight it’s pouring rain. Paul and I are curled up on the couch watching tv, and everything is good. I’m happy it’s the Christmas season, happy that I have Paul and the kitties and a wonderful life.