The Bachelorette Party
Alas Karen could not make the party due to illness, so I made sure to do right by her for facilitating fun. I volunteered to be the designated driver in place of the pregnant lady. And then I wouldn't have to worry about spending money on booze, because booze be pricey!
It is such a beautiful drive down to Portland. Cruise down 101, wind past Olympia, sure there's a few boring stretches but it goes by pretty fast. Then bam Vancouver then you're in Portland town, baby! Barely time enough to run out of recently updated podcasts to listen to.
I cruised through downtown and the Pearl District first, to check out the rubble that was my old school campus. They moved into a new building and have torn down the warehouse that was the old school. It didn't have windows in most of the classrooms and the number of bathrooms was vastly undercode I'm sure, but still that was where I made so many memories for four years. And it's gone. I got to the school after all the walls have been torn down but the cement steps were still there. I reached through the grate and grabbed a hunk of rubble.
From downtown, I went out east on Burnside, but not after getting frustrated with slow walkers in the Pearl. Argh.
Parked at Mel's and hauled out the trunk that's the second of my three nuptial gifts for her and Alain. Gifts all over the place! And my leather bag is perfect for travelling with. I continue to be stoked on my bag. Mel changed into her party outfit and I changed into mine. I did my makeup before my drive so I wouldn't have to do it upon arrival in Portland. So yeah, dress on and I was good to go!
Johanna, Mel's sister, arrived at the house too. She looked styling in a black dress. The party theme was spooky/black clothes. I had my leather boots, black tights, black dress with see through bits, black hoodie, and leather jacket. Everyone was dressed so well! I drove us to Sara's house for the pre-shindig. Sara had chips and dip, and Dara and Danielle brought cupcakes and cookies. Yum! I ate a bunch of everything and cranberry juice. Sara had a rockin' tartan cape over her black ensemble. Dara and Danielle had black with white detailing dresses. Such a rad looking bunch. Mel got some gifties from D & D, and a skull pin with a ribbon saying Mel's Bridal Hell. Because the bride has to wear something to mark her status! Once we had snacked and toasted, we headed out to Fright Town: a three house haunted house in a convention center in Portland.
I'd never been to a haunted house before, so I was stoked on that, and Sara had located some discount coupons so we all got $5 off! We parked in the residential neighborhood and walked the few blocks to the Moda Center. I was expecting oodles of lines but there were not many outside, and tickets were bought with little line wait. Bags were checked and in we went! The space had exteriors of each haunted house with queues marked and people checking the ticket. There were players hovering around...basically actors in horror garb interacting. They were not allowed to touch, but they sure did creep! There were clowns and zombies and ghosts of all sorts. The first house had a general horror/clown strobe maze vibe. Had a nice vibe and different neat set pieces, including a black light painting hall. The second house (you could go in any order, just the ticket was only good for three house visits) had a zombie apocalypse theme with tons of corpses hanging and chickenwire. The third house had a creature/cannibal sort of theme and it had a ton of players to hover around you and jump out at you. It had a room with a spinning circle that really was disorienting. We staggered out of the last house in one dizzy group. I led the charge in most of the houses, and got a few good scares due to that.
Next in the roster for the night was The Lovecraft; a no cover Goth bar that I've visited before about four years ago (should be an entry in my blog about that). I drove us over, with direction from Mel, and we arrived early enough that a table was snagged by Sara, Dara, and Danielle. I got one drink right at the start and made the point that I wouldn't be driving anywhere for at least an hour. Mel didn't put up a fight about my rule, and we stayed from ten till one, so that hour was well used up. Cidney and Tabitha arrived to meet us (they were not the type to enjoy a haunted house). I bought Mel a drink, as did Tabitha, and probably a couple other people. The dance floor filled up, I had a creeper make several attempts to hit on me, the fog machine made it hard to see people, but that makes for good news because then people were not seeing me dance! I'm not a qualified dancer.
Alfredo was there, Mr. Two Days Younger Than Me. It was nice to see him and chat travel and things. Shane, a former PNCA security guard, was DJing and I was able to request White Wedding for Mel. I went to Mel and told her I put in a request but didn't say what. Five or so songs later it came on and the dance floor loved it! Perfect song for the crowd and Mel was ecstatic and knew it was for her at once. We fist pumped the air and hollered and what a brilliant moment.
Some clowns showed up, maybe Juggalos, and may have gotten a bit offended when Mel asked if they were from Fright Town. Getting fresh air at 1:30 in the morning while avoiding looking at two clowns making out really makes you go, "goddamnit Portland, this is why you have a reputation." But hey, it's not a visit to Portland if it doesn't get weird!
That creeper tried once more to hit on me but I cold shouldered him just the right amount to get him to leave me alone.
But the night didn't end there. Dara, Danielle, Cidney, and Sara rendezvoused with Johanna, Mel, and I at: Hotcakes House! Another place you'll find I visited some four years ago.
Lovecraft and Hotcakes were both places I went initially with Mel too! Huh! And we went to bunches of different places.
Anyway, Hotcakes is a 24/7 pancake and breakfast place. We got there right before all the bars closed, so we were able to get a table and get orders in. I got hashbrowns and a single hot cake. Others got other variations on hotcakes and biscuits. It hit the spot! I ate heartily and loved it. Yum yum. I drew in my sketchbook and I should scan those tomorrow. We had two square tables pushed together in the back part of the dining room. Other booths had teens in them, oh those kids out late having fun but can't go anywhere but here. It was nice to see them making memories like that. Hopefully a good time to remember for years from now. A large post-bar group arrived just in time to claim our table space. Hugs were deployed and off we went into the night! We collected Alain (the groom) from Sara and Jason's house and it was just after 3am when we all crawled into bed. Different beds, of course. Mel kindly hosted me for the night.
Alain makes a mean cuppa morning coffee, I tell you what. We talked collections, and collections of collections. The more people I can tell about The House on the Rock, the better. I got a sneak peek at some of the wedding decor. It's going to look so amazing! The wedding is next weekend and I need to pick out a dress. Maybe I should just wear what I wore to Nathan and Helen's? It's a cool dress.
I'm stoked to be back in Portland for a longer visit. It really isn't that far, I should visit more often.
As per tradition I had pre-drive brunch with Heather (sometimes it is Heather and Daniel). I met her at Dragonfly in Nob Hill and we moved on to la Bouchelier where I ordered up a grilled panini and got a chocolate croissant for the drive. The panini came with a salad, which I was happy about. I need more vegetables in my life.
We gabbed about etymology and friendship and creepers hitting on you and all sorts of things. I could talk to Heather for hours. She is so smart, insightful, broad, and all around wonderful. I am really lucky to have so many people call a goober like me their friend.
Parted ways around 2 in the afternoon and off I went back home. It's such a nice straight shot as you're pretty much on I-5 after two turns in Portland, and then you don't turn again till Olympia and that is pretty much straight onto 101. Stopped to stretch my legs a couple time and get some free rest stop coffee. When I got home, Mom and Dad were there (I knew they'd be here) and they had hauled out the raft. No more cute seal pictures for the season.
I unpacked and they prepared a chicken and veggie dinner for which Celia joined us. I talked about my fun weekend and showed a few pictures. Post dinner, the three of us watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks on VHS up in the garage room. Love that movie.
My computer was being wonky so I opted to just go to bed instead. Dad made poached egg on toast with Hollandaise sauce for breakfast, and he made a second for me because I'm special.
The chores for today were firewood and wood burning centric. I helped pull up logs from the beach and I pulled brush out of the woods to throw on the burn pile. The burn ban has been lifted, so we got a pile going out by the drainage field. Dad hauled the heavy stuff in the truck. Once we got a good pile going, we sat down for tea and watched it burn down (ya know, for safety). Then they packed up and headed out and I was left to relax, and relax I did! Don't know what I'm doing for the rest of the week, work wise, but I'll be doing something. Now to bed with me.