So, last week I was on vacation - hanging out with Carla and my kids. Here's a few highlights, in case you're interested. And if you are, how sad for you . . .
Carla and I dropped by the office so she could meet some of my fabulous co-workers. My boss was her usual friendly and professional self, as was another co-worker, Jenny. Well, EXCEPT that Jenny seemed to be smirking the whole time, which had me very worried. Then we went out to a branch to meet Sue and Sandy, a couple of other co-workers. Sandy and Sue - but especially Sandy - crammed in as many warnings as they could get in while we were there. ("Did he tell you about the conditions of his parole?" "Has he done that thing yet where he talks to plants?" Has he introduced you to his imaginary friend?")
We drove to Bend in the afternoon and went to see Jeremy's freshman basketball team play Summit High School. The coaching was superb but they lost. Probably my fault. Even cooler, Carla got to meet my ex-wife, Nancy! Can you spell "awwwwkward!" I sent a text message to Jake and Elizabeth saying, "Mom and Carla are talking to each other RIGHT NOW and they even hugged each other." Both of them left me hanging with the awkwardness. They are both out of the will now.
We went to see Jeremy's freshman basketball team play Bend High School. The coaching was superb but they lost. Probably my fault. Again.
After the game we had dinner in a private dining room at the Pronghorn Golf & Country Club with a few old friends of mine in Bend. I was on my best behavior, of course.
They served us an Amuse Bouche. That's French for: "Eat this cuz it's so small it'll make you laugh." It was a teeny, tiny tomato with some salmon mousse squirted inside and a stick of something green stuck on the top. It was sooooo small that I decided the best approach was just to lean over the plate and lick it up. Not everyone thought that was the best option.
And because this is largely a bunch of people I used to go to church with, we decided to pray before the meal. Well, they decided I should pray. It went something like this, "Lord, thanks for this food and being together with friends. Thank you for blessing our time together and thank you as well for our server who is coming in the room with our meals right now so I better stop praying so she doesn't have to feel any more awkward than she already does because it would be awkward if the clanked a plate or something and made us all open our eyes and stare at her when really we're the ones who are kinda doin' something weird by praying out loud in a country club because we all know God doesn't play golf anyway. Amen." (I am not making this up.)
During the meal we had a healthy discussion about one of my favorite ideas for building a better and stronger America. See if you agree. Don't you think it would be better if men's and women's rest-rooms were always on the same side? By that I mean, men's rooms on the left and women's rooms on the right. Or vice versa. That way you always know which way to turn. Sure, there's the words "Men" and "Women" on the doors or sometimes just the little stick figure people, but that's not always enough. I just know that there is a relatively large group of women out there who would appreciate it. And yes, I'm talking about women in public rest rooms who have had a fat, white guy from Eugene, Oregon, walk in on them accidentally. My friends weren't so sure about the idea, so I asked our server. I'm not sure but I think her blank stare meant that she didn't really care.
We drove to Seattle and picked up Carla's daughter, Kristin, at the airport. That would have been the highlight of the day but then we drove out to my daughter's house. Carla and Kristin seemed to get along well with my daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Jeremiah. We had dinner and then I promptly fell asleep during the movie, The Changeling.
We went wine tasting, which is kinda fun but I just think I'm just not snobby enough to be a wine lover. ("Kind of has a hint of vanilla and, oh, say, fermented baby diapers . . .")
We drove down to Pike's Place Public Market (say that three times really fast) and hung out for a few hours. We went to the original Starbuck's store, watched guys throw fish around, had a littlebagofdonuts, ate an English crumpet with cheese, ham and pesto, and bought weird stuff from weird people, which made me feel less weird as a result.
We drove to Portland so that my Mom and Dad could meet Carla. My sister and her husband dropped by as well. Things went swimmingly even though there was not a pool in sight. Thankfully my mother did not ask if Carla was a "nice little Mormon girl." On the other hand, my Dad has sent an email to the masses declaring that his son "Lucky Pierre" is soon to be married and that he and Mom recently got to meet his "wonderful bride to be." Dad and I have some things to clear up . . .
Those are the highlights. I'm sure you're sorry you asked.