Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dry Counties Are For Suckers!

So we left Vegas this morning and drove through AZ into NM. We're currently bunked down at the Hampton Inn in lovely Gallup. There are no good restaurants around here, just a Walmart and an Applebees. After 9 hours on the road a beer sounded good but it's a dry county. Blah. And my steak was overcooked.

As far as Vegas went, we had a blast. Went to one of the best steak houses EVER in, of all places, Bill's Gamblin' Hall And Saloon (near the Flamingo). Fantastic food and service. Not cheap, but worth every penny. We more or less just spent Sat. wandering the strip. We did well at the older, smaller casinos like the Riviera and Slots O' Fun. Drank a few frozen strawberry daquiries (well, I did at least) and got lots of walking in. It was a nice break from the driving and we had the time and the money to make the stop so I figured why not. When will we get the chance to do it again?

Driving through Arizon was nice. It's a very scenic state. If we'd have had more time we'd have probably gone to the Grand Canyon but it was too far off the map. We did drive over the Hoover Dam which was neat. Lots of bluffs and plateaus and weird stuff along the roadside to look at and watching the sun set behind us over the desert was just beautiful.

Tomorrow we're going to drive through the rest of NM into TX. I'll post some pictures asap, I'm just too tired tonight.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


So Thursday Morning Alison and I split PDX to head east (well, sort of east). The goal was to get to Reno but that proved to be a little ambitious as the weather heading through the mountains into California was rather unforgiving. That said, the Element and it's mighty 4 wheel drive capabilities handled it all like a charm and we didn't have any problems (though we drove past plenty of people who did). So, yay for the Honda! Once we got through the mountains into CA, we broke for lunch at the Pizza Factory (We toss'em, they're awesome!) for a pint and a slice. The Pizza Factory is located in the strange little town of Weed, California.

At any rate, we crashed for the night just outside of Sacramento the first night and stuffed ourselves full of Chinese food before crashing for the night at a Holiday Inn off of I-5. Woke up early the next morning and crossed over from I-5 to Hwy 80 through California into Nevada. Gorgeous drive! Watch out for the Nevada State Troopers - they like to hand out speeding tickets (I learned this the hard way) and they're really good at hiding!

Stopped in Reno for lunch and won $20 on the slots. Go me. We go back in the car and drove 8 hours straight to Vegas, go here about 7:30 PM. We got a room at the Gold Coast as it's affordable and clean, then went for a nice steak dinner at the Cortez Room before calling it a night. Today we're gonna play tourist and just wander Vegas until we feel like stopping. We're here until Sunday at which point we're going to head pretty much straight east, hoping to make it to Albuqueque if not a little further by the time we quit driving on Sunday night.

So without further ado, a few pictures courtesy of the mighty Nikon D40 digital SLR....

A friendly Mexican lady was kinda enough to take this shot of us at a rest stop in the pass way up in the mountains between OR. and CA. There was lots of snow!

Scenic Weed, California. Home of the PIZZA FACTORY! Huzzah! Weed was a strange small town with a strange name but the pizza was pretty rad.

My poor dirty car! We stopped to get gas as we were coming into Nevada from the east side of California sorta near like Shasta just before Donner Pass. A very pretty spot.

Last picture for today.... the mountains of Reno! What a gorgeous (and long) drive it was through to Vegas. Lots of weird old mining equipment just kinda lying there on the side of the road and all manner of strange casinos and cowboy bars alongthe way.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So long Portland.

So Alison gets here in about 2 hours and I'm leaving in roughly twelve. The plan is to make it to Reno tomorrow night in time for dinner so we'll be getting up early. Day 2 should find us in Vegas, if all goes well. From there it's more or less a straight shot across the southern part of the country, maybe dipping down into TN to see some sights on the way.

I've made a lot of really good friends out here in the six plus years I've called Portland home and I'll miss you all dearly. You know how to get ahold of me and I know how to get ahold of you. Let's make sure we all stay in touch, life will not be the same without you. That said, NYC holds a lot of opportunity for me, puts me closer to my family and puts me with the girl I love so it's all good. 07 was a rough year indeed but 08 is certainly starting off on the right foot.

Hopefully I'll be able to update this from the road with some pictures and thoughts on the drive as it happens.

Pass the link along to anyone that you think might be interested....

I'll miss you slobs.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lisa N Her Kin at Duff's Garage In Portland 12/14/07

Some very, very close friends of mine are in a band called Lisa N Her Kin. Lisa Miller sings while her younger brother (and one of my closest friends) Ian plays lead guitar. Another very close friend of mine, Mark Pederson, plays the drums. Last night they played a show at a bar called Duff's Garage, a little honkey tonk on the SE side of Portland. I figured this would probably be my last chance to see them play for a while so I made the trek across town and, with friends Noland, Jen, Justin, Lacey, Pam and Katie took in a very fine ninety minutes of country music done right. Check out their website for more info. Little known fact, a side profile of my nose appears in their video for 'I Miss Texas' and I did (really basic) backing vocals on two tracks on their 2nd CD, Chicken Shack (which is fantastic, but not because of my backing vocals!). It also gave me a chance to test out the new camera a little bit more.

So without further ado, a few 'rock shots' from the show last night (the blurring and color swirling was on purpose, I was playing with flash settings and aperature settings and all that neat techno stuff)....

Friday, December 14, 2007

More NYC pictures.... just to get you all in the mood.

For no other reason than that my dad seemed interested in checking them out, here are some more pictures from my last trip to the Big Apple.

Hanging with Alison at a bar called Manitoba's on Ave. B in Manhattan....

The world (in)famous Chelsea Hotel in the Village.... where Sid supposedly killed Nancy and a bunch of famous authors wrote stuff and a lot of did heroin. Now it's really expensive. Go figure.

Alison's dog, Emily. She's a pretty rad little dog. Part Greyhound, part lab, 100% sweet (just like her owner... aw shucks).

Last but not least, a few more pictures of the wild statues in front of the Manhattan Public Library about a block from Times Square (if you've seen the film Ghostbusters some of these may look familiar to you)....

This weekend there's a fair bit going on as far as my social life is concernd which should provide ample opportunity to bust out the new camera and take some pictures of Portland before its' too late....
More in a day or two.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Back In The New York Groove....Soon.

OK, so I'm moving from PDX to NYC in less than three weeks. Lots of work to do in the interim but I'm excited about the change of scenery. I'll be with Alison, which will obviously be great, and be within driving distance of my family. I miss she and my family both a ridiculous amount. I love the city and the chaos it contains and I look forward to seeing what opportunities life in the Big Apple will hold for me.

The last time I was there (back in the first half of November) I had a lot of fun just wandering around and exploring the city. Alison is great for that in that she digs just exploring little areas and what not as much as I do. I spent a day with Eddie crawling around the Village (we saw the cigar store that pops up in Cannibal Ferox!) and it'll be cool to be closer to him and a few other NYC friends even though I know I'm going to miss a lot of people in Portland dearly.

So yeah, on 12/27/07 she and I pack up the Element, wave goodbye to the Pacific Northwest and head to New York. It's gonna be an adventure for sure but I'm looking forward to the drive across the country and as much work as I know it'll be, I know that it will all be worth it.

For no reason other than I feel like it, here's a picture I took outside of the library in Manhattan.

I broke down and bought a new camera, a fancy digital SLR, in hopes of taking some nifty pictures along the way. We'll see how it goes.