Day 19--Thursday, June 26, 2003
We eventually arrived in Portland and had to battle some serious traffic. That joy fell to me, but Ben tried to reduce my stress by reading aloud to me from the book that my dad edited for Cal Rychner, Living at a Higher Level of Faith. Once we exited the interstate, we wound uphill through suburbia and even further uphill to the excessively ritzy neighborhood where Dad's oldest friend, Brian Bice, lives with his family.
After parking in the huge roundabout drive surrounded by what seemed to be miles of flowers, we were greeted at the front door by Brian, his gray kitty Cleo, and his four-pound, hairy, girly, adorable dog Chloe. After embracing us both as long-lost family members, he took us inside, pumped us full of snacks and drinks, and gave us the tour of his gorgeous and antique-furnished home, all while talking a mile a minute about his life and his friendship with my dad.
We met his 19-year-old son Jeremy and his wife Carmen, who works in an office downtown with Brian works at home. Brian set about fixing us an amazing dinner featuring "fresh local ingredients" in his fancy kitchen while Ben and Jeremy played pool and Carmen watered her amazing landscape.
Not only did Brian pump us full of excellent food and constant conversation, he also pumped Ben full of a sample of every type of alcohol known to man AND a Cuban cigar. After our scrumptious dinner, Brian, Ben, and I retired to the back patio to gaze out over "his forest" and watch the sun set. We talked for hours while sitting there, discussing past travel adventures, Brian's advice for our trip through California, and our families. The time just flew by, and soon it was pitch black and much later than we were used to going to bed!
10 / 40