Friday, November 14, 2008
Portland girlfriend get-together
On my 48th Birthday, I got to fly to Portland, Oregon for a conference. What a beautiful city, even in the rain!
My good friend Patty (a former Alaskan who, sadly, moved away) flew out to Portland to meet me. We were planning to go shopping, eat out, and just enjoy some kid-free girlfriend time! Did I mention SHOPPING? But the best-layed plans... go oft astray!
She arrived ok, but with a very nasty flu she caught from her daughter -- so poor Patty spend much of the 3 days in bed, with a Kleenex box and coughdrops on the nightstand.
You know a woman is seriously sick when she's within a few minutes walk of GREAT shopping, with a Nordstrom gift certificate burning a hole in her pocket, and never even went to the mall! At least the hotel sheets and pillows were nice and luxurious...
But we still had a wonderful time just visiting, catching up, knitting, laughing, and making plans for our New Year get-together with the whole kit-n-caboodle.
During the days I'd be off to the conference, which I greatly enjoyed, and in the evening we'd venture down the elevator to the restaurant in the hotel lobby, and enjoy dinner and margaritas!
Then back to bed for Patty, and with the coughing getting worse, I ventured out to the mall in search of some nighttime cough syrup. And oddly enough, I was spotted during this outing by none other that the Prof's ex-wife, who happened to be on business in Portland at the same time! She wasn't sure it really was me, so she emailed the Prof asking, by any chance, did I really just see your wife in Portland?
By the next afternoon, the sun was shining and Patty was feeling better, plus we had to check out of the hotel. So across the bridge we went to explore Old Town. In Chinatown we were eating Dim Sum for lunch when I got a call from above-mentioned Wife #1. How funny is that? Was I not only in Chinatown, but stuck in an Amy Tan novel? The prof had received an email, and confirmed that Wife #2 was in Portland indeed, and gave her my cell phone number (Don't worry, the ex-es are all on good terms). It did not work out to get together though, as there was not much time before Patty and I needed to head to the airport...
Next we explored the amazingly fun Pearl District (a world of books at Powell's, yummy desserts at Whole Foods, and scrumptious yarns at knitting stores), and bought a few fun chinese trinkets for the kids back home, then headed to the Airport, with Patty starting to feel worse again. And then -- can you believe it? -- her flight home is CANCELLED! We kept asking "Is there a deeper meaning here -- was this bad luck meant to be?" Maybe the credit card gods were called in by our respective husbands' prayers...?!?! We didn't end up buying any clothes, fabric or wool -- and that's unprecedented for a girlfriend get-together.
Perhaps the cancelled flight was a good turn too: instead of an exhausting late-night flight & 2 hr drive home past midnight, she got to rest in a hotel (provided by the airlines), and finish her trip the next day, rested and a little better (by babysteps). Patty still got home in time to celebrate her son's 11th birthday! And even though no serious shopping got done in Portland, I do hope that she got the recuperative R&R she needed before she had to re-enter her busy family life.