In the mail today I received a trip points reward card for staying at a Ramada on part of our trip. If I stay at a Ramada three more times in the near future, I will get thousands of points which will actually benefit me if I stay at the Ramada even more times in the near future. I think that you need to reevaluate your life if you want to stay at a Ramada Inn that much.
Everyone survived the trip; those who left, and those college students who stayed home.
Abby and I visited Powell's bookstore in Portland on Thursday afternoon, sans Mr. Sinta, who was working at a job we have near there. He really did not want to go to Powell's. We did not mind going by ourselves although I must admit that even with a map quest set of directions and with Abby as my reader/navigator that it was a little hairy on their freeway system. It seems like in Portland that each road lasts about .3 miles before you need to make an immediate exit to the other side of the freeway. We loved Powell's. I found the book of a lifetime which I have already read and re-read by a Henri Nouwen, entitled The Only Necessary Thing. Actually, it is a compilation of just about everything that he wrote about living a prayerful life, and it was put together after his death by a close friend. It has transformed anything that I formerly thought about spirituality. I also bought The Tale of Two Cities, which I despise, and a really neato box of activities to help spur on reluctant writers. I haven't had time to open it yet. Aimee thinks it is a relatively worthless box because she has never needed help writing. She is working on a Gothic short story for a final project at the moment. She can pump out stuff like that without any sweat.
Eventually, we picked up Mr. Sinta and headed to Lincoln City where we stayed in a condo. In the bug, we just barely fit everything, including a cooler and all of our luggage. We visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which was wonderful, especially the jellyfish, and the hands on tide pool exhibit. For the first time we were able to go through the shark tube. Absolutely amazing. They had lots of sharks. The thought provoking thing is that they all are from the Oregon Coast. I did not want to think about that. Evidently there are definite boundaries in the ocean determined by depth and temperature which fish recognize. The sharks stay in the deepest places. They were awesome to see. The curators assured me that there is no particular shark named The Man Eating Shark. A man eating shark is just any shark that eats you. Comforting. I am wondering how much attention sharks pay to boundaries.
We ate at Mo's for the best chowder. Abby and I love it. Mr. Sinta does not. They also have a great berry cobbler. Mr. Sinta does not like that either, so he got a brownie hot fudge sundae with loads of whipped cream. I have to admit that the cobbler kind of paled in significance when the sundae came to the table.
The weather at the coast was one sunny afternoon, one rainy morning, and windy or very breezy the other days. We had a great time anyway because we love the ocean.
Abby and I watched two sci fi movies. We do not have cable at home, so whenever we go to the coast, we watch far too much television. One of the movies was a global warming movie from about 1952. The short guy who played Eegore in Frankenstein was supposed to be a military/political leader, and I thought it was hysterical. The global warming was caused by a giant ring of fire around the earth which eventually a nuclear sub (complete with glass windows) shot out of the sky with a nuclear weapon. Only seconds after they belted out the hardware, the sub surfaced and they all rejoiced that the earth was safe. Of course, they were unconcerned about fall out etc. We enjoyed the special effects of the giant squid and the shark among other things. Life was simpler then.
I found lots of rocks, and not many shells on the beach. Oh well. One shell that I found was really nice until I discovered that it still had an inhabitant. I put it back. We found a great tide pool with colorful anemones and starfish. We are still amazed at the life in the ocean.
On Wednesday, I dropped off Mr. Sinta and Abby at the airport and ventured over to shop at IKEA for the afternoon. That is probably my favorite store in the world. Lucky for me, it was so close to the airport and the hotel that even I could not get lost. Amazing. I am almost prone to guess that God had somehow predetermined that they would place all of that strategically close together for my benefit. Maybe that is just a little too much of a Shealy-centered universe!
Of course, I got to stay in Portland for the annual conference at City Bible Church from Wednesday to Saturday, after the trip. ( I was gone nine days in all.) The conference was fantastic. I always come home from that spiritually energized and physically exhausted, but it was worth it. I will simply say that I was greeted, upon arriving home, by Ryan who immediately let me know that we were almost completely out of milk etc. He and Aimee were famished from the lack of leftovers. They seldom make it to a meal, but they scrounge when we are asleep. That is a college student welcome for you!
Before I go, I had the best Mother's Day ever. The girls brought me breakfast in bed, fresh cut flowers from the florist (not the backyard), a gift card to a book store, and a set of really cool pens. Mr. Sinta took me to Guido's (NY Pizza) for lunch with Aimee. In the afternoon, I grocery shopped to satisfy the natives, and in the evening Mr. Sinta cooked steaks on the grill for us. Amazingly, and this is a near miracle, all five of us ate supper together and then we went to see Iron Man. Ryan bought my ticket.
Mr. Sinta and I think that was probably our last big fun thing to do as a family before the wedding. It is so hard to get everyone together. Anyway, it was a great day.
Yikes, all for now.