Chowdah & Sno-cones!
2k1 August 31 - 10:18PM HST
** WARNING: further entry will lead you to more tales of Oregon **

Oregon-and-done-it - day four
Feda and I were poo-ped from our daytrip to Portland and decided to spend our last day in Corvallis shopping and taking more photos. This turned out to be a good thing since my mom's conference was going to finish that day. Feda and I wandered around "downtown" Corvallis and visited little neat-O shops including a great used book store, The Book Bin, where I picked up some Simpsons comics and a wonderful little Cross-stitch source called Friendship Crossing.

We feasted on some fantastic veggie pizza after which Feda insisted we visit the local Apple distributor so that he could fawn over the IBook of his dreams. Oh yeah, it was exciting.

That evening we headed back up to Portland w/Mom and had a lovely dinner at the Portland Steak & Chophouse to celebrate Feda's 21st birthday.

We'd hoped to wander around for a bit before driving back to the hotel but at 11 o'clock all the weird birds were starting to pop up. It was a little too edgy a scene for me to be tra-la-la-ing around the streets of Portland and much to Feda's consternation, we headed back for the evening.

Saturday was our last day in Oregon and spent at the world famous Oregon Zoo. Filled with furry, fuzzy, flaky, feathered, slithery, slimy, scaly creatures it was definitely a high point of the trip and provided many photo ops. Oh yeah, we also saw lots of neat-O animals too!

Polar bears - sea lions - penguins! Meerkats - monkeys - lemurs! Elephants and hippos! Bats! No lions though... They did have naked mole rats though, and a creature that looked like a fat groundhog/beaver that _knew_ we were there and stared. ooogy!

Egads - I haven't been around soooo many infants/toddlers/children in years, probably since I was one of the aforementioned myself. Everywhere there were little people crying out "daddy!" or "mommy!" or "noooooo!" or "why can't I get the ($4) soda?" Egads - I give those parents props for braving the Zoo. Even more props for parents of multiples.

*Raevyn observes a moment of silence for those courageous parents - probably more silence than they'll get in a long time*

The weather was typical of our entire trip: sunny, low 90s, clear skies. Hot. Sweaty. Run for the nearest Sno-cone stand and hope you don't melt before you get there-kinda weather.

Sno-cones are weird. I knew they are different from Shave Ice but not THAT different. They don't even give you a straw let alone that wooden tool/scooper. And what is this about only a two-flavor rainbow? Heh? Sheesh. ok, enough of that.

The salesclerk who helped me at the Zoo gift shop turned out to be a 1997 grad from St. Joseph High school. Her name is Cassie - she was very friendly and helpful. Plus, and I give her 100 points for this, she saw me waiting in line and quickly opened up a register so that I wouldn't have to wait. That's customer service! There were two other girls straightening shelves who noticed me and did nothing (a pox on them!). So give Cassie your sales if you go there - help out the kamaaina!

The ride to and from the Zoo itself was pretty interesting. We caught the Tri-met rail system which zips through downtown - a fully automated system even though there's a man who sits in front of one of the levers that say "forward-stop-reverse" like in "Speed."

The Tri-met ends up 600ft underground below the Washington Metro Park in which the Oregon Zoo is housed. There is an elevator that hurls you 600ft up to the surface as your ears pop to equalize pressure - neat-O! You exit through the doors in front of the Zoo - cool!

Feda kept mentioning "they need one of these in Hilo!"

On our way back we shopped for a little bit in the downtown area for omiyage (gifts) and had a quick bite a kick-ass diner - they had this wonderful creation called an Avocado Swissburger that made me weep. *sigh* Plus their chowder was ono! Chowdah!

There you have it - our Oregon expedition, in text anyway. Funny how I remember food and temperatures and smells and colors... Pictures to come...soon!

------ update --------
According to Feda that diner is named the Virginia case you are visiting Portland. =)