hiamanda came to visit Portland on Saturday and left, smitten, on Monday. We went...well...actually, I've spent about fifteen minutes poking around online trying to figure out exactly where we went, and I'm still not sure I know. We knew we wanted to check out Forest Park, which is in the opposite corner of the city from me, so we got on a bus downtown, thinking we'd transfer to another in order to make it to the park. It ended up being an adventure: we missed the bus we were supposed to switch to, got on the MAX instead, walked for a while, and then chased and actually caught the bus we'd missed. It turned out to be on a weird detour, though, so the bus driver let us off and explained how to walk to the park. (They're cool, the Portland bus drivers.)
When we finally found the park, the sun was setting and we weren't sure how much time we had before it got dark and cold, but we decided to try hiking for a while anyway. After half an hour or so, we were thinking about turning back, but then we met a fellow named Glenn who encouraged us to continue uphill with him. That's when the real adventure began. We began walking and talking; it turned out that Glenn was an amateur photographer and wanted to get to the top of the hill we were on so that he could catch the mountains during magic hour. As we went farther up, he got more and more excited, saying, "Oh, we're gonna hit this just right!" We followed the Wildwood Trail up to Pittock Mansion, where, as promised, the view was great. We could see the whole city spread out below us, and in the distance were Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, and even St. Helens, which I usually never see. (One of these days, I swear I'm going to get a damn camera.) We were able to pick out the place where we'd gotten off the train, far below, and it was pretty cool to realize that we'd actually climbed all that way.
Glenn was setting up his tripod, but we had to get back to civilization to meet my roommates for dinner, so we said goodbye and headed off downhill. It was now pretty dark and we weren't really sure where we were going (other than "down") or how long it would take, but just as the woods were getting kind of scary, we ran into Burnside and were back in the city after about half an hour. I'm really glad we went to the park, and I'm definitely going back sometime to check it out earlier in the day.
Anyway! It made me very happy to see how much Weze dug the park, the people, my roomies, our house, the food we had -- all of it. Just walking down the street in my neighborhood made her go, "Oh, this is so nice!" -- and I could tell that she meant it sincerely, because my neighborhood isn't really an automatic oh-this-is-so-nice neighborhood. She headed to the train station on Monday afternoon, and by now she'll have passed through San Francisco on her way to L.A. I'm jealous! But I'm tentatively planning a California trip of my own for mid-June, so I don't have to be jealous for too long.
Truth be told, I was having a really good weekend even before Weze showed up. On Friday night, Amanda, Jon and I went to the Doug Fir to see Antlerand. They were very, very good, although I'd be hard put to describe the music if you asked me to; I'm having a hard time mentally separating it from the incredibly cool videos they projected during their set, which I suppose is the point. We only stayed for the one band due to tiredness, but we still got our five dollars' worth. (Dude. Five bucks for a Friday night concert.) Then on Saturday, we hosted a birthday party at our house for Jon's friend Noah. I spent most of the day cleaning the house in preparation, which was still kind of trashed from the last party we had. (What's the optimal time-spent-cleaning-before to time-spent-cleaning-after ratio for these things?) I met some cool people, and there are plans for cocktails tomorrow night. PicoPad strikes again. It's also a helpful indicator: too drunk to use the tiny pen = too drunk.