Welcome, 2012!

I’m back from the holiday road trip. The first few days were gorgeous: brisk, cold, sunny, and lovely. We stayed two nights in Bend, Oregon, in a hotel with rooms that overlook the Deschutes River. I rafted on it over twenty years ago; it’s one of the better rafting rivers in the U.S. The Deschutes Canyon downstream (north) of Bend as it heads for the Columbia River is lovely, although not quite up to the mind-blowing vision of the Columbia Gorge.

Then we hit Portand, Oregon, and the rain started a day after we got there, which I should have expected after four years at college in Portland. Nonetheless we managed to take a walk around the unbelievably lovely grounds of my alma mater (Reed College) before the rain resumed. (The rain never *really* stops in Portland; it just pops out for a coffee break occasionally.) Joe promptly named the place Hogwarts; I about died laughing and will never see it in the same light again. ;)

We also had dinner with good friends at Bernie’s Southern Bistro, a restaurant that despite being a southern bistro (restaurant specializing in food from the southern United States) appears to have never heard of spam. ;) After various quiet Christmas activities, we finished up with a trip to Powell’s City of Books, a prime pilgrimage spot for book lovers everywhere. Among other acquisitions, we now have a nearly complete set of issues of the famous Foxfire Magazine, a wonderful cultural resource on the U.S. southeast published by (of all people) a high school in Georgia.

All in all, an excellent and much needed vacation.

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