I haven't been able to really read my friends pages or any blogs for over a week and the tremors are really shaking me now. I'm in web withdrawal big-time and don't know when it will end. A month-long vacation has really shown me how deep my addiction lies. I'VE MISSED YOU! *group hug*
Thank you for all the lovely greetings and best wishes on my birthday yesterday, it really contributed to a glowing feeling of well-being that lasted all day. I was treated to breakfast in bed, prepared by the kids, and received a new gold watch from my husband and a lovely necklace with 2 little gold charms in the shape of a girl and a boy from my kids. Then I had a massage for AN HOUR AND A HALF. 1.5 hours. 90 minutes. Heaven!
In the afternoon, Sarah and I took the kids down to Metro Park and met my cousin's wives and THEIR kids (5 more) for several hours at the Splash Park, beach and big playground. For dinner, my favorite meal*: salmon, which Anders marinated in brown sugar and fennel, buttered rice, örtagårdssås, asparagus, and black olives. For dessert my grandmother had made me a banana cake with creamy 7-minute frosting. YUM!
After the kids went to bed, Anders and Sarah and Mom and I sat around and talked until nearly midnight, interrupted quite spectacularly by my screaming panic attack at one point when I got up to go get a glass of water and came way too close to stepping on a wolf spider the size of my hand which was sitting nonchalantly in the middle of the floor. AAGH! While I sat and wibbled in the corner, Anders attempted to catch it and get it outside, but the spider was so fast it eluded him for nearly 5 minutes. Mom calls it "Wolfie" and said it was a good thing to have around because of the amount of bugs it eats. gale_storm, you would have probably fainted. It put Harriet to shame, I tell you. Think Shelob.
I had a wonderful, interesting, silly time in Oregon, and suspect that it will take me some time to digest everything that we talked about and everything I thought about getting together with old friends after so long apart. The whole group turned 40 this year, and it makes me feel better to be in such good company. :) Seeing Becky helped heal a sore spot on my heart where I was missing my oldest friend.
reebert, we did the Oregon Vortex and had a lot of fun, although my skeptic's eyebrows were pushing my bangs off my forehead a great deal of the time. Those levels with the height/compact illusions were pretty amazing, though, especially the 4-foot one at the end. Weirdness! Thank you for telling me about it, my friends thought it was great!
We went on a jetboat excursion down the Rogue River on one of the super-hot days and, the day before I left, Becky and Kelly and I went to the Oregon Caves and spent an interesting afternoon touring the underground caverns in the Siskiyou mountains. Grants Pass is much more rugged-feeling than I remember Eugene being; there was a very distinct desert flavor to the area, despite the greenery. And getting a mountain fix was wonderful! I MISS mountains!
Vacation is coming to a close and we have less than a week left. I'm starting to feel the pull to go home, especially to sleep in my own bed, but it will be hard to leave. Friday we are having relatives and friends over for an open-house birthday party and after the weekend we head home. Since we have so much going on the week after we return, I hope we can figure out a way to avoid being flattened by jetlag.
*aside from sushi, of course