Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trip Report

I returned with the family last night from a three-day, three-night trip to Portland to visit family and friends. We were all happy to find that the chickens seemed to have done just fine with their pen near the woods in the backyard, still having plenty of food and water. This was the longest stretch they have been left on their own and with recent incidents with neighborhood dogs we were a little concerned, but they did just fine. There were about a dozen eggs in the nesting boxes and only one was broken. Not being particular, chickens are happy to eat their own eggs so we’re going to have to be diligent about collecting eggs regularly for a while so they don’t get into a habit.

Our trip began as my son and I loaded up the car and picked up my wife from work Saturday evening. We stopped at Burgerville for dinner on our way down. Now, it is true that Burgerville is fast food, but we like to support them when we’re in the neighborhood because they do it better than any other fast food joint (save maybe In and Out Burger, which I’ve never been to personally, but I’ve read good things). They strive to offer local, sustainably produced food and seasonal menus, they offer healthcare to their employees, they utilize recycling and renewable energy programs, and generally do a better job of responsible business then many higher-end restaurants. We like that.

We made it to my mother-in-law’s around 9pm and had the run of the place as she was away until Sunday. We were all beat so we took the rare opportunity to watch The History Channel for a bit before retiring for the night. The next day we met a friend at the Wider Gasthaus for lunch. Widmer does their bit with renewable energy and recycling and offers incentives to employees who use “green means of transportation”, which is not too difficult in Portland. We stopped by my wife’s grandmother’s after lunch to visit and our son stayed there for the night.

That evening we had dinner with a large group of friends at the Laurelwood Public House and Brewery, a first for me that came recommended after looking into several sustainable eatery options. The Laurelwood was a great choice as they support local, sustainable, and organic options when they can. They also do a really good job of being kid-friendly and environmentally responsible. After that it was darts and beers at The Horse Brass Pub with more friends and then we staying up way too late geeking out Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Julia Nunes, and Beatles Rockband before crashing for the night at a friend’s in the Lloyd district.

The next day I was dropped off at the wife’s uncle’s place for a lesson in reloading. I brought along three boxes of random reloading gear from the wife’s grandmother’s late husband. We spent the afternoon reloading fifty rounds of .30-06 ammunition while he walked me through the process, showed me how to set up the various dies, and explained all of the charts and measurements. We did a few rounds of 9mm for comparison and then went through the boxes of random gear. Probably the greatest score was stacks of primers. I don’t know how old they were, but the price tag on a box of 100 was sixty-nine cents. There were some tools and gauges, lots of brass and bullets, and a few other random items that we divvyed up between the uncle and myself. We spent that night at the mother-in-law’s place and got to visit with her and my wife’s aunt who was in town from Illinois.

Day three it was time to pack up and head home. On our way out of town we stopped in to visit my grandmother and some of my wife’s ex-co-workers. We found a Chipotle and stopped there for lunch. We were not familiar with Chipotle, but heard about them on the special features of the DVD for Food, Inc. and decided to give ‘em a try. Hooray! Another restaurant trying to do business trying to work with nature instead of against it! Chipotle calls it “Food With Integrity”. I appreciate a business that wants it’s customers to know more about it’s food and where it comes from and I am happy to support that.

We made one last stop at Cablela’s to pick up an order that was in and a few more things I needed for reloading and made it home before dark.

Today I have all kinds of things to get caught up on, so it’s time to step away from the computer for a bit.

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