Sunday, August 29, 2010

Other stuff going on

This weekend was pretty full. On Friday, my boyfriend and I took a day trip up to Cloud Cap, which I first learned about as "the highest parking lot you're allowed to drive to on Mount Hood." Anything "biggest," "best," "highest," or other "-est" is bound to become a Life To Do List item for me, even if it is just a parking lot. Since it's Mount Hood, I assumed there would be more to do at Cloud Cap than merely park one's car.

The thing is, I could find very little information online about Cloud to get there, what to do there, if one could use a Northwest Forest Pass to park there. Eventually I found an account on someone's website from a hike done in 1999. Google Maps searches yielded directions to "Cloud Cap Painting." Not the same!

Cloud Cap deserves its own post, so I'll just say that, heading toward Hood River and Parkdale with a vague idea of where I was going, we did make it to Cloud Cap, we did hike, and we found plenty to do. We want to go back and maybe even camp at Tilly Jane Campground. I'd also like to do the Hood River Fruit Loop and maybe even visit a Hood River area winery.

Also, I have a strange love for Parkdale, which is a middle-of-nowhere-ish town outside of Hood River and very close to Mount Hood. Maybe it's technically on the mountain; I don't really have a clear idea of what's the mountain and what's not. But anyway, from Parkdale, you can see GIGANTIC MOUNT HOOD LOOKING SNOWIER AND HUGER THAN EVER in one direction (the south, I guess), and if you turn the other way, you can see Mount Adams, which is in Washington, looking pretty large as well. It looks as big as Mount Hood looks from the Portland area. That's just the sky. The ground is full of farms and open space. And little houses and old-looking buildings. There was a brew pub on what seemed to be a main street, so maybe it's not just a boring country town!

Part of me wants to live in Parkdale someday. Or a place like it.

After the mountain, we stopped at the retail stand of a farm and got a bunch of apples, four peaches, some beets, some corn, and some strawberries, as well as a history lesson.

More on this, with pictures, later.

The next day my friends and I had a potluck. I roasted my first whole chicken! I also made a tempeh version of the recipe for non-chicken-eaters. I made mastic ice cream, which has been on my cooking to-do list for years.

Today was a good Sunday. Part of me wanted to loll around, washing dishes, cooking, eating the things I cooked, do laundry in clothes with elastic waistbands, and sit on the couch. Instead, I went shopping for fall clothes with this friend!. We went to a DSW in the suburbs, which I like much better than the DSW in Portland (near the airport.) That one is poorly lit, crowded, not very well-stocked, and has some kind of snooty, unapproachable feel to it. I don't know how to explain that last part; it's just a vibe. Also, they always play horrible music. Sometimes it's throbbing, unpleasant club music that makes me want to go crazy, not buy shoes.

The suburban DSW just makes me happy. Maybe it's because the Portland suburbs, with their expansive strip malls stocked with familiar chain stores, make me think I am in New Jersey. Maybe it's because the first time I went to that DSW, I was able to buy a pair of flats in red (identical to a pair I already had in orange) and a pair of heels in purple (identical to a pair I already had in black) both on sale, WITH AN ADDITIONAL $10 OFF COUPON. And then the store's staff complimented my choices. When I said I already had both pairs in different colors, they complimented my wise decision. "You know what you like!" they said.

That DSW is conveniently located near a mall that I call the Fancy Mall. It is too large to properly call a strip mall, but it is not indoors like a normal mall. All of the stores are situated around lovely brick paths and fountains and gazebos. So your time inside a fluourescent-lit space is limited. It is the happiest mall ever. Especially because it has all of the stores I like &mdash the fancy stores. (I am too impatient to buy inexpensive clothing that falls apart anymore. Without a Lord and Taylor to go to and stock up on pricey clothes on clearance, I now go to fancy stores and buy one thing that will last a long time.) So, this mall has an Anthropologie, a J. Crew, and an Urban Outfitters. Happiness! I got a nice striped top on clearance, a pair of tan corduroys also on sale, and a beautiful orange asymmetrical cardigan with black buttons. (Two practical things, and then a dream cardigan.)

Oh, speaking of new clothes! I got a pair of hand-me-down jeans this weekend, too! They are my boyfriend's. I tried them on as a joke and we both agreed, to our surprise, that they not only fit me but looked great. (He was talking about giving them away anyway. I didn't plan on stealing his clothes.) They fit in the waist and (strangely) in the hips and are just the right length. They're sort of bell bottoms, which I like. And the pockets! Men's pockets are so practical; women's pockets are merely decorative and necessitate purses. Fitting my keys, wallet, and cell phone into my pockets was so strange and satisfying. Except when we went to DSW and I didn't have a purse, I felt weird. I kept thinking I left my purse somewhere or that I looked like a weirdo, wandering around without a purse and therefore, without a purpose. What was I supposed to do with my hands without a purse!?

This week is looking busy. I have this graduate school admissions deadline hanging over my head, plus a deadline at work, and then on Friday I'm leaving town again, going to my boyfriend's hometown with him. And then when I come back, I will attempt to establish a normal schedule and a Google spreadsheet budget tracking system. Things are happening!


kalin said...

the whole foods over there is redic (i'm guessing this is bridgeport village you're talking about)
also, it seems to be a place where you can often find members of the blazers. my friend calls it blazer village she's seen so many of them. (i've seen a blazer there once. and i thought it was just a REALLY tall guy till my husband got excited)

Sarah said...

Yes, Bridgeport Village. That's pretty cool about the Blazers...although I definitely wouldn't recognize them either. I was reluctant to type the name of the place because I keep wanting to call it "Bridgewater Commons," which is the name of a really similar mall in NJ. Except that mall doesn't have outdoor paths and gazebos!
Is the Whole Foods redic in a good way or obnoxiously rich way?

kalin said...

redic as in a big hot bar + frequently has wine samples. and cookie samples. although if you're me you end up with 12 dollar salad there. which is kinda redic in a bad way...
(my husband takes a vanpool to salem where he works. i drop him off/pick him up right by bridgeport. i have spent far too much time there)

the blazers have a practice facility near there i guess... that's what my friend who works for them told me...