Once the snow stopped falling, and it "warmed up" to the high 30's, we were able to take the snow chains off the truck. Being able to drive faster than 35 mph meant that we could finally (!) do some of the fun stuff we'd been planning before we got snowed in.
First stop: the Aviation & Space Museum. I am a total geek for all things flight & space related. Last year we got to check out the Spruce Goose & all sorts of cool history-of-flight stuff on the avaition side. This year, we explored the new wing, which was all about the space program. A capsule from the original Mercury program. So cool! A Titan rocket -- all 100+ feet of it.
The museum is owned by a local avaiation company that's run by someone generally accepted to be a total asshole. But it has enough money to acquire some very impressive things. (Rumor has it they're going to buy one of the space shuttles NASA has on eBay.) Being there was giving me the urge to rent "The Right Stuff" again.
As more snow melted, we ventured further afield: Portland! Pretty Christmas lights in the city center. I have to mention how awesome Oregon is, with its absence of a sales tax. Sure, it might've been nice for them to have, say, a second snow plow ... but it's awfully cool to see a $40 price tag & just hand over two $20 dollar bills and be done with it.
We also went to a really yummy Irish pub for dinner, where they had flights of whiskey to sample. Why doesn't L.A., with all its freakin' restaurants, have anything that unique & interesting? (Oh, right -- because L.A. doesn't know what either of those words mean. But I digress.)
The day after Portland, we got to do something I'd been excited about as soon as I knew we were going to Oregon: we went to see the Kitty People. (That's not what they're technically called, but that's what I call them.) They're family friends who have lots of animals -- something that always makes me happy -- and by lots of animals I mean 7 cats and a dog. My glee must've been visible as we pulled up to the curb, because His Dad turned to me and said, "When it's time to leave, I'll just look for you under one of the cats." I pretty much spent the whole afternoon carting around the felines, one at a time, and playing with Simon the Dog. Pure bliss.
On the drive to the Kitty People's house, I spotted a sign for a town called "Rickreall" ... this is Mr. UB actively ignoring me while I rick rolled the car:On our last day there, it was still too icy to get the car anywhere near the house, but we could at least make use of The Gator to get down to where the car was. You know you're not in L.A. anymore when you find yourself cheerfully posing for pictures with a piece of farm equipment. As much as I'd enjoyed getting a chance to stretch my legs on hikes to the car, I was very relieved to know that I wouldn't be dragging my suitcase back down the hill when it was time to leave. Also, I learned that farm equipment has more entertaining warning labels than one usually sees in the city:Good times.
On the day we left, the weather was being uncooperative once again, but fortunately not to the south. (People attempting to fly east were pretty frustrated.) We took off just under an hour late, as the snow continued to fall. Our flight stopped in Oakland, where I finally felt myself starting to thaw:When we landed in Burbank it was 82' with bright blue skies and no wind, and the PA system at the baggage claim was playing "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
It's good to be home.