Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 3 Longview to Medford: Aunt Buddy and A Solution to Unemployment

Day 3 was largely the last day of the trip where we had a really leisurely drive ahead of us, which was by design, since one of the best perks of the trip was the chance for the TM to visit with her sister (We'll call her The Tofu Amiga) and her family.

We'd arrived fairly late the night before, and were content to chill at the house (the same house in which the TM grew up) and catch up with some light chit-chat, and watching the Tofu Amiga's kids run around adorably. On the morning of Day 3, we had the opportunity to hang out a little more, and even had the chance to go to the very pretty Lake Sacajawea to a new "All Abilities" playground. The TM was even able to do a little swinging with her niece. It was a really nice time.

I did have to buy new shoes, though.

When I put on shorts that morning, I looked through all of my bags and couldn't find my sneakers. All I had was a pair of shoes that really only works with long pants. I mean hey... I may wear hats a majority of my free time, but I have SOME standards for the love of god. I figured I'd left them at the hotel in Seattle, and I even called to see if they had them. No luck. So we stopped off at Payless and I scoped out a pretty sweet pair of tan colored Airwalks. I'd always wanted Airwalks when I was a teen, and never had any. I was finally cool enough to do some skateboarding.

Of course, when we arrived home, the first thing the TM points out are the sneakers set out by the front door. I'd clearly forgotten to pack them at all. Obviously.

Aaaaanyway, I really enjoyed meeting the Tofu Amiga, the Beefy Amigo, and their children, and I know that the TM had a great time catching up. One of my favorite things about their relationship is the familiar way in which they greet each other. They call each other "Buddy". In fact, the Tofu Amiga has got her kids calling the TM "Aunt Buddy". It's freaking hilarious.

The best is when the TM's niece saw her green tights (pictured above) and said "Aunt Buddy has green legs!!!". The girl was AMAZED by tights. It was hysterical.

We headed out in the late morning, after a great time at the park, and started our journey South to Portland.

We had planned our first Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives meal at Pok Pok, a mainly Thai inspired cooking

We wound our way around the East side of Portland, and parked in a cool-seeming neighborhood and walked to the restaurant.
One of our favorite restaurants at home is a place called Thai Nam Tip, and it really is one of the best Thai restaurants in town. That and The Lemon Grass (regularly named the best Thai restaurant in Cincy) are my two primary frames of reference for good Thai food. The TM has actually been to Thailand. We were both super excited to check out this place.

I went with the Phat Si Ew Muu, which is a broad noodle pork dish. It was really excellent. I especially liked the garlic in the black soy sauce.

The TM had the Khanom Jiin Kaeng Kiaw Waan. It's as complicated as it sounds. There are noodles, fish balls, boiled eggs, and pan fried anchovies in coconut milk. It's like... insane, and very spicy too. Please note the tiny little fried fishies.

We split the Green Papaya salad, which was also crazy spicy and pretty delicious, although I had a really sour first bite of lime.Nice food photos, huh? We're awesome like that.

I decided to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 each of the restaurants we visited along our route. I gave the place an 8.0. The food was excellent. I only marked off points because I am pretty sure I was just sour over my bite of lime (Buh dum bum!) I liked the setting a lot too. The TM gave the place an 8.5. She says it would have been higher, but felt the meal was a little pricey for lunch at what is supposedly a "dive" restaurant.

After being fully satiated, we continued down the I-5 toward Medford, Oregon. The rest of the drive wasn't particularly eventful that day, except for 3 things.

1) We both started getting wicked colds. Actually... The TM was about a full day ahead of me, so hers was in close-to-full swing at this point. Starting in Olympia, we went through almost 2 full boxes of Puffs tissue by the end of the trip. Aunt Buddy had a red nose.

2) After we went grocery shopping in Medford (we planned to eat "picnic" style a lot of the time when we weren't at the Triple D places), we got carry-out Chinese food. I guess we hadn't completely relieved our Asian food cravings, but we also believed that some good spicy soup would make our throats feel better. It turns out that in the same day I went from having one of the best Asian meals I'd ever had to easily one of the top five worst. I can't get into it without making myself gag, but my impression primarily is of a spicy snot-like substance. This didn't stop the TM from saving 2 large cups of this crap for multiple days in our cooler, supposedly planning to re-heat it. My guess is that she'd simply lost her mind.

3) I learned that the state of Oregon may have secretly discovered the way to solve the nations employment issues.

They don't let you pump your own gas! They have old-timey pump attendants at every gas station in the state. It's totally amazing! Our very first fill-up in the truck was completed at a Pilot station by a complete stranger, while I wandered around the store with nothing to do. This was an usual situation for me since I'm normally busy at the gas station... you know... pumping gas. Don't believe me? Here's proof:The identity of the Pilot employee has been conveniently protected by the squeegee. Also, note the aforementioned Puffs.

I'm dead serious about this whole "Oregon solves Unemployment" thing. I know it's not high-brow or whatever, but pumping gas is a profession that was once wide-spread. As self-serve stations arose, thousands of jobs were eliminated. The Great State of Oregon has completely ignored this fad and preserved jobs for people in every town in the state. And I say, good for Oregon.

FACT: I have no evidence that the unemployment rate in Oregon is different than in any other state.


Caren said...

You can't pump your own gas in New Jersey either. It's a law.

Anonymous said...

Oregon's unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for quite some time.

Beefy Muchacho said...

Well... There you have it.