My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Since the RUSH concerts are over, we really don't have any pressing commitments until the June 21's LA Galaxy MLS game down in LA. So - we've decided to hang out a bit in Portland and see what the City of Roses has to offer. Our first stop was to hook up w/Winston's Mom & her hubby and meet Sandy's wonderful daughter, Katie. Katie lives in the Alphabet District of Portland - a very cute part of town. Many a conversation turned toward "we could live here... what kind of salary is available to veteran teachers?" While traveling we are constantly reminded what little variety Anchorage has to offer. However - Anchorage is a beautiful place to live - not very crowded, picturesque, etc. I have a hard time envision us actually moving away. (However, after a set back at work, it is a bit tempting...)

First stop: Lunch. Funny how traveling often revolves around places to eat. Katie took us to a local pub called the Ram's Head. Good eats. The kids were thrilled with a PB&J on white bread - a treat for them as I insist on whole wheat/multigrain at home. I had the curried tuna fish - yummy!!
Next Stop: A trolley ride (kids loved that!!) down to visit Knit/Purl and Powell's book store. The folks at Knit/Purl were fabulous. I did not stimulate their economy (Margaret did) on this visit as I'd already ordered yarn & patterns from them before departing Anchorage. They were kind enough to help me decipher a pattern translated from Dutch which had some words missing. Wade & the boys found some books at Powell's - not difficult as it is billed as the largest independent used & new book store in the world. Very cool - the Roach clan loves book stores. I think we could move to Portland based upon this store alone. The fact that it happens to be a block or so away from a knitting store is a nice perk. :0)

Anchoragites Take Portland By Storm
photo by Iain

The Gadsden clan had to drive back to Tacoma for Sandy's Monday Night Dinner. We drove back to Lake Oswego & then spent the next day visiting OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) - a no brainer visit for a family enamoured with science.
We toured the naval submarine, the USS Blueback. This sub is not a nuclear powered sub, but runs on battery power & diesel engines.
Periscope up! Captain Iain takes a look at what lies above at the surface.

Sleeping quarters for the crew. The USS Blueback had a crew of 85 sailors. Sleeping quarters were cramped to say the least. 3 sailors were assigned to 2 bunks - they didn't have to share, but rotated throughout their shifts. Since I get claustrophobic, I can't imagine living in such a confined space for 6 - 8 weeks at a time. Recycled air, no windows, intense heat from the engines, fellow soldiers who only shower 1x per week. No Thanks. After the tour, the guide asked who would want to volunteer for Submarine service - Iain quickly raised his hand. I think it may have been due to the torpedo room or the all-you-can-eat vanilla ice cream.

The physics room was pretty fun. Here Orion learns about static electricity and the Van de Graff generator. Electricity scares the bejeezus out of me - isn't it grand to be ignorant of what to expect? Really, as long as you keep one hand on the generator & stand on an insulated box, there isn't anything to worry about. While Wade turns the crank, static charge builds up & travels through Orion. You can sort of see the tin pie plates flying off his left hand. It was pretty cool. I've used one in class several times - kids get a kick out of it.

I didn't take any photos inside the chemistry room. Iain happend to wear his East High Mole Day Shirt, and the staff member thought that was pretty cool & gave the kids a couple of Monty Mole Stickers. I explained I was a chemistry teacher & they left me to run the demos & explain the concepts. We explored acid/base indicators, acid rain, the mole, separation due to density, and rheoscopic fluids. Pretty fun.

While in Portland we also went to a Pink Martini concert. The opening act was 3 Leg Torso - great as well. They are from Portland and Sandy's favorite band. They were playing four different nights to help with the KBOO (a local community radio station) fund raiser. What a great, fun show!! Thanks Katie for bringing us into the Pink Martini fold.

What an amazing city!

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