The highlight of the trip though was visiting with Stephen Hayes who blogs over at the Chubby Chatterbox. Stephen lives in a fabulous condominium with doors tall enough that Shaquille O'Neal wouldn't have to duck. Inside this nice dwelling, Stephen regaled me with tales of his trip to India, how the streets there are paved in twenty year old trash because no one wants to clean up, and how he saw the most beautiful thing in his life (the Taj Mahal) and the most ugly thing in his life (a beggar with a grotesquely deformed foot). I also took a look at his artwork (Stephen is quite the accomplished artist) and we went to a really nice restaurant called Decarli where I ate the best mussels and the best salmon I've ever had (thank you again, Stephen). Later we went back to his place and had a shot of chocolate tequila, and I also got to meet his very smart wife (as she was back from book club). Portland (by the way) has some people that can do southern cooking living there. I went to the Screen Door on Thursday night and I'm tellin' you...I had the best mac and cheese I've ever had followed up with the best fried chicken I've ever had. Everything was so tasty that my arteries have to be twice as hard as they were before the trip.
Anyway, I had an incredible time in Portland. However, I also looked up land values there and the houses start at probably $100,000 more than they do here in Utah. Here you can spend $350,000 on a three bedroom house, and it's a dump (read fixer upper). Over in Portland, the fixer uppers start at $450,000. That means I'd need to make $140,000 a year to be able to afford one. Wow. That's a lotta money. Looks like I'll be staying put for the near future. :(