Sunday, September 11, 2011

We flew to Oregon on Monday via three Alaska Airline flights from Petersburg to Juneau, then to Seattle and Portland.  The most spectacular sights were the great chain of volcanoes in the Northwest, which the pilot out of Seattle obligingly arranged to be on our side of the plane.  The most arresting sight, of course, was Mt. St. Helens, the immediate surrounding area of which has still not recovered from the devastation of its spectacular explosion.  Mounts Rainier, Adams, Hood and a few lesser volcanic cones were all in fine fettle and quite a sight from about 20000 feet.

The middle of last week was spent in Salem with my daughter, son in law and now 25 month old granddaughter.  She's a bundle of energy and very vocal. Her parents throw words at her all the time and she bonces them back almost perfectly.  They then give an explanation and keep the words in play.  Rhinoceros and architect were among the words this summer.  She is very like my daughter at the same age and I told Stephania that little Sasha may well be very good at foreign language study as there is virtually no difference between what they say and what she repeats.  She 's also getting to know her alphabet and numbers rather well.

On Thursday we drove up to Portland to spend the night before a morning flight to Las Vegas.  When we checked in at the Mark Spencer Hotel, the cute young man at the desk did all the paperwork and then said, "and we have had to upgrade you at no extra charge to an executive suite."  Sweet, indeed!

We have a number of blogger friends in Portland with whom we've had some great visits in the past and as I didn't want to have to choose, I proposed that we all get together at Clyde Commons, an excellent restaurant near our hotel.  It's noisy but the food is creative and excellent and the atmosphere wonderfully stimulating, including a number of real lookers among the wait staff.  Now when we moved into the suite,  Fritz suggested we get in some dessert and invite the guys up to the sweet after dinner, since there was a full kitchenette complete with refrigerator.  We went out to a local grocery and hit the ice cream case.  There were some of the usual brands, Breyers, etc., but I said that for this crowd, nothing less than Magnum would do, double entendre very much intended.

Fritz with the boys behind him: Rolfe and Stephen, Mark and Rodger, Blair and Arnie.  Thanks, guys for a delightful evening!

Friday was a travel day, two planes: Portland to LA, then on to Las Vegas for a big reunion of a very special class to which Fritz taught English and Drama, and whose members he directed in many productions in his first teaching position ever at Las Vegas High School (now Academy for the Arts).
Our connection at LAX was made tense by a shuttle bus for which we had to wait 45 minutes and which, when it came, circumnavigated virtually the entire perimeter of the vast airport to get us from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5.   But we made it and began a flight that looked down on vast areas of frighteningly dry and barren desert. 
The sudden end of the mountains and start of the dessert plain on which Las Vegas is built.

The opening event of the reunion was a reception dinner at a fine Mexican restaurant, with most if not all of Fritz's inner core group of actors and theater technicians.  Several of them have gone on to significant careers in the profession, especially . . .

. . . Ms Toni Basil.  Many of you will know her.  She is a dancer, and choreographer for Bette Midler, for Las Vegas shows and other special engagements.  Her videos on YouTube are delightful.  The hat is an original Elsa Schiaparelli from the 1950s.      

What a wonderful adventure! And all those bloggers in one place. Cool. I love the aerial shots, especially MSH as Ken and I drove up there in 1988 (that seems so long ago).
I am mad-jealous you got to meet all those wonderful OR bloggers!
Great shots from the plane! Mine never come out that well.
What wonderful memories, and you have such a lovely way of recounting them that I feel like I was there with you! Thank you for sharing!
Those are some amazing photos. Normally the Northwest is not so clear.

Love Toni Basil..."Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind..."
What a wonderful adventure! And all those bloggers in one place. Cool. I love the aerial shots, especially MSH as Ken and I drove up there in 1988 (that seems so long ago).

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