Sunday, July 7, 2013

Road Trippin'

I do other stuff besides teach high school you know. I paint stuff, and I eat stuff, and I complain about stuff. I also vacuum stuff, and worry about stuff.

And last week I packed stuff into my car--including my husband, my twins, and my dog, and we drove for hours and hours to watch my oldest son play basketball at the new 225 million dollar Matthew Knight Arena at the University of Oregon, which I'm pretty sure Nike paid for.

My daughter didn't come with us because, as she put it, she couldn't get off work, because, as she put it, someone has to work around here to pay for my study abroad to Paris in the fall!

(Raise your hand if you want to hide in her suitcase with me?) 

I have  never been to Oregon before, but as far as I can tell, it is exactly like Utah. Except  the voice inflection doesn’t have that game-show-host ring to it. 

And the air smells like a sprinkler rather than a sauna. 

And in Utah my hair looks like this:

But in Oregon my hair looks like this:  

Also, in Oregon The Department of Transportation super-sizes the speed limit signs and posts them every. single. mile along the interstate. I was able to memorize the speed limit in Oregon in less than six hours.

(What's the speed limit in Utah again? You'd think I would know it after graduating with a double major from traffic school.) 

But mostly Oregon is exactly like Utah. Except Oregon is a more "nurturing" environment, or, as my husband would say, a more “liberal,” environment.

You are not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. That job is outsourced to the locals, which is why Oregon was voted the state most likely to have clean windshields.

In a less “nurturing” environment, people pump their own gas and clean their own windshields. Take Utah for instance, no one is willing to pay someone to do something they can do themselves. Or can get someone to do for them for free.

Also, there are no plastic bags in Oregon, and I think the state has a restraining order on Walmart.  They are retro--still operating in the Fred Meyer time zone, which I believe is the late 80’s, early 90’s. They are also cool and hip, sporting chic little organic markets. My favorite was called Market of Choice. Like all the shopping venues in Oregonthe choice was not between paper or plastic, but between carrying your groceries to the car in your t-shirt, or paying a nickel for a paper bag.   

The hotels in Oregon also emphasize choice. That was the slogan for the hotel chain where we stayed in Pendleton. By Choice Hotels, which is a sweetened condensed way of saying, you chose this dump of your own volition, so quit your whining.  My twins were sure it was The Bates Motel disguised at a Rodeway Inn, so the slogan could also be a disclaimer: we are not responsible if you happen to get knocked off while staying here. 

My twins were so sure it was The Bates Motel they made us sleep right in front of the door--which was where the bed was located anyway, so it worked out perfectly. 

The Bates Motel in Oregon was a much better choice than The Bates Motel in Redding California. My new policy is, don't trust a hotel where the bathroom smells like a bathroom, or where the walls are spackled, but not painted, or where the tub is lower than the floor. You know it's bad when your dog paces the floor until 3 a.m., your husband passes on the free continental breakfast, and your twins are in the car with at a map at 6 a.m. 

Other slight differences between Utah and Oregon: Oregon has more video rental stores, less huge metal stars on their homes; more amber waves of grain, less purple mountains majesty; more Hall and Oats on the radio, less construction on the roads. Less liposuction, body contouring, and cellulite treatment commercials, more commercials about that purse who wants to do cartwheels but can’t because it doesn’t have the hand-eye coordination.

Other than that, I couldn't tell the two states apart. 

All in all, the road trip was a PaRtAy!  Here are the highlights: 

Meant to do that


 Thought you said meatballs and noodles

My first veggie burger



Donna said...

loved this blog!! BTW I hate it when anyone even tries to take away my choices....let me choose, please!!

Haley Monson said...

Looks very fun. PS, I totes caught on when you said metal stars. I remember that conversation: everyone in Utah has one hanging in their home! So NOT classy.

Haley Monson said...

Looks very fun. PS, I totes caught on when you said metal stars. I remember that conversation: everyone in Utah has one hanging in their home! So NOT classy.

Pat said...

I have missed you. Glad to hear from you. Sounds like great times.

Braden said...

I haven't done much blogging lately. Which means I haven't read your blog in a while. Which means I laughed harder in the last few minutes reading that post than I have in, oh, a long time. Awesome post!