I had a day off from riding along with Arthur to his appointments, because he didn't have any appointments. So I decided to go visit some of my other relatives and friends who are clustered in this part of the world. Actually, just based on that factor, I suppose that although I have never lived in the Portland region, it is nevertheless a kind of "hometown" for me.
First I drove down to Eugene, which is actually a few hours, but I didn't mind – I enjoy road trips as long as they're not a requirement of my day-to-day life, and with not having a car in Korea, in fact I only do driving one week or two out of each year. So I headed down the west side of the Willamette Valley through McMinnville and Corvallis, and saw my aunt and uncle Janet and Bob – who are on my father's side and so unrelated to my maternal uncle Arthur, who is my main reason for this visit.
I enjoyed that visit, and the scattered fogs and periodic bouts of rain going down and back up the valley. I spent about 4 hours there, having coffee and talking, catching up on things. I really enjoy the company of Janet and Bob, and it's worth noting that they lived with us in Arcata when I an infant, and thus Janet was one of my first baby sitters, though I don't remember that as I was only an infant.
I drove back up the east side of the Valley on I-5, through Albany and Salem and to Portland, where I met up with an old schoolmate Raven who lives there. We haven't in fact seen each other since high school, and in high school we were in different social circles so in fact we haven't interacted since grade school, but we were in the same class for two years in 5th and 6th grade. So it was interesting to sit and chat about such ancient times after so long. Then I drove back out to Forest Grove and met my cousin Jori (also on my father's side, my father's and Janet's niece from another Way family sibling, Freda). I had dinner with her and her husband at a Peruvian restaurant in Forest Grove. It was nostalgic to have Peruvian food, because when I lived in Long Beach I used to go to this Peruvian place with my coworkers that was nearby to where we were working on that big project in Costa Mesa. And I've always like Peruvian cuisine, which is hard to find in Korea. Go figure.
I was surprised to learn that my second cousin Philip (Jori's son, who is, incidentally, named for my father) has recently become the proprietor of a pub in Forest Grove, which is a popular spot for students at the nearby Pacific University, which is where our family friend Juli (who I am staying with, here) has been a physics professor for so many years. So we had dessert (a chocolate creme brulee with strawberries) at the pub and chatted a little about how he's hoping to succeed with this new business venture. I was just impressed to think there is a relative of mine who owns a pub.
Here are some pictures.
Driving down the valley.
With aunt Janet and Bob at their place.
The hillside at Janet and Bob's place.
Some impressively authentic Peruvian food. I had chaufa with some ceviche before that.
My cousin Philip at the bar of his pub.
A chocolate creme brulee with strawberries.
[daily log: walking, 4km]