Sunday, May 23, 2010

(Soon-to-Be) Walkin' in Memphis

In order to utilize every possible medium of communication, I am going to use this blog post to announce (again) that Jon and I are moving to Memphis, Tennessee in the fall. After many months of waiting, we finally know our future holds, at least in terms of where we'll be. While I knew that moving was a possibility, it's sort of strange to actually, finally, have a plan. My patience has most certainly been tested over the past several months. But now we know. I'm excited about the upcoming adventure, the opportunity to explore a completely new place together. But when it's all said and done, I'm a bit sad at the prospect of leaving. I've sprouted roots here over the past three years and there are a lot of people I'm really going to miss. With the exception of having family too far away, the Northwest is a pretty cool place to live. Lots to do, beautiful scenery, great weather (in the summer). Speaking of which, if you've been thinking about visiting, your time is running out...

Room Service

When the stars aligned and my dance competition and night out with the Oregonians for Nebraska (see previous post) happened to be scheduled for the same weekend at the same Portland Hotel, I decided to make a weekend out of it. I booked a room at the hotel and headed down to Oregon. As is usually the case when I have ample time to do something, I try to do too much, typically behind schedule. Heaven forbid I be early somewhere or find myself with nothing to do. Even though I was well aware of this tendency, I still set off for Portland slightly later than planned and spent much longer at the outlet mall on the way than I had intended. Nevertheless, I still had just enough time to check into my hotel and be at the dinner on time. And what did I do with my "just enough time"? Tried to cram one more thing in. On my list of "Things to do in Portland" is a trip to Voodoo Donuts. I've been to Powell's Bookstore several times, seen--and performed at--a Trailblazers game, and tried just about every brewery in the city, but I had yet to go to Voodoo. I'd already tried their donuts, which perhaps moved this destination to the top of my list. I figured that Saturday evening would be a low-density time to pick up donuts...but even at 6pm, the line stretched out the door. However, rather than chock it up as a loss and try the next day, I decided to stick it out. The "stubborn gene" I inherited from every female relative I have kicked in hard core. So, by the time I picked up my maple bacon bar and chocolate/peanut butter/oreo cookie crumb donut, I had just enough time to run up to my room, change clothes, do the Heisman pose with Johnny Rodgers, and slide into my seat for the salad course.
Bacon makes everything better.

After dinner, however, I was able to truly relax. I got to watch cable TV (there was nothing on, of course) and sleep in. I didn't have to be at my competition until the afternoon, so I stayed in the room until check-out. I lolled around in my pajamas, tried cable again (still nothing on), and read a book.

And I ordered room service. I'd never done that before, so yet another thing to check off my list. The room service waitress knocked at the door promptly half an hour later with the requisite "room service" call. The tray had the quintessential covered dish. Perhaps butternut squash ravioli wasn't the smartest thing to eat before tap dancing to Stevie Ray Vaughan, but it still tasted pretty good.

And to top off a great weekend, our tap group "Hot Steppin'" won another 1st place trophy. Not a bad vacation, if I do say so myself.

Husker Legends

It is said that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and that you don't truly appreciate what you have until it's gone. Both of those clich├ęs ring true when pertaining to Nebraska football. I completely took for granted the accessibility to the Cornhuskers when I lived in the Midwest. However, there is one great thing about living far away. Sometimes, the Huskers come to you.
I've been fortunate to discover--or have a husband who discovered for me--a strong alumni (and friend) group in Washington. Not only does this group sponsor the ever-popular Husker watch parties, but also some pretty cool events during the year, such as the Washington Cornhuskers Spring Event. This evening consisted of a silent auction, runza dinner, and speech by keynote speaker "Touchdown" Tommie Frazier.
With our good friend, Tommie
Jon good-naturedly accompanied me to the Ballard Elks Lodge where we bid on a number of items in the auction. Ironically, the only thing we "won" was a set of Washington Husky tickets (which Jon outbid me for--seriously). We had our obligatory excited fan photo taken with Tommie and settled into our delicious runza dinner, complete with green salad and Dorothy Lynch salad dressing (again, two things I took for granted). We randomly chose excellent seats that allowed us to chat with some nice folks, check out a beautiful Seattle sunset, and shake hands with Tommie as he finished his speech.
Mmmm...runzas (although admittedly not as good as the ones Grandma used to make)
One would think that would satisfy this Husker fan, but the fates smiled down on me again a couple of months later. The Oregonians for Nebraska were sponsoring their dinner/silent auction in Portland at the beginning of May. Ordinarily I wouldn't drive two hours on my own for dinner, but Johnny "the Jet" Rodgers was there and he brought his Heisman Trophy. Pretty hard to pass up. And coincidence of all coincidences, the dinner was held in the banquet room of the SAME hotel as the dance competition I would be performing in the following day. Now if that wasn't a sign I needed to go, I don't know what was.

The Heisman pose was his idea...although I totally would have done it anyway

Now, if only getting tickets to this September's "Battle in Seattle" would work out so well...