January 4th, 2008

The Month of Maui (except for the Maui part)

I can't let our minivacation go unmemorialized. The day after Christmas we drove south. After a brief stop at Half Price Books in Tacoma and a rather longer one at the outlet mall in Centralia, we wound up at the Embassy Suites downtown.

We ate at the oyster bar around the corner for dinner. As we were in the waiting room, an elderly waiter beckoned to us. "Have you seen our cistern?" he asked. Admitting we didn't even know it was missing, we followed him into the bar -- Katie balked for a couple of seconds, but we figured if it was an invitation it wasn't us that was going to get in trouble -- and into the corner where yes indeedy there was a twenty-foot well covered with glass.

Thursday we spent at OMSI exploring all the sciencey goodness. There was a great planetarium show, an IMAX show on ancient sea creatures, lots of hands-on displays, and a truly wonderful chemistry lab where Katie got to burn different metallic salts and experiment with luminol and flubber.

That evening we at ate with David Levine and Kate Yule at Kenny & Zuke's, a deli featuring a huge variety of sodas and food so good we ate there again for lunch the next day. After dinner we played miniature golf.

Not just any miniature golf.

Miniature golf with a pirate theme. With black lights. In the basement of the Hilton Hotel. I won, having been a minigolf shark in a former life, but all the adults agreed it was a splendid venue. Katie was scared by some of the motion-sensor-driven displays, like a roaring chest and a rattling gate, but mostly enjoyed herself.

Friday we swam the morning away in the hotel pool and spent the rest at Powells shopping for books. Amy hung out with Katie for an hour or so, then it was my turn. Since we'd just been there in November, I didn't hit all the sections I usually visit; instead I spent most of the time in the literature section scanning shelves. I found quite a few treasures, including a Flann O'Brien book I didn't have.

We drove back on Saturday, stopping off at the Pendleton Woolen Mill factory store, where I found some shirts and Katie entertained herself digging through the nickel-apiece button bin.

All in all, a fun trip. Somewhere Amy picked up the saying "month of Maui" for any vacation during Winter to get away from all the rain (and no, we didn't escape any precipitation in Portland).