Monday, July 18, 2005

Revitalizing Visit Back Home

A Perfect 4th of July in Oregon

Its been a while since I've posted a new entry. Not for lack of content or amazingly beautiful images. I guess that so much was going on, I never took the time to hit the pause button to document a truly fantastic experience. I went back to the States in mid June for a combination of business and vacation. It was a magical blend of familiar faces and places viewed from a set of eyes that had not cast upon these fantastic creations in quite some time. The passage of time has given new perspective on things once taken for granted.

I started my trip back to the U.S. by enduring the longest single direct flight in the world. Singapore to New York direct in one 18.5 hour shot. As a marketing person, I should know better than to believe the hype that is placed on this route back in Singapore on numerous billboards. These billboards show an amazingly beautiful and elegant Singapore Airlines flight attendant (that part is true... they are beautiful and elegant), with her hair down living it up in the bright lights of New York City. Now here is where the marketing kicks in. I am now looking for the fine print on these billboards, because A) No one looks as fresh as a daisy as the flight attendant in that ad, especially after a 18.5 hour flight, and B) the flight doesn't land in New York City, but instead Newark, New Jersey, and C) (because I needed a C) Singapore Airline flight attendants never wear their hair down.

Man, did I feel ripped off when the wheels touched down in the rip-roaring city that never sleeps known as Newark. I was lucky enough to have my connecting flight to Raleigh, North Carolina, cancelled just so I could spend the night in this electrifying hotspot. I was kidding about the city that never sleeps bit. That is obviously Newark's more famous sister up the street, New York, because I couldn't even get a hamburger in the hotel restaurant after 11:00PM.

So I made it to Raleigh, North Carolina, the next day and had our face-to-face meetings at corporate headquarters of our partners. Then we all headed to the 2005 U.S. Open Golf Championships, which was being held an hour and a half away in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The drive was wonderful as all you could see was beautiful pine trees and wide open fields.

I was able to follow PGA golfer Phil Mickelson around for several holes on one of America's most famous courses, the illustrious Pinehurst #2. The pros were cursing this "Grand Ole Lady" all week as the scores by tour professionals soared right along with the temperatures.

On Friday, we took a break from watching golf and actually played a little ourselves. Keep in mind, that I had not played in over eight years, but to play on Pinehurst #8 was an opportunity I could not pass up... plus they let me drive the cart. For a guy that had not been able to drive for the past six months, that was a very big deal.

I left North Carolina and headed back to where it all began for me several moons ago... my home state of Oregon. There I would see my family, catch up with friends, and take part in American Independence Day festivities on the 4th of July. The weather was amazing my entire trip back in Oregon as the summer season was just kicking off.

Portland is known as the Rose City, so what better place to pay a visit than to Portland's International Rose Test Gardens. Roses have always been my favorite flower for their vivid colors and wonderful scent and the beautiful roses at the garden did not disappoint.

Catching up with friends was a big part of my trip back home. It was so nice to slide back into old routines with friends like listening to the live R&B music stylings of Mr. Andy Stokes at the Candle Light Lounge, or talking about sports again with my buddy Jonathan, who now has to share the remote with young up and coming prospect, Alex, who just turned six months old during my visit.

Good times were definitely in order when I met up with my friends Keiko and Thinh. Keiko now a bonified Portland hotspot aficionado, introduced Thinh and I to the Doug Fir Lounge which is one of the hottest night spots on the West Coast. Its hard to believe that you can take a 1970s Denny's restaurant and a vintage Travel Lodge motel and make it hip and cool, but that is exactly what these guys did. Man, why didn't I think of that?

Spending time with my parents was the best part of being home. We don't get to see each other that often now that we are half a world apart, but we are close and stay in regular contact. Being back for one of the biggest holidays of the year was very special. I stayed for several days up at the Farm in Central Oregon and took in some wonderful sunsets, and took in some wonderful home cooking as well.

The 4th of July, which is American Independence Day, was a picture perfect day. My family has often celebrated this day by taking family picnics up in the scenic mountains. It was my vision to re-create this familiar gathering this year while I was home and luckily Mom and Dad, and even Mother Nature cooperated to deliver a post card back-drop to enjoy each other's company as well as some delicious food.

It was a fantastic trip back to the U.S. that re-charged my batteries for the second half of the year. Friends and colleagues often hear me tout the simple qualities and scenic wonders of my state. Hopefully those that stroll across this entry will feel a little closer to the place that contains the many special people and breathtaking vistas that I like to simply call home.


At 6:28 PM, Blogger Liz said...

Hi David,

I've been waiting for this posting ever since you're back from the States.

Love all the pictures of the sceneries and the roses. Breathtakingly beautiful :)

At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very beautiful.. is this diamond lake? I was just there..


Post a Comment

<< Home