Cera, Bernard C., and Mongolian BBQ
10:11 pm: Jet did great last night, only getting up twice, once for a quick bounce, the second for a quick feed. So we were in good shape for breakfast at Waddles with Cera and the Chris*.
It was very nice to be able to sit on the floor in the waiting area at the diner and just have Jet crawling between all of us. He had a really great morning. He woke up at quarter 'til 6, got a good nursing, a change, and when we were all done, it was about 7, so John took him then and went off into the Con with him and they had a good time while I tried to sleep some more. I did okay at it, but not too well and was up twenty minutes before they were to be back, so I got up and took a nice hot shower in the time I had.
Then we were ready for breakfast. So we all went and had fun. Jet was laughing and playing with everyone and he had a great time in the front lobby and then again, later, at the table because he managed to get the seat that had plenty of space for him to reach in all directions and still not disrupt anyone else's breakfast. It was one of those tables where everyone sits around it in a U and the far edge is free. Jet sat at the far edge and happily ate things that were tossed within his sphere of influence.
It was fun to talk with Cera, Christy and Chrisber. They all had brought costumes to the Con and were cheerfully wearing them all. I was very impressed with all the work they'd done on them and how they had turned out. The food at Waddle's was good, too, and I had a short stack of blueberry pancakes there were nicely chewy and thick with blueberries. I also had bacon, and John had a full breakfast. Jet got bits of pancake and the crusts of John's toast. Jet really enjoyed chewing on the crusts and carefully reducing them to mush before eating them.
Cera got biscuits and gravy that I really had been thinking of getting, but decided against. She was kind enough to let me taste some of hers, and that was good enough for me. I just needed the taste. I had hesitated originally because I hadn't wanted to eat an entire plate of them. So that was a good decision.
Afterwards, we all headed to the Safeway to get various things. We needed something to wash Jet with for his bath tonight. Turned out that they only sold Dove bars in two packs, so we picked up a two pack of the unscented bars. Turned out that Christy had also needed some Dove, and had to buy the two pack instead of just one, but she'd used the original scented stuff and we used the unscented stuff. So it wouldn't have bought us anything to have bought two together.
We got all our various things and headed back to the hotel.
Jet and I wandered off into the Con while John napped. I had Jet in the front pack, and we wandered about. In the front lobby area, a lady with beads on her arms cooed at Jet and said that she had things for pretty babies, and held out two strands of big beads, one purple and pink, the other with blue, pale greens and pale pinks. Jet immediately reached for the fuscia and purples and immediately put it into his mouth.
I know, I know, if the strand ever broke they're the perfect size for choking him, but they had a really strong strand holding them together with a really good knot. And, at least for the afternoon, they weren't going to get loose. Besides, when I tried to take them from Jet, he was tired enough that he started crying every time I even tugged on them. So I left them to him, and let him suck on them to his heart's content while we wandered through some panels and the Dealer's room upstairs.
Along the way I ran into Geoff and Bruce, and we set up getting my limited edition Exalted signed by Geoff. I also dropped by the Internet Cafe, and updated my LiveJournal with a quick blurb about how we were mostly sleeping while we were here. I found Steve there, and also Heather. That was pretty fun. It was good to talk with them for a little while. Jet was just watching things. When I sit down with the front pack on, his front legs can fold into my lap and he'll just watch.
From there I went back to the room as it had been an hour. I then nursed Jet, tucked him into his car seat when he went to sleep, and left the two of them to continue their nap while I went off to get my book signed. Geoff was sweet and signed it on the dedications page. Heather and he were headed for lunch with a bunch of gaming folks, so I followed them and talked with folks for a while. When the got up to go, I went back to the room and John was pretty much awake. So I brushed my teeth, put on my guard, and laid down. Jet woke up about then, but John fed him and they played for a while as I took myself a half an hour nap.
That got me to feel a whole lot better.
One of our goals while in Portland had been to visit Bernard C's, which has some of the best chocolates made in North America. It was the founder of Callebaut who had moved to Canada and started making chocolate here when the Callebaut name was bought by a bigger company. So they do great chocolates. For many years they had an outlet in Kirkland, Washington, near our old residence. After we moved to Colorado, however, that outlet got closed and they opened outlets in much less expensive locations around Portland, and, of all places, Phoenix, AZ.
There were two near Portland, so we loaded Jet into the car and off we went. We got lost a bit on the freeways around there, since they do loop around so. We had also assumed that it was in the city boundaries of Portland, but it was actually well beyond. So it took us a while to get out there, and Jet was asleep for much of it. Finally, we drove through a small residential area and found a small mall with a grocery store and other neighborhood stores and across from the Starbucks was the Bernard C's.
It was laid out pretty much exactly like the one in Kirkland, which I think is how all the Canadian stores are laid out. It was easy to find all the things that I wanted, two big bars of the bittersweet baking chocolate, a couple bags of bittersweet pieces for cookies, brownies, and cakes, and then two of ever dark chocolate thing they had. The person behind the counter was mildly surprised, but happy with the order and cheerfully filled a bag for us. Jet peered at everything with interest, and when we went across the street to get hot drinks, he played with the paper bags we had our own treats in and seemed to like watching all the people that were lined up for drinks.
Getting back was far less stressful than getting out to the store, as we'd just beat the time when they were closing. Also, John decided not to take any freeways and we went back through country roads. It was nearly heartbreaking in some ways, as all the lands around there were like in Seattle, green, mountainous, and filled with water. It was sunny today, too, but with that golden, slanting sunshine that is the Northwest in fall, falling on billions of leaves, absorbed and reflected with a softness that isn't possible in Colorado.
It didn't help that when we broke out to a point where we could see Portland it was with a view of the rivers. The mighty Columbia, rolling slate green under iron bridges, so huge it was hard to even think of rowing across it much less swimming, or, in the case of most of the eastern Colorado rivers, wading, across it. When we pulled into the hotel parking lot, we bundled Jet up and we wandered by the river side at the back of the hotel and talked about how it would be wonderful to come back to things like this. It got dark and cold, though, so we went back in to figure out what to do about dinner.
When we got back we called Carl's room to leave him a message saying we wanted to have dinner with him and Bruce as a bunch of the gaming folks were headed for a sushi dinner and more Powell's. So, instead, we called Carl, and he said that he'd come down eventually. So the three of us camped out in the front lobby, waiting for Carl.
Everyone happened by. It was pretty funny seeing people come by and we could talk with them and they'd all get to see Jet. Most of the Hordelings from last night wandered by eventually, and various of the gaming folks came by as well. Jet just watched and was his normal, cheerful self with most of them, and we freed him from the pack so that he could crawl around on the floor there. He had fun doing that, and John basically worked as a partner of food traffic when Jet got into traffic lanes.
Then Jet saw a little girl in a big red wagon and Jet's afterburners kicked him. John says that Jet now has two speeds of crawling, the normal exploratory ramble and a 'closing speed' crawl that is a quick, short spurt of sudden speed. We're not sure if he's actually reasoned that the sprint might make it so that we don't catch him before he hits his target or if it's just his interest lending speed to his mobility. But he did closing speed on the wagon and was up the side almost before the mom pulling it managed to get it to stop and be a little stable for him.
The little girl in the wagon was Logan, and at first she was very uncertain about this baby boy that was trying to bap her in the face. I guess that's what he does with Haley or something, but he really wanted to touch her, and she didn't really like that.
Jet wanted to play with her so badly he actually put his feet under himself and he stood up, hanging onto the side of the wagon. I think that that was the first time I'd actually seen him pull up onto his feet by himself. He normally only goes to his knees and is content enough to be right there. This time, however, he went right up onto his feet, trying to reach her.
But eventually she roused from her warm nest in the wagon and started running around and Jet followed as quickly as he could after her. She went up on the luggage cart and Jet tried to follow. He could get one leg up but not put his weight on it, so he just hung off the edge watching her. Then she ran off into the crowd with her Mom following. We'll have to be doing that with Jet soon enough. Dr. Turner was saying that, from what she'd seen, it was likely that he'll be walking before the end of the year.
It was good, however, for now, that we didn't have to go that fast to keep up with him. Eventually people gathered, and we were just playing in the middle of all that, and finally things resolved to the point where Cera and Jim were going to find their own thing to do. Bruce had to recover from his afternoon adventure. So Carl, Eric P. Scott, and the three of us went to Chang's Mongolian Barbecue, just a few blocks away.
It was packed. It was cold out by now, with the wet cold that just eats bones. We had to wait a while, so I found a nice dark part of the parking lot and nursed a very tired Jet inside my coat. He, of course, fell asleep while I did that, and when I got to the booth everyone else was in, I was able to just lay him in the booth with my coat over him, and he slept away deeply in the midst of a roomful of really loud people who were talking and eating and carrying on. It was a totally packed restaurant and really loud, but Jet was secure enough, I guess, and tired enough to just totally pass out right then and there and stay asleep while we ate.
John and I traded off who was in line and who was eating and who could sit down for a good, long while, and it was fun talking with Scott and Carl and just enjoying their company while we ate. It was Mongolian BBQ with the odd addition of noodles in the line. I guess people like noodles with their food, and it's certainly cheap for the restaurant. But it also meant that the noodles tended to stick to the BBQ, which had the cookers applying a cooking method I hadn't ever seen before, which included pouring water on the food as they moved it about. So the food tasted far more steamed than grilled, which was mildly odd.
One really good change they'd done was adding rice paper as a condiment instead? of rice, and it was really good to just roll the stuff up and eat it, especially since they gave us hoisin as well. So it was kind of like do-it-yourself mu shi. That was pretty funny, but good to eat.
It was really cold when we were done. So we just hurried across the street to the mall over there, and walked through there in the direction of the hotel. Scott decided to peel off and shop, as Oregon has no sales tax (which might be one of the reasons why Bernard C. relocated here). We kept going to a food court to find some worthwhile dessert. There was a Baskin Robins and I got a sundae there and John got a cone. There was a huge carousel there as well. It was really big, with scores of horses, thousands of lights and when it got going it seemed to be whirling really, really fast.
Jet, of course, watched it with fascination.
That was really fun, to just sit there and talk with Carl and watch the carousel. I definitely have missed interacting with Carl and just talking about the everyday things. He's always really good about picking conversation topics that interest whom he's talking with, and it's just really enjoyable to get into detail about certain things with him.
When we were done, John, Jet and I were all pretty exhausted. We walked back to the hotel with Carl and left him to do his night time Con rounds while we went back to our room to try and sleep.