Funeral Convention was a blur. I didn't get to stay as long as I have in the past and I missed seeing some of my favorite funeral directors. But it was at the beach, which is always a good thing. Beautiful weather, hearse displays, over-worked bartenders... would have been the perfect vacation had I not been working.
Then again, this is me "working"after dinner out one night, so I guess I actually had a blast and would prefer not to admit just how much I look forward to this convention EVERY year.
The next day I headed off with Little Man to Portland, Oregon for the national convention of Unitarian Universalists. Bad news: the exhibit hall displays were better at the funeral convention, AND I had neither the time nor money for a tattoo. Good news: lots of good workshops, good speakers, great food AND I had neither the time nor money for a tattoo.
I went to the UU bloggers dinner complete with cheese on fire and a belly dancer. That was a great time. Got to finally give Ms. Kitty a hug in person. Chalice Chick was a sweetie pie. Rev. Ricky was a delightful meal mate. Philocrites was friendly and helpful. And Never Say Never is beautiful and funny, as well as a great writer. The UU Update king put up with the antics of Little Man (my "4 and 7/8ths" year old) as he was putting the moves on Update's lovely wife. And those were just the folks sitting right beside me.
Great night! When in Portland, go to Alexis. Friendly staff who look like models and yell fiendishly every time they set food on fire.
And then there's the belly dancing.
Other highlights of the trip included visits with various Portlanders including college buddy Chris, his wife-thanks-to-me Megan, and their beautiful tiny baby Mira. Multiple visits with my dad's other brother Uncle Dick, and his family. This included two laughter-filled nights with my wonderful cousins Cathy and Shari and their families. (No belly dancing or fire cheese, but some chicken stories that are too amazing to write. You'd never believe me. And a snake.)
And then there were over 30 hours of workshops, worship, meetings and such at the convention. Little Man accompanied me for all of it and was a total trooper. I can never thank the Young Adults enough for all the many times they made him feel welcomed and treasured. The most amazing was at Soulful Sundown where he was a featured worship artist (along with the delightful Kimberly - shown here), but there were many other times. It meant the world to both of us.
Before we flew out we had Dim Sum at the House of Louie in Chinatown and got soaked at the incredible disappearing fountain of the Pearl District. Great city, Portland is. We loved the weather, the public transportation, and the food. We were a bit thrown by the 10PM sunset and 5 AM sunrise, however.