Out-of-Towners Mega Post

10358278_1618746051684623_528938617_n Hello from my desk. The parents and nephew have been visiting for the past week, and I just dropped them off curbside so they could run to catch their flight. Now it's time to reclaim my work/adult/real-life life.

For peeps who don't know, I'm a consummate Portland tour guide, and we did a crap-ton of stuff while they were in town (the below is a short list—should you decide to come visit, I shall design you a custom itinerary of your own). There were hours logged in the car; some traffic, some testy exchanges and almost-arguments, some 9-year-old empty-stomach-induced tears shed ... you know how it goes. What can I say? Your family drives you crazy—they are your closest, most fraught relationships. But for me, parting ways at the airport is always done with a heavy heart, and the house seems to echo with emptiness upon my return.

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1. PSU farmers market: Parsley, potatoes, sugar snaps, and crimson piles of the sweetest, shyest strawberries you'll ever come to know.

2. Dad fixed everything: Peter Sherowski wrenched and tinkered throughout every spare moment. Thanks to him, my house works.

3. Horsetail falls hike: Drive on past the Multnomah Falls tour-bus crowds, hike up a different trail past a handful of lonesome waterfalls—one that you duck behind; the torrent of water pounding so loud, the soft mist so cool on your skin.

4. Impromptu Naked Bike Ride spectating from front yard: My dad, standing in the front yard wondering why there's 6,000 naked people riding bikes down the street in front of my house.

5. The Rose Garden at dusk: For my mom. A rose explosion in every hue. The last of the sunlight to illuminate them. The air smelling better than at any other time of day.

6. Sauvie Island beach day: Hot wind, cold cheese sandwiches, and a dip in the Columbia River as the freighters bob on by.

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