I love coming to Oregon, because that means I spend time with my new, extended family. And our time here is a celebration, something to be enjoyed.
So the typical day here goes like this: Wake up, small breakfast, get dressed, have lunch, various afternoon activities, visit someone for dinner, enjoy a nightcap. Or several.
Most late nights are spent on my in-laws' back deck, which affords a beautiful view of downtown Bend, Ore. We sit around and tell stories and shoot the breeze, all while enjoying some high-quality Oregon wine or, in my case, a bottle of an offering from local favorite Deschutes Brewery (http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/splash/default.aspx).
Tonight was especially cool, as one can imagine, with the Independence Day fireworks visible just over the left edge of the deck.
It followed a dinner - for quite a few families - at the house of one of my father-in-law's colleagues. We set off some smaller fireworks in the nearby street while waving around the sparse, incoming traffic. One driver was even courteous enough to stop and turn off his headlights (imagine that in D.C.).
At the dinner, I liked to tell folks that I enjoyed Oregon a lot because if I were here, that meant I wasn't at work.
Truth be told, I enjoy being here because my new, extended family is a blast to hang out with.