Sweet, Sweet Portland

I was called back to Portland this week for company meetings, and the summer party that is meant to top all summer parties.  I don't know this yet, of course, because the theme of the week is Bond, James Bond- which means we are all on a need to know basis.  That said, I know some of my colleagues have worked on nothing but preparing this party for at least a couple of months, and I know I was given clues to find a top secret package of passports and like a million dollars in foreign currency to welcome me to town.

No, not in usable funds...
I'm pretty sure when your colleagues faces are on the bills it means a good chance that the money wont be accepted.  May not stop me from trying however.

First order of business...happy hour, or at least the type of cheap food and drink that only Portland can offer since i landed after most happy hours.   Jen doesn't come into town until Thursday so I have to go it alone, but the gorgonzola cheese fries and seared ahi tuna from Henry's will help me make through night one at least.  um, yummy!

Tuesday night is dinner with colleagues.  A work event that is truly enjoyable because I haven't seen so many of these faces for so long.  Sadly, the restaurant couldn't seat us all together (was never an issue back when the firm only had only a dozen employees), but we make do and send rounds of drinks back and forth to make sure both tables know we are thinking of one another.  This would prove to be my demise later on in the evening as most people would leave and Ben and I would consume all leftover drinks while in deep and serious conversation.  At least I had good company...

A small but committed crowd heads out (stumbles  along)  for karaoke at the boiler room after dinner and we call to make sure the karaoke queen herself will meet us there.  Mara apparently was minutes away from turning in for the night...but that's never stopped her from showing up to a karaoke session as long as we've known her.  Much craziness ensued, and Brock and Mara wooed the crowd as always...finishing off with an amazing rendition of Empire State of Mind (which Brock learned the words to earlier in the evening).  The first photo below may look blurry due to lack of light...but honestly, its also how I remember most of the evening.  Remember, i'm a professional, don't try this at home.

The following workday was pure torture, and seems to move along slower than time itself, but I finally make it out alive.  Didn't quite feel alive until later in the evening when I put down a giant Crawfish Boil from Jake's.  Perfect recovery food...

Jen got in last night, and not only were we able to have dinner and drinks in Portland, we got to have it with a great group of friends.

Wendy Meyer met Brock and I after work and after a bit of struggle we found an appropriate restaurant to wait out the arrival of the girls.
Jen landed and hopped on the max only to find out that the speed wasn't what she remembered.  Lesson for the day...when you are eager to get somewhere and see loved ones...take the fastest mode of transportation and spend the extra 15bucks. Do it.

Brock went to pick up Kelly and their rental car, and arrived back just in time for a final margarita before we met Bill and his lovely lady Suzanne.  We all headed to Clyde Common and met Brent and Dee, who made it out for "after Miri" hours.  A perfect relaxing and fun filled evening leading up to what was sure to be a long Friday!