Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bermtopia-by-the Sea: The art of freezing fog and last-minute Christmas shopping

The evening of December 23

Wireless at The Mom Unit's apartment is just a tad temperamental, hence we've been a little tardy with our reports from Bermtopia -- now known as Bermtopia-by-the Sea. But here goes -- a tale of sound and frozen fog, signifying a near riot at the Beaverton Bakery this morning.

But first. I'm sitting at the dining room table at Sally's Ally Retreat, the rain blowing sideways till just 30 minutes ago. Now all is calm. Gingerbread is in the oven. Crab, steamer clams, prawns soon to be consumed. 

The Number 1 and 2 Sons and The Miz have commenced an already fierce Monopoly game. . . 

Number 1: "Body Odor Railroad. . . 200 bones."

Number 2: "When do people start paying me?"

Number 1: Just won 2nd prize in the beauty contest -- ten bucks, baby!

Number 2: Sings the theme from "Reading Rainbow" and announces, "I like the idea of everyone owing me something." My little art major cum web developer.

The Miz: Silently laying low, ready to bring The Numbers to their fiscal knees.

It's so foggy and stormy, we THINK the ocean is out there somewhere.


How we got here:

The Wonderfully Patient Spouse, Ben and I launched ourselves toward Portland about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 -- on one of the most spectacular December days I've ever seen in my little corner of The Palouse. Nevertheless, some things never change: When a road trip involves more than 100 miles, our car ends up looking like like Cousin Eddie and Jed Clampett were our trip planners.

Don't ask me why.
Ben was mortified

It was really quite spectacular.

Ritzville, Wash., was a jaw-dropper. Normally, a scratch ticket water stop for us, this quaint little farming town is pretty nondescript most of the year, but a week of freezing fog had the local city park looking like it barely survived Attack of the Christree Tree Flocking Machine.

And just kept getting better.
Ben is a rawther
nervous traveler.
I dig my potty breaks, though.
Thursday and Friday, December 22-23

Nothing strikes more fear in my soul than the four words, "Last-minute Christmas shopping." And, of course, we had some to knock out in Portland. Most went relatively well -- especially when we were in and out of stores before 10 a.m. or  after 8 p.m.

I was feeling pretty good about mankind. Until. 

Until we stopped at Beaverton Bakery to pick up some fresh sour dough bread Friday. Now you would think this would be about the happiest place on earth, given the fact that chocolate and butter are involved in almost every aspect of business. 

It was just a TAD busy.
And out of focus
We all took numbers and waited patiently, watching a delectably fragrant parade of pies, cookies, coffee cakes and dinner rolls go out the door. 

And then. One lady missed hearing her number called. 

When she realized she was about to be relegated to the back of the bread line, she had a little massive holiday meltdown. In front of about 20 of her newest nearest and dearest friends. The lady standing next to me and I exchanged glances, smirked and rolled our eyes.

Meltdown Lady got her cookies. And we all lived happily ever after.

And then the Wonderfully Patient Spouse and I split a delicious breakfast burrito at Shirley's Donuts next door. We watched them make donuts the old-school way. And decided we absolutely needed to split a buttermilk bar. It was still warm.

The end.

Which brings us to Christmas Eve.

I think this pretty much sums it up.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.


  1. I don't know which part of your holiday I envy more ... the menu, the scenery, the family camaraderie. Well, maybe the food. Damn! They all sound and look awesomely fattening.

    Mr Ben's clenched toes lol. Maybe some Valium for the journey back?

    Happy holidays 2legged missus, WPS, Mr Ben and Others xox

  2. Even the crappy parts sound like they came out of a dreamy Christmas movie starring Diane Keaton and somebody good, but not Jack Nicholson. Hope you and your family had a joyful day!