We're finally home and we should be home for a while now I think. Although I am itching to do some x-country skiing this weekend but that will only be a day trip. Some photos from our more recent trip to Phoenix where Bill's mom and dad and brother and family live. We were able to get out for a nice hike on Wind Cave Trail while we were there and enjoyed the amazing desert landscape which is almost the opposite of what we live in here in Oregon. Bill's parents used to live in Maui and I'm still not quite over them moving back to the mainland (why!?! oh why!?!) but there are a lot of things to see in Arizona while we are there visiting. One thing that I can't get over when visiting AZ are the freeways, they build freeways to land that hasn't even been developed yet!
The flat landscape there beckons urban sprawl and they put the infrastructure in place so that new homes can go up quickly. Here in Oregon we have strict laws on urban growth and Portland has problems with housing, there isn't enough space near the city to put a big house with a big yard within the growth boundaries. The freeways are mostly two lane and clogged during rush hour. Portland is supposed to grow like crazy in the next 10 years, I don't know where they are going put everyone.
Here in Corvallis (pop. 50,000) there is a strong resistance to big box and chain stores and people tend to be alturistic and try to buy local. We have the highest education rate per capita in OR and the lowest church attendance (25%) according to Wikipedia. We still have war protestors in front of the court house and I think they've been there since President Bush took office (just kidding). Personally, I have found Corvallis to be a very considerate town but people here live purposefully and might be judgemental towards you if you say you watch TV or bought something at Home Depot. It hasn't been all rosy here, people don't hesitate from commenting on whatever they see fit, but I can't imagine moving to a place where people sit in the their car at the drive up window at Starbucks. BTW, we do have Starbucks here (no drive ups though), I did go there, but my friends have a bumper sticker that says "Friends don't let friends drink Starbucks"
Bill's parents offered to give us their big screen TV and I'm looking forward to seeing how some of our friends will react when we put that monster in our living room. We might lose all of our friends! Just kidding. I do like to kid, which is why the Fleck clan is wearing Beaver Fever tshirts for Christmas. Bill and I bought them for everyone because we forgot to check the football schedule when planning our wedding so our guests had a hard time finding hotel rooms and got caught in game day traffic trying to get here from Portland. The town was overrun by Beaver Believers and they couldn't figure out why traffic wasn't moving. But now when the Flecks come back to visit they will have a shirt to wear and will fit right in. I hope I don't get coal for Christmas next year!
BTW, we watched the Fiesta Bowl while we were there and that Boise State victory was a real hoot!