Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bend Weekend

The last time I was in Bend, the boys looked like this:

It's been almost four years since we moved away, and I hadn't been back since. But some old friends recently got married and threw a party to celebrate, which provided us with a perfect reason to visit Bend over the 4th of July weekend.

I let the boys dress themselves for the journey (I'm not sure what they were preparing for with the vests) and select their own entertainment for the car. I always find it interesting to see what they pick out of the overabundance of books and toys they have. As you can see, Nels chose a Transformer tank and a book of stories by Dr. Seuss, while Willem went with a children's Bible and his stuffed sea turtle.

It's totally ridiculous that we hadn't been back to Bend yet, because my mom lives there! In the cutest little house! With an amazing front yard! We loved staying with her for our visit.

Our newlywed friends rented a house on the river to serve as party central. It was walking distance from my mom's house, so that was perfect. When two employees of Deschutes Brewery get married, nobody goes home thirsty.

We were also just a few blocks from downtown, the site of a favorite Bend tradition, the Pet Parade.

(Bend is a totally dog-crazy town, one of the many reasons I never quite fit in there.)

The Pet Parade is just what it sounds like. People dress up their pets and walk them (or pull them in a wagon or whatever) in the parade. Very homespun. Very charming. Very controversial.

The flying chihuahua is the grand finale of the parade every year. And every year, according to my mom, this prompts a predictable spate of outraged letters to the local newspaper. Granted, the dog looked a bit undignified with his little legs slowly paddling in the air, but come on. Look at his little aviator goggles.

The dangling chihuahua wasn't the only divisive controversy in Bend this summer. Huge piles of goose poop in the grass had rendered most of the parks unusable. People were feeding the birds, many of which stopped migrating because they had it so good. After much heated debate, the non-migrating geese were identified and gassed. And cooked. And served for dinner to the homeless. True story.

I thought it was sweet that this young woman was dressed as Cinderella, posing for pictures with enthralled little girls and waving sweetly to the crowd. Then a pushy lady leaned in to the mother of the little girls and said, "Yea, that's my daughter. I'm her agent." And it just seemed kind of sad and creepy.

We went to the candy store after the parade; of course it was packed. We told the boys they could each pick one thing. They each chose a toy (Nels picked a cap bomb and Willem got a truck with a bit of candy in the back) and didn't ask once to have any additional candy. I was impressed.

Reward: ice cream at Goody's.

Here's Nels with his cap bomb in Mom's back yard.

The weather was gorgeous for the entire weekend, and we got to see several of our friends. At the parade we even ran into the pastor from the church we used to go to. We watched the fireworks on Pilot Butte from a neighborhood in Awbrey Butte and we ate breakfast at our old favorite breakfast haunt. It made me miss Bend. Next time we won't wait so long to go back.


Annie Nannie said...

Wonderful post, Gypsy! Especially love the video clip and the ice cream pic. Almost has a Rockwell feel to it. Your mom's front garden is gorgeous.

Thanks for posting!

kylee said...

i cannot believe they gassed the geese. no way

Amy said...

Did you mom put in the garden? I only dream of our front yard looking that nice.

Glad you all are having a good summer!

Gypmar said...

Amy, the yard was all my mom's doing. You two would be able to have a good long talk about all things gardening. She has quite the green thumb, which I, alas, did not inherit.