30 July 2022

Portland Trip

  1. Sea of blue!! Jul 1, 2015
  2. What a small world!! Jul 2, 2015

    Yesterday, I had a lot of work stuff to get done. Instead of staying in office when everybody was gone, i just went to a bar half way between office and home with the intent to go thru all the numbers and documents over a glass of wine. (Usually, I try not to bring work home; I will stay out, finish it and then get home).

    The bar was pretty empty. I walked to the corner most spot in the bar to sit down. It was rather inconvenient if you were going to watch a game on the TV or get the bartender’s attention – but I just needed a glass of wine and space to spread out my papers. So, it suited me just fine. As I sat down at the last seat, I noticed a plate (like a name plate) nailed to the wood – it said “Reserved for Ump Daddy”. That was a little intriguing. So I asked the bartender about it. He mentioned that Ump Daddy is their most regular customer. In return for his business, they did it to honor him. I asked him if I should move to the next chair. “Naah! He is cool”, came the reply.

    With that, I started pulling out my papers. I must have been deep in all those document because, half an hour later, when I lifted my head, I saw that the whole bar had filled up. By the way, not sure if this happens to you – white noise by complete strangers lets me concentrate very well. I can tune them out. If if it is known people however, I cannot do that. My ear, invariably becomes curious to understand the conversations going on.

    In any case, I also noticed there was a gentleman sitting next to me. Out of impulse, I asked him “Are you Ump Daddy?”. He confirmed that he was!! I told him I heard about the story and his nameplate and asked if he would rather we switch. He just laughed it away and told me not to work too hard. As is my wont, I started to find out what he does. Turns out he is in IT and has actually worked for our city (Milton) at some point in his career. He knew our neighbor Bill extremely well. In fact, he went on to tell me a very funny story of how he got the moniker “Ump Daddy” when he moved from North Carolina to this part of the country. We marveled that I would randomly walk into a bar twenty miles away from home and the first guy I would meet is somebody who knows my neighbor very well!!

    After a few minutes, he got busy with other regulars in the bar and I went back to my work. When I was done and started to wrap up, we exchanged our contacts and cards to keep in touch and may be we might actually have opportunities for him some day at our company.

    His first words after glancing at the card were – “Oh! You guys did Lidar for us last year”. You can only imagine how much I was taken aback! “You know what Lidar is???”. Turns out he works for a local government now for whom we did a geospatial project some time back!!! I immediately remembered the sales guy who had told me about a project in that particular area once.

    So, all this time, I was actually sitting right next to and chatting with a customer!! Who knew? !!


  3. Dinner with a wonderful couple last night! Jul 2, 2015

    I had not seen Atanu and Mamtha for over a decade. We lived a couple of minutes of walk away from each other in Dallas. Atanu and I worked in the same team in the same company for quite some time too! I am really glad that they could make some time during their short visit to Atlanta right before we left Atlanta for a couple of days…


  4. Very funny, I thought… Jul 2, 2015
  5. Raptor Ridge Jul 2, 2015

    First stop – Raptor Ridge Winery in the Williamette Valley. Great suggestion from Mark Meade. After some nice tastings of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, we took a picture with Annie (owner) and Sarah (Flight Club manager) with the beautiful valley and Mount Hood behind us,


  6. Trying out some more Pinot Noir in Williamette Valley Jul 2, 2015

    This one is at Erath


  7. That is a near 600 feet drop Jul 3, 2015

    Multnomah Falls


  8. Nikita creates some camera tricks… Jul 3, 2015
  9. Another one from Nikita Jul 3, 2015
  10. Niki composing a shot over Columbia River Jul 3, 2015
  11. Bridge of the Gods Jul 3, 2015

    That is what this bridge is called that spans over Columbia river connecting Oregon to Washington state. I wonder whether the two states keep bickering about which side gets to be Heaven πŸ™‚


  12. They are all over the river near Hood River Jul 3, 2015
  13. Mount Hood – from Washington State Jul 3, 2015
  14. Where the mind is without fear… Jul 4, 2015

    Going up from the timberline to the snowline of Mount Hood…


  15. Aiming high… Jul 4, 2015
  16. And with that “our” team goes ahead 2-1h Jul 4, 2015

    We have a big soccer fan in Nikita. USA is not exactly the place for soccer fans. But we were in Portland. So we got Nikita – with help from my friends Matt and Christine – to a Thorns game. Thorns has 9 players in the USA World Cup squad playing Japan in the finals on Sunday (none of whom are of course in this game today). She is super excited…

    This is the shot that I (luckily) captured of Thorns pulling ahead of the Sky Blue (New Jersey) team…


  17. On the beaches of Oregon Jul 4, 2015

    This is in a small place called Seaside. The more imaginative of you must have figured out that this is by the sea side.


  18. Haystack Rock (in Cannon Beach) Jul 4, 2015
  19. The girls strolling on Cannon Beach Jul 4, 2015
  20. Sunset Coffee Jul 5, 2015

    On our way back from the beach side of Oregon, we stopped at a quaint little coffee shop that I had seen on my way to the beach. It was literally in the middle of the forest and near to just about nothing. A local lady runs the place. Her daughter was helping her during summer vacation. She has been in business for five years and said they are doing good business wise. The tea and the smoothie was great. If you ever find yourself on Hwy 26 heading from Portland to the ocean, stop by Sunset Coffee. It is nineteen and a half miles from Seaside…


  21. But for Facebook… Jul 5, 2015

    It is not uncommon for me to get a message from a friend of mine who has decided to get out of Facebook since it was consuming too much time. Sometimes, I wonder if I m better off too without Facebook. It probably will free up some time. I certainly am not a big fan of some of the posts that I read that I think are best discussed and debated in a more intimate forum than Facebook (which is not exactly a discussion platform) e.g. religious beliefs, political beliefs etc.

    Then there are days like today that makes Facebook totally worthwhile for me. Neal Rajdev read my post of Multnomah Falls and realized we were vacationing in the same city! Long story short, a few phone calls later, on our way back from the beach, we found ourselves in front of a beautiful house in Beaverton and in the middle of a big family get together!

    Neal and I worked together two jobs back. I had the fortune of meeting his lovely wife Kim and his wonderful mom. But today, I got to see his beautiful daughter Avia. Unfortunately before I could take her pictures when I left, she was fast asleep. But I am proud to say that she did become friends with me before that. Admittedly, a bribe of an iPhone was involved somewhere to break the stranger anxiety πŸ™‚

    I got to meet Neal’s extended family. Met his dad for the first time. Also his brother Suraj and his wife Monica. His dad used to live in Portland and is visiting after 30 years!! I also met his sister who is visiting from India. What is really cool is that I got to meet an elderly gentleman and his wife who actually introduced Neal’s dad to his mom!! 40 years back!!! And they were together today again after three decades!

    The story does not end there. I also met Neal’s mom’s siblings and their families. Many live in Portland and one in Corvallis. Coincidentally, those are the two cities we have offices in and I visit regularly!!

    Sharmila and I were completely taken in by Neal’s family’s grace and hospitality. I met most all of them for the first time in my life but you could not have guessed it in the way they made us feel like part of the family. Wonderful family!! This trip for me was totally worth just for that hour or so at Neal’s family’s place. That family’s beauty far surpassed the beauty of the waterfalls, mountains, beaches and wineries we saw. If anyone of you is familiar with this part of the world, you probably know that, that is saying something.


  22. Return trip Jul 5, 2015

    After a very enjoyable trip in Portland area for a few days, the girls are heading back to Atlanta. I will venture further westwards to Alaska a few hours later…


  23. Bye for now… Jul 5, 2015
  24. Outside the small and cute airport in Portland… Jul 5, 2015
  25. … and this one is inside… Jul 5, 2015
  26. All that snow that we did not see in Mt. Hood? Jul 5, 2015

    Found them!!!
    They are all here in Alaska!!! πŸ™‚