Well, this isn't what I did on my summer vacation. It's what Teen and Teen's Best Friend did - designed and built a giant paper mache dinosaur, which they then pulled through the local parade.
Now we're all at my mom's house. Her health is so much better than it was in March. [Full disclosure: if you or a family member is on statins and begin to have problems with muscle weakness and pain - have it evaluated immediately. In rare cases, it causes side effects that may be fatal. Thank goodness my mom got off it in time.]
Yesterday we hit all these gourmet food places - Rougue Creamery, Lilli Belle Chocolates, and then Pete's Gourmet Marshmallows, which I had read about. It's like the marshmallows to the stars or something. The guy moved here from LA because Medford, OR has the perfect low humidity. Embarassingly, it turned out not to be a retail operation, but the guy - Pete himself! - was charming and offered us a tour. He gave us a ton of marshmallows and even a huge container of melted chocolate and wooden skewers for dipping. I said I wanted to buy something, and he very sincerely said I didn't have to. But I felt kind of guilty - we had a mountain of marshmallows - so I bought what turned out to be some very expensive cocoa and marshmallows. Presumably the stars can afford it.
Portland is not feeling the effects of the housing slump so much, but here the paper is full of foreclosure notices, and when I went for a walk with my brother and his family we saw houses where the yard was full of weeds, houses where the price had dropped 25% and still had no takers, and houses where notices had been stapled to the door about how the bank was trying to determine if anyone was living there. Scary stuff.