September 17th, 2016


Friday: Party at Spirit Mountain -- Saturday: Home Again

Friday Marilyn was home early in the afternoon, with the plan to depart by 2:00 or 2:15. I held things up, so we didn't leave until past 2:30. We ended up in terrible traffic for much of the trip to Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde.

Our festival sponsor -- Spirit Mountain Casino (one of our most major sponsors) -- was having a special event for their community partners. Many members of our staff were invited, including Marilyn and me.

We didn't exactly know what this event would be. We didn't know, for example, if it included dinner or not. We figured there would be some food, because it was slated to start at 5:00 p.m. And SMC is well known for their five star chefs!

I actually phoned Jeff on our way there and discovered he was encountering the same traffic issues we were! He was around five minutes in front of us. (That's not a good sign, as he's usually late for events...)

Anyway, we did make it there right before 5:00 and checked in to the event which was just starting (hardly anyone had arrived yet -- we were among the first!). So Marilyn went back out and checked us in to the hotel. Then we had drinks and hors d'oeuvres -- which were amazing. The chef was even serving one of them personally. We had a couple of drinks, then eventually everyone arrived -- it was a very exclusive event with an intimate gathering for the amount of organizations included. I think we had the largest showing from the festival, with eight people in attendance. (This included Carol and Steven who were also at our table, and Jeff, Calisa, Christie and her husband at the table next to us.) I think it was 10 different partner groups there, in all.

Jocelyn spoke, and a couple of others (including the head of the tribal council). There was a prayer and then they served a formal sit-down dinner! And what a dinner: Beautiful steaks and crusted salmon with amazing roasted vegetables and sauteed green beans, plus bread and coffee. Then after dinner while we were having dessert there was a country western singer who performed a private concert for our group. It ran until around 9:00 p.m. (I think that's right), before breaking up.

We were given swag bags that contained art pieces (lovely!) and SMC pins.

Afterwards Marilyn and I went out to the car and brought in our bags and were hanging out in our room. Jeff phoned and wanted us to join him for a drink, but I just wasn't up for it. But Marilyn did finally go and join him.

We did go to the snack bar and got french fries and some pop to drink and brought that back to the room. We were having a great time watching Classic Star Trek on TV. Plus there was a surprise! We managed to get WiFi on our iPads!!! So we were able to play SimCity BuildIt (which requires internet) as we were lying around relaxing. I guess it was the difference in our room, I don't know for sure. But the last time we were there (for the concert), we had no WiFi AT ALL.

We still didn't have cell phone service this time (just like last time). But it was fine...

Marilyn wasn't gone long with Jeff. Then we watched more Star Trek while resting in our room. The beds were comfortable, by the way.

What a difference having WiFi makes!!! We are not the unplugged type at all -- we always want our internet connection. It wasn't perfect (there was some dropout now and then), but it wasn't bad.

I understand that most casinos don't want their guests to have WiFi for the obvious reason that they'll spend too much time in their rooms rather than in the casino gambling. It makes sense, of course. We've experienced it before in Las Vegas. But in this day and age we all rely on the internet a great deal...

Needless to say, we didn't go in to the casino at all while there. After the long dinner and concert, we were pretty tired out. And it had been a long week at work for Marilyn.

We slept in today (Saturday), but immediately packed once we woke up. Jeff called and was getting something to eat, but that didn't appeal to either of us, so we went briefly to the gift shop, then headed for home.

We must have some bad luck about driving back from SMC! Last time we were in terrible traffic, and this time was the same (maybe worse). Poor Marilyn! But we finally made it home (after stopping to get gas) safe and sound.

The rest of today we've slept a lot and watched TV -- and played on our iPads. And that's pretty much it. We had a pot of chili for dinner.

We're both still suffering from the end of this virus, and coughing a lot. Ugh. I can't wait to finally get over it! I guess a lot of people have had it...

Marilyn and Jeff both plan to go to the office tomorrow afternoon to work.

I can't think what I might be forgetting to add. But that's my Friday and Saturday for this week.

Sweet dreams!