Friday, July 4, 2008

A Return to Bend

Okay so, we have accepted an offer on our Carlsbad house, I managed to get a loan approved for the purchase of the house in Bend (a minor miracle in itself, being self-employed and never one to focus much on my finances, I was surprised to find that I had a FICO score of 719, which when combined with the combined business and personal income was good enough to qualify), and we picked a date to move -- mid August.

But we had to return to Bend to take care of a lot of issues, like: Mrs Elliott needed to meet with the new telecom people who will be responsible for routing a couple dozen 800 numbers to her office -- two companies need to be involved: one, in Bend, will handle bringing the lines to the house, the second, from Eugene, will be responsible for hooking up and programming the Samsung multiline phone hardware in the house; we both needed to interview potential employees; meet with handymen about making the changes we need to the house, sign the title papers; locate suitable banks, and a raft of other details. Oh -- and Mrs Elliott wanted to find a nail salon, she loves her acrylic wraps.

So with these tasks in mind, Mrs Elliott and I flew to Portland on the last week of June, and returned to Bend in a rental car. Three days prior, my 20 year old son, Jim, departed with three of his friends in Mrs Elliott's 2001 Volvo sedan on a road trip taking them to Bend through Santa Cruz (a friend of his), a motel in Ashland, and a hostel in Portland before meeting us at the vacation rental house Mrs Elliott booked for all of us on the westside.

In addition, Mrs Elliott's younger son and his wife and toddler and infant drove up from Alameda to visit. Fortunately they stayed at the Inn of the Seventh Mountain out SW Century -- fortunately for me, anyway. Too many people, too many voices, and I start to get all hinky and irritable. Oh, and just to add to the general hurly-burly, Mrs Elliott's older sister and her husband came up to check out the real estate market.

Bend truly is lovely. The weather was promised to be hot, and it was. But I gotta say that high desert dry heat is a lot more tolerable than more humid coastal heat. In between duties and tasks I managed to take in just how civilized and attractive Bend is. Although we had had a very disappointing lunch off highway 20 on the way to Bend (road food is seldom very good in my experience), the food in Bend was uniformly excellent. Kebaba found room at the front for all eleven of us and served up a very fine dinner, I sampled some fine cheeses at the Newport Market (see Glen, the cheese manager -- who knew that such a title existed?), Pizza Mondo's lunch special (slice pizza, salad, fountain drink) was quite good for $5.50, and we determined that El Jiminez is a suitable place to load young people with food inexpensively. My son hoped to get an el Jiminez t-shirt -- his name being Jim, after all -- but alas they had nothing.

We spent one afternoon lounging in the shade at Drake Park, and the kids and I spent another afternoon drifting down the Deschutes from Robbie's Bistro to the park. In my estimation, nursing a bottle of local stout while drifting down that river ranks pretty much in my personal Top Ten of Totally Decadent Experiences.

I interviewed four very talented and skilled applicants for my technician position, and Mrs Elliott interviewed as many for her telephone answering person, and both of us found someone quite qualified for our respective positions.

However, Mrs Elliott struck out in the nails department. Unlike here, where there are Vietnamese-owned nail shops in every stripmall, corner lot and I think I even have one in my left ear, she had no luck finding anything on the westside that didn't require appointments. She muttered that the local nails salons were too complacent and needed a little competition along the lines of moving a couple of experienced Vietnamese nails women up to Bend to open a shop. They'd rake in the bucks.


  1. Jack, have her check out the nail shop inside the little mall between Rite Aid and Albertsons on the north end of Third, just before the overpass. Looks like Vietnamese ladies running it.

  2. Mighty thanks, Bruce! I'll pass it on to Mrs Elliott.


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