Friday, January 23, 2009

Mexican food for the road, and Mona Lisa Revealed

We weren't exactly late getting out of town, but things kept cropping up. I took my time packing pounds and pounds of stuff because we'll probably be in Bend for a couple of weeks, and I wanted to bring projects to sort, clean up, and work on. We had tickets for 7:00 to a slide lecture in Portland on Secrets of the Mona Lisa. Here's a photo from where we're stopping for a late lunch on the way out of Astoria. I had a quesadilla con pollo, and it was SO good. It's just on the west end of Marine Drive before you get to the traffic circle. See the speakers down by the tire? I didn't take more photos because it was just cold and I wasn't in the mood. There were some by the front tire, too. It was nice to have music and covered tables. Rap is not my music choice, but it wasn't too bad. I could have handled Mariachi or rock, or even Beethoven; that would have been a bonus. We were not there long. We were waiting for the Pathfinder to get its oil changed, then Lee noticed that he could get fresh razor clams next door to take along, so we carried our paper plates to the made-over gas station that sells seafood. It was actually a relief because I could eat of the of wind. When Lee was finished talking to Ron and getting clams, we headed back to the place where the oil was being changed. I wasn't done eating, so my plate and I moved again. The guy who changed the oil noticed that a tire was low (again), so the next stop was Les Schwab. They were fast, and soon we were . . . not quite out of there, but stopping at Fred Meyer to get a cooler for the clams on ice. THEN we were out of there and en route to Portland on Highway 26.

The presentation on the Mona Lisa was fascinating. It was free, and surprisingly poorly attended. Of course, it was my first attendance at an Omsi lecture, so maybe that's typical. I'm encouraged to see the whole show when it goes up. I will say it was a bit hard to understand, partly because of Pascal Cotte's heavy French accent, and sometimes his voice wasn't loud enough, but we had good 3rd-row seats. He was engaging, personable, incredibly smart and curious, answered questions from the audience, and had a good visual presentation. He had a fascinating topic and had done extensive research that was almost hard to imagine in its intricacy and its duration through time. I won't go into it here. You can read more about it online. Look for "25 Secrets of the Mona Lisa Revealed."

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