Thoughts from a young theologian

Christmas vacation

It’s sooooooooooo good to be on vacation… I’ve been away
from the seminary for over a week now. It’s a great place and I’ve
been learning so much from just being there but at the same time,
it’s always good to get away for a little bit and spend some time
with family and friends!!! Sorry for the lack of updates but I’ve
been making the most of my away time. Just before Christmas, the
day after I got back, my parents and sister and I drove out to
Portland Oregon for an overnight trip. We went to a couple of
really cool places that I had been to before with friends this past
summer. The first place we went was a large used book store called
Powell Books. It’s located just around downtown Portland and it’s a
HUGE store. It takes up a whole city block and is a few stories
high. I was here over the summer too but at that time, I seriously
underestimated the place. I thought of just browsing through the
selection that they had but when we were there, we only spent an
hour there and I got very very quickly overwhelmed. This time
though, I knew what to expect so I made a little list of books to
look for (including some rare ones) and was able to spend two hours
there!! It was fantastic!! One can easily spend the day getting
lost in that store but I NEEDED to get out after two hours because
I am just a poor seminarian and have a limited budget. Left there
for a day, I’d probably be spending hundreds on books easily!!!
Here are a few pictures I took of the place but these pictures
certainly don’t do it any justice. If you’re ever around Portland,
this is one stop I highly recommend!!!

The other place
we went to was the Portland Grotto. It’s a gorgeous place tucked
away and run by the servite monks, some of whom I ran into this
time. This Christmas season, they had the place all decked out with
lights!! It looked really gorgeous but borderline too commercial. I
loved the little life-size creche they had at the center too!! They
also had lots of visiting choirs and roaming quartets. But the
problem was, there was also so many people… It was pretty
crowded… It was also really cold out there when we went so we
only walked around a bit before heading out… I tried to say my
office of readings at the church but it was way too packed with
people listening to the performing choirs that, even though I got
it done, it was really difficult to concentrate. I don’t know about
this… I kinda liked it because I love Christmas decorating but I
also left with a slightly bad taste in my mouth because of the
over-extravagance and the crowds…

One other place
we went to, the next day after spending an evening in a little
motel in Portland was a mall just off the I5 called the Southcenter
mall… For those of you who don’t know, this mall, in addition to
being really big, is the new home for Jolibee!!! Jolibee is my all
time favorite Filipino fast food joint!! The only place on the west
coast that had it before this new location opened up was Los
Angeles and I certainly would not be willing to make the 20 hour
road trip for Jolibee. But this is soooo close!! I kinda broke my
mini fast a bit and pigged out on the Yumburgers with cheese and
the Chicken Joys!! Oooooooohhhhh IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!! If
you’re ever in the area, this is definitely a place to check out…
And for dessert, you can go over to the cheesecake factory with its
super super duper uber good cakes. I highly recommend their
tiramisu… It melts in your mouth… Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

One last little
thing to mention before my next update is that I kinda visited the
abbey on Christmas eve, hoping to get there in time for vespers
(which I didn’t because I didn’t realize vespers started earlier)
and to see the Christmas decorations. The monks don’t normally put
them up until, probably, Christmas eve itself. They had a nice
little creche right next to the adoration chapel. It was really
cute… Anyways, that’s all for right now!! I hope you and your
family will pass a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!! Take

PS. I’m in town
until the 4th!!! Message me if you want to meet up!!!


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