Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming: A Nike Adventure

So the person who said that summer was a slow time was crazy – or they didn’t have my job. Either way, it seems my blog is suffering. I have been meaning to post more pictures from our family visit for… well… a month. I guess life got in the way. When’s my next vacation? The story of their visit continues…

So what do you do when you have two teenage boys, and one almost teenage boy, come to visit you in Portland? You call on a friend who works at the biggest sporting gear manufacturer in town and ask them for a tour of the campus of course! (thanks Corey)

The afternoon began with a visit to the Nike employee store. I have no pictures but all you really need to know is that we spent a lot of money. We ALWAYS spend a lot of money when we visit the Nike employee store which is why we visit only a couple of times a year, and why we are grateful that it is just far enough away from our house to be a teeny bit inconvenient to visit on weekends. I’m sure we’d be broke otherwise.

The Nike campus is just like one big sports museum – especially on Friday afternoons in summer when the entire working population seems to be off playing golf. Each building is designed to pay homage to a particular sport. Some I knew well (Tennis; Golf), others I just had to browse the artifacts and pretend that I understood (Soccer? Anything ending in “ball”?). Nevertheless, it was all very interesting and the entire time I found myself thinking about how much longer the tour would have been had my father been there to read each and every word on the displays. Maybe we’ll take him on a tour next time he comes to visit. I’ll bring a book to read.

Here are a few photographs from our visit. The lighting was bad thanks to some crappy Portland weather (yes, in July!), but I managed to capture some great moments of our extended family enjoying all that sports memorabilia has to offer.

I couldn’t resist the reflection on this one.

Walking in to the first building (I love having extra hands to push strollers while I take photos).

The world cup was in full swing and they had a display of the Aussie uniform. I have no idea who this guy is but he’s Australian so I took a photo. I cling to anything – especially now that my four year old has started making fun of my accent. It helps me maintain a little national pride.

That’s Corey, our friend and tour guide, showing us where Nike is on the big ball-map-thingy. My kids were too scared to go near it but a ball despite the fact that a big ball floating in water is pretty cool. I want one for our backyard.

Two of the three nephews and one child. I am also grateful for almost-eighteen-year-old-boys who like to keep four year olds entertained. Seriously. I almost wish I had one of my own.

This is Tiger Woods. I know that because I read the sign.

Another thing we should have in the backyard – an art installation consisting of many spinnable bicycle tires. It could keep a toddler entertained for hours.

The artist in me found this to be very impressive – a baseball player made entirely out of recycled materials including bottle caps and old baseball bats and balls.

The next two photos make me laugh. Two brothers in perfect synch.

We also enjoyed a few sculptures around the beautiful campus. Between the art, the lake and the amazing exercise facilities, it almost made me want to quit my current job and camp out until Nike gave me one. I’m buying a tent.

Finally, we ended up at the John McEnroe building – something I can relate to thanks to a childhood living across the street from a tennis court and a brief season in the top girls’ tennis team at our club. It was brief shining moment in my otherwise insignificant personal sporting history. Forgive me if I dwell on it a little.

Our tour ended after about two (very rainy and fun) hours, and I can now say that, after 7 years of living in this city, I have seen the Nike campus. One more thing marked off my list alongside that of planning a successful outing that would appeal to three teenage boys, their parents and their (very) small cousins. Oh, and Kei enjoyed it too. A great day.