Published: August 2nd 2009July 31st 2009
In case you didn't know, I am hanging out in Portland, Or for the next 7 days. My brother and I have been wanting to come up here for about 5 years now. It was going to be celebration for me passing the CPA exam and him not dropping out of college. Originally we were going to drive from Nashville, however a unique opportunity at work and frequent traveling allowed us to get up here virtually free of charge so we couldn't pass it up.
We started our excursion Thursday afternoon. I had to work in the morning but met Blake at the condo at noon to begin packing. In honor of our environmentally friendly destination city we decided to take mass transit to the airport. However, due to our great misfortune we had to track to the east nashville bus stop in the pouring rain. Since Blake somehow stole my raincoat while I wasn't looking he remained perfectly dry while my tom's shoes shrank on my feet trampling through the puddles.
It was worth the experience though and I am grateful to the Nashville mta for providing such a lovely service to the BNA airport at a reasonable rate of $3.70. (I do wish we'd invest in some decent bus stop coverings).
We made our flight with no worries. Departing at 4:00 CST and arriving in Portland 10:30 PST. With a 1.5 hour layover in Phoenix total travel time was 8.5 hours.
Flying into Portland at night we could see the size of the city and both surprised how spread out it seemed when everything I've read talks about how condense the city is due to strict zoning codes to protect the environmental landscape. Nonetheless it was quite exciting to finally breathe that wonderful northwest air as we stepped off the plane.
I had to work in a small suburb located in the south east side of the city called Clakamus. Despite our best efforts we determined a car was the best way to get to our destination. (At least until the Max extends it's service to Clackamus this september.)
We made it to the hotel by 11:45. When I inquired about the location of the nearest Wal-Mart the hotel attendant politely expressed her subtle dislike for the store and informed me places are not open 24 hours up here. ( I found out later this is due to the environmentally conscious personality of the cities inhabitants).
I really needed a cell phone charger as mine was left at home due to my rushed packing, and my cell phone battery had been completely drained since Phoenix. But no matter what I would have to wait till morning.
I needed to be at work at noon so my plan was to wake at 8 drive to a local electronic store come back and get 3 hours of charge then have Blake drop me off at the client go to a local shopping center and then pick me up after work was over.
Blake did not like the idea of spending his first day in a Portland suburb so I called the downtown hotel we were staying at the remainder of the trip and they said we could check in early.
So after an hour cell phone charge we made our way into the city. Driving in we were both surprised by the beautiful skyline we had been dreaming of for so long. We navigated our way through the one way streets to the Hilton downtown executive tower. We checked in unloaded and then I made my way back to Clackamus with half a charged battery.
The inventory count went flawlessly and I was done ahead of schedule. I then made my way back to the city to pick up Blake so we could ditch the car and make our way back to the city via the Max (light rail). However I got lost and went the opposite way of the city. When the imposing Mt Hood appeared in my windshield I knew I had made a mistake. As I was turning around I did take a moment to realize just 30 miles out of the city, I was seemingly in complete wilderness and I knew the city planners had done a marvelous thing by protecting this utopian landscape.
I used my last battery cell of power to inform Blake of my mistake and that I would go to the airport myself and meet him at the hotel in about an hour. By this time the Denny's grand slam breakfast had worn off and I was feeling quite famished but I decided to power through.
Through a few missed turns and having no idea where I was going I ended up finding the rental car station by following a National shuttle back to it's home base. I caught the Max red line back to the city and found Blake anxiously awaiting my return three hours since we last spoke at 4:00.
Blake took me to a "really cool" independent brewery "Rock Bottom". I quickly informed him it was a chain but good all the same.
We've made our list of things to accomplish while here and both extremely excited to begin our journey in the second greatest city on earth.