Friday, September 25, 2009

Portland, Ho!!!

I left Seattle by train. It's my favorite way to travel from Seattle to Portland. It's a three hour ride through some pretty scenery of lower Washington state. You get a great view of Mt. Rainier early on the voyage. I sat next to some one who was friendly and that help the trip go faster. He got off the stop before Portland so when I got off the train, I was on my own.

I was hoping to find the hotel I stayed at in 1991. i didn't know the name but I figured I knew the location. I paid 42 dollars for a room back then. I doubt I would get a deal that good or even one that would be less than 100 dollars. I became obsessed with this. Nearly 200 dollars for a room? I asked around and I don't know why I was embarrassed by the fact I couldn't find one. Was it that I was a rube who was unaware of discount rates or was it because I'm so cheap? I pondered this as I ate a decent meal at Crl's Jr., another west coast institution.

Now I love Portland with its light rail and many parks and fountains but man does Portland have a tolerance for homelessness. A huge variety of people out living on the streets. It's a very tolerant city but the nice weather may have a lot to do with it.

Anyway, I couldn't find the hotel and others were not good enough to pay for more than 100 dollars for. After dragging my roller bag for over an hour I decided to take the Green Line light rail out of downtown to find a cheap hotel. I found a Motel 6, annoyed that it costs over 85 bucks but it allowed me to settle in and explore Portland. Which basically involved going to Powells Book Store, the best book store in the world. I bought nothing though. This was after going to Macy's to find it had closed just as I pulled out a shirt that I thought was great.

After Powell's I found a bar that specialized in the regional microbrews. A selection of 21 brewers and they sold samples, ten ouncers, and twenty pints. It was awesome. a mellow place that was rowdy do to a bachelorette party. A few of the guys there amnd I decided to join in on the fun. Only one bartender was there but we were cool enough to not frazzle him. I must have sampled 8 beers while getting to know the crowd. I was quite buzzed and when the bachelorette party broke up I thought it would be a good time to leave too. Eventually I found my way back to the Motel 6, Thankfully I have good navigation skills. I had my first good night sleep since I arrived on the west coast.

I woke up once again being enraptured by television. This time it was an old Disney movie called the Incredible Journey. I'm a sucker for animal movies and a bigger sucker for movies that have incredible cinematography. I got caught up in the plot of two dogs and a cat trying to find their way home. Buuuuuuut, I had to get out and get ready for the longer trip by train to San Francisco. I had time to kill so I bought some books at Powells had a very good mocha there. I bought that shirt and another shirt at the Macy's right after it opened. I got to the train station and finally was able to put on a clean shirt and shorts. And away I go to San Fransisco.

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