31 October 2014

Day 1 - Oregon and Yellowstone Trip


Oregon has been on my must see list for several years.  I fell in love with Western Washington in 2008, but it seems awfully expensive ... not to mention really wet.  California suffers from the same dollar shock issues, but is far too dry.

Oregon must fall somewhere in the middle, right? 

Himself has a lifelong love affair with Yellowstone, and has (repeatedly) suggested it as a vacation destination.  I finally agreed, but only if I could spend a week in Oregon on the same trip.

Little brother plays chauffeur for our mid morning flight, the sky is raining.

A small hitch, our TSA agent (initials GPL) will not follow TSA's own identification requirements.  He actually said, "Well, I will not accept your ID."  Wow!

Another hitch, there's a seriously noisy kid behind us on plane, it cried for about an hour (I vacillated between "poor thing" and "ugh!").  Himself has a pair of noise cancelling headphones.  A good friend who regularly flies internationally has a pair of noise cancelling headphones.  Both have urged me to get myself a pair ... now I know why.

Last hitch, I slept somewhat, but my seat did not recline, so sleep was neither deep nor comfortable. 

And thus begins our Oregon experience.

A view from the plane ... we have reached Oregon.  But what mountain top are we photographing?  Is that Mount Hood?

Portland showcases a very nice airport - clean, easy to maneuver.  First built in 1959 according to wiki, it has been updated and expanded several times.  But compared to Houston International Airport (opened 1969) and Denver International Airport (opened 1995), I was blown away by its updated, modern, and CLEAN facility.  I will grant that Houston and Denver experience a much higher passenger load than Portland, between 3-4 times as many visitors.

The current art installation (by Jacquline Hurlbert) consisted of eye-catching sculptures.   

Following the hour or so I spent at their awesome little visitor's center, I leave piled down with several pounds of pamphlets, magazines, and publications for the entire state.  I spent several hours pouring over this information later on ... and have kept several of them as reference material.

A small section of Hurlbert's art installation at the Oregon airport.

A rental was acquired (a Dodge Durango?) and pointed downtown for a drive to luncheon destination "Veggie Grill."  Nachos, Quinoa Power Salad, and Crispy Chickin' Plate.

Heading for a grocery store found us dodging construction, closed streets, and an interesting parking situation.  Yes, you may put your 1.5 hour parking charge on a credit card.

The "Whole Foods" stock up experience always intrigues.  The differences from one part of the country to another fascinates me: store layout, size, manufacturers offered, prices, etc.  Not to mention how local is their local produce?

We finally navigate to our rental home NW of Portland.  Lovely area.  Property has blackberry shrubs loaded with fruit, and we spend an hour or so picking through what we can reach!

Blackberry haul ... in a soup mug.

Sit through Roku TV experience, we are not impressed ... No local news.  Repeat, not impressed.

Our rental is missing some basics: water glasses, kitchen towels, measuring spoons, toaster oven, tea, and spices.  However, there are several types of salt!

I begin my yoga in the evening habit, planning to make use of my Android tablet to play several stored hours of YouTube video each day.  Pincha Mayurasana is so close ... my shoulder girdle strength improves with each dolphin.  Shana Meyers, the yogi at http://yogathletica.com/, has some awesome tutorials.

A view from our rental ... the blackberry shrubs are 5-6 feet tall (1.5-1.8 meters) in the foreground.  Our host gave us such a funny look when we asked if picking was acceptable ... we later realize the entire multi-acre property is surrounded by the plants!

1 comment:

KathleenS said...

Yep, noise-cancelling headphones are worth their weight in gold. Although most for taking away the drone of the engines.

I agree with kitchen towels as a basic requirement, not sure about the others :-)

Mmmm, blackberries.