I woke to my alarm at 6:00. I wanted to jump online to check some stuff out like motels in Portland and the bus tickets. I saw a Holiday Inn express on the way into our humble abode the night before so I headed over there.
Borrowing a page from Katie Querna's (our Spokane host) touring guide, I walked in "as if I owned the place" and sat down in the breakfast area. At first I broke out the laptop just to get on their wireless network. After a while of realizing I could get away with free food, and personally justifying it as a buffet that they were going to throw out anyway, I dug in. I got a blog up, did some fruitless motel research, and uploaded some photos all the while stuffing my face with Holiday Inn's best.
Paul stuck true to the once in a trip alarm which he had already exhausted, so I called him at 7:15 to make sure he was up. He said he was awake, but later admitted I woke him with the call. We had to be at the bus in an hour, and it takes a bit to rouse him, not to mention the tent needed to be broken down. The early bird got the worm, Paul wouldn't have time to make it over and would have to pay for his food at mini mart.
I headed back shortly after we spoke. We quickly broke down the tent and waited back at the mini mart. When the bus arrived we headed outside and loaded our stuff up. The driver informed us we had to get the tickets inside; I wish they had mentioned that when I asked 30 different bus questions to the woman behind the desk. After purchasing our tickets, we ended up being a couple of the last people to board.
The bus ride was nice and relaxing. Paul hadn't charged his iPod, and for some insane reason wasn't able to fall back to sleep within seconds so he pretty much stared into space for 2 hours and 15 minutes. I wrote a blog and enjoyed not having to climb the two passes that the bus went over.
When we arrived in Portland, we wanted to get some food and find a motel before Meghan got there. I found a place that we headed toward that was pretty cheap. We stopped at a little deli on the way and got some food. When we got to the motel, we basically turned right around. This place was in disrepair and looked terrible from the outside; god knows what the interior looked like. We left, and decided we should get a place downtown and spend a bit more if needed. Looking through a lodging magazine I picked up, we found a couple reasonably priced places downtown right next to one another.
The first motel refused to honor the offer, but the second one did. We ended up staying at the Shilo Inn. It had free transportation over the bridge to the hotter spots downtown, so it was a much better choice. Paul showered up and I headed out to pick up some Fat Tire for Meghan to try.
When I returned I decided Meghan would appreciate me showering, so I did. Since we weren't supposed to have a car or another guest, Meghan had to wait in the parking lot for a few minutes when she arrived. Oh, so close. Eventually, we gave up and she just came in.
The princess had arrived (fake picture taken after the fact) We hung out for a while in the room where we had a couple drinks and just chatted like Meghan occasionally likes to do. Red Robin was right down the street, so when we got hungry we headed over to it.
We had a waiter who was hitting on Meghan, but it was cool because he is gay. We filled up on their massive burgers and delicious steak fries. We headed back to the motel and tried to plan the evening. We figured we would just head downtown, and walk around.
Once we made our way out of the motel, we decided to walk there. It was only about a mile, and we needed the exercise (wink). It was a pretty slow start for a Thursday so we got some ice cream at Ben and Jerry's and people watched for a while. After the ice cream we stumbled upon a brewery that had a lot of people in it so we went in. We stuck there for a while getting a couple of pitchers and some food. It was a cool place, and everything was quite good. Portland is famous for their big time brewery scene, and this place delivered.
We were all fairly tired that day, and when combined with drinks we were ready for bed shortly after midnight. We began to walk back the way we came but were halted by construction. We waited around for the free light rail, and were back at the motel in minutes.
Tomorrow we were heading to Eugene to meet up with Mandy and Joel, friends from UConn. They were excited for the arrival of some easterners as well so it would definitely prove to be a good time. For now beddy by.
Life was good.