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In Portland

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  • harmonetreporter@yahoo.com
    Today is Monday, July 1, and the first full day I and my family spent in Portland. When we arrived in the city last night, we were not used to the very busy
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1 7:46 PM
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      Today is Monday, July 1, and the first full day I and my family spent in
      Portland. When we arrived
      in the city last night, we were not used to the very busy and congested
      streets, with lots of one way
      streets and bus-only lanes, cars parked on both sides of the narrow
      streets...normally I can find my
      way around a strange town but this was truly a challenge, even though the
      streets are mostly numbered
      in order, etc...wrestling with the oversized city map several times while
      pulled over to get our bearings,
      we were nonetheless confused and frazzled when we finally found the
      trademark "E" sign signifying
      the goal of our quest...the Embassy Suites hotel. This used to be the
      Multnomah Hotel in years past,
      and has been redone in the upscale style of Embassy Suites standard.
      Usually an Embassy Suites
      hotel is a large boxy structure with a floor to ceiling atrium, open spaces
      in the lobby area, and rooms
      ringing each floor. This hotel is nothing like that, but the rooms are
      large and spacious and still in the
      suite style, with a living room area and a separate bedroom area.

      We were kind of sticker-shocked to find out that the parking garage was $15
      per night, but parked the
      car in there anyway after unpacking and getting settled into the room on
      the 8th floor. The hotel is
      very nice, with a swiming pool one floor below the lobby, and a large open
      area two floors below
      where they serve their complimentary breakfast and happy hour cocktails in
      the afternoons.

      We spent the first fun-filled night doing laundry from the past several
      days, and got the last load
      folded and put away a little after midnight...after the day in Seattle and
      the long scenic drive into
      Portland, we were beat!

      This morning we slept in a little later, but were still there for breakfast
      around 7:30am. I did a little
      writing this morning (see my previous posts), and you would not believe the
      day out there...absolutely
      clear blue skies, very light breeze, temps in the 70's...very much like a
      typical southern California
      day! Amazing! You could see the crisp white snow glistening off Mt Hood in
      the distance, and the
      city sparkled as the sun's rays streaked down the streets between the high
      rises and through the
      many tree branches lining the sidewalks.

      We got the car out and drove over the bridge to the Oregon Convention
      Center, where the
      Convention registration booths were set up. We immediately realized that
      our hotel is on the
      wrong side of the river, with the Rose Center and the convention center on
      the other side.
      If we were taking the public transportation it would be OK, I think, but
      driving is still a pain.
      We managed to find a parking spot outside the convention center, plunked
      more coins into
      the parking meter and went inside to gather convention info, make a name
      tag using the
      self-serve computer systems set up for our use (cool) and pick up early
      info on next year's
      convention in Montreal. The meter was running, so we didn't stay long, but
      got driving once
      more, headed south toward the "End of the Oregon Trail" in nearby Oregon
      City,
      a few miles south of Portland. It was a fun and educational trip back
      through the years to the mid
      1800's, when settlers from Independence, Missouri and parts east set out in
      long wagon trains
      along the Oregon Trail, braving harsh conditions, wild countryside, disease
      and many other
      obstacles, to make a new life in the great Northwest.

      Afterward we headed along the river and saw the falls, and just did some
      more sightseeing in the
      area, heading north again into the east part of the city, and then back
      into downtown via I-26. We
      made it back to the hotel (after some more "exploring" down city streets
      and dodging college
      students and more savvy local drivers) in time for happy hour, and relaxed
      with a drink or two...

      The kids want to go swimming, so we're off to the pool! More later...

      Regards,
      Steve Tremper
      tremper@...
      (919) 224-1830

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