About a week ago, I was sitting in my office in Houston, Texas, daydreaming about whether or not I should take a quick jaunt up to Oregon, you know, to relax, escape the enduring Southern heat, and take a break from the sadness in my heart, and the sadness of the whole city. In case you have been under a news media rock, Houston was pretty much submerged in water for several days thanks to our friend known as Hurricane Harvey.
Without much planning, I booked a flight and hotel and rental car and arrived here in Portland this morning. The few hours it took me to get here have already given me enough to write about for the next week, and if this hotel was any nicer, I might just lock myself inside and do just that. Alas, my efforts to be cheap have landed me in a barely nice, lightly musty hotel room, which I may vacate if my snobbier tendencies do not release me. I am going to give it one night.
Here’s a few stories from the day, so far. It’s only 3:16 pm here and the day is still young, even though I typically feel horrible after flying and today is no different.
Air Travel Sucks
Before I arrived to the airport in Houston, I received a text message from United Airlines saying my flight was delayed by 30 minutes, and it’d leave at 9:30 am. With the extra 30 minutes, I decided to very slowly eat a bag of cashews and trail mix, drink my $5 bottle of Fiji water, and play with the idea of reporting the well dressed business man who left his luggage unattended for about 15 minutes.
Just as the businessman came back, I overheard an impatient woman announce the final boarding call for Portland. I looked at my phone, noticed it was only 9:01 am, but proceeded to run to the gate anyway. Although I was technically wearing athletic shoes, no other part of my body is athletic, and I was doing my best not to swallow the heart pieces that were lodged in my throat. I was relieved when the United representative did not ask me any questions regarding my boarding pass. I wouldn’t have had the breath to respond anyway.
Aside from the very, very talkative passengers next to me, the flight was uneventful. I will write about them in a future blog post.
Arriving in Portland, I had the chance to sit in a full-sized chair while I waited, and waited, and waited for the bags to arrive on the carousel. While I waited, I took a picture of my feet.
And here’s a photo of the nearby piano that has a big sign on it that states “Play Me.” Two people took the piano up on its offer; one played beautifully, the other just played.
Here are some other fellow, miserable passengers waiting for the bags to come.
And here’s a lovely old lady who decided to wear all the contents of her bag instead of packing them. You can’t tell from this photo (which is a shame) that she is wearing an undershirt, a sweater, a coat thing over that, and a skirt, and some stockings, and some leggings. Even to a Southerner, Oregon isn’t cold enough to require such excessive attire. The poor dear. Or, should I say, “Bless her heart” as we’d say in the South.
I stood around patiently until my bag finally came. I have learned to be a little aggressive when waiting for bags; I learned this behavior in Lagos. After a full plane of people waiting for about half an hour for their bags, being a little aggressive at the carousel was necessary.
After retrieving my bag, I went to the Budget rental counter. I forgot that I rented from them before and I also forgot that you have to ride a little bus a full 10 minutes away to their rental counter. The price was cheap, but I did regret the distance, once I got on the funky little bus.
While waiting on the funky little bus, I noticed these odd little storage houses inside of the terminal. I wonder what’s in them? Oregon has that feel of nice people doing nice things all the nice time, so I didn’t automatically presume it was something treacherous or macabre, like I would have thought had I been in Texas.
And what a lovely and dreary day to arrive in Portland! I love the rain and the cold, so for me, this place is like heaven on Earth.
First place to go after getting the rental car? FOOD, of course. I typically fly in the mornings, and if it is a short-ish flight, I do not eat. So, I was ready for breakfast about 7 hours after waking up this morning.
I had heard about this place called Burgerville and I decided to drive there and have a chicken sandwich. It was tasty, even though everything is sold a la cart, so a chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries, and a soda cost $12. Meh, I guess, when in Rome, right?
I can say that going through the drive-thru at Burgerville was its own lovely experience because of two things: 1) There’s a sign alerting car drivers to watch for folks on a bicycle (which I honestly think might be against the law in Houston, ha!) and 2) I have never seen such beautiful, Fall foliage in a drive-thru.
This is where I will leave the post for today. More stories and adventures to come.
Until next time, my friends…