We’ve been back from Portland for a week. I only took my phone, camera, harddrive, and nook with me. Thea had to take her laptop in case her work needed her. The Story of the flight out is interesting. We got to the airport organized and ready to go but sat a gate away due to the noise from the terminal. Next thing we knew, they were paging us to tell us to board. By our clock, we had more than twenty minutes before the flight. Being the last on a full flight, there was no way we were going to be able to sit together. Thea sat between a rather large music arranger and a mother with her child on her lap. And I got to sit between a husband and wife who didn’t want to sit together…because she had a cold.

The hotel turned out to be a very good quality La Quinta but the room itself was rather small. I’m glad that I didn’t bring anything else with me because it wouldn’t have fit anyway. No complaints, really. Bigger would have been better but when is it not. The hotel picked us up from the airport and delivered us to The MAX station whenever we asked and took us back to the airport when our trip was done. They were accommodating to the n’th degree. We chose to walk to the Tri-Met station the first day just to stretch our legs. All the rest of the week, we figured that we got enough stretching from the touristy stuff we were doing anyway.

The MAX is very well laid out, organized and run. No car or bus that we got on was in disrepair or dirty. The all day pass was just short of $5.00. Funny thing is, you don’t seem to need it if you are downtown and as such they don’t really check to see if you’ve purchased a pass. We were told that if they do an audit and you don’t have a pass that there’s a pretty stiff fine. They did check most of the time when you boarded a bus outside of downtown. But one tourist who told the driver that she couldn’t find hers, the driver asked her to take a seat and see if she could find it in her purse before her stop. They don’t go everywhere though. We had a two block walk to get the Art Museum and a five or six block hike to get to the Pittock Mansion. But there was a phone number to call for information on when the next bus/train would be at your stop. There was also a number you could text to and a website you could go to on your phone.

I’m pretty sure that everyday I saw a cleaning crew working of some variety or another. A litter crew in the park on Sunday, rail workers cleaning the rails on Monday, Street sweepers and storm drain washers, and a group sandblasting an alley the rest of the week. It would be fun to go back and just do the public art and fountains. Then again, I could go back to Kansas City with the same goal. Both cities seem to have a high regard for their art and public spaces. That’s not to say that we didn’t see people living in the parks, or beggars on the streets or crazies. We did. They just seemed cleaner and more polite than we are used to here.

I’ve got about 2000 photos to go through now. I’ll have more published soon.

1 Comment

  1. Wil C. Fry

    Their policy on checking passes reminds me of the commuter trains around Montreal. We rode six (or eight?) times, and our tickets were only checked once…


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