With the competition behind me and no plans to compete in the Jack n Jill’s in the morning, I was free to sleep until I awoke. Amazingly, I didn't stir until 11:00 am the next morning. I think that the 13 hours of sleep “did my body good”, as I felt much better and much more like myself. Since the ballroom was going to be full of competitions all day long; we decided to take the train into Portland, neither one of us had ever been there.
I must tell you that from the moment we landed in Portland we were and continue to be pleasantly surprised. At the airport, our luggage arrived on the turnstile before we even made it to baggage claim; the shuttle for the Sheraton was waiting for us right outside the door. The driver filled us in on all of the local sites and gave us a few tips to make our stay more pleasant. The check-in process was efficient, quick and painless; the shuttle driver followed us to our room, with our luggage, without a wait. Everyone was so incredibly efficient and polite. I know I will probably catch some flak from this comment, but here goes anyway, “You certainly could tell that we were no longer in southern California!”
Since I have traveled much of my life, I am a HUGE hotel critic! I know what does and doesn’t work in a hotel room. This particular hotel was pretty close to getting it right. They had a hook on the back of the bathroom door; a coffee/tea pot; a refrigerator; and a “Big Ugly” aka a magnifying mirror for my old and blind eyes. The bottom sheets were actually fitted and soft. Since they were located directly next to a runway, they provided ear plugs. Room service was the same price as the restaurant and arrived promptly, still hot.
What they didn’t get right was there were absolutely no drawers in which to put your clothes; a HUGE bathroom counter with only one sink; and a stupid bathroom mirror. It was one of those mirrors that were in three pieces, the two end pieces were opened inward toward the middle mirror and if you were not standing directly in front of the sink you couldn’t see yourself. They didn’t flatten out and they were the only mirrors in the room; Stupid, Ugly, Dumb!
Anyway, the shuttle driver took us down to the airport where we could board the train. Another clue that we were not in southern Ca. anymore was the fact that riding the train, and purchasing a ticket to ride the train, was purely based on the honor system. There was a machine in which to purchase your ticket and absolutely no one to make sure that you did. This applied to everyone; at every stop. No one ever checked anyone’s tickets and there were no turnstiles or ticket counters’ anywhere; crazy, huh?
We took the train into the heart of the city and went to the “Saturday Market”; on Sunday. Saturday Market was a conglomeration of food vendors, artists and entertainers. Fortunately it was situated by the river; so it wasn’t too hot. We walked around the picturesque city and enjoyed the sites.
All in all, it was a good day. I am already dreading the plane ride to Boise in the morning. Hopefully, it will be uneventful as it is a short, direct flight. I am praying to feel great for the rest of the week.