Sunday, June 14, 2015

Day 1: Friends both old and new

Today's distance: 380 miles
Total distance: 380 miles 
Destinations: Vancouver, WA; Portland, OR; Pittock Mansion, OR
Starting mileage: I've had this car almost 6 years.

Edit: Now with pictures! But we still can't get Justin's computer to connect to wifi, just mine.  (For the record, we tried disabling popular blockers, antivirus, firewall, and entering the direct gateway IP, and none of that worked. Any suggestions for getting a public wifi login page to open? It worked on my computer and my phone with no problem).

We left at 8 am and made great time to Vancouver (more so when Justin was driving) where we stopped at my dad's house and had a delicious meal cooked by his girlfriend. My older brother likes to say, "Dinner isn't over when you're full. It's over when you hate yourself." After second helpings of pot roast and pasta, and a piece of flan with fresh berries, dinner was definitely over. My younger brother also came to Vancouver to trade cars with my dad,but he was an hour of so behind us so we were only all there together for about 20 minutes. Wish we could have stayed longer. At least I got a picture!

Me, Justin, Dad, Daniel, with dogs Gino and Little One

From there it was a quick skip over to Portland to meet our long-time Circle

friend and my "adopted" brother, as well as one of Justin's friends. The coolest part of this was that these two people had actually been at the same party over New Years I believe, as they have a mutual friend.  Small world eh?
When Sam started college, I sent him a teddy bear to keep him company.  He still has it 6 years later.
We met at this awesome little chocolate shop where I bought some truffles that look like tiny tropical fruits!! I don't know if I can eat them. They are so beautiful.

Too pretty to eat? We'll see.

It was so fun talking with our friends, getting to know each other better, chatting about old times and future plans and everything in between. Finally, at our friend's suggestion, we went to this cool little mansion that overlooks Portland. It reminded me of Maryhill museum in Washington. It would be a cool place to visit and look around inside but we just went for the view, which was awesome. On a clear day you can see five mountaintops (well, probably only 4 as of 1980). We could only see Mt. Hood and the very tip top of Mt. Jefferson.  The drive was absolutely beautiful, by the way.

Trees!  Justin misses views like this.

So we wanted to make it all the way to Eugene, but it turns out there is some track and field thing going on this weekend, plus a bunch of graduations, so there were virtually no hotels available. So we stopped little short of our goal in Albany. Joined Choice Hotels' rewards program so we can get some deals on certain hotel chains. 

Tomorrow we're headed to Crater Lake and thence to California. I will miss Oregon: no sales tax, full service gas stations, and the drivers on the highway are mellow! Seriously, when they see your blinker they will all make room for you immediately. It's weird.

Finally, John Carter is on TV at the hotel. Definitely a good first day.

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