*Leaving Holland, Michigan and flying to Portland, Oregon
*Staying at the Howard Johnson two nights
*Staying at Hawthorne Hostel for 10 days
*Not liking the city so far!
*Renting a car and going out to see waterfalls
*Spending the solstice on a hike at Tabor Park
*Transferring to the Northwest Hostel
*Christmas in Portland
Flights ended up being a bit delayed in both Grand Rapids and Denver, but not too bad (especially compared to other travelers--the ones trying to go east), but didn’t get to Portland, officially, until December 11, just after midnight. Kind of bummed that I didn't make it on my birthday, but upon landing in Portland, did feel excited in that moment. The pilot said, "Welcome to Portland. Peace out." I had made it!!!!
Hawthorne Hostel: 10 Days in Southeast Portland
Finally found UPS store, then got lost on way back. Tired and hungry, called Radio Cab, very nice operator and driver got me back to hostel.
Met up with my former college roommate, Raya, for lunch at a famous vegan “heavy on the tofu” place near the hostel. Very fun to see her again, but also disorienting—we’ve kept in touch, but haven’t actually seen each other in 20 years. In the evening, went to see the Hobbit at the Bagdad Theater down the street—an old, beautifully refurbished theater where you can watch discounted movies and eat in the theater: pizza, beer, other stuff—there’s a restaurant in the balcony! (But I had water and my smuggled in granola bar—I have to adjust slowly!). Still going to bed around 7pm, but sleeping until almost 6am. Must be tired--maybe sick? The laryngitis that started last week persists.
Saturday, December 14: Went in search of library, but it wasn’t open yet. Decided to stay out of crowded hostel all day and ended up going downtown again by mistake, stayed on the bus too long. Found a Goodwill to shop for work clothes, but the downtown Goodwill was not cheap! One coat I saw was $149.00!!!! Got home fine, lots of people at bus stop even though late and down town. Everything just seems to take so long to do, nothing direct or quick. Waiting for buses, walking and walking, going the wrong way…lots of exercise, though, and am getting used to the city more, seeing often interesting things because of getting lost!
Waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge
Solstice Hike at Tabor Park
It was the solstice today, and I was able to go out to Tabor Park and hike up to the top (it’s an extinct volcano, more of a big hill now). It was very green: the park has mostly evergreens—coast Douglas Firs—with some moss-covered deciduous trees and lots of ferns and ground moss, and it was sunny-ish and warm-ish, nice day for the winter solstice! Kept thinking about how different it would be in Michigan! (sorry!)
Northwest Portland International Hostel: Two Weeks in Northwest Portland
How odd to be spending Christmas here in the youth hostel. Lots of people are here—students traveling during the holiday from school, families stopping for a night while traveling, others like me hoping to relocate here, some mysterious persons not really committing to what they are up to. It’s sunny today, so I went out to get some sun on my face :) and then this afternoon was the Christmas meal, big and boisterous and crammed into the dining area. I sat between two boys from Finland, and two boys from Australia and had a fun chatting with them. Later in the evening I talked for about an hour with one of the Chinese girls from my dorm—so interesting!!!!