Posted by Dan
I'm supposed to be online grading journals, but the website is really slow. I feel like I'm waiting for each page to load like I have dial-up internet (remember when you used to sign on with AOL and you had the dial-up and connect sounds memorized? Ah, the olden days) So, perhaps I will fill you in on my trip to Portland. Dana works in admissions for Ohio Wesleyan University, and she is responsible for parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Washington (state) and Oregon. So, once a year, she is out on the West Coast for recruitment, admission interviews, college fairs and the like. Last year, she had time to take a couple of vacation days and visit me in Berkeley, but this year, she had to leave right after she was in Portland to get back to OWU (pronounced O-woo). So, in order to get my Dana fix, I went to Portland to see her instead. I mean, it was a good deal...OWU pays for her hotel and rental car, so all I had to pay for was my flight. I got in on Thursday evening, Dana came to pick me up at the airport, and we headed back to the hotel in...Beaverton. Quite the lovely suburb. Anyway, she let me know that she had been asking around about what there is to do in Portland - she had already covered the Oregon Historical Society last year (seriously) so that was out. Someone recommended we check out the nearby wineries. Apparently, everywhere I go, there must be wine drinking. So Friday, Dana got up and all professionally dressed, while I barely dragged my butt out of bed to get to breakfast at the hotel by 10am. When she got back at noon, I was actually almost ready to go, and we set out for a day of excess (to be explained later). No thanks to Dana's GPS, we eventually found the wine country in Oregon, after getting lost and detoured a few times. The first place we went was gorgeous, and named their wine after the owner's daughters (cute!) But the wine pourer man was pretty much awful. We were the only two people there, and he sat across the bar and stared at us while we talked, but didn't engage us in any conversation. Um, awkward? Luckily, the next two places were much better, and the people were a lot less awkward. A woman at the second place asked Dana for scarf tying lessons, and the third (and last) place, known for it's sparkling wine, also had a winery kitty that was all white and named Snowball. How very fitting for me. No kidding, I ended up buying a wine shipper to take home the SIX bottles I bought. Obsession with wine, I haz one. Where to go after getting slightly inebriated? Outlet shopping! Have you ever had a day where you go shopping and everything fits? This was one of those times. Plus, it was outlets, so everything was cheapy cheap. Dana also did pretty darn well, and when we got back to the hotel, we had to borrow the luggage cart to haul all of our purchases back to the room. It was slightly embarassing, especially as we wheeled the cart through the lobby and Dana pronounced it our "Cart of Gluttony." Classy. Saturday, I accompanied Dana to her college fair, where I was going to hang out for a little while and then head downtown to do some sight seeing. Instead, I got a migraine! Woot! So, I didn't get to do the touristy bit for as long as I would have liked. When I finally did get out of there, I took the train over to downtown Portland, wandered through the country's largest bookstore (for reals! Powell's Books. It takes up an entire city block) and then ended up...doing more shopping. *sigh* Dana eventually met up with me, we shopped, we ate and we went back to the hotel to try to fit all of our purchases in our suitcases, while eating ice cream and watching the Notebook. At least we were supposed to watch the Notebook...we had seen an ad for it on Thursday night, Dana said she had never seen it, at which point we immediately decided to watch it together on Saturday. Good thing we rushed back after dinner, only to discover that it had been replaced with a friggin baseball game. We ended up watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" instead. Still cute, but no where near the same crying factor. There was no real Sunday in Portland because Dana's flight was at 5:45 AM. So, we left for the airport at 4 AM. I am not making this up. Also, when I landed in Oakland, I had to wait for Dan at the airport, because he got lost on the way. Super. Things learned: 1. I could never ever ever work in college admissions. 2. Do not fly airlines that are not Southwest. Dana flew United - their first bag fee is $15, second bag fee is $25. If your bag is over 50 pounds, the fee is $125. SERIOUSLY. We found this out the hard way. 3. Wilamette Valley, Oregon is known for Pinot Noir. Fun fact of the day. 4. I miss Dana. Some winery photos: This was winery #1 with super awkward guy. Winery #2 with super friendly people. Winery #3 with pretty cat.