Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome to the PAC West!

This is the first (live) entry that I have posted, which was my original intention with the blog. I left yesterday for my first trip of the summer, which has whisked me away to the beautiful cities of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. As you probably noticed, I've spent time in Portland before, but I couldn't be happier to be back. We flew from Chicago-Midway on Southwest Airlines yesterday evening and landed in Portland about 8:30pm local time. PDX is a great airport with plenty of amenities, very clean, and easy to maneuver through. Baggage was up quickly, which is always a plus, especially if you're used to the baggage areas in Chicago airports like I am (they are nothing, if not slow...ALWAYS!).

Our first destination on the trip is Seattle. Portland will officially be the last stop, but it was the easiest to fly in to and we are renting a car to take us everywhere else this week. By us and we, I'm referring to my travel companions for the duration of this 10-day excursion--my mom, Kim, my best friend, Jen, and her mom, Mary. We have been doing mother-daughter trips bi-ennially for almost 10 years now, this being the 5th. We have often chosen cruises as our mode of travel, but this time we wanted to check out the art of a road trip.

We gathered our rental car and loaded in the luggage and took off for the Emerald City. It was a nice drive, although it would have been better if it was light out so that we could enjoy the scenery! But it was peaceful and uneventful, so much so that both moms fell asleep in the back seat, mouths open. Awesome. Jen and I sang and laughed and talked our way along the three hour journey. Arriving around midnight, we easily found our hotel, located in the heart of downtown. Jen and I dropped our bags and decided it was time to go out for a beer. Mom 1 and Mom 2 went to bed.

We attempted to go to Collins Pub, which was less than a block from our hotel. Known for it's huge selection of craft beers and bartenders with beer knowledge, we figured it would be a low-key introduction to the city. Closed. Great. First stop and we are stopped. We headed back to the hotel and asked the concierge about another location. He sent us about two blocks to Fado, an Irish pub and grille. So we headed there, no big intentions in mind, dressed in basically sweats (our usual travel gear). We ordered up a couple local beers and sat down to take in the atmosphere, but you couldn't really hear much over the music. Oh well...On the plus side, looking as down and out as we were at this point, some guy came up and told us that we looked great and he and his friend wanted to buy us a drink. Would have been nice, but then you have to make small talk and since you couldn't hear anything, we decided to duck out, grab a slice of pizza, and head back to the hotel. It was a brief introduction, but I'm excited to get out and see the city in the light!

If anyone has ideas on what's fun to visit or "must-see's", please let me know!! We have a car, so we can get where ever we need to easily...and I won't stop until I see everything that I can mash into a day!

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