John and I celebrated our 11-year anniversary last Thursday. I know, am I an old geezer or what? Sigh. Sags and wrinkles just around the corner. I know, can I be any more vain?
So we caught the first flight out of SFO to PDX. Portland is a cool city, and we hit it during the best time of the year. Lush, green, clean, stunning. I booked us in the swanky Westin downtown. Location was superb and the bathroom was the size of my home office, but still, I was not impressed. Only gave them three stars on Yelp. Yup, you gotta really work to get four or five stars out of me. I mean, please. I’m forking over some major dough. Don’t penny pinch me for every little thing, especially when Red Roof offers that shit for free. So annoying. Yes, we paid for the extras but only because John got the magic anniversary pass. Any other time? Forget it, mister. Anyway, the service was lame too. Talk about a slap in the face, I booked the reservation in my name on my card, so who do they put into their database? Ms. J.E. Yes, at least they used Ms. instead of Mrs., but hello? I have my own first name and last name. Seriously, that shit should not slide for a freakin’ 5-star hotel. Get with the program. I know, maybe you don’t understand the severity of this incompetence. There are additional details, but long story short, I tried to correct their mistake in person. I practically spoon-fed them. They STILL got it wrong. Whatever, man. Three stars. No more.
Otherwise, Portland was fun. We met up with my buddy Jenny from Shanghai. We went kayaking down the Columbia River. I signed us up for the beginner tour, but I still got my ass whipped. Three hours and on top of that, Jenny and I wasted the first 15 minutes stuck in the loading area (crashing into things), because we couldn’t figure out how to steer and work the rudder at the same time. The guide came back for us, but then off he went again. We spent the rest of the time trying to catch up with the group. I know, we really were pathetic. I’m just glad we did the kayak tour before buying a craft for home. I had considered getting a kayak for John and me to paddle around in the nearby lagoons, but after the outing? Shit. We’ll just join the REI outing. That stuff is too much work. Plus, I still prefer skating. 😉
Saturday and Sunday we headed to the Oregon coast. Jenny’s hubby James ran in the Hood to Coast (Mt. Hood to the OR Coast), this insane 225-miles-in-24-hours relay event sponsored by Nike (based in OR). There were 1000 teams of 12. I had no idea the US even had 12,000 runners! Nuts if you ask me. We drove to the coast and met James when he came in. Better he than I.
Astoria was a quiet, restful place. Very small, somewhat industrial (reminded both of us of Pittsburgh), peaceful, slow, and beautiful. We went up to the famed Astoria column, where I was once again reminded of my fear of heights. I got really stressed ascending the stairs. I don’t know what this new phobia is about, but it’s pissing me off. Makes me feel mentally unstable. In due time, I made it to the top. The views were totally worth it. My phobia is going to have to take a back seat though. I’m signing up for a beginner’s rock climbing course at the local gym. I’ll let you know how I cope.
Sunday rolled around pretty quickly. As is now the norm with many air departures, our flight was late. All in all, the trip was a grand time, but I was definitely happy to get back to the pups. I can only go a few days without petting their rabbit-soft ears. Yup, I’m a sucker for my pups.