I’ve been quiet here because I’ve been a bit busy. I’m nearing the end of two weeks in Portland on business.
Rewinding to last week, but first a digression. I recently decided that it would be great fun to make the drive here from Denver if I could arrange a track day at Portland International Raceway. I reached out to the local enthusiasts, Club Lotus Northwest (CLNW) and found that they’re having a track day at PIR on August 29. I also signed up for their mailing list. When my presence was requested in the office, it turns out that I’d be in town when CLNW had one of their meetings.
So last Tuesday I found myself at the McMenamin’s Courtyard restaurant at the Kennedy School to meet with the fine folks of CLNW. Genae and I make fun of the TV shows where the substance abusers all know that there’s an AA meeting right around the corner from wherever they are. And so I travel a thousand miles to attend a Lotus club meeting. “My name is Dave and I drive a Lotus!”
The Kennedy School was an elementary school built in 1915. McMenamin’s renovated the once abandoned gem, turning it into a complex featuring a 57 room hotel, a theater, and a handful of restaurants/bars. I probably should have wandered around the place a bit to enjoy the murals. I’ll put it on my list for a return visit.
A few quick thoughts on my two weeks here:
- Rental car for the first week was a Kia Forte. Never heard of it before. First car I’ve driven in ages that didn’t have a remote lock. A very pedestrian car completely lacking in any interesting features.
- Week one’s hotel room was on the top floor, right next to the elevator. I was expecting it to be noisy but I was pleasantly surprised it was quiet. But each morning I was awakened to the smell of bacon – the breakfast area was directly below me and the scent went straight up the elevator shaft.
- Going through security at DIA they directed me to a line where I didn’t need to remove my jacket, belt, or shoes, and could leave the laptop in the backpack. A first for me.
- Returning to Denver, my flight was delayed over two hours due to wind in Denver. Only the second time I’ve had a flight delayed due to weather in Denver.
- Second time through DIA I was again diverted, this time through the TSA pre-check line. Do they not realize I’ve been on the watch list for the last several years? I could get used to such quick screening.
- I’m certainly spoiled by the weather in Denver. I enjoy my time here in Portland, but the weather is a bit of a downer. I may be wrong, but I think it has rained every day I’ve been here these two weeks. I’m told the sun comes out by July.
- Week two’s car is a Dodge Avenger. How did they manage to give an exciting name to such a drab car?
- This week’s hotel is being renovated. At least the rooms on my floor are. I’m in a newly redecorated room. Half the rooms are under construction – there are post-it notes on most doors: “Complete by Friday”, “Tile: caulk soap dish, caulk top of tile in shower”, and so on. New carpet, tile, wallpaper. But they kept the old sink and bathtub. Instead of the smell of bacon in the morning, I get the smell of paint all the time.
- I’m a bit stuck in a rut in the restaurant category. I have dinner at another McMenamin’s place – John Barleycorn’s. This time was a pint of their Ruby and a chicken pesto sandwich.
- Being a book junkie, I make a trip downtown to Powell’s City of Books. Three floors that take up a full city block, I can never make an exit without an armload.
- Each time now, I eat at the Deschutes Brewery a block from Powell’s. Tonight it was smoked chicken and field greens – basically a Cobb salad with greens instead of iceberg lettuce. And a half liter of one of their cask ales. Yum.