I flew in Saturday morning, and luckily they had a room open I could check into, and then I had the rest of the day to do whatever. I went into Portland and just explored via geocaching (it's great for that--you head out and find a geocache, then find the next closest one, and then the next, and before you know it, you've traipsed a zig-zag all over a certain area).
First, I went to the library:
|I went up the steps and asked at the first desk I came to if she knew where the geocache was. She didn't, so I headed in.|
|Past the children's library, with a cool tree inside|
I asked someone else, and they were pretty sure it was on the top floor, so up I went...
|These are the stairs between the main floor and the second floor.|
|Looking back down|
Finally, on the top floor, a librarian led me to a section, where I spotted a book that said "Geocaching for fun and profit" on the spine, but it turns out it was a blank book for signing the log. A coupe trinkets people left in a pocket in the backcover made it bulge.
Then I hit the streets and just wandered around. I saw a bunch of food carts...
A man walking a huge dog...
And some cool buildings.
I think this was the night I had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant before taking the MAX back to my hotel near the airport.
Sunday, I had ALL day, and my plan was to go to the Japanese gardens. Google Maps told me about a route that involved taking the MAX into town, then taking a bus that went nearly the whole way to the gardens, with very little walking. I got onto that bus, then found out it doesn't go that far on Sundays. You'd think Google Maps would take that into account, but I had the same problem in NYC, so I guess not.
So I ended up walking quite a lot that day, including up (and then down) a LONG hill, through the rose garden (not very pretty in January). Because I want the experience to be almost as peaceful for you as it was for me, I'm going to shut up and not "narrate" the photos:
On my way back to the bus line, I walked down this pedestrian path that was kind of cool, at the bottom of a gulley.
The next day, I had to work in my hotel room, so I ate three meals from the hotel restaurant, ugh, then had training on Tuesday. My flight Tuesday night couldn't land at Redmond, so I ended up spending yet another night at the same hotel before finally making it home on the second (and last flight that wasn't canceled) flight the next day. So not sure whether flying worked out better than driving or not, but at least I wasn't the one stressed about navigating in the weather. :-)