Northwest Trip, Part 1

About two weeks ago, my brother and I went on a trip to the Pacific Northwest, mainly Portland, Oregon.  I was going to the World Domination Summit, and my brother tagged along with me for the trip, but not for the summit itself.  I invited my brother, since he does not travel as often as I do, and he had yet to fly on a commercial airline or see the ocean.

The trip started off the day after Independence Day.  We flew out of Omaha around the lunch hour on that day.  Overall, the flight was uneventful, other than looking at the mountains and deserts that occur between Omaha and Las Vegas.  The plane stopped in Las Vegas for about an hour, but it would not let my brother and I off the plane since we were continuing on.  My brother hoped to get off the plane in order to check out the Las Vegas airport.  While we were landing, I pointed out a few landmarks of Las Vegas from the airplane, but that was about it for Las Vegas at this time.  The flight continued on to Portland.  I had a window seat, and after a while, the Nevada desert got really boring to look at from the airplane window.  Meanwhile, an older man started talking to my brother and I about Oregon while having some in-flight whisky.  He gave us some advice on things to see and do around Oregon, but later on we found out that some of that advice was inaccurate.  He was kind enough to offer us a ride to our hostel, but we declined.  When I turned back to the window, the landscape changed to a lush green forest, and pretty soon, I could see Mt. Hood, which meant that it was almost time to land.  Our plane landed in Portland, and my brother and I took the MAX light rail into town.  It took over an hour to get from the airport to our hostel just northwest of downtown Portland in the Alphabet District.

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We settled in, and then went to a nearby Trader Joe’s to buy stuff for the next morning’s breakfast.  I then got a hold of a couple of friends who were also in town for the World Domination Summit, Darby and Brian.  We met up at Holman’s Restauarant, located in the Hawthorne neighborhood of Portland for dinner as part of a meetup for introverts.  Although I am probably an Introvert, I only went to this meetup to meet with the other two attendees that I met before.  I met some new people there as well, as the meetup had about 25 people total.  We stayed there for about 3 hours, with dinner somewhere in there.  The service was sort of slow because our group overwhelmed the small restaurant, but at least we were all outside for the fresh Portland summer weather.  After we left Holman’s, a bunch of us went about a block away to Chopsticks II, a Karaoke bar/ Chinese takeout/ dive.  The place was kind of quirky, as the owner had his picture all over the Karaoke display screens in between songs, with the slogan “How can be?”, which I didn’t get, and I still don’t get.  I did meet the owner himself when I asked for some water.  After meeting him, it seems as if he is from Portland itself, unlike what his strange logo with “How can be?” would suggest.  It was a long night of karaoke.  I did not participate in the singing personally, like I normally do, because I was dead tired by this point, and I was with my brother, so I did not want to embarrass him.  There were at least 100 WDS attendees at the karaoke bar that night, and it included several big names whose blogs I follow, such as Tyler Tervooren, Benny Lewis, Johnathan Mead, Sean Ogle, etc.  There were a couple of locals in the mix as well.  Another thing that I noticed about restaurants and bars in Portland, is that they have an Oregon Lottery logo, which means that they have video lottery terminals and slot machine games.  Unlike the ones in Las Vegas, they tend to be almost silent, which is nice.

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