Four months after a late night epiphany to return to the Pacific North West the day has finally arrived. Given that it is halfway around the world, the first day was always going to be the worst. Three planes, connections, time zone changes combined with the fact that my inflexible 6ft 3 frame is stuck in an oversized Tupperware container for 13 plus hours straight. Unlike Tupperware’s patented system guaranteeing freshness, I doubt I will be sparkling fresh when the plan lands?
Stayed in Brisbane the night before so it was just a 20 minute Airtrain trip to the airport. What could go wrong if you leave with 3 hours to spare? I forgot to factor in power outages on the train which left us stuck in a tunnel for 20 minutes and an hour to go between 2 stations. Fellow airport travellers were on the verge of starting a riot so I am glad I didn’t mention that I work for Queensland Rail. We were advised of future delays so I decided to pull the pin and try my luck with a taxi. There was a point when I thought I was a long shot to make it – that was shortly after my taxi didn’t show and a man turned down my offer of $100 for a random lift. I know that that is a premium price but time wasn’t on my side once I abandoned the train. I managed to hail another taxi who was driven by a Nepalese man. I suspect he was a sherpa before his immigration to Australia? Whatever his previous occupation the only reason I made it to the airport was because of his silky skills behind the wheel.
News of the train failure had filtered through to the airport which meant I was processed in the business class channels. Now the bad news… for all those that wanted souvenirs, you won’t be getting the nut bikers.
On a side note I was warned by Delta Airlines that breast milk isn’t allowed as carry on, but it can be checked in. I hope customs are looking for those busty ‘terrorists’ who are trying to flaunt the rules.
The first flight to LAX (Los Angeles) went better than expected thanks to a vacant seat next to me. Travelling tip: if you want to go to sleep on a plane, just choose The Big Bang Theory from the inflight entertainment service. Works everytime. I did discover Orange Is The New Black though. The security at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is not lax at all.
Airplane food pic (polenta for lunch with roll, jatz & cheese, waldorf salad and blueberry and white chocolate mousse).
Looking at the departure board I saw Delta had a connecting flight to Portland at the same time as my flight to Salt Lake City (I then had another scheduled flight to Portland). Thought I would see if there was any chance to catch the Portland flight. Played the “I’ve been travelling for the last 15 hours” whilst putting on the charm offensive and it worked. Meryll Streep would have been proud with my acting effort – I was surprised too as it saved me 7 hours. They also diverted my luggage so that it could be transferred to my new flight. It meant a mad dash between a new terminal but I was up for it and they had this sign.
Landed in Portland. And the first thing you come across is the airport carpet. No other city would fight so hard to keep the carpet of their airport. There is a tradition for those arriving back “home” in Portland to take a picture of the carpet. I joined the craze, when in Rome…
Unfortunately my bag didn’t make an appearance at the carousel and after a few enquiries I was told it made the trip and was in Salt Lake City. Sure my acting job previously was Merryl Streep like, but Merryl in “The River Wild” rather than the critically acclaimed roles like “Kramer vs Kramer”. It was reported to Delta who gave me a toiletries bag and a shirt. This was a stop gap measure until they drop my missing luggage off at my hotel when it arrives from its detour.
Hotel is like Jennifer Lawrence, clean and simple. It’s in the same part of town as last time. Decided to have a quick shower because 20 hours of travel takes its toll on one’s personal hygiene. The Delta shirt they gave me was thinner than single ply toilet paper and was a medium. It barely covered my nipples and left very little to the imagination. Fortunately a jumper covered up my new mid-riff top. Time to eat, first stop Lardo.
Lardo used to be a food truck in Portland and became that popular it became a fully fledged bricks and mortar joint a few years back.
I chose the Double Burger with a side of kimchee with a pint of local 9% beer for $15 including tip.
Had to have another beer as Happy Hour had just kicked in. After that I had to head down to Bailey’s Taproom to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. A couple of Irish Stouts and it was time to get to bed after 30 hours since sleep. This hungry traveller was now full and was greeted with my luggage when I got back to my room. Time for the skin tight shirt to see the bin and I can get into something more my size.