I made it back. It was an interesting trip. I’ll go ahead and say that this is the first of a few posts I am planning on doing tonight. Whether they get done or not, i don’t know. But this one is about my trip.
So I went to the Intel Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro, Oregon this week and it was an experience. The place was beautiful. I have pictures of the place up so you can see those by checking out my Portland Trip album at the right. It was really cool how they did some of the landscaping and the house placement. The people were really nice as well, which reminded me of home. Oh yeah, and for those Desperate Housewives fans, I drove on a street named Wysteria Lane. It was funny. I really did enjoy myself. I had a lot of time to myself, which I don’t normally get to enjoy because of studies, but I didn’t pickup a book the entire time I was there. I did go to the movies to see Unleashed, which was amazing. And they fed us like crazy. It was like being at a Baptist church on a holiday. It was good stuff too.
Okay so I am being kind of scattered so let me start from the top.
I got up at 5 on Monday and dad took me to the airport for my 35 minute trip to Atlanta. It was pretty smooth. Nothing really special, but I sat in the middle of two other people (which was the theme for my plane rides). So I had about an hour and a half layover in Atlanta before I flew out to Portland. It was nice to just sit down and relax and watch tv between flights at this sports bar that was serving breakfast. I didn’t realize how many people wanted a beer or some liquor before 9 in the morning. I swear there were about 5 people that wanted something from the bar that didn’t open til 9. I was amazed. They weren’t mad or anything like that, just ready for a drink. That kind of makes me sad that people have to resort to drinking that early in the morning because their lives are that hectic and difficult. Makes me a little upset for them. So anyways. My flight to Portland.
I got on the plane first because of my seat placement in Zone 1. I got on and was the first to sit down in my row. I was pumped because I was in the front row. And you know what that means. LEG ROOM. I was so happy. I never get good seats like that. I am always having troubles with having room for my long legs on planes so I was excited that I got a good seat. A guy came right behind me and sat next to me. He sat right down and started on a book. So I knew there would be no awkward conversations or anything like you run into on business flights. I was thinking "If only an attractive girl would sit in the other seat", because I was in the middle again. And then, lo and behold, she did. This very attractive brunette starts putting up her stuff. I thought, "it’s a good day". So after we both get settled in, I make a little comment and she gives a response with a smile and I thought, alright this is going well. So we talk a little bit on small stuff. She asks why I am going to Portland and I tell her a business trip and I ask her the same. And of course, her response starts with "My boyfriend and I…". Well, there goes that one. But she is still attractive and nice and easy to sit next to. So I am fine with it. We talk a little more and I ask about school and she says she just graduated high school. So there is two strikes. I am still comfortable though, so it’s cool. Then the boyfriend who is sitting more toward the back talked the guy next to him into switching seats with her. So we know what that means, no more girl. So I see this very broad shouldered guy walk down the aisle. Dangit. I knew it was too good to be true. So for the next 4 hours I sit forward because both of the guys flanking me are about 300 pounds each and very stocky so I have no shoulder room. I had flashbacks to high school as I slept with my elbows on my knees. But one good thing about the plane ride was that I got to see "In Good Company" again starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, and Scarlett Johanssen. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s a good quality movie.
I get to Portland and go get my rental car and they upgrade me to a Pathfinder from a compact car for free. I was pumped to say the least. I am more comfortable in an SUV than in a strap-on car. I got started driving and have very specific directions from the airport to the hotel and try to find where it is talking about as a starting point, but it doesn’t reference anything I can see. Did you know that there is a Portland International Airport and a HIllsboro Airport? I sure didn’t. So I was coming from the Portland airport and had directions from the HIllsboro airport. A lot of good that did me. Dangit. Luckily the rental place gave me a map of Portland so I think I am okay. What I didn’t know was that I was going completely the wrong way in Portland. It is a huge place. I drove for about 20 minutes East and Hillsboro is about 15 minutes West of Portland. Yeah, I didn’t know that either. So I drive for awhile and get off on an exit and think that I have found where I am. I still didn’t know that there were 2 airports. So I get off on, like 132nd avenue and try to use that as my marker for the map and didn’t realize I was completely in a different part of the city. I was about 30 minutes from the 132nd avenue that I needed to be on. But I did get to see some beautiful land out there. It really is gorgeous. After driving for 2 hours trying to find my way, I get to the hotel, which was great. I loved it. It was a Marriott Townplace Suite. If you ever have the chance to stay at one, go for it. It is like a little apartment with a kitchen and everything.
I get up the next morning and go to the conference and realize that I am out of my league with this stuff. The material is above my head. I understand the basic concepts of it, but it is way more in depth than anything I know. And I also realized that these are the IT guys everybody envisions. They were the types of guys that tried to let you know how much they know and make sure you know that they know more than you. That is one thing I hate about this industry. They may know computers, but they have zero social skills. Now, not all of the guys in the industry are like that, and not even all at the conference were, but the vast majority fall under this umbrella. So rather than be like them and try to show them up on this stuff, I barely said a word to any of them. Each of these guys were at least 15 years older than me and had been in the industry for about the same amount of time if not longer. But at least I could focus on my objective and not be swayed by other people.
After finishing up the conference Wednesday night, I went to see "Unleashed" starring Jet LI. Expect a review on it. I also went to eat at a Jack-In-The-Box. I had never eaten at one and thought it was something I should do. I wasn’t very impressed though. I really expected it to be better. It was alright, but nothing special. It wasn’t near as good as Hardee’s or Burger King. I get back and watch the season finale of Lost, which was really good. "You’ve got some Arnst on you" was my favorite line for the night by Hurley. I have so many questions for next season to try and wrap up. Even though I know it won’t happen.
So I get up at 4 in the morning the next morning and drive to the airport, which until I got to the rental return place I thought was setup pretty well for navigation. I could see the place, but could not get there because there were 2 signs pointing different directions as to where you were supposed to go for returns. Then I finally get there and there are the little spikes that won’t hurt your car if you go forward over them and will bust your tires if you go backwards so I thought, that couldn’t be the place to go, but it was. I was afraid of going over them since I didn’t see other cars and I thought that it might be because of the spikes. But it worked out and I got there.
Then flying to Cincinnatti from Portland, I get put in the middle again but between two small ladies so it is an easy flight. We flew by Mt. Hood and Yellowstone National Park which were both beautiful. They showed "Because of Winn-Dixie" which I didn’t take part in. I could really do without seeing that one. I get to the Cincinnatti airport and have like, no time so I run from one end of the airport to the other where my connecting flight is and is already boarding. I walk up and get seated on a little Delta Connection plane for my 1 hour flight to Knoxville. It was nice. I even got an aisle seat. Of course, there were only aisle and window seats to choose from otherwise I would have gotten a middle seat I am sure. But I just put my head back with my headphones on and took it easy. I think I slept most of the flight, so it went quick.
I know it is kind of anti-climactic, but that is how it all ended. It was a nice trip and a beautiful place. Mostly it was relaxing more than anything just to get away and not have the normal stuff to deal with.
The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris