Posts Tagged With: United Airlines

Keep Portland Weird

6/15/13

I woke up on the later side today. My mom and I got ready and packed everything up since our flight was later that night. We decided to check out right away rather than come back later to do so. We left our bags with the hotel and headed to Portland’s famous Saturday Market.

The market is only a couple blocks from our hotel. It’s filled with a lot of art, food, and hippie vendors. It takes up about three blocks. We browsed for a bit and really didn’t see anything we liked. There was one vendor that turned bottle caps into rings and necklaces. I thought her stuff was cool so I bought a $5 ring. We walked along the river and saw another part to the market that was fenced off because you had to pay. We decided not to do that part.

The sign “Keep Portland Weird” wasn’t kidding. I thought people in NYC were strange. Portland has us beat. I saw every hair color imaginable. I saw more tattoos and piercings in one day than I have seen in my whole life. There were people in corsets, leather bondage outfits, tutus, tie dye, bras, bathing suits, costumes, etc. There is honestly no dress code in Portland.

We headed over to Pioneer Place which is a big mall. We browsed for a bit. Then we went to Ross where I found a skirt and shirt I liked but ultimately left. We then had a decision to make. We could go to Pittock Mansion or the Oregon Historical Society. I knew my mom would love Pittock but we would have to take a bus and then walk a mile uphill. I really wasn’t in the mood for it. Plus the timing would have been close. We would only have 45 minutes there. So we chose the Historical Society. Our next debate was about whether or not to walk. That got settled for us when we met a nice disabled man at the light rail stop. He explained how the public transportation system worked and talked to us about Portland until the light rail came.

The Historical Society was about 3 blocks away from the stop so that was convenient. The tickets for the museum were pretty cheap but we were under the impression that the museum was small so my mom decided to sit on the sofa and wait for me. We figured why spend two fees if the museum was going to be just ok. However, the museum turned out to be fantastic! We got very lucky and arrived on the day when two special exhibits opened. The two exhibits were Windows on America and For All the World to See.

The first exhibit was incredible! It contained hundreds of artifacts belonging to Presidents. I had never seen most of them which is saying something since all I do is go to museums. Some of the things they had included:

  • An exact reproduction of the Declaration of Independence
  • George Washington’s handwritten plans for Mount Vernon
  • Official copy of the Thirteenth Amendment
  • Swatch of fabric from Lincoln’s Fords Theater Chair
  • The letter, pierced by a bullet, which was in Teddy Roosevelt’s pocket during an assassination attempt in 1912
  • Only copy of the Atlantic Charter signed by Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • U.S.S. Antares Log from the Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Truman’s Inaugural Top Hat
  • John F. Kennedy’s Oval Office Table and Rocking Chair
  • The only camera that caught Ruby killing Oswald

I could have spent hours looking at the exhibit. No one told me that photography wasn’t  allowed. I had taken two pictures when I got yelled at by a security officer. He then spent the entire time following me through the exhibit which was beyond annoying! I really wanted pictures of the artifacts so I could show my students. He left my side for two seconds and I snuck a picture of the camera mentioned above.

After that exhibit I headed to the For All the World to See exhibit which is on the Civil Rights Era. The most moving thing from that exhibit was the original image of Emmett Till’s face after he was beaten to death.

After that I headed upstairs to the Oregon section, which covered the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Oregon Trail.

We decided to walk back to our hotel. We passed the Heathman which is a fancy hotel in Portland. We also went into a couple stores and we found our first rite aid. I wanted a pharmacy so I could buy a cheap cold water. The pharmacy also happened to be selling the Ken dolls that they use in the Most Popular Girls in School YouTube show.

After that we passed the two areas where there are food trucks. Most of them were closed and there were a ton of super shady people hanging out. We quickly left the area and stopped at a vintage shop. We decided to do Voodoo Doughnut again. The line was much longer this time and it was much hotter outside than yesterday. The line took about 40 minutes. My mom got an Old Dirty Bastard which is absolutely loved. I got a Diablo Rex. I didn’t like it. Their yeast doughnuts are much better than their cake doughnuts. I wish I could go back and order something else.

Old Dirty Bastard

Diablo Rex

We went back to the hotel and picked up our bags. We walked to the light rail red line to the airport. We waited and waited and waited. While we waited we watched all the Portland people in weird clothing walking around. The light rail finally came and at that point my mom and I were both tired from standing. The light rail was packed. There weren’t seats for us. We were standing near a group of very strange teenagers. The girl closest to us had pink hair, a black bra, a floral ill fitting skirt, and black wooden stakes through her ears. She goes, “I need to take out my earrings because my mom doesn’t like me wearing them.” My mom whispers to me, “but her mom is ok with her leaving the house in a bra?”

The ride seemed long because we were so tired. People had boxes of voodoo doughnuts that they were going to bring on the plane as carry on’s. There were a bunch of shops and places to eat before security, which I think is stupid. If you buy any liquids in these places then you have an issue at security. Plus everyone wants to get through security right away so they know they made it to their gate with plenty of time. That’s when people want to walk around and be entertained.

Security was a breeze. We found the United Club without the help of the two people in security who were snotty to us. The club just had crackers, cheese, Milanos, and shortbread cookies. There were also a handful of crappy magazines. We had about 2 hours until our flight. So we ate and read. The left the club to buy two water bottles for the plane.

We eventually boarded and had someone in the seat next to us. They promised us entertainment again and then said for $8 you could buy it. So stupid. Nothing is free anymore. We caved and paid for it. I watched Oz and Beautiful Creatures. We hit a lot of turbulence and I kept praying for us to land. We wound up landing really early.

The sun was just starting to rise. It was beautiful to see. Time to take a bus to the train and walk 15 mins home. Beyond exhausted after my first real red eye.

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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, Oregon, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Newark to Vancouver

6/9/13

We had to wake up before the crack of dawn to catch our 5am car to the airport and our 7:30am flight. We got up at 2:30am and wound up being ready at 4:15am. So we called to have our car moved to 4:30am. The driver was on time and actually got out of the car to help with our bags. I thought he was great and told my mom this after he dropped us off. I didn’t realize I spoke too soon. We go through the United door to check in and find out he dropped us off at United Express, which is where the small planes fly in and out of. They told us we would have to board a shuttle bus to get to the regular United section of the airport. My mom was pissed. We just spent $60 on a car service only to have to board a bus. We told the driver United International.

We went through security where I watched them being super strict with a Muslim family. We then went to Starbucks which had a line out the door. I got two water bottles for $6. We then went to our gate. I read a magazine for a bit. They opened the door that leads to the plane and a pigeon flew out. It landed on the group 4 sign. The gate people said it was on our plane. They decided to board us early. We boarded and settled into our seats. There was a beyond super smelly man who boarded. My mom and I prayed he wouldn’t be near us. He wasn’t. Thank goodness! There was also a baby with a fever and luckily the baby wasn’t near us either. We wound up with an empty seat next to us. The guy behind me spent the entire flight strumming on his tray table aka the back of my chair. There was no food and they never showed the movie they promised. The bathroom line was crazy. Two stalls for all of economy. The second time I went I waited at least 10 mins. Smelly guy was in there for almost 20 mins. Right before landing a passenger got sick. 4 doctors assisted her. They gave her an oxygen tank. We had some turbulence throughout the flight and a rough descent.

Once we landed we spent 20 mins wandering the airport looking for the 7-11 to buy day train passes. Everyone told us it was somewhere else which became very annoying. Finally a lady pointed us in the right direction. Then we got on the train. The train felt like it took forever because we were both exhausted. We walked to the hotel where I immediately used the wifi to let everyone know we arrived.

We were given a one bedroom suite. It had a living room and a double bed bedroom. It also had two bathrooms and 2 mini fridges. The view was of the water and mountains. We also got Regency Club. We got some cookies and water. Then headed out.

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Categories: Canada, Travel, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Au Revoir Paris

July 30 2012

So sad that today is our last day in Paris. I really could have used another day or two.

We had breakfast in the hotel. I realized that I was seriously going to miss waking up and having a buffet of bread, cheese, and sweets. I took some bread for the plane. We checked out and began our search for the bus to the airport. We didn’t know if it was going to pick us up exactly where we were dropped off. We would up walking in a circle around the opera house. I saw the bus at the stop and picked up my suitcase and ran like the wind. With one bus an hour I was not missing it. My mom followed me and thankfully we wound up catching the bus. It was extremely crowded and somewhat stuffy. We both felt car sick.

We arrived at CDG and spent the next hour or so going through security. When I was at this airport the previous year they broke my suitcase and I had a 5 hour layover that turned into 7. I was in a part of the airport that was like a mall. There were probably 20 or more stores. That was not the case this time. There were only 2 stores and they were horrible. There were a couple of “cafes.” I spent some of the change I had and bought some macaroons and cookies for my students. My mom did the same (minus the student part). We were bored! We tried to get ourselves upgraded and the people working in the airport didn’t speak enough English to help us. O well. I used the restroom before we got on the plane and apparently my door didn’t lock correctly because a women walked in on me. Hopefully, I’ll never see her again.

We boarded our plane and the seat next to my mom was empty. We were praying it would stay that way. No such luck. A young girl (around my age) took the seat. The lunch/dinner was awful and I tried to entertain myself with movies. The pre-landing snack was actually pretty good for my mother, but not for me. Stupid nasty vegetarian meal. My mom basically had a grilled cheese sandwich. One thing that cracked me up on the plane was the kid diagonal from us stuffed their baby doll in a weird position into the seat pocket (see the picture below). Back to NYC and back to work 😦

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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