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July 29, 2011

Hello Portland!

   My current job is the Scheduling Coordinator for the University of Wyoming.  It is my job to schedule the classrooms for the college - I'm the guy who assigns rooms for the giant list of classes that gets published each semester.  I know it sounds glamorous, but don't be fooled.  It isn't always gloriously blissful.  However, this week, I was sent to Portland Oregon to attend the annual CollegeNet scheduling software conference from July 24-27 along with my coworker Sally.  Let me tell you, if work was like that every day, we'd be dying to show up.

   These four pictures were taken from the window in my hotel room.  We stayed at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower and my room was on the 21st floor which does wonders in terms of having a view.  The building directly above is the building where our scheduling software company is located.  They take up the 16th and 17th floor of the building, which surprisingly was slightly above my 21st floor hotel room.  That first night we arrived too late for dinner at a restaurant because they were closed.  We had to settle for Tartberry which is a self serve yogurt place where you pile on whatever toppings you want and pay by the ounce.  Then grabbed some McDonald's after.  Yes, that's right...we did dessert first. 

   The first day of lunch, we decided to go ahead and walk over to where some food carts were located.  It took just a few minutes to find them, and much longer to decide we wanted a burrito.  Let me tell you though, this burrito was amazingly fresh and burn your hands hot.  I'm not kidding when I say that on the very last bite, some liquid leaked onto my hand and it hurt because it was still hot.  This was my first experience with a food truck, and I am definitely willing to do it again!

   The next night, we were going to hop the free train and head to Deschutes Brewery.  Portland has a lot of local breweries and we'd heard this one was worth the stop.  I checked the schedule for the train and we had 7 minutes so I pulled out my phone and checked it out on Google Maps - it was an 8 minute walk.  The paper maps for Portland are very deceptive because everything seems so much further than in real life. The beer was really good, minus one I didn't like at all.  The front row in that picture has one dark beer called Abyss which is an 11% alcohol beer.  If you're ever there, skip it.  

   We also stopped by Powell's City of Books which claims to be the largest independent bookstore in the world.  It was gigantic and by that, I mean it was ridiculously huge. The whole store is color coded so you can find sections, but to be honest, the pricing is crazy.  I found Obama's Wars and the used price was $3 more than the new price on Amazon.  Does that mean I am a greedy consumerist driving locally owned businesses away?  Probably, but I'm cheap.  Sorry.

   The last night in Portland, we walked to Kells Irish Pub to eat.  It was a cool place that served plenty of authentic Irish food, plus the type of food that someone like myself would actually eat.  Those giant plates of appetizers were $3 each so we decided to just get those for dinner along with a very tasty IPA...then took a little walk to...

    VooDoo Doughnuts! Several people told me it was a definite for places to visit and it was on Man vs could I NOT go?  It was a quick walk and the line was pretty short.  You can see the three I bought along with the post it note to demonstrate the size.  I got the maple bacon bar, apple fritter and Captain my Captain.  All three were super delicious but in no way could I ever have finished them in one sitting.  One is hard enough.  

   Overall the trip was really a good time.  We learned some cool ideas and tricks for our scheduling software, we got to meet a few cool people and had a great experience in the city.  If I ever get to go back for the conference again, I think I will be taking Sandra with me.  There was definitely enough free time to enjoy it together.  Here are just a few more random pictures from the trip.  


shellycoulter said...

Looks like a fun place to visit! :)