With mercenary-like focus, I drove through the war-torn east San Fernando Valley to Burbank Airport, where I deposited Debbie & the boys safely at the terminal; cautiously circumnavigated the perimeter until I happened upon Lot D, a parking option for less than $20/day. $13. Thank you lord. I staggered into the terminal and located the family at the check-in line. Bought some muffins & coffee, and waited for the plane to arrive. Incredibly, it did. We chose to board this plane. Allegedly, it would take us to Portland.
The sinister stewardesses plied Debbie & I w/free wine. It was not drugged. Well, it was, but in all the expected ways. The boys were happy recipients of free soft drinks. Upon personal inspection, I found them to be carbonated and sugar free. It was appalling.
The plane landed in Portland at 2 in the p.m. After much debate & contention, Debbie, Donald, Steven, & I decided to egress from the aircraft. On such heroic decisions are vacations constructed. Please quote me on that.
Our “friend” Jose (please make prudent note of the quotations marks, Jose), had regaled us w/many drunken stories of Portland’s notorious food trucks. Upon disembarking in downtown from the MAX train that had hastened our abscondence from the airport, we stumbled upon a “gaggle” of food trucks (gaggle being a word that Jose made up—much like I just made up the word abscondence—in his drunken descriptions of Portland) near 9th & Morrison. A gaggle, it appears, describes a tight grouping of trailers w/kitchens that inhabit three sides of the perimeter of an otherwise uninhabited parking lot. Some of these trailers are airstream, some are painted bright colors. The first one I chose to accost was a Polish diner with the root “Euro” in its title (Eurodish? Eurofood? Eurotrash?). While Debbie bibimbapped, and the boys slummed on Korean BBQ, I opted to offend my ancestors by swallowing a large kielbasa and a potent portion of pierogies. I told everybody that my chosen meal reigned supreme, and threatened to stop feeding all those who disputed my claim. Debbie would not be swayed.
At this juncture, the perceptive reader will note that the average traveler travels with luggage. Well we, being no less average than you, enjoyed our first meal in Portland in the company of our suitcases. Subsequently, we hoofed it a couple of blocks north & east to our hotel, The Mark Spencer on 11th Street between Stark & Oak. We still had our luggage, which we now chose to deposit in our room. It was here we held an impromptu junta w/the intention of formulating a Portland agenda. We were about to enjoy our first full week away from the bookstore in over a year. Debbie was just beginning to feel the weight of her 10-day-work-week, 7 days in a bookstore and 3 in a library, levitate from her shoulders. Donald & Steven had spent the last 365 days kvetching about their youth being frittered away in a bookstore. (I have yet to find a reason to complain in my short, sweet life). So how does this Gang of Three decide to launch our first and only vacation of 2010?
“Let’s go to Powells!”