Hey look, it’s a new Travels With Pain post! Bet you never thought you’d see one of these again.
This one is much less a how-to post, and much more a “my mom wants me to write travelogues about my trip with my husband to Oregon to visit his family.” But as I’m still traveling with pain, it’s still on-topic. Sort of.
Without further ado…
Day 1: San Jose to Ashland via I-5
Yup, we drove to Oregon all right. Took us about six and a half hours. No major traffic snarls, no mountainsides on fire, no highway construction shut down the Interstate. And the gas station-mini-mart-restaurant-horror movie location of Pollard Flat was closed for the season. Which pretty much takes care of anything interesting that might have happened on Day 1.
Pain tally: Sitting in a car for 6.5 hours is uncomfortable even if you’re a hale and healthy human being (like my husband). I took my medications on time, kept hydrated, insisted on stopping to pee on a regular basis, and thus was in good shape when we arrived in Ashland.
Night 1 – Night 2: Ashland
We managed to miss the Oregon Shakespeare Festival by about three hours. And while I wasn’t hurting, I was definitely tired, so we bagged any notion of running around sightseeing and stayed camped in Ashland for the duration.
Dinner both nights took place at the Standing Stone Brewery, which was much, much better than I expected. I do not like brew pub food. It always ends up tasting vaguely like beer and day-old deep fryer fat to me. Standing Stone is now officially the exception. They’re very big on local sustainable food and drink, if you’re into that sort of thing. (We are.) Their home-brewed beers are exceptional, if you’re into that sort of thing. (I’m not. Husband is. I’m taking his word for it.) Their burgers are yummy. They’ve got plenty of not-beef options, and I suspect that they’d be about medium friendly to serious dietary restrictions.
We stayed at the Arden Forest Inn. I’ve stayed in literally dozens of inns and hotels since I declared the Arden Forest to be my favorite B&B ever. To be perfectly frank, the Arden Forest doesn’t have the biggest or lushest rooms. (Of course they don’t have the biggest or lushest prices either.) They could use to replace their mattresses and they don’t have jacuzzi tubs.
That said, I have never ever enjoyed talking to B&B hosts more than I enjoy talking to Bill & Corbett. It’s not at every inn that you can while away the morning talking about the deepest nature of religion and spirituality, the history of gay rights in America, and the possible future of American culture. Among other things.
Day 3: Ashland to Hillsboro (a suburb of Portland)
Hey look, we’re on I-5 again. Yippee. Actually, I-5 is prettier in Oregon than it is in California. But it still goes by mighty fast, and if you’ve got big-rig fear it’s probably not the route for you.
We drove. We stopped to pee. We drove some more. We managed to hit high rush hour in Portland, which is much more impressive than it was almost 20 years ago when I last spend any time here. But at length, we arrived at the Comfort Inn Hillsboro where my mother-in-law had booked us a room.
Tina, the guest services rep at the desk, was absolutely charming. I got to prove, again, some more, why it’s A Good Thing(tm) to be nice to service people. In the course of checking in, I asked Tina if our room had a king sized bed–citing my husband’s height (6-foot, 4-inches) as the reason we like to have king beds. She said we didn’t, we had a queen, and that she didn’t have any kings available. I was gracious about it, and we chattered happily as she checked us in.
Long story short, because I was nice to Tina, she decided to upgrade us from a standard queen room to a king with a gigantic jacuzzi tub. Without charging for it.
She totally didn’t have to do that. But because we were nice and gracious and didn’t yell at her or otherwise become jerks upon learning that we probably wouldn’t get our every wish…she went out of her way to try to grant our every wish.
Funny how that works…
Coming soon: Hillsboro, Portland, and the Surprise Bonus Beach House
(Also photos once I deal with some technical difficulties)