11.04.2010

::pdx:: our itinerary

WARNING:: very long journalistic post ahead. please feel free to skip.

Wednesday night, late - Fly into Seattle Airport, where Jill picks me up. Mom doesn't come with her because, of course, she's at Jill's house, sewing. When we got there, she woke up to say hi, and stayed up late with us, laughing and joking, and watching how to apply make up like Marilyn Monroe on YouTube.

Thursday morning, late - Wake up, and somehow realize we have time to do nothing but hustle down to Portland. We were so late, in fact, that we missed the first dance class. (I was registered for nothing on Thursday, but went along for moral support.) As soon as we arrived in Portland, we grabbed a slice at Pizza Schmizza and headed to the Hilton to be on.time. for the second dance class. We grabbed our welcome packets, and Mom changed into her Austen outfit while Jill danced in street clothes. Jill encountered her creeper for the first time during this dance class. I was on the phone with work crisis for most of the afternoon.

At the close of the dance class, we headed north to check in at the Ace Hotel (a triple shared room, so we had bunk beds!) Mom said the room reminded her of the war, and later told me that she thought it was because they folded up the flat sheet and wool blanket and put it at the bottom of the bed, like an army barracks. Very hipster - the lobby was full of folks of all ages dressed in all black, wearing scarves and skinny jeans, and typing on their Macs. I'm probably just jealous. We got all unloaded, and parked the car, then headed out on foot, hoping to arrive back at the Hilton. (Navigation is tricky without mountains or bluffs). Once we realized we were sufficiently close to arrive within a reasonable amount of time, we stopped at Qdoba for dinner. (I wish we had one of those!) We skipped the cash bar (Mom's choice) and then attended our first lecture, Angela Barlow, "An Actor's View". Her performance was so much better than others at the conference because.... she was British. The accent really completes a Jane Austen reading...

Walk back to Ace in the rain (but it wasn't even cold!) and then up to our room. Mom worked on hemming and ironing Jane Austen dresses (quite the contrast to see her in her Austen dress against the wall plastered with music posters!) until later than I could keep my eyes open. A restful sleep under heavy signature-Ace wool Pendletons.

Friday - Wake (surprise!) late. Rush to the shared showers. Very clean and not at all scary. It was nice because we could all split up and shower more quickly! (a nice perk when you have three consistently late folks hanging out together.) (Sorry, Mom and Jill, but it's true.) Late to dance class three, which we were all registered for. Lucky for me, the dancing is almost as simple as walking, so I was able to pick it up without too much embarassment. With our help, Jill was able to avoid the Creeper throughout Dance Class Three. No time for a break! Dance Class Four. By now we've got this thing down. We're also starving. Jill and I head out to look for a jacket for Jill (success at the Columbia flagship store) and grab some lunch around the corner at Violetta. Mom is a diehard so she stayed for the Opening and Welcome and ate a handful of peanuts for lunch.

After lunch, the classes began. Plenary Session One we all attended together, avoiding Creeper. Jill and I attended Breakout A together, "A Historical Model for Northanger Abbey" while Mom went solo. We learned about about some ruins Bath that Jane may have used for inspiration? Breakout B was next, no break! Jill and I attended together again, this time learning the legalities of Jane's time - especially dealing with inheritance rights of women. Classes ended at 4:30 and it was time to rush over to the Portland Museum of Art to attend the Portland Rose Garland Dancers and Reception at 5. What a letdown - we watched the dancers... ate little teeny appetizers, and left to find some real food. (Again, Mom wanted to skip the cash bar?)

We'd convinced Mom to see Sufjan Stevens with us later that evening, but to our disapointment, the show was sold out. Instead, we headed back to the car to drive over to our hotel for the next two nights (Ace was booked for the weekend and Thursday was all we could get). We checked in at the Residence Inn (thanks, Ty, for the great deal!), then jumped on public transport to get back to the Hilton in time for the slide lecture "Mystery Meets Muslin". I honestly have no idea what we listened to. Once they start talking about Gothic anything, my eyes start to glaze over. I do rememeber that he mentioned the fashion in France during the guillotine period was to wear a red ribbon around the neck. Gruesome!

At 9:30 when the lecture was over, we were again starving so we headed out on foot to find some food. Most places were closed (on a Friday night!?!) so we ate at the food trucks on Third... the chicken quesadilla was delicious and made even more so by some amazing secret sauce, and the falafel wasn't bad either. A quick walk by Voodoo Doughnuts (the Voodoo is in the shape of a person with a pretzel stick stuck into the doughbut. And red jelly filling. Speaking of gruesome....) and we were spent. Jump on the MAX train and back to the hotel for another late night. More hemming and string clipping by Mom, YouTube watching by Jill until we went to sleep, snug as three bugs in a rug, in our King sized bed.

Saturday - I know you won't be surprised by this - up late! Luckily, Jill and Mom both thought the session began at 9:00 so when we grabbed our continental breakfast and showed up at 9:35, only five minutes late, we were pretty pleased. Plenary Two and Breakout C with some advice from the locals when visiting Bath. Afterward, we headed up to the Jane Austen shop and then out on the town, visiting Nordstrom Rack, eating at Violetta again, and then back for more classes.

Breakout D was all about Henry Tilney (the hero in Northanger Abbey) and Breakout E was about more clothing, shopping and muslin. We skipped out on the Business Meetings and did some more shopping at Nordstrom, Macy's, and then returning to the Rack to pick up a pair of boots for Jill, and a pair of boots for me. Rushed back to the Hilton to get ready for the ball! Not an inch of breathing room when we got back - had to fight out way back to the bathroom where our dresses were stashed. Ready in a hurry, and out to realize - we were late. Salads had already been served. (Is this humorous to anyone else? ...because I know at least my husband and my Dad are shaking their heads....) Dinner was delicious; and after dinner was the Grand Promenade which we participated in because we were, of course, dressed to the nines! After the Promenade, they cleared the tables and the dancing began!

Mom was a dancing fool, and, as Jill said, her dream of having two dancing daughters was finally fulfilled! We danced till the break of dawn ... err, 11:30, and I think Mom only sat out the first dance. We rushed back to the bathroom to change, and down the street to catch the Max before they shut down for the night. Back to the hotel, again up late, laughing and chatting and reliving our adventures.

Sunday - Up early since we needed to get pictures of three of us in our finest Austen dresses. Mom had made hats and capes but there was too much to cart to the hotel the night before, so we didn't get pictures with them. The fall leaves were out and made a beautiful backdrop to our photos. Ran for the train and arrived at the Hilton for the brunch and panel of speakers before the final Adjournment.

Spent the next few hours wandering around Portland - up to Ace Hotel to pick up Jill's phone where she'd left it on Friday, into Powell's Books where Mom picked up a huge hardbound copy of Jane Austen's collection, and then over to the Saturday Market, and to walk along the river. When we finished there, we headed back up to pick up the car, make a quick stop at the fabric store on the way to the airport, and then it was time to say good-bye. As Mom and Jill dropped me off, Mom looked in me in the eyes and said, "Blog about this really soon, okay?"

And then back to Las Vegas while Jill and Mom drove back up to Seattle. It really was the trip of the lifetime, and something I never would have done without Mom's excitement! I'm so glad we got to do this - memories that will last a lifetime! Love you guys! ... and Gramma, we sure missed you!

no pictures on this post - aren't you kind of pictured out of Portland?
just kidding - I know, thanks to dear husband, that folks are most interested in seeing pictures
of our dresses. maybe tomorrow.
and whoa! long-winded much? just skip it....

3 comments:

the gramma said...

I would have only spoiled the fun because I would never have been able to keep up. Glad it was a memorable trip and what in the world did "creepy" look like? So happy to have you all home in one piece - BRING ON THE PICS --- CANNOT WAIT!!!!

Anonymous said...

V. here...I love the itinerary..I read every word You write all the details that are so easy to forget, Thanks for this great post especially the last few lines ...Just want you to know that you are fun!! So good to have this blog so soon.

Anonymous said...

v. here... did you have to use the word "late" so many times:)

 
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