Thursday, August 6, 2015

Portland - Friends, Flugtag, Falls, and One Funny Train Ride

We just got back from a fast, but fun-filled trip to Portland.  The motivation for and the best part of the trip was seeing our friends, the Millers.  We hadn't seen them since 1999, but some friendships stay strong regardless of the number of years between visits.  Thanks, Amy and Brook.  

While hanging with the Millers, we tried to squeeze in as much of the Portland vibe as we could.  Food carts - definitely.  Hiking through gorges and swimming under waterfalls - absolutely.  Reading books at Powell's - surely.  Enjoying a great micro brew and standing in line to Voodoo donuts - Hell ya.   

Most unusual was the Flugtag.  Don't know what the Flugtag is?  Ask any Red Bull drinking 20-year old.  It is Red Bull's challenge to actually give people wings.  Teams descend upon one lucky city each year with human propelled contraptions with the hope of flying, though none of the teams we saw actually flew.  They just launched off a 30' platform and splashed into the Willamette River with great pomp.  Even without flight it was a fun afternoon of spectactular splashes.  

As with all trips, there is no destination without a journey.  Our journey to Portland may not have been have half the fun, but it was definitely half the funny and a journey we will never forget.  It started with my 'great' idea of taking the overnight train to Portland (Scott needed to work and wisely choose to fly in later).  In theory, the kids and I would board at 8pm and be magically whisked north to Oregon in time for afternoon sightseeing the next day.  Except, it didn't quite play out that way.  It started with a 5-hour delay in San Jose and the kids sleeping in a train station.  Once we finally started rolling came the motion sickness.  Nothing says 6am wake up call, like the sound of a child retching.  With a little medicine, a little food, and a lot of clean up, we all got to feeling better.  Then, came the realization that most of our electronic entertainment wasn't working.  Then, came the broken engine.  Then, came the delays because our late train had to yield to every other train.  Then, came a day with record breaking heat which made the train slow to 40 mph.  And finally, many, many hours late we finally arrived in Portland. While we were ecstatic to be off the train, it was a horribly, hilarious voyage.  We are still laughing about it.

That is life in MomZania.

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