This past week I've spent it on campus at University of Portland in the lovely city of Portland, Oregon. As a general rule I used to travel a fair amount, and I quite enjoyed it. I'm relatively well traveled with destinations in Europe, Cuba, Quebec, all of North West US, Maui, San Francisco, and so on. As my animal family increased my world travel decreased... Now, I have trouble leaving the dogs behind. I always feel slightly guilty and homesick.
Portland was quite a clean and friendly city. I live in a city that is fairly large. The greater Edmonton area has around 1 million people. The greater Portland area has around 2 million, so double in size. There were about 20 of us, who traveled from Edmonton to satisfy the residency requirement. This is something we all needed to do to qualify for our degree. Three of us had agreed to rent a car together. Unfortunately the campus was not easily accessible by public transit. Big mistake. HUGE. The one woman (my age), insisted on renting early. This meant it was in her name. Being cheap I decided to save $100 and not put my name on the car. Another large mistake. Unfortunately the lady who drove talked big (world traveler) but was awful behind the wheel. She cried when we made wrong turns... She had no sense of direction. Or even common sense. It quite blew me away. It made for an unpleasant tourist experience. I eventually ditched her and started sight seeing and shopping with others. (We did have classes but did things around them.)
One of the fun activities we did was the BrewCycle. Another of the things we did that made me particularly happy was visit one of the professors who happens to live in the country. I was so happy to be surrounded by the stunning vegetation and trees. My favorite shopping experience was the Woodburn Outlet Mall. It was here that I bought my running shoes for close to half off. Thrilled. I was thrilled!
Last night when my plane touched down, I will also admit to being very happy to be back on Canadian soil and headed home to my little dogs. It's nice to go and see but it's better to come home.