For a while we had been planning a trip to see Phantom of the Opera in Portland. It wasn’t there for long, so we had to take advantage of the opportunity. At the end of August, we took a few cars over to Portland. My car stopped at Multnomah Falls because the others hadn’t been there yet, so we got lots of pictures (they did, not me). I was having some serious problems with right behind my knees. I think it was from the softball tournament and Kendall Katwalk and all the other activity I had been doing over the summer, and it was starting to add up and take its toll on me.
We continued on to Portland and arrived at REI to meet everyone else right on time. Well, we were on time anyway. After hanging out there far longer than I needed or wanted to, and with my knees getting worse, fortunately we continued on to check in to the hotel. We would be staying at the Jupiter Hotel, and this was my first time there. It was like a young rocker hipster place, with condoms and earplugs on the ikea nightstands and big furry pillows and murals on the walls and chalkboard paint on the doors where everybody wrote and drew. It was very interesting and a neat atmosphere.
From there we changed and headed out to dinner at The Melting Pot. It was a fantastic dinner, and we moved the fondues around so we all got to try all of them. Somehow it seemed I had a bottomless stomach and I ate everything. The cheese fondue, the salad, the entree fondue, the chocolate dessert fondue, and a couple glasses of wine. I was cleaning other people’s plates, too. It was bizarre.
After dinner we got in our cars or walked over to the theater where the opera was. We had arrived too early, so we had to wait before they opened the doors, but we had no problem finding our seats. The show was pretty cool. I found myself singing along quietly and marveling at how they accomplished some of the special effects. After the intermission, though, things got worse, and I started to get bored and nod off. It had never occurred to me how all of the songs tie in melodies from all the other songs, so while it was a neat idea, by the second half of the opera I was getting tired of hearing the same melodies over and over, and the effects weren’t as intriguing and the story wasn’t as exciting, and dinner was putting me to sleep. I only dozed a couple times, and not for very long, but otherwise I would say that the show was great and I had a really good time.
Leaving after the show was a challenge. Downtown Portland is full of one way streets going the wrong way. We had to go way out of our way to be able to get onto Burnside, but once we did it was easy to get back to the hotel, and amazingly we beat the others back.
I had become more alert and was ready to continue the night, but I had a hard time motivating some of the others. There was salsa dancing across the street, so Emily, Tara, Carolyn and I went to check it out, but they weren’t willing to pay the cover, so we went back to the hotel bar, which was pretty cool itself, and had a drink there. Then they went to bed, so I went back to the salsa place.
It was on the third floor, and the surface was a great hardwood smooth dance floor. It couldn’t have been better. Well, it could have if it wasn’t completely full of people. I was amazed at how many people were there dancing, and how good so many of them were. There were also a lot of guys on the edges, too, looking for women to dance. The ratio was off, and I found myself intercepted countless times on the way to ask someone to dance by someone who was a few inches closer to her. I did manage to get a few dances, but I was clearly middle of the pack as far as skill level. Maybe 60%. It was strange. Oddly, when I was dancing my legs didn’t hurt, but towards the end of a song, or as soon as I stopped, they did. That, combined with the inability to find partners or dance space, convinced me to head home at about 1am. I snuck in to the room and the others hardly noticed.
The next morning we all rounded up in the lobby area, and caravan-ed to a small breakfast cafe a couple miles away and had really good brunches. Then we split up to head home, as some wanted to go for a hike, and I was in no position to do it. So Lyndsey and I drove back to Richland, and that was the end of the weekend.