|Henry the future beaver in the brand new basketball gym|
|Henry (on the 2nd floor) in UO business school|
|The loot, book from Powell's, yarn from Pearl Fiber Arts|
Best laid plans.
Searching for a place to stay for two people that are not a couple is a bit of a chore, and it's nearly impossible on AirBnB. I had to look at each posting and click on the pictures to see if there is a fold out sofabed or cot or some other alternative arrangement. If I search for accommodation for three people I end up with a family size apartment that's way over my budget. Occasionally there are places with the right arrangement, but the place may not be available for all the dates, or the owner looks like a gansta or spacey hippie that hasn't logged in the site for a few days. Do I really want to stay on their property?
So I went back to the familiar. On Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline.com, every hotel has a two-queen-bed standard room, and an 800 number I can call any time. Yeah, the rates are pretty good too.
And then there is the train. According to Amtrak website, for the two of us, round trip between San Jose and Portland, with a roomette, it'd set me back close to $1000. A rental car costs less than $200. The Chevy Impala we got was a gas guzzler at 25 mpg, after 1600 miles the total gas expense was less than $250. A lot of things we did, like going to the coast and visiting the campuses, we wouldn't have done without a car. We were very glad to have the options.
As for the farm fresh organic food, we hit quite a few food carts. I used an app, CartCompass, to find the nearest pod, then it switches to Google Maps for the directions. The food can be a hit and miss as well as seating, and it's outdoors of course. After a few days I caved and let Henry hit Subways and other familiar places, since I really needed Starbucks some afternoons to stay upright and alert. You can't beat the AC, a nice cool place to sit down while charging my phone, and free wifi so we can research our next destination.
We really enjoyed our trip, but sometimes I wonder if it's reasonable for me to insist on "doing it right", and why it's so hard to "do it right". After my years in bay area, I might have become one of the suburban car-centric Americans that can't live without supermarkets, coffee shops, and 24x7 customer service.
While we were on the road, my husband got a call one morning and was informed his position was eliminated, in fact, his entire group was disbanded. Six hours later on the same day he received an offer from a group he had been talking to (in the same company) with a job offer. I was happy to be away for those few hours and avoided all the drama. We are all extremely pleased the world worked its own magic.
A few days before we left Henry's transfer to a new high school was finalized after couple of weeks of intense negotiations. It's been a roller-coaster 8th grade year, especially the last few weeks. In the new school Henry will have a chance to enjoy playing music, continue to pursue his academic interests, start learning Chinese, and may even join the basketball team. This freshman will have a nice fresh start indeed.
If you are still reading this far, have a Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog, and leave me a comment!