DrupalCon: Travel Day

We made it to Portland! After a relatively stress free bit of travel, we got settled in to the city and got started with our exploring.

DrupalCon t-shirt

Six adults with luggage fills a mini-van pretty tightly, but we managed to fit everything we needed in there and made our way to Calgary with Michael at the wheel. At the airport we ran into Marc Ingram from Examiner.com who is also on his way to DrupalCon and was on the same flight as us.

Once we arrived at PDX it was straight to the TriMet MAX line for a quick ride down to the Oregon Convention Center. Our hotel, the Red Lion, is literally right across the street from the convention center.

The hotel as seen from near the conference center: The Red Lion

The convention center as seen from the hotel: Oregon Conference Center

After getting checked into the hotel, we killed a bit of time waiting for the conference early registration to open. That consisted of a saunter around the outside of the building and then a few blocks north to a 7-Eleven for the first Cherry Coke of the trip.

With registration complete, Dan, Jay, Trevor and I headed off to look for a Clear store to pick up a cellular hotspot to help keep us connected. Along the way we discovered that Lloyd Center Mall has an ice rink in the middle of it, reminiscent of West Edmonton Mall. The ice looked a little slushy, though. I was looking for a linesman with a squeegee to appear and start clearing puddles away. Doubling as a curling rink is a nice touch, too.

Skating rink at Lloyd Center

Once we got all set up with the wireless hotspot, we visited a dining establishment recommended to us by the Clear salesman. McMenamins on Broadway was the destination. Dan and I enjoyed a barbecue chicken pizza while I also enjoyed a half pint each of Hammerhead pale ale and Terminator stout. Tasty pizza and tasty beer.

McMenamins on Broadway

BBQ chicken pizza

Terminator stout

At some point in the day Dan had suggested that he’d like to go bowling. This came to mind on the way back to the hotel, so rather than retreating back to our rooms early after dinner, I searched for a bowling alley that may be open late on a Sunday night. Lo and behold, Grand Central Bowl, open until 11pm, and only $3/game on Sunday nights.

Grand Central Bowl

Sunday nights are Soul Bowl, no less, which meant we were downing pins to classics from James Brown while the enormous disco ball turned above.

Bowling at Grand Central

On the way back we took a brief detour back to the convention center for a few quick photos. I’ll leave you with those for tonight. Tomorrow is our day to get to know Portland a little before the conference gets rolling in earnest on Tuesday.

DrupalCon in lights

Oregon Convention Center

Convention center and American flag