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Uncle Markie out and about.

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May '11

Partial Portland Day.

By 9:30 when I crawled out of the cave… the basement cave where the spare bedroom is… the house was empty but for me. Julian at school, the other two kids out.

I left the pad a little after noon to head to the train station to drop off the bag at the “Metropolitan Room”, which is the lounge for the Sleeping Car passengers. A nice perk is that you check in, they tag your bag, and deliver it to your roomette on the train. No muss, no fuss, and more importantly, no dragging the things around all day waiting for the train. Of course, the free pop, juice, water, coffee, and newspapers help make the room nice, oh, and free wi-fi.

Julian arrived around 1pm to go out to lunch. Well, lunch for me, coffee for him. He’s out of school for the day, and taking a break before working on a Spanish Lit paper. Not a bad lunch at the Davis Street Tavern. I had the oysters on the half shell, kumomotas with smoke trout row and a small portion of the mac and cheese. Odd combo, but damn tasty. Add a truly stunning Maker’s Mark Manhattan with featured those ridiculously expensive cherries ($16.95 for a 360gr jar) and you have a $35 lunch if you include Julian’s coffee.

Train 14 was almost on-time into Portland, and left on time. They moved me from one car to another since they’d sold my original room in route, but the bottled water was waiting for me, the champagne came along after the free wine and cheese tasting (yes, it’s back to being free, and only being for the sleeping car passengers), and a 5:30 reservation in the dining car for a steak dinner (probably $25 with dessert, but included). If I made the list of the freebies included in my $51 (plus the cost of the ticket) roomette charge it would look like this:

  • 2 newspapers — $3 or so since one was the New York Times
  • 4 diet Pepsi — $4
  • 2 bottled water – $2
  • 2 splits of champagne – $16
  • 1 orange – $1
  • 1 dinner with dessert – $25

Hey — that’s $51 exactly!

We started losing time because of freight delays — blame the flooding in the Southeast — lots of freight moving up and over rather than across swollen rivers.

Got into town half an hour late, no stop at Swanda’s, we were both too pooped. All I wanted to do is get home, turn the heat back up in the house, make some ice, have a cocktail and chill.

Mission accomplished.

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