Every year the City of Portland which is also known as the City of Roses puts on the Rose Festival which includes the Rose Parade, the Starlight Parade and the City Fair. I have yet to see the Starlight Parade or go to the City Fair in the last 8.5 years. I have watched the Rose parade go by the Broadway Bridge for about 30 minutes (a couple of times). There are people who camp the night before to reserve their front row spot. One year I was lucky enough to join a friend who was meeting up with her family in one of those front spots. I bought them all ice cream for letting me join. It was lovely to have great seating without sleeping on the street to get it.
I know that I will leave Portland Oregon soon and before I do , I would like to cross some quintessential Portland activities off the To Do list.
This year nothing is going to hold me back from doing all the little things I want to do. I plan to do them by myself since it will guarantee I get to do them when I want and when I find myself available. If other people want to join that would be great. I just don’t plan to put much effort into getting other people to go since it’s more trouble than it’s worth these days.
It was a beautiful weekend in Portland Oregon last week and I was on my way to work at Providence Park (home to the Timbers and Thorns soccer teams). It was opening weekend for both teams. The stadium was also going to reveal the 5,000 newly added seats and new areas for season ticket holders and other VIP people. I heard it was a year long project that cost 80 million dollars. ( they scheduled me to work in this fancy area both days ).
The opening season Timbers game on Saturday was nuts. There were SO many people there. The city closes both Max stops that are closest to the stadium, after the game, for reasons I am unaware of. One stop is called Providence Park. Doesn’t it just force all the people to the next closest stop? After a quick observation of this, I decided to ride my bike as close to the waterfront as possible and hop on public transportation to take me over the bridge and closer to home.
One of the freedoms of being on a bike means you can make quick decisions and go down spaces cars can not go therefore I don’t always pay attention to which streets I am on. I found myself going down a road that did not have any traffic. Yahoo! So fun to ride down the middle of the street on a beautiful night breathing the fresh air for a few blocks. Then all of a sudden on the event horizon was a parade. The parade took up the entire length of the street and was coming right for me! I was able to see it in the dark because it was the Starlight parade and there were people glowing with lights along with lit up floats. I had a Burning Man flashback and pulled over to the first spot I saw where there were other people. Those people turned out to be the medical table. They had all the information :). I stopped and watched the parade for about 15 minutes since I ended up in the disbanding area and then went home.
On Sunday, I was heading back to the stadium to work the Opening Season Thorns soccer game ( the women’s team). When the max went right by the City Fair. I told myself I would stop by the Fair on my way home from work. It would still be light outside since the sun goes down around 9:00 p.m. this time of year.
I paid for an entire days admission to be there for a few hours. I headed straight for the Ferris wheel, bought one ticket and got in line. When it was my turn to board, they told me there was no single riders and I had missed the sign at the beginning of the line saying so. Wait?! What?! Excuse me…. I am by myself on purpose. I rode my bike down here after work, paid to get in just to ride this ride and now I can’t go?! or better yet, I have to impose myself upon strangers. Strangers that are already in their friend/ dating groups. Are you kidding me?!
These nice people behind me let me join them and at the end the operator let me out so they could have a round by themselves. I also took many photos of them to show my gratitude. It was fun and I’m glad they let me join them.
Next, I went for the swing ride called Vertigo. They will let solo riders on this ride. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize it wasn’t the swing ride I love so much, it looked just like it. I was made aware of the difference immediately when we were up in the air, spinning at a speed and angle that did indeed bring on Vertigo. Have you ever had Vertigo? It sucks! It can also take time to go away. I didn’t feel good towards the end of the ride and was happy for it to be over. I had enough money left to play a game or ride one more ride. That Vertigo ride really messed me up and I was ready to go home to lay down therefore I decided to play a game.
Whac-A-Mole. This game reminds me of my childhood. It gives me a happy memory and I don’t have many of those from childhood. I walked over to play and what did he say….. You can’t play by yourself. What?! Wait?! are you kidding me. When did it become so difficult to go out and do something by yourself.?! I waited around for a few minutes. Surely someone else would want to play this game. Thank goodness someone came over in less than 5 minutes. She was a little lady, about 7 or 8 years old. She had never played. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had played. The game host announces before the game begins that the first person closest to 200 wins a prize ( the reason I couldn’t play myself even though he never explained this part to me). I beat her. She got 80 points, I got 100. I gave her the prize ❤
Then I walked towards the exit gate closest to my bike. Made eyes with a nice looking policeman, talked to the homeless people sitting on a blanket on the sidewalk next to the bike rack. They were enjoying the country music concert coming from the City fair (for free) and then I found the closest max stop to head home.
I did it! Go me! Cross another activity off the list! I managed to see the Starlight Parade and go to the City Fair this year. Next stop Rose Parade – coming this weekend.
I would like to publicly say – Thank you Portland for always having something fun to do. I won’t miss you when I’m gone and yet I’m having a blast while I’m here.