I'm at the Holiday Inn Express (what makes a hotel "express") at Jantzen Beach. I don't know if there's actually a beach here; this is a small island more or less on the edge of downtown Portland. It's the typical travel-oriented hotel rather than destination-oriented--no lobby to speak of, a free continental breakfast, an amiably generic room. But this is fine. It was probably the best night's sleep I've had since summer started.
The trip up the road yesterday could best be described as really long. I started around 9:00, a little later than I should have. Thanks to traffic and a longer-than-desired detour around Union City (when CalTrans says "Freeway →" sometimes they leave off the "...eventually"), I wasn't out of the bay area until nearly noon. Lunch was at Granzella's Deli in the small town of Williams, California--then it was on along I-5, with an inevitable detour to Shasta Dam.
I made it into Oregon around five, I think; I stopped in another middle-of-nowhere place at a restaurant called "Heaven on Earth" for dinner, a country restaurant so aggressively Christian it was either charming or disturbing depending on how you wanted to look at it.
My first--and so far only--view of Portland was coming into the city after 10:30 and watching the skyline. It was one of the prettiest views of a city I've had.
In about a half-hour shaterri should be here and we'll do... something. Get breakfast, more than likely. (I braved the in-room coffee maker, and I'm willing to say it's some of the best free hotel coffee I've had, but that only goes so far.) It looks like today will be overcast and drizzly, but things should clear up tomorrow. And, naturally, I managed to forget a couple things I'll have to go shopping for--but it looks like I'm on Strip Mall Island here, so that shouldn't be a problem.