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PAX 2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 No comments

Finally, I have returned to PAX!

This past weekend, I went to PAX for the first time in 4 years.  I think it was still referred to as PAX Prime the last time I went.  Now, it’s officially PAX West.  I wanted to go this year if I could get badges, but when I missed the onsale I resigned myself to staying home. Luckily, my friend Cory had bought extra badges and sold me one of his sets. I went with him, his partner Chris, and our friend Cody. We rented an airbnb in Burien, which is right outside of Seattle.

I drove to Seattle Friday morning on my own, parked at CenturyLink Field and took a Lyft to the convention center.  I met Cory and Chris to get my badges and headed off on my own to a Life is Strange panel.  This ended up being the only panel I saw that weekend.  There weren’t a lot interesting panels as far as I saw on the schedule.  Gearbox, Major Nelson, and Destructoid, some of my favorites from years past, weren’t on the schedule this year. Does Destructoid still exist? There was a Giant Bomb panel one night, but I think we went out as a group that night.  I spent the rest of the day at the convention center wondering around, taking pictures of cosplayers, and checking out video games.  I met the others (Cody had arrived by bus in the meantime and had been picked up by Cory and Chris) at the airbnb, and we went out to a brew pub for dinner.
D.Va cosplay

The next day we all went together to the convention center.  We split up shortly after we arrived. I really liked going around on my own.  If I’m trying to keep up with others, I might miss something I’m interested in, like an interesting cosplayer.  I did more of the same as the day before and I also played some video games and board games.  I actually waited in a long line to play a game, which might be a first for me.  I bought one of board games I played – Dice Throne.  We went to Pike Place (my first time) before heading back to the airbnb. That night we took a Lyft to the PAX Pink Party, which is an LGBT event.  It was an okay party.  Cory and Cody met friends of theirs.  I briefly met with somebody I’ve known online for a few months – the president of Seattle Gaymers. We stumbled upon another party downstairs, which was much better than the Pink Party.  I actually danced and sang in front of other people.  After this we got some food at Sizzle Pie and headed home around 2 in the morning.  I think we were all feeling old at this point.
Group Photo

On Sunday I was very tired and sore.  I tried to find activities that would allow me to sit down.  I did wait in another long line to play a game and get pictures of cosplayers.  Also, I played more board games, played some Jack Party Pack, and watched some fighting game competition in the Arena area, which was in the main exhibit area this time.  That night, they went out to eat with a friend of Cory’s, but I decided to go back to the airbnb.  I was pooped.
Cosplayers

I decided to drive back early Monday morning.  Xander had to leave Reese here by himself Sunday night because he had another dog to sit. This was the first time I’ve ever gone out of town and left Reese at home and not at a kennel or dogsitter’s place.  I didn’t want Reese to be here by himself too long. Also, I was exhausted and I don’t think I had another day in me.

It was so much fun getting to go back to PAX!  I’m glad that I went with people I know this time.  Just being around so many people who share the same passion as you is amazing. It was great rediscovering my way around the convention convention center. There’s so much there and it seemed like each day I found an area I had forgotten about, though some things had moved or changed.  I’m 4 years older and a lot more out of shape than I was the last time I went and it showed.  I was tired and sweaty a lot.  I needed to rest often.  When I was with the group, I had a hard time keeping up. I ended up skipping parties and panels I was interested in because it would be hard for me to get there.  I guess that’s motivation for getting in better shape before next time.  I’m really hoping that next time will be next year.

Flash Update

Monday, April 30th, 2018 No comments

Life is busy. Guitar lessons. Exercising. Taking on more responsibility at work. Moved desks twice. Planted a garden. I want to go to Mexico. More detailed updates as time permits.

Back to the Homeland

Friday, June 26th, 2015 No comments

Three weeks ago, I was in my home state of Mississippi. I hadn’t been in Mississippi since December 2012, about 2.5 years earlier. It was past time.

I was there from June 3-7. I had planned on going to Mississippi for Super Bulldog Weekend in April. However, a high school classmate of mine passed away in January and a group of students decided to have a multi-year class reunion to commemorate those who we have lost. The span of years represented kept growing as time went on. In the end I think 11 years were represented.

I stayed with my friend John and his partner while I was there. I arrived on Wednesday night after a decent amount of time traveling. I didn’t have to leave early in the morning this time, which was good. Once I got to John’s we went to bed shortly afterward.

On Thursday, I met John and one of his co-workers for lunch. Afterwards, I drove around the Jackson area for a while. I drove past my old high school, went by my mom’s house (she’s in Georgia now), and went to my favorite Dairy Queen for some ice cream. I was a little disappointed not to see my favorite DQ employee who worked there for so longm even after I moved away. After ice cream, I went shopping. I got some Target clearance cloths, one of which was a shirt that I wore to the reunion. I also used a Best Buy gift card to buy a video game named Catherine for John. When John got off work, we went to his gym to go the one of the classes there. I think later that night we played that video game and watched Buffy. Buffy might have been the next night.

On Friday, John had to get his car fixed. We got some breakfast, but John slept a good bit of the day and I did some more sight-seeing. That night we went to a comedy show in Jackson. There were a lot of racist, homophobic jokes, which is okay if you’re funny. These guys weren’t that funny. We played the video game some more that night.

I don’t remember what happened during the day Saturday, but that night John and his partner went to see Mad Max while I went to my reunion. I had a great time at the reunion. It was more fun than I expected. It was great seeing people that I hadn’t seen in 18 years, though I keep up with some through Facebook. Some people have changed a lot, some not so much at all. A lot of people told me I looked exactly the same. Once I left, I went back to John’s for breakfast at dinner. We played that game until 7 am the next morning. We almost beat it. I just wanted to get some sleep before my flight.

I think I got about 3-4 hours of sleep before I left for the airport. I said my goodbyes to John and was off. After I left I got a text saying my flight was delayed an hour, so I could’ve gotten more sleep if I had known sooner. After a layover in Charlotte, I arrived home that night after a long flight.

The trip to Jackson was short, but great. I came back 4.4 lbs heavier. Ouch. The following week in the gym was rough. I hope it’s not as long before I’m in my home state again.

Checking In

Saturday, February 28th, 2015 No comments

It’s been a fairly uneventful month for me.  I did  start a new podcast  – What We Make: A Terminator Podcast.  It was originally going to be an introcast on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.  Since we were planning on discussing pretty much the entire Terminator universe, we decided to make it a general Terminator podcast.

I’m a lot less optimistic about work improving than I was before.  I spoke to someone in the same position as me earlier, so I’m not the only one who feels the way I do.

Fitness is going well.  I got my measurements today and I’m down to 11% body fat.  My trainer told me it would be really hard to get lower than that, but I’m going to try.  I got a Fitbit Charge HR yesterday and it’s pretty cool to monitor my heart rate.  I don’t like wearing anything around my wrist, but this device hasn’t been a problem for me.

Progress after 6 months

I’m so busy I haven’t had much time for video games, TV, or movies. That should change this coming week. I’m looking forward to going to Raleigh in April and Mississippi in June.

 

Until next time.

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PAX 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 No comments

For the third year in row, I took a Labor Day weekend trip to Seattle for P.A.X.  This was the 10th year of PAX and my 3rd year there.

On Thursday, I left  work around mid-day.  I offered a ride to people on the PAX forums and one person took me up on that.  His name was Jake.  I had told him that I wanted to leave at 2:00, but he didn’t arrive until 3:30. He was a nice guy, but between him arriving late and the horrible traffic going north to Seattle, I missed the event on the Microsoft campus that I wanted to go to that night.  I could have made most of it if we had left on time.  He was also one of my roommates for the weekend.  I used to forums to find roommates again.  You never know what you’re going to get.  I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag all weekend.  The person who booked the room seemed reluctant to ask for extras keys at first, so until Saturday I had to rely on other people to let me in the room. I saw one roommate this first day.  He was the one who initially let us into the room.  I never heard from him again after that.  I think he flaked out without paying his share of the room.  I didn’t have to pay extra because of that.  This might be the last year I use the forums to find roommates.  Maybe I’ll be able to convince some friends to go next year.  Probably not.
Hotel Room View

On Friday, I got up to go line up in the queue room.  I have to do the queue at least once every year.  The first day is the best day to do it because of all the excitement.  When they let us in, I went around looking at all the sites.  It’s sensory overload in there.  There weren’t a lot of big time games that I was interested in checking out, so I was more interested in the cosplayers.  I did get a Patrick Rothfuss pin for a coworker and I also got the same one for myself.  After I while I walked over to Benaroya Hall for the Rooster Teeth panel.  I caught the end of the opening panel with Mikey from Gearbox.  After some more time back in the convention center I went to see a panel called “Queer Visibilty in Tabletop Games”.  That night I went to the WildStar party.  There were some members of my MMO guild there who recognized me.  It turned out that they are also from Portland.
Queue Room

On Saturday, I hung around the convention center some more.  I got actually got to play a game or two, but nothing that had a long line.  At this point I had started to hear about some indie games that I needed to check out and I was starting to get more excited about games.  Every year I find out about some indie games that I probably wouldn’t have heard of if not for PAX.   Sometime this day, I got League of Legends skins for a friend that asked me to get one for him.   I went to the Firaxis panel.  While in line, some guys got me to play Spaceteam with them on our phones.  I had never heard of it, but I have heard of games like it.  It was a blast.  I always like playing games with random strangers like that.  I brought a board game with me to PAX for situations like that, but never got to use it.  In the panel, Firaxis showed off the next Civ game.  That’s going to be so much fun. Later I went to the Major Nelson Radio panel.  It’s always fun.  They had a guy from Insomniac Games talking about their upcoming game Sunset Overdrive.  I had never heard of it until PAX.  At the end, they said that they had a bus outside that seats 40 people.  If you get on the bus, you get a free dinner at Lil Woodys, a burger place.  Apparently, this bus was taking people back and forth all weekend, but those people had to pay for their own meals.  I didn’t rush outside.  I walked at a leisurely pace.  I ended up being the 45th in line, with about 15 people behind me.  I was a little disappointed, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I overheard Jeff Rubenstein, who was on the panel and helped plan this free dinner thing, tell the bus people to come back after they dropped everyone off and pick up the remaining people.  He said that he would pay the difference.  Pretty sweet!  To show my appreciation, I pre-ordered the game on the way to Woodys.  I’ve seen footage of it since and it looks pretty cool.  The burgers at Woodys were great.  The fries seemed a little undercooked.  That night I met up with some of my guild members, different ones from the night before.  They play some of the same games that I do, but I wasn’t familiar with them.  They’re really nice and I had a great time.
Sunset Overdrive Bus

On Sunday I got up very early to go to the Gearbox panel in Benaroya Hall.  I got there over 2.5 hours early and there was already a decent-sized line formed.  Their panel was great just like last year.  I always want to throw money at them when it’s over.  Everyone in attendance got a free season pass for the next Borderlands games.  I spent a little more time in the convention center.  I watched the League of Legends competition for a good while.  I can see how people can really get into this stuff, even spectators.  I might have to play some soon.  I had never heard the term esports used for games like this until this weekend, but I guess it fits.  After this I went back to Benaroya Hall for Patrick Rothfuss’s panel.  He’s a very funny guy.  I really need to read his books.  I’ve had The Name of the Wind for a long time.  I’ll get to it one day.  Later on I went to a panel called “A New Tabletop Gaming Canon”.  I mostly went because one of the hosts my favorite Game of Thrones podcast was on the panel.  It went well and I’ve already ordered one of the games they spoke about.  That night was the annual PAX Pink Party.  It was in a different place this year though there was a Pre-Pink Party at the old place that I stopped by for about 5 minutes.  I didn’t know anyone at this party, so it was a little weird at first.  Then one of my guildmates that I met the night before showed up alone, so we spent the rest of the night hanging out with each other.  We both left after the cosplay contest.  It turns out that we like a lot of the same TV shows.  He lives in Vancouver, B.C.  I hope we stay in touch.
League of Legends Tournament

On Monday, I went back to the convention center.  I knew I wouldn’t have much time because I had to get back to Portland to pick up Reese and to record a podcast.  I went to the annex to check out the PC free play area where one roommate was working as an enforcer.  I checked out the console free play on a previous day, but I didn’t have time to play. I wanted to watch some of the League of Legends competition, but they were full because it was the last day.  In the end, I just sat down and watched people play the new Dance Central games.  I was tired.  I went back to my hotel room and left.  Once again, my passenger held me up because he wasn’t ready at the time we decided upon.  The hotel only charged me for 2 nights of parking. After the big parking bill last year, I had planned to park at the airport and take the train in to downtown.  However, on Thursday night I was so tired and disappointed after missing the Microsoft event, I decided to save some hassle and just park at the hotel.  It ended up being cheaper than if I had parked at the airport.  Score!  The ride home from Seattle was quick as usual.
People playing Dance Central Spotlight

I had a great time at PAX as always.  Once again, it was exhausting, but it was worth it.  There didn’t seem to be as many cool freebies as last year, but that’s okay.  I made some new friends that I’ll hopefully be in touch with throughout the year.  I never got a chance to play tabletop games this year, but I have some ideas for games that I want to play with friends here in Portland.  My only regret is that I don’t get to do this more often.  I plan to go to PAX South in January.  Maybe I’ll get to go to PAX East or PAX Australia one of these years.

Now I’m ready for the fall.

I Promise I’m Not a Rich Jerk

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 No comments

I’m at a point again where I’m doing almost everything alone.  The #1 reason that my friends around here give for not doing things is that they don’t have the money.

I always say that I’m far from rich, but I do well for myself.  I remember a time when a candy bar or an item off the Wendy’s dollar menu was all I could afford to eat in a day.  Anything more would mean running out of money before my next paycheck.  I had to walk to class and work because I couldn’t afford to put gas in my car. Now I’m doing better.

I not talking about taking trips to Europe or the Caribbean, though that would be nice.  I’m pretty sure I won’t do that unless I have someone to go with me.  Short trips to nearby cities or local activities where no trip is involved are what I usually suggest.  They can’t do any of that.  Sometimes I just want to go to a movie, but I hear the same excuse. I love my friends, but it’s frustrating.  I do like to leave home occasionally and doing stuff alone all the time gets old.

Maybe money is just an excuse and they just don’t really want to go.  They seem interested in the ideas I bring up and I’m not always the one bringing up the ideas.  Maybe they just don’t want to go with me.

I guess there’s no real solution to this problem other than them increasing their income or saving more.  Or making more friends, which can be hard when you’re a busy adult.  I’m glad to have Internet friends from all over the place.  A lot of them do like to do things and we can meet up in other cities from time to time.  This makes me happy.

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Voodoo Fest 2013

Saturday, November 9th, 2013 1 comment

This past weekend I went to New Orleans for Voodoo Fest. I met my friend John down there. We’d been looking forward to this since we last met up in Reno back in June. This was the first time I had been to New Orleans and Voodoo Fest since Voodoo Fest 2007.
Voodoo Fest sign

On Friday, I flew to New Orleans. It is a LONG way from Portland to New Orleans. My first stop on the way there was at L.A.X. My plane landed around the time of the L.A.X. shooting that was in the news. We did sit on the runway for a while before we parked. Maybe the shooting was why. Everything was calm in the area I was in. I didn’t even know about the shooting until I got on wifi and checked Twitter. Once we made it to New Orleans the local news interviewed some of the people on our flight about it. John picked me up at the airport. He was worried because one of the flights from L.A. to New Orleans was delayed because of the shooting. After taking my stuff to the hotel and catching up a little bit, we headed to Voodoo Fest. We missed Macklemore & Lewis, but soon it was time for Pearl Jam. They put on a great show! They are an excellent live band! They played a few songs from the new album, but it was mostly older favorites. They played the songs I would’ve been disappointed if I didn’t hear: “Given to Fly” and “Do the Evolution”. I was surprised to hear “In My Tree”. John’s not as big of a Pearl Jam fan as me. He really likes “Do the Evolution”, so I’m glad they played it. After the show, I think we drank before calling it a night. We slept for 11 hours. I blame it on the jet lag and staying up late.
Pearl Jam

On Saturday I think we got something to eat and then headed back to the park. While walking around the park, we heard the end of Paramore’s set, but after that it was time for Nine Inch Nails. They started a lot earlier than the schedule said, so I’m glad we got there early. They also put on a great show. I’m not as big of a NIN fan as John. They played the song he really wanted to hear: “Reptile”. I think they played a lot of new songs, or maybe just songs that I’m not as familiar with. I got more pumped up during “Wish” than I did the entire night. They played one of the songs I really wanted to hear: “The Hand that Feeds”. I wish they would have played “Closer”, but it was still a great show.
Nine Inch Nails

On Sunday, we skipped Voodoo Fest entirely. We had talked about going to see Kid Rock and The Cure that night, but decided against it. It was too much of a hassle going to the park and back. We did some shopping and then hung out with one of John’s old friends, Elizabeth. She lives in New Orleans. I’ve hung out with her a few times over the years. She’s very cool. We did a little bar hopping and lost some money at the casino. Then we went to a club where Elizabeth’s boyfriend was DJing later in the night. We ended up leaving before his 2:30am performance because we were all tired.
friends

On Monday, I flew back to Portland. It’s always sad coming back after having a great time with friends. I’m grateful that I got to go. Both Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails play in Portland later this month, so I’ll get to see them again. I got sick on this trip like I did at P.A.X. John is suffering the same symptoms I am. I think my next trip will be February at the earliest. It’ll be nice to spend time at home on weekends.

PAX 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 No comments

This past weekend I went to PAX Prime in Seattle for the second time. I probably said this last year, but I want to make this an annual trip. If you’re a gamer of any kind, you should try to attend PAX at least once.

The trip to Seattle on Thursday took 5 hours (it should be around 3) due to an accident and rain. After I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, I went straight to an Xbox Meetup that was held at a Microsoft Store a few miles away. They were showing off the Xbox One. The line to get in was long. Major Nelson hosted the event. I got a chance to play Ryse: Son of Rome, which is a launch game that I had already pre-ordered. The little bit I played was co-op, and it was okay. They’re still working on it, so I’ll wait until closer to launch to decide whether or not to cancel my pre-order. Later that night, I went to a pre-PAX party. I didn’t stay long because I felt out of place there.
Xbox Meetup

Friday was the first official day of the con. First I went to the Queue Room to get in line to go to the exhibition floor. If there’s something that you really want to get hands on time with on the floor, you get to the Queue Room early to get in line. Once I got onto the floor, I was mostly snapping pictures because I didn’t want to wait in another line to play games. After exploring the floor, I went to watch the League of Legends competition to get some skins that a friend wanted. The only panel I went to was the Rooster Teeth panel, which was good. The best part for me was when they played the latest episode of an animated series they do called Rwby. I’m going to check it out when I get a chance. I went to the Final Fantasy XIV launch party that afternoon. I didn’t know about this party until that day. I got to shake hands with the producer of the game and get the autograph of the composer. The last thing I did was go to the PAX Pink Party where played a game of Cards Against Humanity with a bunch of strangers. By the end of the day, I was tired and couldn’t believe I had 3 more days.
statue

On Saturday I didn’t wait in line for the queue room. I just went in after the floor had already opened. I got a chance to see more cool costumes and some booths I didn’t see the day before. I went to the WildStar panel and the Major Nelson Radio panel. After those I went to the Guild Wars 2 Anniversary celebration, which had different events throughout the day. It was a lot of fun.
WildStar panel

On Sunday, I don’t think I spent much time on the exhibition floor. There’s not as many cool costumes, but this was the most panel heavy day for me. I went to the Queers in Gaming, Destructiod, Voice Acting 101, and Cards Against Humanity panels. This was the only night I didn’t go to an afterparty, but the CAH panel lasted pretty late.
Cards Against Humanity panel pre-panel entertainment

Monday was the last day. There wasn’t a lot going on this day. The only panel I went to was Inside Gearbox. This was the only time I had to wait in line outside in the sun. The panel itself was pretty funny and they gave out some codes for some cool stuff to everyone in the audience. After that I went to the console free play area. I really regretted not knowing about this until the end of the con last year, so I made a point to stop by this year. I ended the con there. The Post-PAX afterparty was that night. I won a PAX scarf in a raffle.
console freeplay

Some notes:

  • My roommates were a lot better this year than last. I have no complaints about them.
  • I did the Street Pass thing on my 3DS while I waiting in line. My count went from around 100 to close to 500.
  • I got around 7-8 hours of sleep a night. At home I usually get 4-5 hours.
  • I saw a lot of people with my model or a similar model camera. I was a conversation starter many times. My camera helped me meet a couple who do graphic design at the Guild Wars 2 celebration. I’ll probably be getting in touch with them soon.who do graphic design
  • Hotel parking cost over $40 a night. The amount I paid for parking is higher than how much a plane ticket would have been.
  • Most of the events I went to that weren’t officially part of the con could have been better organized.

    I may be exhausted now, but I had a great time a PAX again this year. Like last year, I saw come big-time games that weren’t on my radar and now I’m excited about them. I also saw some indie games that I’m excited to try out. I don’t think I got as much free stuff this year as last, but I really like the stuff I got. I would probably throw most of it away anyway. My biggest regret is not doing any tabletop gaming, so I’ll be sure to do that next year. Unless something big stops me, I’ll definitely be back then.

    All 118 of my pics are available on Facebook for those interested.

  • Surprise Vacation

    Monday, June 17th, 2013 No comments

    At the end of the week before last, my friend John texted me to say that he was going to be in Reno, NV for 2 weeks and it would be cool if I could come down for a few days. I went to Expedia and saw that it would cost only $196 for round trip tickets. I usually don’t go on trips on such short notice (4 days), but I didn’t have a job and it wasn’t expensive, so I figured I would go. My former co-worker and Alston and I had said that we wanted take a quick trip just to take a break from job hunting, but we never got around to planning anything. He was hired by a company that I referred him to and I had a feeling that something would be happening for me any day, so there didn’t seem like a need for a trip anymore. I figured that if I had any requests for phone interviews while I was gone, I could do them in the hotel room.

    John was busy during the day, even on Saturday, so we could only hang out at nights. That gave me a chance to shop and explore.

    Tuesday – I arrived in Reno around midnight via San Francisco. I went straight to bed.

    Wednesday – I did some shopping during the say. I think all I bought was a card game and some books. I got a request for a phone interview on very short notice. I nailed it. I decided that instead of leaving Friday as originally planned, I would leave Sunday so that John and I could drive to San Francisco Saturday. That night we went to a casino and ate dinner there. Afterward, we gambled some we went home.

    Thursday – I think I did more driving around and shopping during the day. I bought a hoodie because I left my jacket in Portland and I knew we would be outside that night. That night we drove to Lake Tahoe, ate dinner, and took in some of the scenery. John wanted to get some pictures of the sunset.
    Lake Tahoe

    Friday – I went out, bought another book, and bought an auxiliary cable for the rental car we’d been using (actually, it was a minivan because they didn’t have anything else when I arrived Tuesday night). A little after 4 I got word that I had gotten the job that I interviewed for on Wednesday. I was hoping I would find out something before 5, so I wouldn’t spend all weekend wondering about it. We celebrated with drinks that night.

    Saturday – I bought some presents for other people this time. John and I drove to San Francisco. We got there so late we didn’t have time to do much. We hung out in the Castro all night. We got pretty drunk.

    Sunday – John wanted to see trees so we drove to Muir Woods. We got to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge on the way there. The woods were fun. We go a lot of exercise walking along the trail. After that we drove back to Reno because I had to catch a flight back. I made it back to Portland via Seattle a little before midnight.
    Golden Gate Bridge

    Muir Woods

    I had a great time. I think that was the longest I’ve been away from Portland since I moved here. It was great to get away for a little while and it’s always fun to hang out with John. I think I’ll be seeing him again in November.

    A Visitor

    Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 No comments

    John was here in Portland for 10 days.  He arrived on Thursday the 14th and left on Sunday the 24th.  He told me he wanted to come here for his 30th birthday (the 21st) about 5 or 6 months ago and we’ve both been looking forward to it since.  We had a blast!  I wanted to write as much down as I could recall to help remember the trip.

    Thursday – John’s flight was scheduled to arrive late Thursday night, shortly before midnight.  I saw online that it would be arriving a little late.  At some point, I stopped my car while I waited.  Some security lady told me that I couldn’t stay there and I had to circle around.  When I tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start.  I waited for John to arrive and then went to get help.  The airport sent someone to jump my car and we were on our way.  It was a great way to start John’s trip.

    Friday – John went out and explored the city while I was at work.  My company had a party celebrating the opening of our new office here in Portland.  After John and I went to get my battery replaced, we chilled at my apartment that night.

    Saturday – We got up and drove to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It was my first time leaving the country and John’s first time in Canada.  The hotel was pretty cool.  We went out to some clubs that night.

    Sunday- We went to Granville Island and had lunch with my married friends Michaela and Dave.  After that John and I drove to Cleveland Damn and went on a short hike before it started to get too dark. We decided to go ziplining the next day in Whistler. We were exhausted after that, so we went to bed early.

    Monday – We drove up to the mountains to Whistler.  I believe they had some winter Olympic events there in 2010.  The zipline tour on Cougar Mountain was so much fun. We got quite a bit of snow. We spent the night at Michaela and Dave’s in Richmond.  We had a steak dinner and some great beer.

    Cougar Mountain, Whistler

    Tuesday – We made our way back to Portland.  We stopped in Steveston Village, which is where they film Once Upon a Time.  It was cool seeing some of places where they film the show.  When we got back to my apartment we watched the latest 2 episodes.

    Steveston/Storybrooke

    Wednesday – I went to work and John did some more exploring.  Later John went to dinner with Breck and Mickey, two people that we knew back in Mississippi but have recently moved to Portland, unbeknownst to me.  After that John and I went shopping at Powell’s and Buffalo Exchange before heading home.

    Thursday – This was John’s 30th birthday.  I got him a cake and an hour-long massage.  That night we went out to dinner at a pub and we went out to a club.

    Friday – We had lunch at Little Big Burger.  They have delicious fries.  We drove to Tillamook near the coast for a wine and cheese tasting.  I discovered some great wines we both brought back something with us.  I don’t remember what we did that night.

    Blue Heron French Cheese Company

    Saturday – We went to the first ever Portland Comic Con.  We had 3-day passes, but I think we did everything we needed to in that one day.  We got to get Morena Baccarin’s autograph and see a bunch of stars.  That night we went to see Skyfall ant Baghdad Theater with Breck and Mikey.

    Portland Comic Con 2013 crowd

    Portland Comic Con 2013 - Morena Baccarin's autograph

    Sunday – That morning it was time for John to go back to Mississippi.  I always hate parting from friends after having a good time. After he left, I cleaned a little, took a long nap, did some grocery shopping, and watched the Oscars.

    I was glad that John got to visit.  I was worn out after being on the go for 10 days straight, but it was worth it.  I hope he’ll be here again soon.  I think he liked Portland and the Northwest enough that he wouldn’t mind living here.