This evening I am in Portland, Oregon, one of three significant liberal enclaves along the left coast - the other two being Seattle and San Francisco. I have a hotel room here so that I will be ready for my early flight home tomorrow. My plane should catch air at 5:00 a.m.
Portland, made semi-famous by the television show Portlandia, is an exciting and vibrant urban community. Like many large cities that have an eye toward the future, the city is pulled tightly together by a clean and efficient "light rail" system that makes travel across the city both quick and easy. I took the hotel shuttle out to a nearby shopping mall this afternoon to pick up some much-needed Ibuprophen, and then rode the light rail to the airport where I leisurely browsed one of its two Powell's Bookstore outlets. Powell's, for my money - and they always get some of it - is the best bookstore in America. The hotel shuttle snagged me from the airport and now I am safely back in my room at the Airport Ramada Inn.
Sometime tonight, in the middle of the night, the hotel shuttle will take me back to the airport where I will bid farewell to Oregon. My flight to Kansas City has a stopover in Dallas-Ft. Worth. My car is waiting for me (I hope!) in the long-term parking lot at KCI, and I should arrive back at Rock's Roost while it is still daylight tomorrow afternoon.
It was hard saying goodbye to my grandchildren - Sebastian, Judah, and Willow - as well as to their parents, Scott and Molly. It had been fourteen months since my last visit. I will not let that much time pass again before I come knocking at their door.
Rosie, Daddy is on his way home!