wanted me to pick her up at work to go have lunch with her; it was something she had been reminding me of in the weeks and days leading up to our drive up, so of course I was not about to forget it. To make sure I got to her place of work, came along, navigating me through the back end of Nike’s buildings and across a few train tracks. See, the whole day was worked out so that we would get everything done in time for me to leave tomorrow. Of course, things not being equal, I added an extra night’s stay and as it turned out, it was probably an intelligent thing to do. After all, one does not drive ten-plus hours to only get in a single day of enjoyment. A drive like that requires more time in direct response to the sheer amount of having to move at seventy miles an hour on the interstate.

Before I left the Hilton, I removed the Do Not Disturb sign from the outside doorknob that Todd put there, as the housekeeper was right down the corridor. Todd was sprawled out on the bed in his PJs (polo shirt that he forgot to take off and underwear). I figured he would get a good scare when the housekeeper walked in on him like that. I died laughing, thinking about it on the way out. Anyway, we picked her up and brought her back to the International House of Pancakes. I haven’t been to an IHOP in a long time, as well. Since she had to be back at work, and we had plans to go back to the hotel to pick up Todd and actually go into Portland to do some sightseeing, we had to order fast and scarf down food so we could maintain our little timetable. We had to go to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to pick up the tickets for the 1830 showing of Episode II on the OMNIMAX. In short, we had a long day ahead of us, thanks to ‘s planning skills. In there, we were also going to drop off his car, then pick him up and go to Wunderland Avalon to play DDRMAX2, then go to Powell’s City of Books, meet there, wait for to get off of work. We did things in that order, following through a series of highways and streets in Portland. Todd and I kept looking around at everything, remarking about how it reminded us of a much flatter version of San Francisco. Especially with all the one-way streets and inability to make left turns to get to your destination, instead of making three right turns or right-left-left. It was kind of cool, though. I miss the chill in the air that San Francisco always seems to have. We dropped off his car at Lloyd Center, and then he guided us from the back seat to Avalon, where Todd and I used up some nickels nearly killing ourselves in playing DDRMAX2. We’re really off our game, considering that my feet cramped up in a much shorter amount of time than it usually did, but I was attributing that to the fact that I’ve been eating a lot more lately and not getting enough exercise. We don’t play DDR that much anymore these days.

After Avalon, we went straight to Powell’s and let me tell you about how huge this bookstore is. I counted three stories, and I only visited four out of the who-knows-how-many rooms they have. We entered through the Orange room, and ended up in Gold, where all the science-fiction books were, and that’s where I picked up A King’s Captain and Sea of Grey from the Alan Lewrie series. After that, Todd went up to the religion fiction section to see if they had any of the latest Peretti books in the Rose room. I ended up also getting the complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which also has all the other books written by Douglas Adams within that particular series. Todd, unable to find the book he was looking for, ended up getting a couple of Japanese language workbooks that I use at Foothill, to try and learn the language a little better. I think his primary motivation to learn is because of the fact that TokyoPop is just FUBAR’ing all of their titles to better accommodate American readers. Changing the names to Americanized ones is just enough to make me scream out loud, I mean, not even Viz does this. Thank the stars that they will leave the Japanese names alone for the subtitled/Japanese language edition. But meanwhile, the manga will undergo the change to tie-in with the Anime.

Once we had completed our purchases, we took them into the coffee room and sat down to await and . I had a hot chocolate which was way too hot for me to drink, so I had to steal ice cubes and put them in it to cool it down. took off to go get his car, and then a few minutes after he left, walked in from the street and sat down at our table as we waited for him to come back with his car. Then, we got a phone call from who said that the busses were running late and that she would have to catch the next one. Given the time we needed to get in line, we had to be out of Powell’s by around 1730 so we wouldn’t be too far back in line and could get good seats at the OMNIMAX theatre. As I was told at the very beginning of this little trip, the OMNIMAX theatre is a gigantic IMAX screen that is curved, so it presents itself as though you were looking at the inside of a bubble, where the film is placed for you viewing pleasure. I was pretty excited about this prospect of seeing this movie on such a screen, and as I was educated by the Portland-area natives, the good seats were as close to the projection box as possible. practically scaled the interior of the theatre to get us good seats, and since and were on their way in his car, we saved five seats so they would not have to go through the process of having to look for them. It was very cool to see all of the action sequences on that screen, but some of the dialogue scenes were really hard to watch. I mean, talk about gigantic close ups of Hadyn Christiansen… I don’t mind close ups of Natalie Portman, though. Down, boy! Ahem, anyway…

After the movie, we all split up. I took and Todd, while took back to his place. Now, told me how to get back to Beaverton, but uh… well, I got lost. You could probably read ‘s journal to read her version of events, but let me just say that it was like driving with Todd and Todd’s female version in the car. “Okay, which way do we go to get back, now?” “Right, no wait, left… I think.” I may have seemed a little frustrated on the outside, but the truth was that I didn’t have to be anywhere that night and I don’t mind driving. However, I was a little afraid of getting lost and ending up in Seattle by accident. Not really wanting to drive there and back, I did want to be in the general Portland vicinity, and even though we double-backed a lot of times (hence triple and quadruple-backed) over the same roads to eventually get to our destination, we did eventually get to our destination, so it was all good in the end. At least we got to see Portland at night. We ended up getting food at the McDonald’s down the street from our hotel, and went back to the room and laughed about the drive while we ate. As for “Cochrane’s cars”, well, let me explain: We were driving down one of the roads that goes right into Beaverton, and down the road, I saw what I thought were the tail-lights of cars in front of us. Except, they were travelling up in a straight line and I swear they looked as though they were headed for the stars. I made a comment, “We gotta go up that?!” When I explained my incredulous tone, laughed and pointed out that they were towers, not cars. Hence the little in-joke.

Thus ended Day Two.