Alright so I'm back from my holiday/fact finding.
The Flight out was atrocious. US airways deserved the low ranking they recently received. My plane was taxiing onto the runway in Atlanta when the tornadoes were starting to come through.. and water actually leaked into the cabin. I realize that planes swell when they become pressurized.. but it was amazingly disconcerting. The flight was overbooked and way to crowded.. 2 rows of 3 12" seats has to be one of the worst plane layout.. only behind the dreaded 2-5-2 layout.. Airbus's A320 series planes also send my claustrophobia into overdrive in ways which Boeing's do not. I won't fly on any airline who uses them again. All in all, including my wait at Atlanta, and all the delays along the way.. It took me just shy of 20 hours to cross the US from one corner to the other. But only roughly 9 to get back, including a 4 hour layover...
Atlanta airport as usual was a nightmare.. but Portland's Airport was wonderful, and security was a breeze. It wasn't intimidating like Atlanta's is.. it was courteous, efficient and quick. Once you actually get into Portland's airport there is no need for a car at all unless you are leaving Portland and its suburbs. The Tri-Met system is comprehensive and a steal at 23.50$ for a 7 day pass. Just get on the Red Line Max, and you are in down town and munching a Voodoo Doughnut in about 28 minutes.. or an hour and 28 minutes depending on the line at Voodoo Doughnut.
On my way out there and back I read two books, the first Yatzhee Croshaw's "Mogworld" and the second Bernard Cornwall's "Redcoat".. I really enjoyed Redcoat.. but Mogworld left a lot to be desired. It had Yatzhee's normal sense of humour but lost a lot due to being a print medium rather than his video game review which is audio-visual.. I'd love it if he did an Audio-book... Redcoat was just like a Sharpe novel.. except set in colonial America. Some bits of it were odd, but over all I enjoyed it and finished it all in the transit phase.
Once I got to town though I instantly remembered why I loved it so much. It's packed to the gills with all sorts of things that are near and dear to me. Quite a few good pubs which served good local brews, a Huge book store by the deserved moniker "Powell's City of books". The aforementioned public transit system which by US standards is top notch. It's an extremely pedestrian friendly city, where car drivers sometimes even stopped at green lights if we were waiting at the crosswalk. It's actually an extremely friendly city in general. It has none of the normal arrogance and anti-social feelings of your normal big city.
I'm not sure if anyone is actually interested in my fact finding.. so I'll refrain from posting it.. but its a pretty decent chance I'll be attempting the move out there sometime next year after getting all of my affairs in order here. Lots of stuff to be pared down, inventoried, alphabetized and put into storage. Not to mention money to be saved. Thankfully the public library is free as I will likely be cutting down on my book purchases.. and more than likely ramping up my reading as all other activities get pruned in an effort to save up at least 6 months worth of money on which to live while I try to establish myself in a town 3000 miles from where I grew up in a city where I know nobody.