Today I am on my way to see my cousin in Oregon. It turns out my aunt was leaving at a similar time for a different flight so I was able to ride with her to the airport. I appreciated this because it meant I didn’t have to leave my car at the airport and I wouldn’t have to bother someone else to drop me off at the airport. Since my Aunt was going to the airport anyways it worked out perfectly for us. She arrived at my house around 8 am and left to pick up other family members that were going along with her on a separate trip.
At the airport I went straight to the security line because I had already checked in online the previous night and had no bags to check in. Moving through the security line I was asked to take off my shoes and “any metal items that I had on me.” This is normal procedure at the airport, something we have come to expect when using air travel. However the rules for what items you can and cannot take onboard seems to constantly change. A TSA attendant asked to check one of my carryon bags, to which I agreed. As she rummaged through my bag she came across my toiletries bag, which contained a tube of shampoo, toothpaste, and eyeglass cleaning solution.
Some items in my toiletries baggage exceeded the allowed limit for liquid items, which is three ounces. The limit for items taken in your carryon bag are a lot lower than that for checked in baggage. Since I mostly check in these items in my baggage when I travel was not aware of this rule. The attendant who was checking my baggage asked me if I wanted to check these items in or if I wanted to throw them out. Not having an extra bag or the will to get out of line and check in a couple of toiletry items I just told the lady to throw out those items that was too large. I will purchase these items in a smaller size at a drug store in Oregon at a later time.
We decided to have a quick breakfast at one of the restaurants located inside the terminal. Walking in my socks through the terminal because I still had yet to put on my shoes we had arrived at the restaurant. I had a glass of iced tea with my Aunt and the other family members whom were going on the plane ride with her. My flight was scheduled to leave in about a half hour of me sitting down with them so I had little time to enjoy the company. After about 15 minutes I had to leave because I wanted to grab something more substantive than iced tea at the McDonald’s in the terminal before my flight began to board. I ordered a Sausage McMuffin and another small cup of iced tea. After paying for my meal the cashier handed me a bag containing my sandwich and my drink. Usually I try to avoid fast food but today I was in a rush to get to my flight, which was boarding shortly.
When I had arrived at the gate the flight was already in the process of boarding. I shown my ticket to the front counter and was allowed entry onto the plane. There was a sign near the front of the plane, which indicated the plane had WIFI on board. However this being a short flight I am not sure how worthwhile it is to spend almost $10 to simply surf the Internet for a little over two hours. I wish I had WIFI on board my flight to Europe though, that would have made the flight time go by much quicker.
I enjoyed the scenery from the window of the airplane. As we flew out of John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California we flew mostly over arid deserts, which gradually gave way to mountainous areas with snow topped mountains the further north we went. There are few clouds today in the sky making the visibility of the ground below the airplane very easy. However once we got closer to Portland we started seeing more clouds.
The plane landed and I disembarked. I made my way towards the car rental station in the airport. I rented my car from Enterprise and originally reserved a Corolla however I opted to rent a Prius instead. After signing off on the car I was given the keys and was on my way. At first the Prius was difficult to operate. The shifter for the Prius operated much differently than other automatic transmission cars I have driven in the past. For whatever reason the “Park” setting on the transmission was a separate button from the shifter itself. Whenever turning the car on and off the car needed to be engaged in park so I kept trying to shift the gear lever forward towards where park usually is on a car so I could start the motor until I finally realized that park was a separate button. Also unlike most cars I needed to shift sideways in order to select the drive mode of the car. After figuring these details I was on my way towards my cousins house in Eugene.
The drive to Eugene is always nice. I last visited here in January. The scenery looked much different this time. It was mostly sunny, although it did drizzle a small amount in Portland, however the scenery was still very green despite the warmer temperatures. Things were more lit up – it was beautiful seeing the summer light shine through the trees beside the freeway. Even in Portland the traffic was very light so the drive was very leisurely. Unfortunately the Prius had quite a bit of road noise and vibrations in the cabin, which was slightly unpleasant. According to the trip computer in the car it said I was getting over 55 miles per gallon on the drive, which is pretty impressive.
Arriving in Eugene I was greeted by my cousin and his girlfriend. They have been doing quite a bit of work on their house since I had last been there in January so they shown me the new additions to their house. They have been doing extensive work in their backyard – they planted various vegetables and fruits and have almost a mini farm in their backyard. When I visited the house in January the backyard was only a greenbelt. Another new thing they have in their house was a new guest room, which I am sleeping in tonight. They have been doing quite a bit of work since I was last here.
After a few hours of relaxing at their house we headed to downtown Eugene for some dinner. Before dinner we had decided to walk around downtown a bit and check out a couple of their favorite stores in Eugene. We visited a clothing store and an antique market where my cousin bought a few records. Originally we had wanted to eat at a beer hall but we settled upon an organic restaurant instead. At the restaurant I ordered a vegetable and cheese bowl, which was surprisingly filling.
At the house we relaxed some more, watched some tv and played Nintendo 64. I played Goldeneye with my cousin, which he won most of the time. We are all going to bed relatively early because my cousin’s girlfriend is leaving for Arizona at 6 in the morning to see one of her friends. They gave her a plane ticket as a graduation present.