Tuesday, July 3, 2012

portland

my long weekend in portland was fabulous!
(even if the weather was less than stellar)

this time around i managed to make it to deschutes, hopworks, gigantic, burnside, cascade, and old town breweries, plus a couple of other drinking establishments offering the lovely craft beer

i took bolt bus to get there and back
and definitely got my $68 worth
its not totally dreamy though... the seats may have a little extra leg room, but they're leather so you spend the whole ride trying not to slide off the seat
the wifi connection isn't very fast, apparently only works well at the front of the bus and until they change the routers, does not work at all while you're in canada
we were not called by group as they say on the website, so even though we were there when the driver had told us to be, he had already loaded everyone else and we had trouble finding seats together - so be early, even earlier than the driver tells you to be!
the departure and arrival times were not ideal, but we worked with them
(6:30 am to arrive at 1:45 pm or 4:30 pm to arrive at 11:30 pm approximately going in either direction)

that said, the drivers were great, we made good time both ways
the border was only a small delay for us, and the officers processed us really quickly
i do plan to take bolt bus again
and recommend it to you and you and you

helpful hints:
if you're going all the way to portland, pack food for the trip
the only stop (besides going through customs at the border) is in seattle
by the football and baseball stadiums, in chinatown
where nothing but starbucks was open on the weekend
(sure, i had a sandwich and a coffee, but over a 7 hour bus ride, that may not be enough for you)
and depending on when you arrive, you might not have any time to go anywhere before the bus has to move on out for portland

there is an international market kitty corner to the bus stop
that was open on monday evening as we passed by it at 7ish
with some fast food places still serving food
and a grocery store
a grocery store that sells beer
not a whole lot of craft beer choices
but still enough to gladden our little hearts as we had neglected to factor beer shopping into our agenda while in portland
we were lucky enough to have 45 minutes to spend there as our bus got to seattle early

if you are just going to seattle
you might want to investigate public transit before you do
as the bolt bus stops in the middle of nowhere
but right at a rapid transit station which looked like it could connect you to a whole lot of other places quite easily

bring earphones
some of your fellow passengers may want to have loud boring conversations that make it hard to sleep or read or want teenagers to be allowed to mix with the rest of society

ah, the bus
its like a box of chocolates
you just never know how many nuts will be in it!

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