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Although the sun was shining this afternoon as I walked from the train station to my downtown hotel, it was still very cold. In fact, according to the local news, Portland is currently in it's 29th straight day of below average temperatures. And worse is on the way - a major snowstorm is predicted to hit Sunday into Monday and beyond which has the potential to "shut the city down". As long as Monday night's U2 concert isn't cancelled because of bad weather (and the trains run), I won't mind some snow and ice knowing that this time next week I'll be trying not to burn too bad while laying on the beach at Kamala.

Tonight, I'm just lounging in my hotel room watching some television. I had planned to walk up to Pioneer Square to see the new "King Kong" movie, but I'm fairly beat. I'll go see the movie tomorrow or Sunday, taking a nice break from my home-searching and shopping activities.

My flights this morning were uneventful. I took a taxi to the airport in Albuquerque and changed planes in Las Vegas. I'd never been through that airport but I resisted the temptation to spend my 90-minute layover playing the slot machines. I was fascinated, however, watching the girl working at the oxygen bar next to my gate giving massages to people as they sat there hooked up to the oxygen. The motto on the sign read, "Live Hard, Breathe Deep."

The flight up to Portland was very scenic. We flew along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada. The mountains were snow-covered with the occasional prominent peak rising high above the others. I attempted a photo as we flew over Crater Lake. Our final approach was a low pass along the Columbia River (including a low-altitude flyover above a large marina) with Mounts Hood and Adams clearly visible outside the portside windows.

Uoon landing, I took some time to scope out the locations of the Jazz Air ticket counter and gate I'll need to use when I fly out on Wednesday morning. I then had a nice sitdown lunch at the airport's branch of the Rose City Cafe. It was a hearty meal of clam chowder, a crab and shrimp melt with seasoned fries, and a Coke - a bargain at $12.80 (there's no sales tax in Oregon). Finally, I boarded the MAX Light Rail train headed for downtown.

It was a good day, a nice start to some 25 days away from home, and I'm looking forward to a great weekend despite the chilly temperatures.

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