Holly’s sister’s birthday was on Saturday so we both took a three day weekend to hang out with the Portland family.
The forecast called for a severe winter storm covering the Tricities, Goldendale, and the Columbia Gorge from the Dalles the Troudale (basically our entire drive was going to be covered with wind, ice, and 1-6 inches of snow) but we hadn’t seen any of them since the engagement in July PLUS, Nichole’s boyfriend Stephen had rented a party bus for the evening to ferry us around Portland on Saturday night so there was no way we were going to miss it!
There was another way to get to PDX that added about 45 minutes to the trip but the severe weather warning had been dropped by Friday morning so we decided to chance it. I’m not going to lie, a big part of the reason we wanted to go through Tri-Cities had entirely nothing to do with time and everything to do with Ingress. After hacking our way around Tri-Cities for a few hours, we headed south for what should have been about 3 1/2 more hours of driving.
Two hours later, traffic was at a complete standstill.
Although there was no snow, the highway between the Dalles and Portland (about 80 miles) was covered with ice. In all, there were 17 accidents on I-84 between us and Portland so the last 1 1/2 hours of our trip turned into about 3 1/2 hours. We were completely stopped for about 1 1/2 hours on the freeway. So Ella and I napped while Holly walked around and made friends with the other drivers.
After we got into Portland, we spent another 3 hours playing Ingress in the dark and freezing cold because we only had a few hours to reach the next level and win a special limited edition badge. It was important…I promise.
We were cold, grumpy and a little freaked out after driving through weird areas of Portland at 10pm but made it to Nichole and Jeremy’s house for Domino’s, Angry Orchard and sleep.
Saturday morning we slept late, drank Starbucks and went shopping for the Big Birthday. Everyone met up at the house before the bus arrived to relax and eat cookies and drink champagne. It was pretty much the perfect birthday crowd: silly enough to kitchen dance in front strangers but with the forethought to not be drunk by 7pm. Always thoughtful.
Even Turbo the Bichir was partying!
And the party bus was bomb. Obvs.