Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Portland, Oregon - Storyline Conference

What an AMAZING weekend - cold and all!

Saturday morning, Jill and I headed to the airport - both with the sniffles, but ready for our great adventure!  Our flights went great.  I re-read the entire Don Miller book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" to prepare for the conference.  I forgot how funny it was - and more than once laughed aloud to the dismay of the woman sitting next to me...  Once we got to Portland, we took the train from the airport to within two blocks of our hotel (The Mark Spencer in the Pearl District) - perfect!  And cheap - $2.50.  Gotta love public transportation!  We settled into the hotel, took a short, refreshing nap, dosed up on our cold drugs, and headed out to explore.  We had dinner at a local pub just around the corner from out hotel...  Visited Powell's Bookstore (that's an experience all in itself!).  And found a wonderful little Gelato place for a late night treat.  A perfect end to our first day...
(The Mark Spencer Hotel - a nice place to stay!)
(Powell's Book Store - a place of dreams!  A new and used bookstore that takes up an entire city block - and 4 stories tall.  Wow.)

Sunday, we woke up, enjoyed breakfast at the hotel (toast, fruit, yogurt and a chai tea), and headed out for more exploration!  It was a typical Portland morning, I think - a little cool and rainy.  But nothing that was gonna hold these Minnesota girls back!  We walked all over the city!  Eventually, we got ourselves to the Saturday Market (yes, it's open on Sunday, too!).  It's an art fair that happens every weekend - and features only local venders.  Very cool.  After the market, we continued wandering aimlessly, taking pictures, and enjoying the freedom to explore.  We eventually ate lunch at a great little deli - Kenny and Zuke's - right across from our hotel.  YUM.  Pastrami on rye.  Gotta love it.  A nap was once again in order - before we headed to the conference itself.  (I was too excited to sleep...  So it was really just time to rest...)
(Gotta love it.)
(Beautiful parks!)
(Love the statues all over the city!)
(I LOVE a city that asks people to turn off their cell phones in restaurants!  We saw this in a few places.)
(Hello, yumminess...)

The conference started around 5pm at the Armory Theatre.  A perfect venue for this event!  Trendy and cool, beautiful and comfortable.  As we found our seats, a trio was performing Irish music on the stage - a great start in my mind!  Don Miller finally took the stage - and like a man after my own heart, invited his dog, Lucy, on stage with him.  So cute.  The night ended up being an intro into what it could mean to do something amazing with your life - he brought out friends to tell their stories, he shared stories that some of us were already familiar with (from reading his books), and he introduced the winner of the essay contest - someone who had a story she wanted to live and needed help to get it started...  Then his friend, Brandon, a music video and commercial producer, took the stage to share his story.  A great story that ended in the making of a movie.  Our surprise that night?  We got to go to a "test screening" of the movie!  I'll tell you more about it someday when the movie comes out...  For now, we're not supposed to share much...  (I kind of like the sneakiness!)  It was a great night.  So fun.  Uplifting.  Inspiring.
(The theatre - two blocks from our hotel.)
(Jill - registered and waiting for the fun to begin!)
(A little Irish music to start the evening...  Nice.)
(Brandon Dickerson...  You may learn his name in the coming years.)

Monday morning we got up, ate breakfast, and headed back to the conference.  A full day of inspiring stories, challenges to make our lives into stories that make a difference in the world, and lots of deep thinking about what my story will be...  A break for lunch at the Deschutes Brewery - Delish!  Then back to work... I have a workbook to fill out and work through to jog my brain and make me think a little bigger and deeper about the future - I'm so jazzed to get started!  This conference has been amazing - I wish it was longer than two days...  I feel like there's so much more to soak in...
(Mmm... Sweet and spicy mac and cheese.  So good, I made it when I got home!  The recipe is on the website!)

When the conference was over...  Jill and I once again decided to do some more exploring.  So many places to see!  We found some fun shops.  Bought a couple small keepsakes.  Stumbled upon a beautiful little park on a warm day - the neighborhood kids were playing in the water fountains while the parents met up with friends.  I loved it.  I could live here in a heart beat.  Seriously.  This city is laid back, beautiful, funky, smart, easy to navigate, friendly...  I just loved it.  I can't wait to get back again! 
(I could live here...)
(Great, quirky shops!)
(Gorgeous flower shops...)
(Stunning parks...)
(Jill and I - enjoying the warmth and sun of a fabulous fall day!)

Our night ended with dinner at Jake's Crawfish - a funky little bar/restaurant featuring amazing seafood and beer!  We had a great time chatting about our travels, our thoughts on our conference, and life in general.  Jill was the perfect travel companion - so fun!  (Oh!  And of course, we had to stop by for one last scoop of gelato on our last night....  That place was addicting!) 

Funniest part about our last night?  We got back to the hotel room - exhausted from another busy day - and what do we end up doing?  Staying up til midnight, watching the first "Sex and the City" movie.  I've never watched an episode - but Jill quickly brought me up to speed!  We had a lot of laughs - and had every intention of turning it off and going to bed... but just couldn't do it.  What a funny way to end our weekend!

Tuesday, it was up and at 'em - to the train, to the planes, and home.


Yes, I still have a little bit of a cold - but I'm energized and excited to see what my story will be!

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  A WONDERFUL trip.
2.  Great cold drugs that kept me going.
3.  A fabulous friend to travel with...  we might have to do it again sometime...  :)
4.  Inspiration.
5.  Finding another place I can't wait to take my husband to!
6.  Don Miller - what a great personality and what generosity of spirit!
7.  Getting to be a part of making other people's dreams come true, too.  Amazing.
8.  Tears of joy.
9.  Spending some time thinking about the future...
10.  Coming home.

1 comment:

Carol E. said...

I could live in Portland, too. Love it and love Oregon.

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