Driving to Portland – this trip was literally the farthest I’ve ever driven anywhere, the most I’ve ever driven on the freeway, and the first time I’ve driven in Portland. (A city I find remarkably confusing. As I said to Elizabeth: I haven’t been to Portland if I haven’t gotten completely turned around at least once.) And it was fine, even with rush hour in driving rain. The rental car had satellite radio, so I listened to BBC World Service most of the time. I got to enjoy a lovely drive along the Columbia River by the airport. Cruise control was helpful with the long stretches as well, definitely helped my old-lady-knee. I only drove into the convention center area once, on Friday, and otherwise it was very straightforward to drive from my hotel to a park & ride and catch the Max into town.
About that hotel – I’m still annoyed at ending up staying Jantzen Beach (which is a long story) but the hotel was decent enough, and I even got to watch the latest Game of Thrones.
And I also stayed with Mom and Elizabeth in their new pad way out in northeast Portland (practically Gresham), which is a nice place. Even got to have a home-cooked meal, first time eating that way with Mom in probably close to 15 years. I stayed with them Monday night and Thursday night, which made for much more relaxing drives from Olympia to Portland and back.
The “hallway track” – I enjoyed visiting with people I’ve met before (Catherine, Kronda, Dave, Greg D), people I’d only known from the internet (Eaton, Relly, Ashe), and people I met for the first time (Beth & her partner (Matt?), Johanna). I never did get to play Bad Neighbors. I think I got some good advice, though, on actual work-related stuff. And it felt good to be in a community, even if I had to deal with occasional bursts of social anxiety and/or imposter syndrome.
By the time I checked in, they were already out of women’s XL shirts. I actually haven’t yet tried on my women’s L; we’ll see how that goes.
The conference website was horribly slow, and terrible on phone/tablet; the app wasn’t available for Android. But the printed schedule booklet was actually useful.
The food was a mixed bag. I actually liked the Tuesday lunch best (sandwiches), over the hot buffet lunches on Weds & Thurs. Wednesday’s lunch was particularly meh. I was very glad that Pantheon (?) had a food truck with breakfast sandwiches on Wednesday, and that I went to j Cafe on Thursday for a breakfast sandwich. Protein FTW.
I didn’t actually go to any of the social events. Loud parties not really my thing, plus the whole mess of the Jantzen Beach hotel. Did get to go out to dinner with a bunch of people on Wednesday, and then saw the opening act of a show after. (M. Geddes Gengras, trance-y synth music; I bought a cassette.)
I took notes (as terrible as they turned out to be) on the Transformer, and I’m glad I had that instead of a full laptop, much lighter, especially for what I was using it for. I have a hunch I may have actually lost some of my notes to the dreadful wifi, although it’s hard to say for sure. I possibly should have used just a text editor instead of the WordPress app.
Coat check was awesome, and more events should do it. (Same with free transit pass, BTW.) If I’d had a nicer knitting bag, I’d've just gone with the tablet & knitting, rather than my big Timbuk2 bag.
Overall, I’m very glad for the opportunity to have gone to DrupalCon and I would definitely do it again.
Edit: also, I got to spend a little time (not nearly enough) with Elizabeth late Thursday afternoon, going shopping on Hawthorne. (Bike for her, yarn for me.) It was super-fun, and I was happy to chip in to get her a cool new bike.