Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(BGV) Returning 'home' to Arizona.

June 18th Returning 'home' to Arizona. The place which I would never consider as my home.

I was woken up at 4:00 am and Matthew drove me to the airport. I went in by myself, went through the security claims, and lost my watch somehow but no biggie. I had plenty of time because I didn’t need to board until 6:30 am (Wished it was at 6:30 pm so I can enjoy myself a little longer before Jay and Bryan left on their flight). My flight departed at 7:20 am I got myself some coffee at starbucks and sat down. I made a short film and when I tried to say some things, I was breaking down crying. I was crying because I’m returning to Arizona and leaving behind Portland.

I feel that Portland has my heart and I will never forget this vacation. I hadn’t got to give Jay and Bryan a final hug before I left. I wished that I didn’t have to leave, I wish I could have that final breakfast with everyone there.

To Jay and Bryan, I am forever grateful for your generosity, you’re very kind and awesome, and you’ve shown me how great you two are. I want to repay you somehow. I will never forget this event, I will forever cherish this. I want to do this again. You and your family are so wonderful and I’m grateful that I met you all.

I never got to ask; if there can be a possibility of you visiting Arizona to see me during winter time. I may repay you with some dinner, which would be my treat. If that may not be done, then someday next year when I get another week vacation, I will come along for another BGV or some event and treat you guys some dinner.

To everyone who went to the event, You all have been so wonderful to meet, I am so grateful to have met you. I wish to meet you all again one day, and I wish I had talked to all of you, if not more often.

Wolfy Wong, I regret not having talked with you, but I hope we can one day when we meet.

Scott and Roque, I’m grateful we met, sorry we never got to chat much, I wish I wasn’t so shy at first. Hope to see you guys again someday.

Steward and Rick,your BBQ was fantastic and I’m grateful I came along on this BGV. I hope to visit you again one day

Quincey, I too am sorry I never got to talk to you. Hope we can, you’re a really nice guy.

Alon Bar, I thank you for the dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Wish we can meet again.

Igon, Paul, Chris, and some other folks I never got to talk with, I hope we can meet one day, I would like to get to know all of you. I’m grateful to have met you all on this trip, sorry I never got to chat with you, but hope to one day when we meet.

Matthew S, I’m ever grateful to have met you, you’re an awesome roomie even though it was only few nights we slept at the hotel (No not together), and I would love to meet again one day. Maybe I’ll even visit Washington next year.

Matthew G, thanks for being our third roomie, it was great meeting you, and I wish this trip wasn’t over so soon.

To Portland, You are my city, you welcomed me and I feel right at home. You treated me so nicely. Arizona was never so nice. It felt like a monster that choked me and blew hot breath in my face the first day I went there fifteen years ago and still does that to me to this day. But you, your weather was so cool and tranquil during the summer. You’ve shown me your mountains, your lakes, your trees, and your landscape. I loved all of it. Yes you may have some bad parts as all states do, but you’re a state I wish to live in one day. I cherish the beauty, the diversity, and the sweetness you’ve shown me.

(BGV) Fourth day in Portland PRIDE PARADE

June 17th

(For some reason i cannot bring in the part one, it will be in my youtube videos)

In woke up pretty early in the morning, walked down to the Hotel dining room and got myself some breakfast. I sat with our group, it was going to be my last day with them, which is very sad for me as I wanted this to last for a long time. As everyone had finished eating their breakfast, we headed out to a train station, got on the train and headed downtown/Chinatown.

We have gone to Voodoo Donuts, which is really crowded, there is a long line. I saw a faded out sign which I could make out the word “Theater” and there was an anime character, which is actually Hentai. It was really for adults. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try something new with Voodoo donuts yet that time, maybe next time when I visit Portland again, so I just got a plain donut and a crueller. I know, lame.

We walked down to a huge park I think and saw a bride, huge river, monuments and a sign. It’s where the Pride Parade was taking place. I filmed about half of the parade before the battery went dead on me, so I could make 6 videos on youtube, showing half of the parade. We went into the Pride Celebration area, just looked around, and got ourselves some lunch and ice cream. I was only feeling slightly down because I can no longer film or take pictures due to battery dead. But I enjoyed the parade and I was glad to see everything there.

We head back to the train. We ran to catch the train because it was beginning to load up passengers and we were short ways away. We caught up and headed back to the Hotel.

After the whole event, some of us decided to take it easy at a spa. Many people in our group of course had to leave and say their good byes. After the spa, I was up in my room, trying to edit some videos I filmed and the pictures I took. Matthew had asked if I wanted to join in with some folks to go out for dinner. I said yes and so we went down into the lobby.  It’s not with the Leffews this time, but with some friends. We went out to Buffalo Wild Wings. Alon Barr had paid for my meal, which is very generous of him. I had myself Pepper Jack Steak Wrap which was very delicious. After that, we went back and Matt had to go home that night. Me and the other Matthew stayed for one more night. I get to sleep in the bed instead of the pull out mattress this time and it was very comfortable, including the pillows.

(BGV) Third day in Portland

June 16th

It was perhaps 8:00 am or 9, I went downstairs to the little dining area where complimentary breakfast is. I took an egg sandwich and ham, a small bowl of fruit, banana, and orange juice. After eating my breakfast, Jay and his family came in to have their breakfast as well.

We sat in the lobby, discussing where we’ll be heading. We went out in the Parking lot, drove out and headed to the Vista House Gallery.

I’m not sure what I understand about the Vista House Gallery, I have made a video of it. We have climbed up on the Vista House Gallery and looked at the lakes and the mountains. The forest is green and thick, making Portland beautiful as ever.

We went down under the House Gallery where there were glass cases of some artifacts. I saw huge posters about bridges, stonework, hotels, and more. We were finished sight seeing and then headed onward to the Bridal veil Trails.

It was a long trek in the forest, which was beautiful and I heard the waterfalls long before I saw it, even as a person who is hearing impaired. I saw the waterfall and it was beautiful. I think that is what they meant by “Bridal Veil” because it looked like a bridal veil. I had to carefully climb down, getting closer to the waterfalls and even climb up the huge boulder. I am happy to say that I got through the trails without injury. I didn’t even get so much as a scrape on me, and I think we all didn’t get any scrapes either. Of course, I was exhausted when we got back out of the Trails. I started breathing in and out and felt more better and moved onward.

We continued onward and reached Cascade Locks. It was a nice place and we stopped to eat a light brunch because we were having BBQ later on. Some of the folks were going further on to the next waterfall, but me and some others head back to the Hotel. After the events and returning home, I saw the pictures of the last Waterfall they went to and I wished I wasn’t so tired, because I would have loved to have filmed that place and took pictures too. Portland just keeps showing it great beauty.

We got back to the Hotel, napped for few hours, and then we had to get up and go to a house for BBQ. I think it was Rick and Steward’s house, but I can be wrong.

It was a beautiful house, the yard was beautiful. There had been a tree in their yard that fell over and torn down a small section of the fence. Jay and Rick set up some games for the kids to play while the grownups drink, chat, and even got the BBQ ready.

There was a light sprinkle of rain, but it was gone shortly and the clouds were getting dark. I thought jokingly about the bigoted ad “Gathering storm” and just laughed in my head.

The BBQ was very delicious and we all had a great time. After the BBQ, many people went left, saying their goodbyes, and some of us stayed around the fire pit, just talking. After that, it was midnight and we got back to the Hotel to sleep.

(BGV) Second day in Portland

June 15th Second Day in Portland

It was 8am and the fire alarm was going off. Fire Alarm after the first night here in Portland. Well that was something. I thought of it as a “Rude Awakening.” Many of the guests in Hyatt Place Hotel were standing outside because of the fire alarm. After it stopped, we went back inside. We got ourselves dressed up for today’s event, went down into the Lobby to Meet with our friends the Leffews, few other folks and we just talked for a while. We then got ready to head out, I got into Matt’s car, two Matthews were up in front again, Jay and Selena were in the back with me. We reached downtown in Portland, went into Mother’s bistro & Bar, which is a small restaurant. I had myself Crunchy French Toast, which was superb. There were so many folks in our group that I don’t know most of them yet. After our little breakfast, we went out walking, just taking in the sights of Portland.

We stopped at a Powell’s Bookstore, which is a new and used book store, it’s very big and it has so many books, including LGBT friendly books. If I were to, I would have stayed there for days just to know every book there is in there. Some people in our group had bought themselves a book or two, but I didn’t find anything I want so far. I’m more of a careful observer; I wanted to know that the book I’m buying is worth my money. I used to be an overly compulsive spender, but not anymore.

After the Bookstore, we went down to where there were rows upon rows of food-stands. I was so curious and yet I was hungry. We hadn’t eaten for hours since our last breakfast. Some people in our group bought their food at a different food-stand. Me, Jay, Selena and some others got some from Beijing House stand. We ate at a park. Then after we’re finished, we walked down to a church which was going to show “Right to love: An American family.” I was so eager to see it finally.

After the showing, Jay and Bryan stood up at the stage, gave their speech and answered some questions. After that, we mingled around in the large room, I was glad to have met Steward and Rick, who were holding a BBQ the next day, and some folks who went to see the showing.

After mingling with several nice folks, we sent Selena and Daniel back to the Hotel with Wolfy and Quincey to watch them. I and Matthew had to put our bags and our camera in the car because we were going to the bar and we’re not allowed to carry those.

In the bar, CC Slaughters, it was loud, dark and so crowded. It is a gay bar, which happens to be the first time I’ve ever been to one. We stuck together and just enjoyed dancing. Well, I danced alone. (Sobbing) So many of them were drinking, but I never drink, but I got a soda. After watching so many people dance and even kiss each other, we went to a quieter bar.

I was given another soda, while the rest wanted some alcohol. Jay had asked to get water, but the drink he got was Vodka and Club Soda.  I was asked to take a sip, so I sipped it. I didn’t like it and I really didn’t want to drink it again.

It was about 2am in the morning, we were walking back to the garage parking lot where we parked the cars. There have been some homeless folks sleeping at the front of the door to some shops. Jay and some others had decided to buy some pizza, Bryan, being so generous, bought me one.

We returned to the Hotel and went to sleep.