2022.07.09               22:26 GMT+1

Editing and uploading photos to this blog system is so cumbersome and time consuming that I am switching to just posting photos on my iCloud Photo Library. You can find the link here: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0PJRveFpJqYVVb

2022.07.08             22:46 GMT+1

 

We got some really solid hours of sleep last night, waking up around 6:45 am this morning. There were several incidents that woke me up, like the employee in the alleyway who was having a yelling conversation with a co-worker for an hour. I thought— no one yells for that long in America without a fist fight breaking out. But in the end there was no such drama. I had not unpacked my earplugs last night, and thankfully the noise did not rouse Bruce.

When we got up in the morning, we had troubles with the mobility scooter. It has a physical disconnect handle to disengage the clutch, and that will tell the control system to not engage. I think the solenoid that tells the system that the motor is engaged and ready to go was having a bit of trouble. I disassembled and reassembled the scooter a couple of times and eventually we got it going. It worked great for the rest of the day except for one time when we stopped on an incline and then wanted to get going again. We turned it off and on and were good to go after that.

Bruce at the Gate Theatre.

It was early enough that we thought we would just go for a stroll about. We had seen yesterday the famous Gate Theatre was down the street. That’s the theater where Orson Welles got his start, as well as other actors like James Mason, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Michael Gambon.

 

Bruce in front of the famous Gate Theatre.

Ugh. The process of trying to upload photos to my website and then write up about them is killing me. I am just going to put a link here to the iCloud Photo Sharing website of my photos. You can find it at:

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0PJRveFpJqYVVb

 

 

 

2022.07.07           17:38 GMT+1

 

So I have officially been awake about 27 hours now. Bruce and I made it to Reykjavik just fine, though we had no idea what was happening with the mobility scooter. He got a 1st class seat and I got an exit row. The nice gate agent also secretly added my bag as Bruce’s second, allowed bag, so there was no extra charge for my bag.

I was so excited to get my first glimpse of Iceland. I think that the sun never quite set as we flew through the night, so a part of me always stayed more conscious and stimulated. But when we arrived at Keflavik airport, you could barely see anything through the windows.

It was more drizzling than raining. We had a scheduled 90 minutes to switch gates and planes to make our Dublin leg. When our plane landed, the gate was not yet free, so our plane sat for 20 minutes waiting. 

It was kind of weird having to walk through the Iceland airport and wait to go through another gate, just to get put on a bus and ride out to a sort-of mini terminal in the middle of the runway. We got on our next plane, named Herðubreið, and then got rocked back and forth by winds for 30 minutes while waiting for take off.

From the Iceland Air website: 757-200

Herðubreið is the name of an extinct volcano in the highlands of North Iceland. It is a “tuya,” a volcano formed under a glacier. Many Icelanders consider Herðubreið to be the most beautiful mountain in Iceland.

 

Iceland Air gives you some fun memorabilia, like the most entertaining barf bag in the industry.

Our next flight to Dublin went really smoothly and was only 2 hours long.

When we got off the plane, the mobility scooter was waiting in all its glory for Bruce. Going through customs was a breeze (once we figured out if we were supposed to go in the blue lane, the red lane, or the green lane— I am so tired that I cannot remember which lane we ended up in.) We then took a while getting our bearings, buying pre-paid SIM cards from the 3 network in the UK, and then figuring out how to buy Dublin Bus tickets with exact change.

My first impression of Ireland (Europe in general) is a bit of claustrophobia in that everything makes me feel like an overgrown gorilla. The airline seats are small, the bus seats are small, our hotel room is small, the bathroom is small. Maybe after a good night’s sleep I will be less sensitive.

In the hotel room at the Academy Plaza hotel.

 

 

2022.07.06            14:23

I had a lovely morning with Bahar where she treated me to some Starbucks, even picking up a protein box to take on the plane. Then Mikey picked me and the mobility scooter up and we gathered Bruce and went to the airport.

Proceeding through the security gate went smoothly, with a bonus that we entered right behind some Trailblazer players.

Bruce enjoys a Stumptown coffee and a savory Marsant biscuit. We didn’t need any meat because he brought enough “ham.”
We didn’t make use of the Pet Relief area.
I have a moment to reflect at our gate.
Bruce enjoys a moment on his phone over at Gate C23.
Our plane arrived at the gate just as we did. A Boeing 757-200.

 

 

2022.07.05            15:28

Today Bruce and I successfully picked up the mobility scooter from Personal Mobility Center of Portland (they’ve recently moved to 2316 NE 49th on Sandy Blvd). The owner was nice enough to bail us out after the London Wheelchair Rentals website failed us. The Irish wheelchair rental place said they were only going to charge €6/day but don’t tell us about the €140 application fee.

Bruce did some training by riding up and down Hawthorne a bit, navigating his wheelchair through the tight doorway of JaCiva’s to order some deserts as a von voyage gift for his family.

 

I found a strange postcard in the basket of the scooter. It said “Bold, Brave, Badass.” I hope that will be Bruce’s motto for the trip.

The scooter is amazing. It weighs about 30 pounds, should have around a 15 miles range, can carry 300 pounds, and disassembles easily into multiple pieces for fitting into the trunk (or boot) of your car.

When I was taking Bruce home, I saw a new Japanese restaurant in Gresham. I grabbed some grub to go.

 

Meeka Japanese restaurant in Gresham
I was surprised to see that they had traditional style seating inside.

 

 

2022.7.04              23:49

It’s the night of Fourth of July. Though fireworks have been banned in Portland, there are still a few people popping off explosions outside our window. Balakay just came running past me to hide under the bed. In America, everyone is still mourning the latest mass gun shooting that took place right near where I grew up. My older sister and youngest niece were set to walk in their hometown parade, but it was canceled. 

I am getting ready to travel to Ireland and England with Bruce Chessé. We will be going from July 6th through July 18th. We are flying Air Iceland straight from PDX to Reykjavik, with a 90 minute layover before flying on to Dublin. It would have been lovely to stay in Iceland for a bit, but the overall length of our trip precluded that.

Here are a couple of photos of Bruce from the Mac Camps over the years. The first is from 2018,

Bruce Chessé sits with Mark Clark at Mac Camp in 2018.
The MacCamp 2022 Spring group photo. Unlike the UK, everyone in this photo had to be vaccinated to attend.

 

Tomorrow I will go pick up the mobility scooter that we are renting in Portland to take with us on the trip.