As our story opens 48 year old female is ‘very’ excited to finally get to go the Highland festival. Be advised Norse Gods are involved!
I bounced out of bed at 6:00 AM rushed to get ready, foregoing breakfast. I had everything set out from the night before so I would not forget anything. Double checked the GPS app on my phone made sure I had all the maps for Gresham plotted! Ready and out the door in 20 minutes! I hit the freeway singing to the radio not a care in the world. Happy thoughts of men in kilts and Bagpipes joyfully occupying my brain….then I got to Portland (enter horror show music here). There is no forthright way of getting anywhere in the Portland freeway system.
So after entering the arena (freeways in Portland) the GPS on my cell phone thought in it’s little evil technical mind that it would be funny to lose the signal around 1 to 2 miles before the exit and recalculate the route that I supposed to take and then decided to lose Bluetooth connectivity so I had to cradle the phone on my lap with the windows rolled up and radio off so I could hear the weak and feeble commands. After an hour of doing “round the Rose Quarter” I finally decided to pull over and get my Bluetooth sorted (sends voice navigation to the car stereo thus allowing me to actually hear the directions) and see if I can get the ‘google maps’ navigation to work better. I rebooted my phone 3x and reconnected the Bluetooth as many times still didn’t work. (The Motorola Droid Razr that I was using has now been retired. The Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge that I have replaced it with is a JOY.)
After messing with the maniacal cell phone for 20 minutes I finally decide that I will just deal with the thing on my lap and try and achieve the end goal of just getting there over convenience. I found that again I was sent on a highway version of Hunger Games as I balanced the obviously amused device on my thigh while trying to get on and off freeway on ramps and still losing signal every 5 minutes. Every onramp/offramp maneuver sent the phone violently sliding across my lap thus causing me to thigh shuffle to try and keep the phone from hitting the car floor. The phone was still losing the GPS signal and locking the screen on the one location so to try and solve the issue I started waving the cell phone around to regain connectivity, holding the phone out the window at one point. So after fighting the Gods of Mayhem and the possessed Motorola Razr, I finally see the holy land of Gresham.
I finally roll into the parking lot of the college with a bladder is now housing over 50 ounces of water ( I know because I keep track because of the diet). I didn’t want to stop before getting to the Mt Hood Community College because I felt Loki had had his way long enough and didn’t want to tempt him again with going off course.
I park and disgorge myself from the metal monster relieved that I have finally arrived and all will be well from now on. (gods are laughing). Scan immediate area for suitable porta potty/bush. Nothing in view and far too many people for the bush option. I go and wait at the shuttle stop. I arrive at the gym where the admissions for the festival is located. I wait in a long line. Finally get in regretting not wearing Depends and make a mental notation for future self harm incidents of wanting to go to festival that adult diapers should go on the prep list. I head with urgent distinct purpose to the area pointed out to me by kilted ticket taker. I wait in a really long line. Now thoughts of just pissing in the middle of floor dance madly thru my urine poisoned brain at this point. I feel this is the gods again having their way with me and laughing at my bladder torture. Another 20 minutes later I finally get to pee. I am not exaggerating when I say this is most likely the best moment of my life to date.
Feeling again rejuvenated “world is my oyster” kind of mood I venture into the “Highland Games”. The first thing that I notice is that this is a really large community college. With the usual large rambling crowd familiar to festivals is surging to and fro and I enter into the flow headed toward the main field. On the field there are merch vendors and food vendors.. I seek out any form of entertainment and alas none on the horizon….just a really lot of vendors. Having only eaten …well nothing I thought “Well I will get something to eat then go look at the upper field”. Signal more god hilarity. Well I am here to tell you that apparently one very lucky catering company has locked in _all_ the food vending for the whole of the festival and they all have the same menu. There are only Breaded items on offer and I am really gluten intolerant so not an option.. Hot dogs were the only thing even remotely on offer that I would consider but paying 5.00 for a single wiggly hot dog w/nothing else just goes against everything I hold dear. So on the grounds that my character would die go to hell and my salted soul be eaten by the devil rather than be a vending operators consuming bitch, I tread on without eating. Yep heard the feedback from y’all already and “YES” I did research on what food was going to be there but I honestly thought they would have an independent vendor at the festival serving something different.
12:20 Temp 85F
Still feeling optimistic I head to the upper field in search of something besides vendors. The heat has now climbed to over 80 and I am walking uphill for 15 minutes in the heat without eating. So I know what you’re thinking…But at the time it seemed fine. I just wanted to see the sheepdog trials. I got there and the dogs were gone and something resembling heat exhaustion was starting to creep up and I was running out of water.
I was really overheated and had only two things on my mind. Get water and sit in shade. Nothing else was either important or even really registered. If a large mindblowingly beautiful 17th century Highlander could’ve ‘poofed’ into existence right in front of me on bended knee begging for my attention and the only thing that I would be able to think is “I wonder if he knows where a water fountain is?”. So, with no water fountain anywhere to be found I _again_ have to stand in line _in the sun_ and then I get to pay 2.00 for water. Now is a great time to mention that my mood was slowly declining at this point. I was starting to morph into 6 of the 7 dwarves with Happy being left far behind. I take my water and go back down to the lower field deciding to suck it up and get the *$%&$&# hot dog. I make trek all the way back to the main field where all the food vendors are. So the configuration of the festival on the lower field was all the food vendors as well as other merch vendors are located on the island in the middle of a running track. So as I start down the stadium steps toward the track. A man blares out over the stadium sound system “Please stay off the track for the kilted run”. Just staring at the space in front of me I have to give up a little hysterical giggle. Trapped on the inside the track are all the food vendors.
Overheated, babbling incoherently due to blood sugar and a seriously degraded attitude I decide I am going fecking home.
2:00PM Temp 90F > toward 100F
Stand in heat for shuttle
Ride hot Shuttle
Get in Hot car
Did I mention it was hot?
So I left the parking lot grumbling cursing and kicking puppies ( ok the last one is an exaggeration) and just wanting to get something to eat. I was presented with a lovely Bar and Grill across from the Community College and finally got a salad and fries. I know odd combo but my mood dictated that fries were necessary as the ‘games’ were such a disappointment.
I drive home…long, long, hot drive but home I was going.
My back aching, my head aching and just generally bummed about the day not having one shred of entertainment for me, I walk in and find out that the person buying my chicken coop shorted my husband 25.00 on the agreed asking price. update: Lady sent the difference and chalked it up to a misunderstanding.
I went to bed.
The funny thing is that the pictures of the pipers that are posted with this story were outside the festival in the parking lot. I really enjoyed watching them. So maybe instead of paying 20.00 for tickets, driving 2 hours turned 6 due to a mean spirited cell phone I should have just went to the parking lot!