: Business/Road trip to Bend, Oregon



gdwriter
09-29-10, 02:46 AM
Oregon State University has a branch campus — OSU-Cascades (http://osucascades.edu) — in Central Oregon, and I've spent a couple of years writing a lot of their marketing copy. We're currently producing TV and radio commercials (three each), and I've written the scripts for them. Today and tomorrow, we had recording sessions scheduled for the voiceovers for all of the spots, so I made a trip over the Cascades to direct these sessions. It's been a nice way to get out of the office for a couple of days, take a road trip on OSU's dime, and do something a little different.

Most people in my office will take a car from the motor pool or a rental when they're traveling on business, but since I get reimbursed, I'd much rather take my own car, especially on a trip like this with a fun drive over the mountains. A rental Focus, a motor pool Fusion or my Seville? Easy choice. It's just under 150 miles, and I made the trip in a little over 2 1/2 hours:

http://www.gdwriter.com/Independence_to_Bend.jpg

Although we've been having some sunny days on the west side of the Cascades, mornings have been pretty foggy, as it was this morning driving through Salem:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs027.ash2/34698_440600718093_776743093_5004405_877657_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs345.ash2/62556_440600723093_776743093_5004406_1467796_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs353.ash2/63377_440600733093_776743093_5004407_1480642_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs641.snc4/60181_440600738093_776743093_5004408_3303101_n.jpg

Fog finally lifted about 20 miles east of Salem:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs007.ash2/33696_440600748093_776743093_5004409_1513698_n.jpg

Heading into the Cascades:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs671.snc4/61141_440600758093_776743093_5004410_5300309_n.jpg

Detroit Lake:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs641.snc4/60102_440600778093_776743093_5004411_2192104_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs321.ash2/60167_440600793093_776743093_5004413_7939306_n.jpg

Remains from a forest fire:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs333.ash2/61331_440600803093_776743093_5004414_1615104_n.jpg

Mt. Washington:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs687.snc4/62771_440600818093_776743093_5004415_3720358_n.jpg

Blue Crater Lake:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs685.snc4/62583_440600828093_776743093_5004416_8247829_n.jpg

Sabrina with Black Butte in the background:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs698.snc4/63826_440600858093_776743093_5004418_486218_n.jpg

Sabrina with Mt. Washington in the Background:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs328.ash2/60868_440600868093_776743093_5004419_3900748_n.jpg

gdwriter
09-29-10, 02:59 AM
Driving through downtown Sisters, Oregon:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs700.snc4/62076_440600878093_776743093_5004420_5786268_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs682.snc4/62286_440600893093_776743093_5004421_5194340_n.jpg

Getting close:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs348.ash2/62800_440600913093_776743093_5004422_2452280_n.jpg

After crossing the pass, the landscape flattens out to high desert and ranch land:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs643.snc4/60341_440600918093_776743093_5004423_4905390_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs335.ash2/61534_440600938093_776743093_5004424_3896650_n.jpg

Left to right: South Sister, Middle Sister, North Sister:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs348.ash2/62832_440600943093_776743093_5004425_4482852_n.jpg

Sabrina with the three Sisters:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs640.snc4/60001_440600988093_776743093_5004429_6821663_n.jpg

Black Butte and Mt. Jefferson:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs670.snc4/61024_440600948093_776743093_5004426_1135150_n.jpg

Arriving in Bend:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs644.snc4/60400_440600998093_776743093_5004430_2233410_n.jpg

It's a really beautiful place, a bit yuppified downtown, but it has a lot of character. I like it a lot.

Pretty good gas mileage:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs024.snc4/33553_440601003093_776743093_5004431_5062419_n.jpg

I had the cruise set at 64 most of the time (there are places over the Cascades where you can't go much faster than 50 MPH), plus several WOTs passing pokier drivers on the two-lane segments of the highway.

gdwriter
09-29-10, 03:20 AM
Here's where I'm staying:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs693.snc4/63332_440601018093_776743093_5004433_381196_n.jpg

The Oxford Hotel (http://www.oxfordhotelbend.com/) is a very swanky, stylish hotel downtown, and OSU gets a ridiculously low rate (although when I looked up their regular rates, they're not bad at all considering how nice the hotel is. I also used their valet parking. Unnecessary, but a fun indulgence befitting the occasion.

Had a BLT with avocado on toasted Parmesan bread at the hotel restaurant. It was fantastic:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs638.snc4/59813_440601008093_776743093_5004432_8229308_n.jpg

The recording sessions this afternoon went very well. The first was a student, and she needed a little coaching — which is why I made the trip rather than try to do it over the phone as I'll have to do when the last person records on Thursday. But in the end, we got several good takes from her. The two faculty members who followed were very easy. They both have nice voices, and since they're used to speaking in front of an audience of students, they didn't need too much coaching. Still, it's interesting when you're directing something like this how you notice little inflections in how people say things. I usually have a sense of how I want the script to read, and they were all good at making the adjustments I asked for. The owner of the studio was also very good at getting the best takes out of our talent, which makes my job easier.

Back to the hotel tonight. This is one of the nicest hotel rooms I've ever stayed in:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs707.snc4/62694_440601048093_776743093_5004436_3243932_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs638.snc4/59854_440601053093_776743093_5004437_1745069_n.jpg

A little kitschy, but also cool. A fire, complete with crackling sound, playing on the TV:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs675.snc4/61562_440601068093_776743093_5004438_825363_n.jpg

Definitely the nicest hotel bathroom:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs710.snc4/63073_440601023093_776743093_5004434_7378060_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs006.snc4/33674_440601033093_776743093_5004435_214951_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs644.snc4/60446_440601078093_776743093_5004439_7400179_n.jpg

Tomorrow's recording sessions aren't until mid afternoon, so I've already got the door hanger out for breakfast, and I'm going to hang out at the hotel until check out time, then head over to the campus library to work on another project that keeps getting sidelined. It'll be getting dark by the time I head home, so there may not be any pictures of the return trip.

Jesda
09-29-10, 04:46 AM
I wish all sinks had that open airy look with space underneath. Makes the whole bathroom look clean and big.

SANDWICH LOOKS GOOD

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-29-10, 08:21 AM
Looks like fun Gary! Wish we had roads and elevation changes like that in MN, but all we've got are plains, forests and 10,000 lakes.

hueterm
09-29-10, 09:44 AM
And 10,000,000,000,000 mosquitos.....

gdwriter
09-29-10, 01:41 PM
Views of Bend from my sixth floor room this morning. You can see the Cascade Range off in the distance:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs675.snc4/61582_440770778093_776743093_5007585_413700_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs705.snc4/62487_440770803093_776743093_5007588_6197840_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs010.snc4/33866_440770828093_776743093_5007590_6261949_n.jpg

French press coffee set up in my room. It was good, but not anything to make me want to give up my Mr. Coffee:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs345.ash2/62506_440770848093_776743093_5007592_309414_n.jpg

Room service breakfast was only $14, including the service charge and built-in gratuity. Herb omelet, sourdough toast and tri-color potatoes. The orange ones were sweet potatoes. They got left.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs021.ash2/34389_440770863093_776743093_5007594_468654_n.jpg

drewsdeville
09-29-10, 05:03 PM
Room service breakfast was only $14, including the service charge and built-in gratuity. Herb omelet, sourdough toast and tri-color potatoes. The orange ones were sweet potatoes. They got left.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs021.ash2/34389_440770863093_776743093_5007594_468654_n.jpg

ONLY!? Now I see why they say people on the road eat horribly. $14 for eggs potatoes and bread brought up the elevator, in a portion designed with a 8 year old in mind? If it's expense paid, like yours, then sure, what the hell. But good lord, if I had to pay for that by myself, I'd walk out the hotel front doors and eat at the resturaunt across the street. If there was no resturaunt across the street, maybe I'd take back what I said in my last thread about McDonalds and get myself a sausage McMuffin at the nearest location. Otherwise I'd just go hungry. No way in hell that's worth $14 to me.

Here at my breakfast hotspot in town I can get a breakfast burrito the size of that plate with triple the amount of potatoes for $7, and it's damn good.

Jesda
09-29-10, 06:01 PM
$14 is a heck of a deal for hotel room service including tip. I used to work in a Doubletree. Its worth $14 if you're tired, working in your room, or just want to relax. If the restaurant nearby delivered the food directly to my room and plated it for me the way hotels do, I'd end up paying a lot more than $14 including gratuity.

gdwriter
09-29-10, 06:15 PM
The omelet was actually a generous portion (the four pieces of sourdough toast cover parts of it on both ends). I like the convenience since I was up late last night and took my time getting started this morning, but was working when breakfast arrived. It's now 2:15, and I'm heading for lunch before the recording session. I can definitely eat again, but I'm not famished. And since I won't get home until ~ 8 p.m. tonight, I wanted to have a late lunch so I wouldn't be starving when I got home. There's not much in the way of eats between Bend and Salem.

drewsdeville
09-29-10, 07:41 PM
$14 is a heck of a deal for hotel room service including tip. .
Yeah, that might be. I wouldn't know. Too rich for my blood though, I'm a cheap bastard and can manage to feed myself without hotel room service, tired or not. I've got better things to do with $14 :)

ben.gators
09-29-10, 08:03 PM
That is a very nice hotel room, and 14$ for that meal in a restaurant is insane, but in a hotel served in my room that is very cheap....

By the way, right now I discovered that Sabrina is SLS! But for some reason I was thinking that she is an STS!? That is strange...

Jesda
09-29-10, 08:07 PM
I remember staying at a nice hotel in Bangkok and another one in Surin back in 2006 and gorging on a room service feast with my brother. Parents paid, so... :D Its always funny to see how Asian cooks interpret American food, so in addition to the usual southeast asian food I grew up eating, I made sure to ask for cheeseburgers. The burgers were rubbery, but very neat and tidy, almost cute like fake food used by realtors.

ben.gators
09-29-10, 08:17 PM
double...

hueterm
09-29-10, 08:26 PM
At the O'Hare Hilton, I paid $50 for 2 meager turkey sandwiches, some potato chips, 2 diet cokes and 2 bottles of water....

The above is a screaming deal....

drewsdeville
09-29-10, 08:30 PM
At the O'Hare Hilton, I paid $50 for 2 meager turkey sandwiches, some potato chips, 2 diet cokes and 2 bottles of water....

The above is a screaming deal....

That's messed up, dude.

McDonalds looks better and better as this thread goes on.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-29-10, 08:33 PM
Damn, that's not a bad business trip at all!

hueterm
09-29-10, 08:36 PM
That's messed up, dude.

McDonalds looks better and better as this thread goes on.


Yeah, well it was like 2AM when I got there, and I was glad to get it at that point...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-29-10, 08:39 PM
I'm all about living it up and having a fine (nice, but not super super expensive) dinner from time to time, but not to the point where I'm plunking down $30 for a steak dinner. A few weeks ago, one of my best friends turned 24, so his family invited me and another friend of ours out to the St. Paul Grill, where the cheapest steak was $24.95. While the steak was good, I don't think it was that great and I don't plan on returning there any time soon. However, it was very cool that they invited us to go along with them and I was very grateful at that time.

The most I'll comfortably spend on dinner is about $20, that's with tip and everything. Anything beyond that and I have trouble stomaching (haha) the bill.

Jesda
09-29-10, 08:40 PM
I remember paying $220 to stay at a hotel in West Orange NJ. I was frustrated, tired, and beat and every hotel nearby was fully booked. I then ordered veal marsala for $30. It arrived in a cheap-ass pie tray and was good enough to scarf down but hardly worth the price. I cant even remember the name of the hotel. Beautiful furnishings and good service, but holy hell everything was overpriced. I guess thats expected for such a wealthy part of the country.

Best thing about Doubletree hotels are the chocolate chip cookies, usually as many as you'd like for free. Such a nice touch to get a warm cookie when you check in.

drewsdeville
09-29-10, 08:49 PM
I'm all about living it up and having a fine (nice, but not super super expensive) dinner from time to time, but not to the point where I'm plunking down $30 for a steak dinner.

The most I'll comfortably spend on dinner is about $20, that's with tip and everything. Anything beyond that and I have trouble stomaching (haha) the bill.

I can agree with that.

When I go out, I mainly soak up the service. Good food is a plus, but I really go out to be waited on, relax/enjoy myself with no chore or cleanup.

If it comes down to getting take out, I'd rather just forget it cook for myself at that point as I'm not really getting the service (I really don't consider some hotel clerk running my food up the elevator to be service). At home, I can make really good food, but I can't get anyone to wait on me :/

JimHare
09-29-10, 08:52 PM
How come YOUR Salem is so much prettier than MY Salem?
http://www.jmhare.com/misc_images/Salem1.JPG
http://www.jmhare.com/misc_images/Salem2.JPG

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-29-10, 09:13 PM
I can agree with that.

When I go out, I mainly soak up the service. Good food is a plus, but I really go out to be waited on, relax/enjoy myself with no chore or cleanup.

Exactly. If a place has great food that's out of the park and unlike anything else and mediocre service, I'll still go there. If they've got really crappy service and otherwise forgettable food, then there's no way I'd return. But unless the entire experience is incredibly awful, I'll generally give it a second go, because you never know if the line cook or waiter/waitress has had a bad day. But yeah, I generally tend to find the restaurants where I get great food & service and stick there.

gary88
09-29-10, 09:20 PM
I rarely ever go out to get food here, I like to just buy stuff that's on sale at the store and cook at my place. Much cheaper (and more healthy) that way. Once a week I'll splurge $17 on a ribeye from Whole Foods though.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-29-10, 09:25 PM
How come YOUR Salem is so much prettier than MY Salem?
http://www.jmhare.com/misc_images/Salem1.JPG
http://www.jmhare.com/misc_images/Salem2.JPG

Oh god! Look at what those vampires did!
http://cdn.overstock.com/images/products/bnt/FC0671039741.JPG

orconn
09-29-10, 09:36 PM
Salem, NJ overdue for gentrification! Hey if it can happen to Swedesboro it could happen to Salem!

Night Wolf
09-30-10, 12:08 AM
I do miss elevation changes and actual terrain... around here it is just pretty flat, though just a couple hours up North brings mountains, so it isn't too bad.

gdwriter
09-30-10, 02:08 AM
How come YOUR Salem is so much prettier than MY Salem?Because yours is in New Jersey and mine is in Oregon.

gdwriter
09-30-10, 02:24 AM
When traveling on my dime, I'm cheap and will mostly stay at Motel 6 since I usually have Hoover with me, and I spend little time in the room anyway. I may splurge on dinner, but breakfast and lunch are usually quick and cheap.

I'm not sure what the per diem rate is, so I may not get fully reimbursed for all of my meals on this trip, but that's no big deal. I don't do this all the time, and there are lots of great restaurants in Bend, so I wasn't about to go to some fast-food chain.

Where I get into trouble dining out is with booze. The markup on alcohol is insane. For dinner last night, I had Pollo Nostrano (chicken breasts with white wine and asiago over market vegetables and mashed potatoes for $18.95. The two glasses of Pinot Grigio I had were as much as the entrée. It was all very good, and I went to this place instead of a restaurant that the people I was working with recommended because when I looked at their menu, there wasn't anything under $25. Per diem or no, I have my limits.

This was lunch:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs682.snc4/62229_440991093093_776743093_5010854_5394132_n.jpg

Rosemary chicken sandwich with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and fontina, plus a chicken arugula basil salad. Both were excellent. $8.95 for the combo, plus a root beer, $13.50 with tip. I would have happily paid that with my own money.

Jesda
10-01-10, 03:54 AM
I can agree with that.

When I go out, I mainly soak up the service. Good food is a plus, but I really go out to be waited on, relax/enjoy myself with no chore or cleanup.


Same here. I like being able to just hang out and enjoy myself. I consider being waited on a privilege. The food I prepare at home is reasonable enough to enjoy if I'm just hungry.