By the time I was driving into Portland, I had already made appointments to look at two apartments. I parked the truck at the hotel (more on that later), threw a bag of clothes into my room and started walking into the rain. As luck would have it, the first apartment that I actually looked at was the apartment I ended up taking. It's a 7th floor studio loft, overlooking what they call The Park Blocks right downtown in the Pearl District. To this day, this is the by far nicest apartment I have ever lived in. All hardwood floors, luxury appliances, lots of space and a view to kill for. Oh, and did I mention that it's across the street from my office. I looked at a total of five different apartments, however, none even came close to this one. I pretty much committed on the spot and officially applied the next morning. When you find something you like, don't let it get away. All the other places were either too small, facing the inside of a building or were just plain out trying to hard. The Pearl District is the hip place to be in Portland, and lots of loft building are popping up right and left. But to me the beauty of loft living is that these spaces were not meant to be apartments (mine used to be an office space). A lot of the new buildings are built to be loft spaces, which lacks authenticity in my eyes. Anyway, after walking around rainy Portland for a day and a half, my application came through and I scheduled my move-in for the next morning. Perfect timing. There aren't a lot of Mexicans populating the corners of Oregon, but I was lucky enough to get Chad, the office's building maintenance guy (young kid from MT) to help me. There was a $200 move-in fee, as the homeowner's association had a security guy protecting the elevator while I was doing my thing. His name was Mike, a 50-yr old part timer who retired from his bank job and now spend his days guarding elevators and moving trucks. Throughout the entire time, Mike was never more than 3-feet behind me, nor did he ever shut up. Great guy, but absolutely no help. 5 minutes before the end of my move, he graciously informed me that my truck was parked illegally. Thanks Mike. That would have been helpful 2 hours ago. Crazy within 36 hours of being in Portland, I not only managed to search for an apartment but also find one and move in. Everybody at the office was rather astounded, as they already were placing bets on where I'd park my stuff while I was traveling Asia. Oh, one more word about my hotel. I stayed at the Jupiter Hotel during my first two days in Portland. Well, it's not only a hotel but also a restaurant and concert venue. My first night at the hotel bar, the bartender gave me a free ticket to the show playing downstairs. I didn't go. But I don't think it mattered, as the band must have stayed next door to me and I got to hear plenty of their music throughout the night. Regardless, it's a really cool hotel.