Christmas shopping on the cheap

Trip Start Dec 17, 2011
Trip End Jan 27, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The hotel was close to the I5 Interstate and the noise of constant traffic and trucks meant that I didn't get much sleep last night. After a standard hotel breakfast we checked out and headed into part of Salem’s suburbs (Salem is the capital of Oregon) to a 'Dollar Tree’ store where everything (everything) is $1. We split into two groups and bought each other $5 worth of Christmas presents each, as well as some essential snacks and even a huge bottle of laundry detergent ($1!!).

We decided not to drive through the city of Portland, OR as it looked just too big and we really couldn’t be bothered navigating through it. Across a bridge and we had hit another state – Washington state. Driving through the miles of tree-lined interstate we stopped at Centralia for lunch. Instead of just pulling off into a close-to-the-interstate eatery, we drove into the town, parked and walked along the Main st until we found a little café. The café was deliciously warm after the crisp temperature of the air outside (around 2 degrees again) and we really enjoyed our lunch which was very reasonably priced and prepared & served by a very harried looking, but polite, Asian man – maybe all his staff were off? After lunch we spent a pleasant hour walking up and down the street browsing through the many antique/vintage stores – couldn’t believe how reasonably priced things were!

Back on the road toward Seattle, we were still constantly surrounded by thick grey fog. Rush hour traffic slowed us down, but driving through the city on 6th street, with all the light covered trees and the decorations made the drive worthwhile. There was a slight muck up with the hotel room they gave us (wasn’t big enough for us all) but we sorted it out and managed to get two adjoining rooms for the same price as one (well, that’s what we were told, we’ll see what our bill says when we check out). The kids were ecstatic to find the hotel had another heated pool.
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