So, I began my voyage from Hartford, Connecticut, on Sunday morning around 4AM. I had a lovely gentleman, Lloyd—my new best friend—check my bags from the sidewalk and keep me from standing in a dreadfully long luggage line. I thought I may have to check three bags as I had an additional projection screen THAT JUSTIN GAVE ME to bring with me but Lloyd suggested I carry it on to save the extra fee. Please note that this screen is in an oblong black case that has a handle to carry over your shoulder. After my new best friend saw to my luggage I went through security and as I was removing my shoes, one of the TSA officers asks, “What’s in the case, Miss?” I told him that it is the projection screen THAT JUSTIN GAVE ME…He, however, decided that several of his friends should have a look and they pull me aside after the rest of my things and (suspicious-looking) me go through security. After a detailed inspection (I was tempted to get the projector and do a walk-through for them), they decided I was not a threat to national security and finally let me on my way. Thanks, Justin…A nice flight to Chicago, by the way, to meet the connection to Portland, however, I was greatly concerned upon landing at O’Hare. Shortly after I entered the terminal and paid for my Starbucks coffee—still carrying the screen THAT JUSTIN GAVE ME—an announcement sounded through the airport: “The Department of Homeland Security has raised the national terror alert to ORANGE!” I looked warily at my case next to me and the group of TSA officers standing by one of the gates and imagined Warren having to bail me out of prison. Was this all my fault? Or was it Justin attempting to make absolutely everything ORANGE? Another mystery….

Upon arriving, I found that my tour guides had been unexpectedly detained and would not be able to make it. Weeping, I made my way to the rental car and then headed down Route 5 to Eugene. There is an expansiveness to Oregon that is absent in the northeast; it just feels big; mountains and hills framing the scenery, silhouettes of pine trees, wide, flat fields with sheep and goats dotting the long, straight drive through Salem and Corvallis. A great ride.

Monday morning began with a dark, foggy ride back up Route 5 to go visit Shangri-La Corporation (http://www.shangrilacorp.org). Ginger, Tracy, Mary Jo, and Jessica, were all very thoughtful, offering suggestions and asking questions. Jessica is beginning to cruise through TMS! Ginger offered many good suggestions—she is very insightful! And Tracy takes a lot of notes…That’s why she’s done so well helping Shangri-La get off the ground. I’m starting to think she knows more than I do (which is probably not terribly hard…but she did know the exact number of pages of ICD-9 codes in the system!!!). How does she do that????

The afternoon was spent with Flory and Sarah over at Partnerships in Community Living (http://www.pclpartnership.org). They are very cool and are continuing to work with the system and offer some great feedback. They were camera shy but promised to take some pictures at the conference on Thursday! Sarah is so enthusiastic about (everything but especially) Therap and the ways she is sure it will continue to grow and help PCL provide the fine services they all ready do…but even better!! I had an easy time finding the place; a big blue building! Note all names and organizations are being used with permission and foreknowledge of being blasted all over this blog!

Tomorrow, more Shangri-La and another few providers! See you then…Check out the pictures (http://www.flickr.com/photos/allisontherap/)…There is a pending tour of the coast so postcard shots and wallpaper pics are coming…Promise!! >>Allison