I know that it is the third day of my trip and this is only the first picture I have shared on my blog. I am usually a little bit better than this, but I am sorry to report that I have not been any place really exciting yet. So far, it has been sitting around the house and bracing myself against the gloom of the Portland fog. I did have to escape once to go out and finish my Christmas shopping. In all truth, I had to go out and start my Christmas shopping, but luckily enough I really did not have a lot of shopping that I had to do. This has always been a problem with me ever since I have become a teacher. December is a busy time of the year for people who teach high school English. I always have a stack of final essays to go through and I do not have a lot of time for anything else. Fortunately, most schools get out with enough time for me to go out and get this other thing done before the actual holiday. Over the last couple of years, I have spent my time sitting in front of a computer and having everything sent by Amazon. It is an easy and convenient way of doing this, but I really need to go to the website knowing what it is I am getting everybody because there really is no browsing going on. Considering I am usually a few thousand miles away from the people receiving the gifts, somehow this impersonal approach works, but I do not know if they really appreciate what they are getting. That is why I think that the malls are a better shopping option. It makes me go out and find that perfect gift for everybody. I go out looking with nothing in mind of what I am going to get, and go out and search for the one that will make them happy. It takes some stumbling around as I look, and I do have to fight Christmas shoppers, and battle for parking spots, but I think that I get something better by going through it this way. It is the only thing that I have done so far on this holiday away from school that did not involve traveling from one spot to another. I know that things will get more exciting as the weeks progress, but for now it is all about the buildup. It might be the boring part of the story, but it is necessary to making a good one.