Memories of Portland

More than one hundred CAC members from across the country traveled to Portland, Oregon, for the 2013 CACI convention in early July. At check-in at the Doubletree Hotel everyone received their trademark chocolate chip cookie. They also enjoyed additional cookies at the Sunday welcome party, at after-hours and on other occasions during the week.

Members loved the location of the hotel and the helpfulness of all of the hotel staff. The return of breakfasts as part of the convention package was appreciated, with praise for the hotel restaurant’s buffet and staff.

The tours were very popular. On Wednesday, eight intrepid members did whitewater rafting while two busloads of members explored the Pacific coastal area of Oregon. One member commented, “I appreciated the lunch break at Cannon Beach with time to walk on the beach.” Another would have preferred more time to spend on the beach. Friday’s tour to Mt. Hood, the Columbia Gorge, and waterfalls was sold out. Many members commented on the quality and knowledge of the tour guides, even though they patiently endured late returns almost every day.

A Sunday evening speaker – Bill Lang, expert on local rivers and waters – received mixed reviews, as did Friday evening’s country dancing. Some expressed appreciation for a different evening activity; others did not participate. On Monday evening the group traveled a short distance to The Grotto, the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, for an offsite dinner and a chance to explore the gardens and chapels on the grounds.

Fr. Joe Codori, CACI chaplain, was present the entire week. He offered daily Mass and a seminar on Thursday. In spite of a full schedule of meetings and tours, CAC members took advantage of the hotel’s outdoor pool, found opportunities to explore the city and its museums, and used the free MAX light rail tickets to revisit the parks and gardens seen on the city tour.

CACers attend annual conventions for the camaraderie, the reunion with friends from around the country, and the CAC experience. Portland is now a memory. Let’s all meet again in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in 2014!