It was a cold autumn morning as Mike's alarm tone (Set to the classic WHAM tune "Wake me up before you go go") heralded the start to a long day of travel. He headed to Portland International Jetport for the first of 8 flights which would take him from one end of the United States to the other. It turns out flying from Portland (Maine) to Portland (Oregon) is a full day affair, which takes 4 flights each way. Mike stopped over in several cities including Chicago, San Diego and Baltimore.
By the time he landed in Portland Oregon it was late evening - crossing time zones meant it was 3 hours earlier local time than it had been when he took off that morning. He was grateful to get to his friend Rick's house in the Portland suburb of Beaverton, where he relaxed on the deck overlooking the beautiful woods behind the house.
Over the next few days this travelling mic had a gastronomical tour of Portland which included a Brazillian grill (all-you-can-eat meat, guaranteed to be popular with many South Africans) a Mongolian hot pot (like a fondue where a massive variety of exotic meats and vegetables are boiled in bone marrow soup right on your table) and some blackberry cider from a local craft brewery.
If Mike had been a beer drinker he'd probably stay a lot longer as Portland is also called "Beervana" - there are over 120 breweries in the Portland metro area! He also expanded his cultural experience by visiting the Oregon zoo and the scenic Portland Japanese Gardens.
Then it was time to brave the all-day flight marathon back to Maine but Mike's charm once again won the day as the captain invited him to the cockpit for a mic's eye view. Clearly it's an advantage to be a celeb!