A visit to Portland was exactly what I needed. To say my spirits were lifted is an understatement. Everywhere I went people were smiling, relaxed and seemed to appreciate the finer things in life. Good music, good food, good coffee and as much outdoor time as you can handle. Everyone I met was super nice and even my (formerly) cranky friend was in such a good mood!
An early breakfast at Doug Fir Lounge
A lot of Portland was exactly what I expected (which was a good thing). Many of the places I went were very trendy looking and very hipster. Skinny pants, beards, glasses, those floppy knitted hats on guys. You would swear everyone was in a band, a graphic designer and kept chickens in their backyard. Also, there was a little bit of a Logan’s Run vibe. I spent the majority of my time downtown and just east of the river so I realize this can’t be indicative of the whole city but everyone seemed to be between the ages of 21-37. Everyone. Where are the old people? Maybe they all move into the wilderness? It was odd.
The upper part of Upper McCord Falls
Another notable thing about Portland is its lack of chains. In the areas surrounding downtown I didn’t see so much as a Walgreens. Everything seemed to be locally owned and locally sourced. The Portlandia episode where they have a file on the chicken that was served isn’t really a joke. It’s standard operating procedure. On the flight in I saw small farms for miles in every direction so I can believe the locally sourced claims on nearly every menu.
I stayed at the Jupiter Hotel which reminded me a lot of the Thunderbird in Marfa. A renovated 1960’s motor lodge hotel with a major music venue and restaurant added in. The New York Times called it a “party hotel” and they were right. Thankfully you get earplugs in the room which came in handy when the drunk girl got into a fight with someone and then cried on the phone about it in front of my door. The Jupiter Hotel also leaves you condoms on your night stand, you know, just in case.
The best part by far was leaving Portland and heading for the mountains. You don’t have to go far. Being outside, in August, and comfortable was not something I was prepared for. I expected hiking up a mountain would be too much for my mostly sedentary self but it was easy. The fresh air and beautiful scenery make you feel like you’re not even exercising. I can’t wait to go back and camp.
We stuffed so much good stuff into a long weekend and I can’t wait to go back. Some of the other stuff included: A visit to the Stumptown Annex where a very attractive man made me the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had | Visited a mini food cart city downtown | Photobooth in the ACE Hotel | Stopped into Clyde Commons for a drink | Visited Mount Tabor Park | Hiked some Cascade Mountains | Visited Slow Bar for a burger | Got surprised at Devil’s Point | Had the best gravy and cheese curd fries of my life at another food truck | Stopped off in Washington state for some fish tacos at a microbrewery | Almost missed my flight because I couldn’t leave my friends who I miss so much