51 Hours in Portland, Oregon

I'm back from Portland, and very happy for the days away from work and worries. (Unfortunately I woke up this Sunday morning and felt the concerns of home resurfacing, like my condo board responsibilities and assignments at work that carry lots of responsibility but little concrete direction.)

Portland was a very nice city for a weekend visit, and Abby & David were diligent and thoughtful hosts. Our schedule felt full, but never busy or rushed. I landed in time for Indian lunch with Abby, who then produced a google map with customized directions for what I might enjoy while she finished her day at the office.

I wandered the art museum until the inevitable art overload set in and I had to leave to sit under a pretty tree and clear my head. Then I walked around to Powell's books, which offered book overload!
(Funny what their sign says, I only noticed this after taking the photo.)

I never know if you notice characteristics of a city because they are true to the locale, or because it's what you expect. (If you believe that French people are rude do you make special note of every impolite Parisian?) I noticed that Portland lives up to its reputation of being into everything organic, sustainable and green. After I remarked that I'd probably seen more classic Mercedes in one block than I'd seen all year, David helpfully explained that they are popular because they run on diesel which is converted over to bio-diesel. I particularly like my misinterpretation of the sustainable tacqueria, which I took to suggest that perhaps there were bottomless pitchers of margaritas to be drunk.
I felt a little overdressed for everything, even though I spent the weekend in jeans and sneakers. The attire is definitely laid back and/or hipster in Portland.

On Saturday morning there was the Farmer's Market, full of fresh veggies and meat. I enjoyed a local black raspberry soda and took home some lavender for a project I'll tell you about later. Other highlights from the city of roses, were indeed, roses! Roses even appear on their sidewalk grates. During our visit to the Portland Rose Garden, Abby pointed out the signature douglas firs that appear on the Oregon license plates. I stopped to pay homage to 1920 Rose Queen, Claire.Thanks to the bounty of the farmers market, David's cooking, and Portland's food carts I ate really well all weekend. Crepes were a post-movie treat Friday night.Aside from the highlights that suit a travel guide, it was of course good to catch up with Abby & David, friends from college -- and Abby reminded me that this was fifteen years ago. (Really?) For all that's probably changed over those years, it was nice to fall right back in with friends that have known me for so long, and so well. (And to even see a few other faces from college days; it shouldn't be surprising to find Oberlin grads in Portland, I guess.)Thanks Abby & David for hosting me in your west coast home!


JCK said...

Wow, that puts the pressure on for your visit to Philly in September. I better start on the itinerary now!!!

abby said...

We were glad to have you!


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