As promised, I tried to snap a few pictures of my trip to the Pacific Northwest last weekend. What I thought was just a few, turned out to be about 800, so I am going to divide them up into two parts. Part 1: Portland.
My Uncle showed us around downtown Portland via the MAX light rail system. After investing over $3 billion into building the public rail system, the city created a temporary free zone around the metropolitan area to encourage downtown consumerism. Lucky for us, the program doesn’t end until September 1st, so we got to ride the (surprisingly) clean public transit everywhere we wanted to go for free.
Our first stop was to see the famous Portland food carts. Having been named World’s Best Street Food in 2011, we couldn’t miss seeing what all the fuss was about. With around 700 food carts in the area, we should have done our research before trying to tackle the countless menus. We found a creperie that had a tantalizing green apple and Nutella crepe we wanted for dessert but she ended up closing by the time we came back for it. Oh, well- an excuse to come back!
Looking over the menus at all those food carts in the Portland sunshine left us pretty thirsty so we stopped by Jake’s Grill for a drink. In a state known for their microbreweries, I picked out Ninkasi Total Domination IPA that is brewed over in Eugene, Oregon. It was delicious!
I love this spot in my uncle’s backyard. He has recently redone his backyard and there are lovely little seating areas like this scattered around the yard. It’s amazing what a half a year’s worth of rain can do. Everything is so lush and green, it looks like something out of The Secret Garden. His brindle mix, Maggie sure loves all the space to run around!
We actually discovered Riverplace by accident. Our hotel was in a commercial area and we went out in search of some coffee one morning and stumbled upon this beautiful area. The walkway along the river is sprinkled with dozens of charming little shops. My dad was lured into a sandwich shop by the wafting smell of crispy bacon. He couldn’t resist picking up a breakfast BLT. We sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee while watching the vertical lift move up and down on the Hawthorne Bridge. Fun fact: the Hawthorne Bridge is the oldest vertical-lift truss bridge in operation in the United States.
The thing that impressed me most about Portland was it’s emphasis on green living. The city is widely known as the foremost leader in sustainable architecture and has the second highest number of LEED-certified buildings in the US. The city also recently started a composting program that encourages residents to collect their food waste in a city-provided sealable pail for collection each week. To top it all off, almost every taxi I saw was a Pruis Hybrid.
At the end of our trip I found myself devising a plan on how we could relocate to Portland. Yes, the rain would take some getting used to but the people, culture, and easygoing lifestyle would certainly make up for the wet weather. Plus, I like rain.