Vacation, Part 4: Portland

Dude, this part of the trip was awesome.  I saw a baby black bear and a naked hiker.  Whoa!  First time for everything!

Portland, skyline shots from Laddie’s apartment

So, backing up, I dropped SMS off at SEATAC (boo!) and started down towards Portland.  I stopped off at Fire House #9 in Tacoma.  It’s a really cool bar converted from a firehouse.  The fireman’s pole is still inside!  I ordered a root beer float which was delicious and used the WiFi to catch up on some blogging.  Then, I hit the road and made it to Portland around 7.  Laddie was still at work so I went for a run and realized that if I don’t run a lot, I get slow and less graceful.  Let’s suspend disbelief for a second and pretend I’m graceful at all.  [But to digress on delusions of gracefulness- does anyone else feel like she is the most graceful swan in a class and then see herself in the mirror and realize that her standing split leg is barely perpendicular to the floor/aerobics are being done in full-body heave mode/about to fall off the pilates machine?  No?  Me neither.]

After Laddie got home, we went out to St. Jack’s for dinner.  It was delicious French fare.  We split two delicious salads, including one with baked bacon- yum!  We then split onglet et frittes and a crawfish special.  I do not suck the innards, but the tail meat was good.  Here is a tip free of charge though- a delicious melted butter broth is not a soup.  No matter how delicious it tastes, Mr. Stomach gets a-n-g-r-y!!!  Argh!  Laddie agreed the next day that it wasn’t the smartest thing she had every seen.

From L-R: Top: Pearl Yoga, Broder; Middle: Broder and Velo Cult; Bottom: Close-up of the best
invention ever, shop on Alberta, on the way to Laddie’s work

The next day, I toured and ate my way through Portland.  First I went to a yoga class at Pearl Yoga (awesome!) and then perused the books at Powell’s bookstore.  It was so awesome and makes me want to ditch my Kindle permanently.  The traveller in me still is upset about how much books weigh (wimp), but really, there is nothing like a physical book to thumb through and mark up, provided it’s not a library book of course!

After a shower, I headed out to East Portland.  First, I went to Redux to check out the shops at the recommendation of the “36 Hours in Portland” article from the NYTimes.  It was cute but just a few random shops, most of which were closed.  Then, I went to Broder for lunch and had the most delicious trio of Smorrebord!  I had the shrimp salad, lox and smoked tuna.  Delicious!  Afterwards, I went to Salt & Straw ice cream and had the olive oil ice cream and honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper.  Sigh, at times I really wish I had multiple stomachs.

Next, I headed to check out Velo Cult, a bike shop that relocated from San Diego to Portland.  I bought my bike there when it was at North Park.  It was, well, a bike shop.  I did take a picture of the bike keg-a-rator.

I went to Alberta St and looked at a lot of storefronts there.  Such a great neighborhood!  Cool looking bars, restaurants, food trucks and shops.  I bought two pairs of shoes and seriously considered another Salt & Straw cone but I couldn’t do it.  So weak!

I was sort of cute shopped out by this point.  Despite how it looks, I’m really not that into shopping all day so I was more than happy to meet up with Laddie.  We bought picnic provisions and headed up to Skidmore Bluffs for a sunset picnic.  That was a lot of fun and it was great to hang out.

The next day, I decided to head out to Mt. Hood.  I was terribly under-prepared and had no bear/attacker repellant but decided to head to Buck’s Lake anyway.  On the drive up, I saw a black bear cub scamper across the roadway, lickety-split!  It was so cute, especially since I was safely ensconced in my car.

Once I got to the pull-out for Buck’s Lake, I walked along the trail about 0.5 mile.  Along the trail, I ran into the naked hiker, who very decently had a towel at the ready to throw over my head so I wouldn’t see anything.  Kidding.  He covered himself and we moved past each other.  I got to the lake and it was so beautiful.  There were three people camping and one couple who came to swim but that was it.  It was crystal clear and even though I was worried about the Loch Ness Monster, I braved the waters (twice!) and went for a great swim!

Then I headed back, learned that you can’t fill your own gas in Oregon and got back to Portland.  Laddie and I went to Pittock Mansion and toured the house and grounds.  Totally gorgeous.  And then, it was off to the airport and back home to SD.

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