The Magical City of Portland

I’m still getting over jet lag and wondering if this past weekend really happened. It was one of those trips that just felt surreal and strangely perfect. Damn. I’m smiling again just thinking about.

In all honesty I went into the “travel” part of this blind. We planned out where we were going to stay and booked a rental car. The only actual thing on our schedule was the marathon in Eugene. Other than that? Absolutely no plans. We arrived in Portland late on Thursday night, grabbed some beers at the pizza place next to our “hostel” (it turned out to be a pretty decent hotel!) then immediately crashed. The next day I woke up giddy. I love exploring new cities and the idea of being an adult who can just GO places is still stupidly exciting for me. I’ve been pretty damn broke my whole grownup life, but the fact that I can work hard and save up enough money to travel is still amazing to me. My Dad was also awesome and let me use his frequent flier miles for flights (Thanks Dad!!)!! So I was able to do it all relatively frugally!

I think Emma and Silas were just as excited as I was because we all woke up early and ready to seize the day. The great thing about living in the future is having all information ever at your fingertips. So in spite of having no plans we had zero problems finding a zillion things to do. We started by taking a beautiful walk by the river.

And then we got donuts at the infamous Voodoo donuts. Holy shit, guys, they were not screwing around. These donuts were the donuts that dreams are made of. This is my favorite donut of all time. Yes. It is maple bacon.

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We also discovered many fascinating things about Portland. Nobody honks their car horns. Ever. We heard ONE angry honk the entire time we were there. Boston is a SEA of HONKS. Always. There were free showers for the homeless (“because everybody deserves a shower”). Everything was clean. Everybody was friendly. We made SO many friends. Emma had this really charming way of getting strangers to tell her their backgrounds and it’s so wonderful to witness.

We went to the Portland History Museum (made friends with a lovely bowtie clad man working there). We ate Salmon and Chips and had delicious locally brewed beer. OH YEAH. And we stumbled upon a gorgeous theater where David Sedaris was performing that very night.

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Why yes, we thought, we WOULD like to see David Sedaris. So tickets were purchased.

It was around this time that we decided Portland was far too great to leave behind so we asked our hotel if we could stay just one more night (pretty please!!). And they let us! This is part of why I loved traveling with Emma and Silas! They were SO flexible and up for anything!

Once that was set we took a nap. That morning/afternoon of exploring wiped us out.

Well, I tried to nap, but I was way too anxious/excited about the marathon to sleep! So I people watched from our window for awhile and looked through the pictures from our morning. First off, fountains. Lots of fountains.

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Silas and I doing our best (?) Bioshock Infinite impressions.

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Get out of here, California! (old timey map in the museum)

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After resting we went to see David Sedaris. I an SO glad we went. He was incredible. He read stories from his new book, a story he was working on, some poems about dogs, and some journal entries. He also took questions at the end and, man, that guy is the Oscar Wilde of our times. So witty. So sharp. I loved listening to his off the cuff responses.

After that we got one last beer and called it a night.

The next morning we woke up and went to the farmer’s market which was filled with so many delights. Bagels baked in a brick oven before our very eyes then topped with roasted kale covered with parsley pesto (this may be the douchiest thing I’ve ever written). Mead made by a guy around our age who kept his own bees to brew said mead. Maple lattes. Flowers. It was a wonderland of locally grown organic goodies.

Silas with flowers. Definitely a new headshot for him (we bought them for his Aunt and Uncle who were hosting us in Eugene)

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Then we walked to the river to see the Saturday Market which is basically a giant flea/craft market. We saw peope with all manner of pets (dogs, a pig, a parrot). We chatted with strangers. Walking around on a beautiful day with no place to be was exactly what I wanted.

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After an eventful morning we were finally ready to make the drive to Eugene. On our way out of town we stopped at the Portland Rose Gardens for one last look at the city and then we were on our way.

Silas’ Aunt and Uncle were kind enough to host us in Eugene. Turns out that they are the nicest, coolest people ever. They had an unbelievable garden AND chickens!!

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They cooked us a huge, delicious dinner then Uncle Len took us on a tour of Eugene. See? Nicest.

After that I was exhausted from the past two days. So I went to bed when it was still light out (around 7:30). For what must be the first time ever I was too tired to even fret about the race.

I remember thinking that even if the race was a bust tomorrow, that was okay, this had still been one of the best trips of my life.

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