I grew up in Charleston, SC, a beautiful town. But I spent the last 7 years in Portland and got to go back last week.
When I landed in Portland and went to get my rental car, they told me they were out of compacts and would upgrade me for free. I guess most people are excited about this option but I like small cars especially in a town with lots of parallel parking and expensive gas. They gave me a choice of a Ford Taurus or a PT Cruiser. I don't really like PT Cruisers and my dad used to have a Taurus, so, knowing I could drive it and park it fairly well, that's what picked. I later saw this and wondered why I couldn't have gotten this Taurus...
I stayed with Chelsea in this adorable house with green grass, trees, and rhododendrons.
Friday I met up with Kathryn and went to NW 23rd, a super-cute street right in my old neighboorhod. It's lined with shops and restaurants, a good mix of chains like Urban Outfitters and Pottery Barn and independent music stores, bookstores, and designers. Had lunch at a little crepe stand, a buckwheat crepe filled with creme fraiche, feta, tomatoes, spinach, and walnuts, mmmmm. I was a beautiful day in a beautiful city. I love that the downtown is so walkable and that there are always people out on the street.
Friday night, I invited a bunch of friends to Everett Street Bistro so I could be sure to see everyone on my short trip. The food and company was great. It's the same place I went for my post-graduation dinner last June. Elizabeth wrote more about the restaurant on her blog. After stopping at Mio Gelato for a scoop or two, we said goodbye and went home. It was so good to see everyone. Thanks Kelly, Dylan, Sara, Jaime, Laura, Chelsea, Kathryn, and Elizabeth for joining me.
Saturday, I had breakfast while wandering around one of my favorite places in Portland, the Farmer's Market in the South Park Blocks. They have great baked goods, veggies, organic cheeses, and so much more. Plus food tastings by local chefs and local bands playing while you eat lunch. The people watching is also top notch. But the best part is the flowers, so many, so beautiful and so cheap. Just a few more pictures of the market and a school on the park blocks that was just so pretty with the yellow flowers hanging around it.
Then I went over to the Pearl District, met up with Laura, and got lunch at Silk, a delicious Vietnamese place. Love the honey grilled chicken, rice noodles, and veggies. Then some more window shopping and walking around.
Later that night I went to Kathryn's farewell party. She's joining the Peace Corps and leaves in a few days for Armenia. Can't wait to hear more of her adventures and hopefully go for a visit next year.
Sunday I went back to the airport, turned in the Taurus, and flew back to my life in SLC. Must be a month of homecomings since I leave for SC in a few days!
Some other reasons I love Portland.
A monkey-tail tree, I think these only exist in the Pacific NW.
No idea what this is about but still funny:
It's nice to know that those who want to "Keep Portland Weird" are succeeding.