Monday, September 13, 2010

What I did on my Summer Non-Vacation, Trip #2: Portland, Oregon.

For just about forever, I've wanted to go to Portland, Oregon.  I've heard such fantastic things about it-- that it was fun, funky, and full of wonderful people.  In more recent years, I've heard the food is to die for.  

I can 100% attest that the rumors are not only true, but greatly understated.

Last year I went to a conference in Buffalo for work.  The trip was less than stellar.  One night to get dinner at a restaurant literally one block away, I was propositioned five times (once by two undercover cops), saw an on-duty hooker, and watched a drug deal go down.  When you're used to being able to run around your metro area with no one even acknowledging your existence (to a fault, even-- can I tell you how many times people walk into me on a daily basis?), it's pretty uncomfortable.  When I heard the conference would be in Portland this year, I put on a pretty big campaign to go.  And fortunately, it worked out.  

This is the farthest I'd ever been from Alice and The Human Male.  I was fine with it until my second flight took off from Midway Airport in Chicago.  I came very close to crying and felt so trapped on the plane, like I was running in the wrong direction and couldn't stop.  While I live far from them, my immediate family and closest friends are all in the same time zone.  I just felt like I was getting so incredibly and needlessly far from all of them.  I had to reassure myself that it was not forever, just for a few days (and admit I will likely never be a West Coaster).

Portland has a lot to offer, so I was able to distract myself by sightseeing, eating (if you ever go, DEFINITELY hit Mama Mia's Trattoria, Eleni's Philoxenia, and Oba.  I had the best meal of my life at Oba.  Honestly, had I died on my way home, I would've been fine with it), and taking pictures of my "Flat Alice" at Portland locales.

First, here she is at Dulles Airport:

And in Portland:

This is in front of the cool Made in Oregon sign:

I can't remember the name of this fountain, but it's along the waterfront:

At Frontier Plaza:

Portland has a great light-rail system:

There are A TON of food carts in Portland.  I liked the name on this one:

And this place's name made my inner English Literature major crack up:

There's street art EVERYWHERE in Portland.  I liked these fountains in particular:

No visit to Portland is complete until you visit Voodoo Doughnut.  I don't even like doughnuts and I waited in line for about 20 minutes.

I loved the name of this restaurant at PDX:

And for all my Chicago friends, this Bud (at Midway)'s for you:

I got home a few days later and was so happy to see Alice and The Human Male.  Growing up I always wanted to travel a lot, but Dorothy had it right: there's really no place like home.


Ariel said...

Thanks for all the Great tips Alice and human Granny says 'No Thanks I can not have the Bud'. BOL!
Love the pictures and the Great one of you. I guess I should have human Granny make a new profile design cuz I love your's. Take Care and keep posting...<3
p.s.s. Thanks a Million for the donation I really appreciate it!

Mr. Puggle® said...

YOU WERE IN CHICAGO AND YOU DIDN'T TELL US? Alice! Shame on you! ahahhaha. Ariel, Lainey, Autumn, & Mr. Puggle could have stopped by and kept you company on your lay over. Next time tell us so we can buy you the beer next time. Maybe the conference will be in chi town next year?

Glad you had fun in Portland. Never been there. Looks gorgeous. I imagine the air is heavy in a good way. Like you can see it. It is floating at nose level and it is pure and lovely. Healthy. Pure. No additives. Clean.