Thursday, September 4, 2014

Portland

After three months in Oregon, I finally made it to Portland! Nearly a week ago, my mom and I made the two hour drive north.  It felt short -- but I did fall asleep for a while (the downfalls of working overnight) and we also hit up some great Labor Day sales at the Woodburn Outlets.  Definitely I place I want to go again, less than an hour away and some great stores.

Anyway, we got to Portland in the afternoon.  We stayed in this great hotel right in the center of downtown.  It was so close to everything!  Although, most things in the downtown area are -- it's very small, kind of like Boston.  To me, it was this mix of Boston and Philly, although on a smaller scale.  I never realized how much of Portland was suburban-looking areas -- if I'd just been driving through, I would've thought those areas were their own separate town/city.


We went to Powell's Books that first day.  It claims to be the largest independent new/used bookstore -- and I definitely wouldn't argue.  You practically needed a map!  It was cool, but overwhelming, and absolutely filled with people.  I prefer the quiet independent stores.  We explored quite a bit, considering I was running on barely any sleep. By the time we got dinner (it was only like 5:30) I was practically asleep on my feet.


This huge burger and amazing fries woke me up -- but only for a short time.  Lights were out by 7 p.m.  As you can tell, I'm really cool.



The next day was more exploring!  The Portland Saturday Market is amazing.  I love the one in Eugene (apparently Saturday Markets are some Oregon thing? We have craft fairs in NH but not to this date, and not always Saturdays), but this one was especially cool.  Some people had really elaborate wooden booths with their wares almost built in -- one was like a mini house!  It must be so much work to set them up each day, but so cool to see.

I've been looking for another silver ring for  my right hand (I've worn one on the left since I was 12) and I finally found one at the Saturday Market.  Great price, great design: a simple band with a small green stone.

The market is right next to the Willamette, so we wandered along the river for a little, then did more exploring.











Since my mom is a librarian, she basically makes it her mission to check out every library we can.  The one in Portland was big, and it had all kind of cool decorations.  I was partial to this Alice in Wonderland stone carving.



And, since she's a children's librarian -- we of course had to find the Beverly Clearly statue garden.  I didn't know it until recently, but she's from the Portland area.  For anyone reading this who doesn't know, she's the author of the books about Ramona Quimby.  They were a favorite growing up, so I have fun checking out the garden too.



It features Henry Huggins and his dog (I think that was her first book?) and Ramona over there on the left.



And then our final Portland destination -- Ramona's street from the books.  I wasn't sure if the residents thought we were huge creepers, or are used to Ramona pilgrimages.

 

I'm headed back this week to pick Brian up from the airport! We aren't going to do too much there, but we will go to Washington Park, which is supposed to have amazing Japanese gardens, so I'm excited.  I definitely can see where Portland gets all the hype, although I definitely thought the downtown would be bigger.  Hipsters? Yes.  But here in Eugene we have so many hipsters/hippies that there didn't seem an overabundance.  It was actually nice to see a decent amount of people dressed more like I'm used to over in Boston -- some of which could be classified as hipster, I guess.

A quick heads up: expect another longish break while Brian is here.  I won't post for at least another week or so.  Unless, of course, I get super bored waiting for his plane to arrive tomorrow.

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