Well, it's already been more than a week since I got back from my eagerly anticipated trip to Portland. Forgive me, readers, for I will not give the trip anywhere near the proper write-up it deserves, due to the fact that a) I am a terrible blogger, and b) um, well, a) pretty much said it all really.
I will just quickly sum up the highlights of the weekend:
1) Powell's. Yes, it was as awesome as I hoped. It was also far more overwhelming than I expected. I am not kidding when I say that I got lost in there a few times. It's sort of a maze. A three-story, 1-city-block-long maze filled top to bottom with books. Oh, and somewhere in there is a coffee shop. A coffee shop that I seemed to have a lot of trouble finding when I actually wanted to. (Kind of like Narnia. You don't find it, it finds you.)
2) Multnomah Falls. The beauty of nature at the falls is somewhat marred by the many tourists and tourist-related buildings that have been built up to accommodate the tourists, but the waterfall is still quite impressive. Also impressive were the two women I saw as I was on my way down the paved trail from hiking to the top of the falls; women walking up
the trail in — again I am not kidding — high heels. Because nothing says, "I love being out in nature!" like a pair of 3" wedges.
3) Seaside. The city of Seaside is, as you would probably guess, right by the coast. It is quite cute and charming, and is, as far as I could tell, completely made up of candy shops. One of those shops, called the Buzz on Broadway, could give you a sugar rush just from walking in the door and breathing. It was the Powell's of candy shops, except it was the size of a normal shop. So, actually, not very much like Powell's. But the POINT is, they had pretty much any sort of candy you could want. They also sold fudge. Oh, and my favorite: chocolate-covered bacon (still not kidding, except for the part about it being my favorite).
Speaking of bacon, that brings me to
4) Voodoo Doughnuts. You can get bacon on a doughnut at this place. You can also, if you're me, get hit on rather aggressively by a woman who is either not aware or doesn't care that you're not gay, probably due to the mind-altering substance that is clearly influencing her. At one point, she actually told me she worshiped me and that was a little awkward, seeing as how we'd only just met. So I said, "I worship Jesus," which ideally should have either a) upped the awkwardness ante enough to ensure that I would be left alone, or b) turned the conversation in a far more profitable direction. Alas, it did neither. My friend and I finally had to leave the store without buying anything, but that was OK. The clerk gave every appearance of not caring, and neither of us wanted a doughnut all that much anyway. (Especially not doughnuts with bacon on them. Gross.)
5) Eating food from a street-cart vendor. I had read an article before going to Portland about the street carts that sold all kinds of different foods, from Thai to Mexican to Bosnian to Czech to Greek and much more. Of course I had to make sure I partook of this unique experience. An experience that included a half-hour wait time for my shrimp burrito. Bliss!
6) The International Rose Test Garden. We went here on our last day in the city, and it was quite a nice ending to the weekend. Lots of roses, most of them unfortunately in varying states of decay, but you couldn't tell unless you were up close. Also, the little gift shop had free samples of rose tea, which was light and refreshing and did indeed taste like roses. Or at least a hint of roses.
All in all, I liked Portland very much. It's a pretty cool city, and we were able to walk nearly everywhere we wanted to go (except the Rose Garden and Multnomah Falls and Seaside). I also loved the forests that surround the city (so green!), the bridges over the Columbia River, and the view of the Columbia River Gorge from Crown Point. And I thought it was neat that, though we were staying in a downtown hotel right smack in the middle of everything, not once in the entire trip did we hear a siren.
But still, it's good to be back in Cali. There's no place like home...