We had a grand old time in Portland last week, and I wrote reviews of many of the restaurants and shops we visited on Yelp. We can't wait to go back!
A few highlights:
We enjoyed traversing Portland's many bridges across the Willamette River toll-free (a seeming miracle to Californians).
We appreciated the lush, verdant, profusion of nature in and around the city and visible from nearly every spot in the city.
We loved that despite the abundance of interesting things to see and do packed into a small city, it did not feel cramped.
No sales tax is a wondrous thing.
Never have we seen or even heard of a food cart culture like Portland's. In the SF Bay, I doubt I have ever seen a non-Mexican food cart. I didn't know there were non-Mexican food carts. Portland sure did show me what I was missing.
If we lived here we would see live music for cheap or free all the time. The city has a plethora of tiny music venues, which is exactly the kind we love to frequent. And a bustling music scene.
If we lived here we would become bicyclers. Right now we ride our bikes about twice a year. But because everything is so close by in Portland, it's practical to ride one's bike as a mode of transportation and not just as a leisure activity. The frequent rain and bicycling don't really mix though.
Don't try to pump your own gas anywhere in Oregon. It's illegal and gas station attendants will chastise you.
The drive down highway 5 was gorgeous, show stopping, majestic. At least the Oregon portion of it is; when you get to California, it suddenly becomes brown and drab.
We're so happy that we went on this little road trip. It was the perfect celebration for my successful thesis defense and completion of my M.A.