I had one little thing on my to-do list during these few months I've been in Canada, and that was visit my friend Sarah in Portland before I left for Japan. We had been talking about this for ages - I first met Sarah in Roatan (she arrived shortly after me) and we were soon neighbors and friends. When she moved back to Portland last year, she left the island and I promised the next time I was in Canada that I would come see her. So I did! I only had a short weekend, so we decided to make the most of it. Here's a recap of my weekend, through the unfiltered lens of my old iPhone:
I flew in and out of Vancouver because I wanted to check something off my bucket list - taking the train down the west coast! I went on the Amtrak Cascades and I absolutely loved it (I did not like having to go to the train station at 5:30am though. This girl does not do mornings well). The seats were roomy, there was free wifi on board once we crossed the US border, there was a dining/coffee car, a lounge car and outlets for everyone. It was a long trip... about eight hours, and you aren't allowed to disembark anywhere until you're at your station. I got up and walked around a few times. But the coastal scenery kept me glued to my seat most of the time - I was SO happy I got a window seat.
Pine Street Market, an indoor market full of hip food stalls that are offshoots of local restaurants. I got Israeli street food from Shalom Y'all and slammed it so fast I didn't even take a picture. Everything we got was fantastic and I felt like things here (and actually everywhere I ate in Portland) were really reasonably priced.
After we filled our bellies we headed out to the Portland International Rose Test Gardens, which was beautiful and smelled amazzzziiinnnnngggg. There were lots of selfies and iPhone rose photos going on here.
Pittock Mansion to take in the beautiful architecture of the building (it was closed, I would have loved to have gone inside!) and the stunning city views from up on the ridge. Liza and Sarah gave me a Portland geography lesson, and then we roamed the grounds.
Saturday morning we got up and, as you do in Portland, headed to the farmer's market. I don't have any pictures from this because it was, as it is in Portland, raining. I did snag some macarons to enjoy later. I think I managed to eat about 20 macarons in my weekend there. They were everywhere!
I don't know why this was so good, but I was over the moon while I was eating it. Curry lime collard greens, savory roasted mushrooms, pickled cucumber and some serious soft-boiled egg yolk porn combined with a generous portion of crispy pork belly and topped off with kimchi - it was just the best flavor and texture combination. I don't think I've ever eaten anything better for $11. I could easily eat this daily. Sarah's bahn mi burger was not too shabby either.
We decided on an unconventional form of entertainment for the evening - a paranormal walking tour of the infamous Portland Shanghai Tunnels. Now, I'm no stranger to tunnel tours. My hometown is famous for them. But this was by far the weirdest tunnel tour I've ever been on.
We decided to get some fresh air afterward and took a walk over a huge bridge down to OMSI and peeked in the windows (it was closed). Portland is definitely the city of bridges and the early evening scenery from the bridge was gorgeous.
Broder Soder. Obviously, it being brunch and all, I had to get the cocktail with the dill vodka in it.
All in all, this was such a fantastic weekend filled with food, solid girl time, craft beer, roaming around and a little bit of weird. It was perfect. Thank you Sarah for showing me your city! I hope I'll be back soon. There was so much more I wanted to see and do - I could spend ages just eating my way through PDX. A good reason to plan another trip!
Have you been to Portland? What should be on my agenda next time?
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