Thursday, March 23, 2017

Portand

When Prisha and Sri asked me if I wanted to go on a three day trip to Portland, I was excited because I've been wanting to do a girls trip for a while.




The weather forecast was for rains on all three days and the flight was delayed. So we already had very low expectations from the trip. We reached around noon and were pleasantly surprised by the airbnb that we'd booked. Leaving our bags, we headed straight for lunch. Our room was conveniently located only one block away from Hawthorne Blvd which is lined with restaurants. We picked Harlow's and didn't regret it at all. This place serves the most delicious meals which are vegetarian and organic.

It was a rainy day but that didn't stop us. We visited Powell's city of books-the worlds largest independent bookstore. Then we got some donuts, tried hot chocolate at Cacao, walked around some more, visited a legal marijuana store only to be amazed at the hundreds of different types of edibles available. We ended the day by having sumptuous dinner at a Cuban restaurant. On the way back we stopped at a bar called Church which had church themed decor.

We got really lucky the next day as the sun was out and it was a beautiful day. In fact, we were told that it was the first sunny day in many months. We had booked a walking tour in the downtown. It took us through many areas of the downtown, the waterfront and finally to an underground tunnel. The guide gave us a very good summary of the history of Portland and how it transformed itself from smelly, dirty city to a hippy tourist attraction. He also talked about some notorious figures from Portland and the crimes they committed.

Next we took the light rail and headed to the zoo. I wasn't too thrilled about the zoo to begin with but after reaching there I was impressed. We walked around for a couple hours watching the animals and then headed back to downtown, bar hopped and then took the aerial tram. By then it was dark and the view of the city lights from the tram was amazing. Finally we wrapped up the day with dinner in Pearl District.

On the last day, I started the day with a delicious savory waffle. We then went to the Pittock Mansion-a rich guy's house converted into a museum. Although the house isn't as big as Hearst Castle, the one hour tour was pretty great. The guide walked us through every room and gave some good information about the architecture of the house and the family that lived there.



We then headed to the Saturday Market which essentially is like the Art and Wine Festival that happens in the Bay Area. The only difference is that it happens every week on the weekends. It had the usual stuff of food, jewelry, handicraft etc. After stopping for a quick bite in downtown, we headed back to the room to pick up our bags as well as pack up dinner from Harlows (yes, we liked it that much!).

Portland is a very colorful city with its hippie culture, street art, amazing food (we rarely had a bad meal), tons of food carts and friendly people. It was a fun trip and the highlight most definitely was the great food that I had.