My Five Favorite Things in Portland:
5- Pioneer Square/The Waterfront. Portland has a cool pioneer history (I guess the Oregon Trail is, like, literal.) and they have this big town square and river walkway where cool things are always happening. In passing we not only saw a spiritual songfest and hippie craft fair, I actually saw a 40-something man with tulips painted on his face with his hands in the air and his eyes closed singing "PRAISE HIM!!" over and over next to a booth with a banner that said, "Are you going to heaven? Take our two question quiz to find out!!" Needless to say I really wanted to take that quiz, and it will probably haunt me to the day that I die that I could have found out about my afterlife potential and didn't.
4- Powell's Book Store. Portland has this really cool motto- "Keep Portland Weird". Adam told me that it is talking about the city's love of small, locally owned businesses instead of large, megamart chain stores. While there is nothing wrong (in my book) with a good megamart every once in a while, I love the idea of cherishing local businesses. And Powell's Book Store is definitely a Portland landmark. It's ginormous (yes, that is the technical term)! They buy and sell used books as well as new titles, so they had a crazy selection! And a rare book section with first edition classics worth thousands. And they had Fancy Nancy books in the kid's section- which most book stores do. I just wanted to give Fancy Nancy a shout out. She's the coolest. Anyway, it was fun to wander around and lust after all of the books that we wanted (we did pick up a few, but you should have seen our "wants" pile).
3- Multnomah Falls. This is the huge waterfall right outside of Portland that has a cameo in the movie Twilight. Sure, it was famous way before that movie came out, but, hey, let's face it- "Edward" was there. That's enough to make just about anything famous. If I heard that he favored a public toilet somewhere in the city, you better believe I would have gone there, too. Ooookay. Just kidding... mostly. It really was so beautiful and cool. Adam said that in the springtime it's 3 times as big as it was when we saw it and it soaks you when you are anywhere near it. Fun! And pretty! All of the trees around it were all mossy and stuff. Hey, I'm from the desert. Things like that impress me, okay?
2- Food. Okay, food is always the best part of any trip (except for my #1- you just can't beat that!). Portland (because of the whole KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD thing [see #4]) had some awesome restaurants. Adam and his friends took us for sushi at this place where a conveyor belt circles the entire restaurant and they charge you per plate that you take off of it- did I explain that right? Oh well- and they took us for BBQ at a really neat, home-cooking kind of place (yes, I ordered the home made peach pie along with my bbq brisket sandwich. mmmm) and to another Portland landmark- VooDoo Doughnuts. This place is insane! It's in downtown Portland and it's super famous for it's wacky doughnuts. Adam and I ordered the Old Dirty Bast... well, you get the picture. It is a doughnut covered in chocolate glaze, peanut butter and smashed up Oreos. Yes, you heard me right. Klayton got a maple bar with bacon on top. Av got a mini M&M doughnut. Adam's friends got one with Cap'n Crunch on top. And we all got the Memphis Mafia- a HUGE bear claw with chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top. Oh and we went to this unique-to-Oregon burger chain called Burgerville (sounds lame, huh?) on our way home, and it was delicious, too! They use all local, in season stuff and change their specials according to what's fresh. When we stopped there it was cherries and Walla Walla onions! Y-U-M. I have a new motto for Portland: "mmmPortlandTastesYummymmm"
1- Uncle Adam. I have a great brother. When we decided to leave on this trip about an hour before we piled in the car and headed out, I called Adam and asked him if he'd be cool with dropping all of his weekend plans, vacating his room in his apartment, and playing Tour Guide for a day and a half. He said no, but we came anyway. Just kidding! It was so fun to see him and his town- it sounds weird, but that town just fits him! It was perfect. He loves the rain (so do I, for that matter. Must be a desert-born thing again.). He loves the sites. He's a pro at the tour guide thing already and he's only been there a year. Avery is just in love with him (and all of his WALL-E toys), too! We got to meet a couple of friends of his, Jamie and Brooke, and they were awesome girls as well. I'm so glad that he's doing well and has such good friends! Thanks for a great weekend, Adam!