We’re back! We loved our stay in Portland and got to see what everyday life is like for the locals. Kyle put it best when he said “Portland makes me feel human again.” By that, it means that it took us out of our technology-driven world where life is lived at 100 mph. Portland almost felt like we stepped back in time, but in a good way. There’s a love for records almost more than there is for mp3s. People have chickens in their backyard—in the city. People walk up to food carts and order a burger on their walk up the street. The payment setup for their train system is based on the honor system. There’s a handmade, human feeling in everything. Kyle decided to break out his old film camera for the trip and it ended up being so fitting. Here are some pics from our trip and a few things we saw:
I think this might be the smallest US Post Office. We stopped here to mail something on our way to hike Multnomah Falls. There’s 1 employee who works here and she was telling us that people travel from all over to mail their wedding invitations from this station… because the name of it is Bridal Veil. It became so popular that they made a stamp called “Marriage Station” with 2 hearts (see above) and put it on the envelopes. She also told us there’s no bathroom there and that she drives home if she has to go. Wow!
We saw this tree on our hike. I think it looks like the head of a polar bear. Kyle thought it looked like an anteater. What do you think it looks like?
These bikes were all the rage for kids. They’re made entirely of wood, with no pedals. The kids scoot down the sidewalks on them. Cute.
I just liked this fence. I love all the different heights, widths and colors of the wood planks.
We went to the Kennedy School and watched the movie “Everything Must Go” on these comfy couches. We ordered pints of beer from their brewery and curled up on a sofa together. The Kennedy School used to be a school, but the McMenamins family turned the school into a hotel/theater/restaurant/bars/brewery. The 1st floor has 1 restaurant and 5 bars and a movie theater where the auditorium used to be. The 2nd floor has 35 guestrooms where the classrooms used to be. If you’re ever in Portland, this is definitely a must-see. Where else can you have a whiskey and cigar in detention?
We also stopped by the famous Voodoo Doughnuts for a taste, but there was a 1 hr wait. So instead, we kept on walking. But not before admiring the pretty sparkles glued to the bricks outside. Luckily, some friends that we met up with at the wedding were able to get some and brought a box for everyone to enjoy.
We stopped at Stumptown Coffee Roasters for a cup, not knowing it was a big to-do. The coffee was great, but the packaging was incredible. We loved how clever it was… to keep costs down, they print the same bags for all the different flavors and insert a card into a slit in the bag to show which flavor each one is. Brilliant. And beautiful. Their punch card was pretty fun too.
We were treated to The Country Cat for dinner one night by our friends Xi Xia and Jessica. I loved how simple and unique the menu design was. 2 rubber bands hold the paper menu to a piece of wood.
I’ve read and seen so much about the Ace Hotel that I wanted to stop by and check it out. They have 4 locations and each one has a different theme. The Portland theme is military… they have a lounge for the guests where it looks like barracks (see above), the signage resembles army tags (embossed metal) and the doors are covered in army green canvas. I liked how each floor had a big metal plate with the number cut out, fitted to the post. And the mural on the top floor was beautiful.
Here’s us with some friends at the wedding :]
I LOVE beer festivals. It’s one of my favorite things and they don’t come around very often. We spent our last day at Oregon’s Brewers Festival, where more than 80 craft beers are poured from around the country. We sampled some really good and unusual beers, shared a basket of fries and pinned our city on the map. It was pretty amazing to see how many people were there from different states – and countries! There were so many Chicagoans on the map that my pin fell out :(
After the beer festival, we took the bus to Dove ViVi for pizza. It was recommended to us by Elaine Fong and she was oh so right. Cornmeal crust?! Yes, please. It was so, so good. After dinner, we sat on this bench for over an hour waiting for the bus, which ended up being a no show. I walked up to someone who was leaving Dove ViVi and asked him if he knew where the nearest train stop was. It turned out we were all heading to the same neighborhood. He offered us a ride and we happily accepted. The generous stranger ended up being Tim Perry from AgesandAges, a local band in Portland. His sister and mom were along for the ride and they gave us his CD to keep. Great music, by the way. It was our first “hitchhike” and an awesome way to end the trip.