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First Time in Portland

First Time in Portland

The Pacific Northwest has always been a place of interest to me. I have often romanticized the thought of living in a place that gets weather rather than being in an area that rarely has me in more than a shirt and jeans. Sounds counter-intuitive and I probably wouldn’t be saying that if I did live in a place that had me wearing raincoats into summer. Still, the PNW pops into my mind from time to time as a destination I should be checking out. It’s affordable, it’s green, and it shares a lot of the same offerings that I enjoy down here in California.

My longtime friend Micky is getting married this summer and the bachelor party destination was Portland. The last time I saw him I was visiting SF and my southern California sensibilities had me under packing my bag, leaving me soaked and looking for another pair of shoes. This time around I jammed an excessive amount of shirts, jackets, and various items into my carry on bag. I was ready.

Arriving at PDX, the process is night and day different than LAX. There’s only one terminal and arrivals and departures are a breeze. I was quickly snatched up by Micky and Kris in our white passenger van. Are we a band? Soccer team? Church group? Trouble? The van was a smart move even though it faintly smelled like urine.

We settled into the house we were staying at. A 1911 airbnb offering that was set to jam eight guys and two cats into four beds and a few couches. Three of us had come up a day early to ease into the weekend. The rest of the group came bright and early on Friday to officially kick off the trip. First meal we had was at a nice breakfast spot called Tasty n Sons. Highly recommend that place if you don’t mind doing the line thing for brunch. We picked up the last of our crew and began the day.

We had scheduled a pedalounge pub crawl and the weather wasn’t going to stop us. It’s now pouring and we trek up the street in search of our bike. When we got to the what we thought was the agreed upon location we didn’t see our ride. A few quick phone calls and another trip back down to where we came from, we finally found what we had been looking for. Soaking but in good spirits, we hopped on, blasted some tunes, and created a traffic jam everywhere we went. The funny thing about a pub crawl is that you start out on a sprint, ordering full flights and rounds of beer but you then realize you’re too pressed for time and future stops are relegated to a glass so you can quickly get to the next location. Several stops later and full of beer, we ended at a local bottle shop and shared stories with our driver. I found most people I talked to on this trip, whether it be a Uber driver, hostess, or person showing us around, were a bit melancholy about living there. They spoke about missing loved ones or how the weather gets to you. It gave me pause about my PNW life.

The next morning we piled into our van and headed out to do some skeet shooting. A lot of us were first time shooters but that didn’t matter much as most of the group quickly caught on. I however, remained by far the worst shooter in the group. Easily picked last if we were to line up on the wall for dodgeball. I couldn’t be helped, believe me when I say that because an older gentleman tried to guide me and I still missed. Smelling like gun powder and a little sunburned, we headed into downtown for some grub. Hit the usual spots like Deschutes and Fat Head then back into the east side of town for more walkable/uber places.

After a late night, we crashed and tried to get a little sleep before shoving off to our various destinations. Some to San Francisco, others to the Los Angeles area. The morning was met with the need for Voodoo doughnuts. The touristy spot had a line but it moved quick. The doughnuts were something you should try but nothing I would rave about. I’ve lost a bit of my sweet-tooth so shoving a butterfinger encrusted sugar bomb in my mouth isn’t as appealing as it used to be. And then we were off to the airport.

The weekend was filled with fantastic moments and food. The city is great and I want to come back to explore more of what it has to offer. I tried to suppress the theme song to Portlandia but it still crept in. It’s always great to catch up with old friends. Time goes fast and taking a weekend to slow it down is something I value a lot. Can one be beer’d out? The answer is yes and it happened.

Portland group