53 hours in portland, oregon
as soon as the hello sessions conference was on my calendar I knew I wanted to cram as much into my short time in portland as possible so I scoured the internet hoping to find great things to see and do. I started with time, inc's 'top 10' list and added a few picks of my own* - lovely etsy-like shops, museums and galleries, the international rose test garden, the japanese tea garden and, obviously, donuts. I had a good mix of things to do if it rained and things to do if it didn't and fortunately for me the weather was gorgeous.
the rain literally stopped as I checked into the downtown marriott at 1:00p on wednesday and I was greeted by a view of the willamette river and a glimpse of mount hood (to the right of the N in OREGON above) out my hotel room window. I had plans for dinner with my cousin and her new husband at 6:00p so I cleaned up, grabbed my camera and hit the streets. I ended up walking around the stalls in pioneer square, wandered through the theater district and meandered up near the pearl district - zigzagging my way around a sliver of this very walkable city.
at this point my internal, east coast clock thinks it's dinner time so I'm starving. MJ, of pars caeli, (headed to the hello sessions conference as well) was on my flight out and she happened to mention that blue star donuts was on her list so I thought I'd work my way over and see what the fuss was all about.
because an ice cream joint is only as good as its vanilla flavor, I picked out the OG (original glazed) to start. blue star has creative and delicious flavors but if I was going to be able to make any comparisons with other donut shops I needed a standard with which to compare. (don't worry, I picked a lemon poppy buttermilk, too and you'll have wait for part deux to hear my verdict.)
before I headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner I came across this bike 'installation' outside of american apparel and couldn't resist taking a few photos. my cousin explained later that night that this isn't a statue but a unique storage setup called the zoobomb pile and people actually ride the bikes. it all started in 2002 - the "zoo" is because participants ride a commuter train uphill to a spot near the Oregon Zoo, and the "bomb" is for what happens after kickoff. (read a 2014 wall street journal article here.)
I didn't take my badass big girl camera out that night (still figuring out those low light settings) but we dined at andina, an outstanding peruvian restaurant in the pearl district. great food, great conversation and dear family made for a sweet end to a long day. the icing was the 'to go' bag of individual night caps my cousin's husband whipped up for me to enjoy back in my hotel room.
stay tuned for part deux...
* while intrigued it was on time, inc's top ten list, I did NOT check out strip clubs.