i ticked off one of my 2011 travel resolutions a couple weeks ago by finally driving down to portland, oregon. it was getting a bit ridiculous, all this talk and no follow through. much like my two-day trip to paris 10 years ago, this two-night stay in the city of roses was way too short. it was amuse-bouche travel; just a taste to whet the appetite. speaking of appetite, portland should be called the city of food. and the city of cute boys in coffee shops, but that's another topic altogether.
unless you hit seattle traffic or border waits, portland is about five hours south of vancouver. seattle lies smack in the middle, and the emerald city is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs - and go to madewell (when in rome!). you can also travel to portland via amtrak, which takes about eight hours, but you can watch a movie, drink american beer or sierra mist, and there's some pretty amazing people watching. plus you can bring your bike, and i've never seen a more bike-friendly city than portland. sidenote: you'd better be riding a vintage fixie or don't even bother. just kidding(ish). if you want to ride a mountain bike, that's cool ... about as cool as drinking starbucks in portland. zing.
we stayed at the jupiter hotel, a renovated motel in the east burnside neighbourhood, that's also home to the doug fir lounge, a great live music venue. i love the ace, conveniently located just across the bridge in the pearl district, but oh so sad, it was booked. ain't nobody gonna hold us down, so we drank stumptown coffee in the ace lobby and happy houred at clyde common - both of which i highly recommend. but more on that later. sidenote: both hotels are dog friendly, so we brought along nacho. side/sidenote: nacho got recognized on the streets of portland from his twitter. he's gone viral!
happy hour is a beautiful thing - especially at clyde common. and especially when followed by a late dinner at irving st kitchen. portland's big into beer, bourbon and charcuterie, along with their famous donuts (à la voodoo) and coffee culture (à la stumptown & coava). sidenote: voodoo does weddings. i've said it before and i'll say it again: donuts are the new cupcakes, y'all. and don't worry, you can work off the calories by walking or cycling alongside the willamette river.
[all photos by me, @tripstyler & @nate_fri]
endnote: if you haven't watched the new series portlandia on ifc, check out the clips on their website for much laughter. and if you want to go to portland, call me. i'll make myself available. we can do local, organic, fair trade portlandy things together.