Stumptown

Trip Start May 03, 2011
1
24
31
Trip End Oct 27, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, August 26, 2011

Portland came out of nowhere on our drive from Grant's Pass. We travelled up through more mountains, and then followed a river for a bit, and then all of a sudden we had to cross over a bridge and that put us straight into downtown Portland, about 5mins away from our hotel. It was so great staying in the middle of the city and being within walking distance of everything, thank goodness we booked the right hotel! We stayed at the Hilton Executive, which was alright. I mean, it did for us. In fact I'd go as far to say that if ever you want to crash somewhere for a night or two then go with a Hilton... they're pretty good. Hmm... did I mean to say good? No... they're "O.K."

Portland is nicknamed "Stumptown" because it grew so quickly that when they were clearing the land to build on, they frequently didnt have time to clear the stumps away from the trees. Today, the city is probably one of the most environmentally conscious going. It is filled with greenland and trees line the streets, and there are also plenty of public spaces around in the city too. As a result it makes it probably the nices city we've been in so far.

On our first day there we went for a walk through the streets to a nice waterfront and along some restaurants there which was reminiscent of Ramsgate (but nicer because we're on vacation haha!). Then we took a free streetcar right through downtown to the posh end of town. Lots of nice restaurants and boutiques and... a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream store. Let's petition to get one of them at Westwood Cross!

As we can't really buy much stuff here due to flying baggage limits the boutiques were not much of an attraction for us so we went drinking instead. One great thing about Portland is there's no shortage of Happy Hours, and thanks to the internet you can always find one going on near you! So we started bar hopping and meeting some of the locals who gave us some of their drinking advice too. Anyone fancy a pint of Terminator? If I could remember more I would tell you more but it all gets a bit hazy after a while. Apparently I had a pint of Shakespeare which was voted the best stout or ale in the world, obviously it wasn't that memorable. It was a real fun afternoon & evening out though.

The next day we took in a Subway breakfast (part of a 5-day Subway streak we went on), and headed out to walk the cobwebs off. We went to Pioneer Square which was buzzing with people getting their Sunday afternoon Starbucks (we joined in). Then we wandered out of downtown to the International Rose Test Garden... where they plant roses to test them out. Check the pictures for all the info you need on that.

By the time we left there we were starving so we went to a nice Italian restaurant near the hotel and had a very pleasent evening meal. It was happy hour too of course, so very reasonably priced.

All in all we had a fantastic time in Portland and would love to go back there, for the beer, food and coffee if nothing else!

Next up... Can Seattle do any better? And will we be sleepless there?
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