Monday, May 19, 2014

Portland, Oregon In My Sights

One of the coolest cities in the U.S. and I'm heading there 
to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon!

By some quirk of airline rescheduling, I found myself on a late afternoon flight to Portland OR.  I booked the flight months ago and its original departure time was around noontime, a good time to fly out of Houston - after the morning rush hour, early enough to arrive in Portland and have the rest of the afternoon and evening to discover the city.  But that wasn't to be.  Schedule changes are inevitable.

Not only was I now arriving in Portland in the evening, but the flight was delayed because of a late arrival from its previous destination.  But the pilots made good on their promise to make up as much time as possible in the air and we arrived in Portland around 8:45 PM.   Undeterred, I checked in, threw my luggage into my room and headed downstairs to the bar where a cold, crisp Prosecco went down easily.

Of course I'm now in Pacific time - 2 hours difference from home - and I woke up very early the next morning.  No matter how hard I argued with my internal clock, 7:00 AM CDT is wake-up time and it doesn't matter that the clock in my hotel room says 5:00 AM.  Up and at 'em!!

Starbucks....they're everywhere!  This one is overlooking Pioneer Square

It was a full and busy day.  First thing, of course, was to find the closest Starbucks.  This is not too hard to do.  They're on nearly every block, sometimes two within the same block.   Vente triple decaf cappuccino in hand, I walked the few blocks to a Safeway grocery store to buy some fresh fruit:  bananas, blueberries and other things to have in my room to munch on.
Beautiful, inner-city Safeway....great produce department!

Portland is home to many yarn shops, unlike Houston which has none.  I walked several blocks in the other direction to find Knit Purl, a delightful yarn shop with two very friendly and helpful women to guide me in choosing a yarn for a re-do of a project I'd completed just a few days before leaving for Portland, but which came out too large for me. I was very disappointed and eager to knit another one in a better, less saggy yarn and with some size modifications for my petite size.  I'd even brought the pattern and knitting needles with me on the trip.  I chose a beautiful merino and silk DK yarn for the re-knit of this sweater and was eager to cast on that evening and start knitting!
Knit Purl was hard to not buy more than I needed here.

Lots of very attractive architecture in downtown Portland!

And along the way to finding the Knit Purl shop, I stumbled into food truck mecca!!  If I didn't already have lunch plans, I would have browsed the trucks and picked out my lunch destination for later.

I hurried back to my room to drop off my purchases.  In less than 1/2 hour, blogging friend Brandy and her hubby were picking me up and taking me to lunch.  They'd chosen a popular little Mexican restaurant in the Mississippi District of Portland.  It's a trendy older section. one that's going through revitalization and there were many little cafe's and store fronts along Mississippi Avenue.  The restaurant, ¿Por Que No?  must be popular, because the line was out the door and down the sidewalk!

Getting dropped off at the Convention Center
A quick photo before saying goodbye

We decided to stroll on down the street and see what else grabbed our fancy for lunch.  A little Thai place looked good so we stepped inside, checked the menu and decided to stay.  Delicious and savory Thai noodle soup!  A little ice cream shop caught our eye on our way to the Thai place, so a stop was in order for us as we headed back to the car.

Oregon Convention Center
They dropped me off at the Convention Center where we said our goodbyes and I headed inside to the Rock 'n' Roll Fitness Expo to pick up my race packet and to shop the vendors.  I go into all of these pre-race fitness expo's with every good intention to not buy anything, but that all goes out the window when I walk inside and see the latest in running fashion:  A nice lightweight hooded pullover and a really sharp long-sleeve technical fabric running shirt just had to come home with me.

My business done at the Expo, I took the light rail back to downtown Portland - easy and painless endeavor - and right there at the light-rail stop was a Starbucks.  Imagine that!  I grabbed a late afternoon cappuccino and walked the one easy block back to my hotel.  A full and busy but very fun day!


  1. You can't turn around in Portland without bumping into a Starbucks. It is what keeps us sane with all that rain.

    It was a pleasure meeting you on Friday and thank you again for lunch. I'll try and get a post up this week.

  2. Thank you so much for the sweet mention! We're glad you enjoyed visiting our shop. You'll have to show us your sweater when it's done!