The Great West Exploration: Portland, OR

When we arrived in Portland last Wednesday (March 9th) it was pouring rain - which is not unusual but apparently it was more rainy than usual. That night we started off our time in Portland with a drink at Rouge Brewpub before going to a Thai restaurant for a delicious supper. The next morning is when our real Portland adventure began. We started off at Caffe Umbria for a morning cup of coffee and then began walking towards the waterfront. Along the way we stopped in a little bike shop (because...well it's Portland). We also stopped into another store that sold a variety of things all from different local vendors; they had everything from clothing to chocolate to a six-pack holder for your bicycle. Finally, we make it to the waterfront where we walked through numerous cherry blossom trees and along the trail for a bit, before continuing back in to downtown Portland.

We found another coffee shop to try out in downtown, called: Public Domain Coffee. One thing I realized while in Portland (and Seattle) was that somehow every coffeeshop here is capable of making a latte with better foam than the one best place in another city. I do not know why that is but I suspect it is because they are not rushing themselves to get all the orders finished quickly. Therefore, the baristas are able to take their time and make it right! I am sure there is a more technical explanation, too. Anyways, after our coffee break we hopped on the bus to Hawthorne and explore another section.

Walking up and down Hawthorne avenue it looked like a cool neighborhood. The main street was filled with little shops, coffee shops and bars. However, if we looked down some of the side streets we could see cute houses in the neighborhood. While in Hawthorne we stopped for a snack at the Portland Cider House before checking out couple of the shops. Later in the afternoon, after strolling Hawthorne ave, I met up with a friend and went across a different bridge to explore the St. Johns section of Portland. We started at a very cool coffee shop called Cathedral Coffeehouse which, like the others, put excellent foam on my latte. After sitting in the coffee shop for a bit we went to explore a little part underneath the Cathedral bridge - which crosses the Williamlette River. I took pictures of the scenery under the bridge as the sun began to set, and with that it day was done. It was time to head back to the Pearl District to get ready for dinner.