Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 4-6: Portland

After a long couple days of running and sitting in a van, I was excited for Todd to fly into Portland so we could hang out and relax for the rest of the week. Sunday morning I caught a ride with a couple other people from my Hood to Coast team from our condo in Seaside to the Portland airport. I met Todd in the baggage claim and we were off to check in to our hotel in downtown Portland. We decided not to get a rental car for the first few days of our trip because Portland has really good public transportation (with most of it being free within the downtown area) and we wanted to explore the city on our feet. The plan was to hang out in Portland on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and then get a rental car for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as we drove west of Portland through the Columbia River Gorge and then back east along the coast.

We checked into our hotel and then walked over the river to the other side of Portland for a mini beer festival held at the Green Dragon, a Rogue brewery pub. Portland is home to 30 microbreweries, more than any city in the world so Todd's goal on the trip was to make it to as many as we could.

2010 Mini Micro Beer Festival
Several of the beer tents set up

A few of our tasters

Green Dragon Pub

Todd trying Uncommon Brewers Bacon Brown Ale....bacon beer is not good

A view of downtown Portland on our walk back from the beer festival
By the time we walked back to our hotel, we decided to make a quick stop at Nike Town because no trip to Portland would be complete without a stop there. I pretty much obsessed with Nike tempo shorts and it seems like every store in Columbus that carries them is always out of my size so I needed to stock up on a few pairs. I was also excited to buy some arm warmers because as I've learned in the past, it's annoying to try to take a long sleeve shirt off during a race.

Huge poster of Pre hanging up in Nike Town
My purchases

The rest of Sunday was pretty much spent relaxing, telling Todd about Hood to Coast, and catching up on some much needed sleep.

Monday we got up and ran 5 mi along the waterfront before venturing out and exploring Portland. Our first stop was at Powell Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. We could've easily spent hours in here because it was that big but we realized we didn't come to Portland to hang out in a bookstore all day.

Powell Books
We continued into the Pearl District, Portland's trendy and hip area of town with lots of great shopping and restaurants as well shipping at some of the stores on NW 23rd, known as "Trendy Third." Since we had already spent the majority of the day shopping, it was only fair to do something Todd wanted to drink beer. We had about three microbreweries to head to within walking distance but decided on Bridgeport Brewing, one of Portland's oldest microbreweries.

Bridgeport Brewing
Todd loves taster trays

On our way back to the hotel, we walked by Voodoo Doughnuts and thought the line looked relatively short but apparently no matter how short the line looks, you'll be standing there for at least an hour. Although I had already been to Voodoo Doughnuts just a few days earlier, Todd still wanted to go and try out the bacon doughnut. By the way, if you haven't noticed a theme here yet, Todd loves two things: beer and bacon.

Yes, Portland is definitely weird
I can't believe I wasted 2 hours of my life within a few days standing outside this building for doughnuts

The goods: Marshall Mathers doughnut, Butterfinger doughnut, Arnold Palmer doughnut, and Bacon Maple Bar

We ate a later dinner at a supposedly haunted pizza place, Old Town Pizza, before calling it a night.

Todd and I woke up to rain on Tuesday morning but that didn't stop us from going to Washington Park to see the International Rose Test Garden. Founded in 1917, there are over 10,000 rose plants on about 5 acres of land. It also has amazing views of downtown Portland with Mt. Hood in the background but since it was raining on Tuesday, it was very overcast and we weren't able to see M.t Hood.

At the top of the rose garden with the city in the distance...Mt. Hood should be where the clouds are
One of the many beautiful flowers

Todd & I in the rose garden

Todd & I became quite the experts at using the self timer on my camera during this trip

Smelling some of the roses

After the rose garden, we took public transportation to the waterfront for a ride on the aerial tram. The tram is mainly used as a way for employees and patients to travel from a health center on the waterfront to the hospital on a hill but many tourists also ride it to get a good view of the city.

Our ride up to the top of the hill View of the city through the rain & haze

Another tram on its way up to the top

After our morning and afternoon of sightseeing, we wanted to hit up another microbrewery and Todd chose Widmer Brothers.

Widmer Brothers Brewery
Instead of beer, my mission at the microbreweries was to try homemade root beer

Todd and his taster tray

We got caught in a few rain showers during the day so we went back to our hotel after Widmer Brothers to change, take a quick nap, and head out for dinner. Todd and I really enjoyed our time spent in Portland and were excited to drive around some different parts of Oregon in the next few days.

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