Easter has passed. We took the opportunity of having that long weekend and got right out of town. Initially we were going to head to Whistler (again) but decided that by having 3 days off we might as well rent a van and drive to the States. Without really knowing what was there, we picked Portland, Oregon. We’d had some tips on what to see but didn’t look into much except Voodoo Doughnuts, a handful of brewhouses, Powells Bookstore (the largest independent book store in the world), and a drive to the coast to see the Goonies house. So to keep costs low we rented a van, advertised on Craigslist for rideshare passengers and gave 3 people a lift to Portland to cover gas money. That’s how they roll over here. We left straight after work on Thursday night and after 7 hours and a border crossing, arrived at 1:30am. We dropped off our passengers, drove to the suburbs and put the seats down to sleep in the back. Church carparks are our saviour 🙂 It was cold, but all good.
Friday was pretty laid back, we just walked through the city and around the Pearl District, checked out that HUGE bookstore, and wandered down a street with a bunch of independent artsy ‘Wendy’ type stores, and record stores. We left the city late in the afternoon to go and meet our hosts for the next two nights, Lauren and Matt. These guys were a super nice couple that we’d arranged to stay with through couchsurfing.org and we instantly got along. They gave us local tips on which brewhouses were decent and close by so as to avoid the tourist traps, and met us later that night for a few drinks down the road from where they lived. Portland is famous for being the beer capital of the world, apparently recently taking over the title from Munich, Germany. There are SO many micro breweries here that you can smell the scent of hops in the air. Matt even had a home operation in the basement too which was a nice touch, and kind of convinced us to try it one day.
Saturday was super sunny at first look so we made plans to head to the coast. Matt and Lauren made us wheatgrass shots, omelettes and bubbly, then jumped in our van with their dog Louise, and we all headed for Astoria. From Portland, we travelled west to Astoria along the Columbia River which was nice and scenic. Not huge highways like we’d experienced before in the States, but more-so highways like home which pass through small towns. Astoria is a pretty cool little place. First stop was the Goonies house which was top priority for Rohan. We took a bunch of photos, he did the truffle-shuffle, then we walked down the street to see the next big deal… the school from Kindergarten Cop movie. We were pretty happy with ourselves after that. From there we had fresh fish and chips for lunch, spotted sea lions, had beer tastings and played cards at the Fort George Brewery. After leaving Astoria we headed to Ecola State Park for an amazing lookout along the Oregon coast, then drove down to Cannon Beach to check out Haystack Rock (which was also in the Goonies). Definitely nice to be at the beach again, and hear the ocean crashing. There was a lot of driving that day but it was worth it and awesome to see outside the city. By the time we got back it was dark but we all decided to head back out again to be treated to a Portland specialty… $6 steak specials at the local titty bar. Ha! I didn’t know what the hell to expect, but it was actually good steak. Turns out the club owner also owns a ranch so i guess it ties in beautifully. With a salad bar and strippers, and a weird but fun vibe, we hung out for a few jugs (of beer) then went back home to crash for the night.
Sunday was easy. It was Easter sunday but it honestly felt like just another day, except for some cuddles with some REAL bunnies, Todd and Edith. They’re Lauren’s pets, and super cute. I can’t believe we got bunnies on Easter, what a treat! We said our goodbyes to everyone, pets included, and promised to see each other again soon (hopefully when they come to Vancouver over the summer). But once again will never forget these complete strangers who we now call our friends. Thanks SO SO much guys, we had a blast! We left them and went to the world famous Voodoo Doughnut for breakfast – maple with bacon was the best choice, but they were seriously ALL good. Then went in to the city to check out the markets along the river. Another beautiful Spring day. We then split up so that Rohan could fit in record shopping and I could still catch the John Frame exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. Absolutely AMAZING. So glad i didn’t miss that. Rohan and I met back up after that and grabbed some mexican before picking up some more rideshare passengers and making our way back 6 hours to Vancouver. We fit a lot in those 3 days but it was worth getting away for. Another great city, and we made some fantastic new friends. Happy days.