Portland was awesome! In some ways, it's similar to San Francisco: green lifestyle, convenient public transit, and welcoming of weirdness. It definitely had less of a big city feel (not necessarily a good or bad thing) and seemed cleaner. What I didn't expect was how nice people were! Almost everyone we encountered were super friendly.

As we were there for only two days and three nights, we didn't really have time to wander any part of the city besides the NW quadrant and downtown. Next time I will definitely explore more. Looking back at my photos, I realized that all we did was eat and shop. That was mostly due to the weather, which was rainy—it even snowed towards the end of our trip! On our way to dinner on the last night, I slipped on some black ice and injured my tailbone, causing pain to my rear end that lasted for a few weeks. Worst souvenir I ever got.

The cozy little apartment we rented off of Airbnb.
Connie warming up by the heater. It was her best friend for the entirety of our stay.
After settling in, we walked over to Mio Sushi for dinner. On the left is the Portland Roll, which I thought was appropriate for our first meal in the city.
Next up was Papa Haydn for dessert. My salted caramel chocolate ganache tart was amazing! And moscato is always yummy.
Little Big Burger. So good. I wish places in SF would serve Camden's Catsup (it contains sriracha).
Finding our way around Powell's City of Books.

Of course we had to pay a little visit to Stumptown.
Really cool camera obscura art by Darius Kuzmickas.
The light rail and streetcars are free in the downtown area. Nice.

Dinner at Oven & Shaker including a brussels sprouts and bacon pizza(!).
After going to an arcade bar (we each had one drink and played one game...we're both not really gamers), we took a bus back to the apartment. Hooray for reliable public transportation!
The apartment was right on this cute little street.

Woke up to snow the next day (!).
Spicy Thai (includes sriracha, of course) and Good Morning from PBJs.

Delicious Italian food at Bastas Trattoria.

Before heading to the train station on our last day, we made sure to stop by the famous Voodoo Doughnut for a bacon maple bar.

Stay weird, Portland! I'll be back.

Go By Train

In January, Connie and I took the Coast Starlight up to Portland for a few days. This trip was a bit random (people kept asking us why we were going to Portland of all places). When I discovered the Coast Starlight, I thought it sounded like a fun way to travel, packed with an abundance of photographic opportunities (I was right). I picked a destination along the train route that was interesting and new to me, and Connie (as always) was enthusiastic to the idea of a getaway. On the night of January 12, we took the shuttle from the San Francisco Ferry Building to the Emeryville station and started our journey.

7:03am - I couldn't stay asleep for more than an hour at a time, and when I saw the slightest bit of sunlight peeking through the mountains, I stopped trying in fear of missing the sunrise.
7:48am - Looks like I wasn't alone.
7:56am - Still in NorCal, but not too far from the Oregon border.
7:57am - My sleepy partner in crime.
8:11am - I moved to the sightseer lounge for a better view and didn't return to my seat until we neared Portland.
8:18am - My like-minded train mates.
8:36am/9:33am - The scenery made for such a pleasant dining experience.
9:55am - The first Oregon stop. The man in the green tracksuit on the left was getting kicked off for disturbing other passengers. I don't know the whole story, but he was very gregarious and talked nonstop in the lounge.
10:35am - A pair of tour guides boarded at Klamath Falls and told us about all the happenings in the surrounding area (and made me realize how much of a city girl I really am).
10:44am - Upper Klamath Lake. Beautiful, isn't it?
10:49am - Here you can see how close we were to the water. (!!!)
11:09am - Connie started sketching to keep busy.
1:23pm - Connie gets her daily dose of caffeine while the train is passing through a lush forest. Seriously, the variety of scenery along this route is enough to keep me from getting bored.
1:33pm - Sadly, this is the only photo of us together during this whole trip.
4:06pm - O Golden Hour! Much pleasure thou can'st give me.
4:12pm - My first time viewing a sunset in Oregon (and it did not disappoint).
4:33pm - Somewhere between Salem and Portland.
4:35pm - That light...