My final two days in Portland
So I have already spent two days in Portland and been alone exploring the city and getting used to the time difference. Now the next day and a half in Portland I will be meeting a very good friend of mine.
I met him at the SEO conference in Seattle last year and we are heading up there on Sunday together via train, but first of all, we are meeting up in Portland.
As I woke up early on Saturday morning, still not used to US time I knew I had a few hours left before he got his plane and arrived.
Portland Saturday Market
I had heard great things about Portland Saturday Markets and decided I should head down there. Usually, in the UK markets open early and I didn’t think to consider opening times, plus as I discussed in my previous article the hostel was the worst place I have ever stayed, so I headed out early. Maybe a little too early as got there about 8:30 and it didn’t open till 10. Also, the Market open’s on Sundays but not till 11 and is open from March until Christmas week so pretty much all year.
If you’re interesting in find out more about the market check-out this article, but what I can say is that it definitely lives up to the cities motto of “Keep Portland Weird” it doesn’t sell just the things you would expect to find at a normal market but also some unusual and unique objects for sale.
I did make a purchase – it was a sign with my soon to be born daughters name on it. She is due until October but we had already agreed a name and I was massively impressed with the artist.
Once I left here I walked back along the river taking in the beautiful summers day and being jealous of all the runners (I had a serious running injury about two weeks before I left for the states so couldn’t run). I then headed back to my hostel to quickly drop off the sign and head back out.
I decided to quickly Facetime the wife and kids, while I do a lot of travelling this was going to be the longest I had ever been away from the wife and children so tried whenever possible to see how are they.
During this call, I got a message from my friend saying he was delayed and that he would be heading straight to his band mates house and that he would meet me at 7.
Not a problem, quick change of plans – food. I will admit it, I went to McDonald’s, yes I know it’s not the most amazing food, but when in America and all that.
I then got a text saying he was still running only slightly late but we could meet for a bite to eat and beer or two before he was due to play.
He gave me the name of the bar and said he would be there in about 1 and half hours. Quick Google maps and Uber would take 12 minutes or I could walk it in about 1 hour 20 minutes. It was lovely and sunny so what the heck I started walking.
The route was simple – up two blocks, turn left walk for about a mile till you hit the end and then turn right and the bar was on the left-hand side.
The straight street was amazing the signs that people had on their front lawns was making me chuckle. I don’t want to get into politics on this blog – the only time politics would ever come up is if a country made it harder for you to travel their otherwise we plan on staying political neutral, but these signs were making me chuckle. The thought and effort which went into them.
Once I had turned right then it was if I had hit little Portland. It was more of what I expected Portland to be like, some parts of the city had been very bland, I could have been in any city in the world, but this area was small pop up shops and food stalls, great bars.
If you’re interested the bar I was at was at 109 NE San Rafael Street, Portland, 97212, it had micro breweries and niche selling shops. It was the trendy part of the city and so glad I got to visit. Just a shame I hadn’t found it sooner.
After a beer or two, the group was getting hungry and wanted to eat before they played in their band. The band was playing about a 20-minute drive away in another area of the city. They knew a great Asian place right around the corner from the venue and who was I to argue with a local.
We had dinner in an area called Sellwood and again this was a bit similar to the area we had just left, cool trendy pubs, more in keeping with Portland’s motto.
Once finished we had to head over to the Muddy Ruddler Pub so that they could perform. I am not a big fan of music and I defiantly would pigeon hole myself into saying I like one particular type and was looking forward to hearing Bluegrass music for the first time.
As you can see from the video below, it’s a very soothing type of music and makes a great back ground noise whilst you sip and enjoy a great pint of locally brewed beer.
A left mid way through the night, I was still jet lagged but had a great evening an Uber home.
Last night in this shit hole
I was glad to wake up the next morning to realise I wouldn’t be spending another night in this hostel. I was going from 0* place to a 5* star place in Seattle. I always stay in the same hotel so know what I am getting.
As soon as I woke I quickly packed and headed out for breakfast.
The train wasn’t till about 4 in the afternoon so had a few hours to spare. Once breakfast was complete and a little stroll around the city I headed for the train station. I had done my Google research and while there is no bar in the train station there is one next door. Perfect grab a couple of pints and relax before the train ride.
Once I got to the train station the bar was shut, but I did bump into hundreds of cyclists when walking to the station.
I got talking to an old couple at the station who had a bike with them so got chatting Turns out there had been a big cycle event from Seattle to Portland. Hats off to these guys that are some cycling. I do a lot of running and ultra marathon but this was a whole new level.
The downside I was there about two hours early and no bar. Quick Google map search and found 3 bars about a mile away. Frist two was shut but luckily the third one was open and was a sports bar, sat back free Wi-Fi and a couple of cold beers before heading back to the train station.
I have been on numerous trains in the UK, too many actually to even think about it, but never in America and they are different – but I will share that story in the next article, but that concludes my four-day visit to Portland.
I didn’t get as much as I wanted to get to see and do, but did end up visiting a conference which I hadn’t planned on.