About a month ago, I flew to Portland. Oregon, not Maine, not Arkansas or any one of the other almost thirty states with a city named Portland. The plan was to meet up with a friend who had flown in from Hawaii and we would spend a couple of nights exploring and picture taking in Portland and then move on to Cannon Beach to do more of the same.
No more than six hours after my arrival, talk had turned to how this adventure wasn’t working out. As a result, fun was not to be found and I ended up coming home early.
While that was disappointing in itself, the loss of a friend over the few hours we spent together has been hard to come to terms with. I have spent a lot of time, like I do with all my blogs, writing this blog in my head. (Mostly when I find myself awake in the middle of the night.) I am loathe to speak ill of anyone, and what happened should be kept between the two of us.
The truth of the matter is, I did go to Portland, I did take some pictures and one of the many conclusions I made is that I never want to go to Portland again. I am not a city girl.
I stayed in Vancouver and the trip into the city of Portland was made easy by using the light rail.
The Willamette River runs through Portland. Portland Oregon is named after Portland Maine, is the largest city in Oregon, and, in fact, the largest city in the world that is named ‘Portland’.
My first stop had to be Voodoo Doughnuts. The line was long, but it moved quickly. I have never met a doughnut I didn’t like, but to be honest, I don’t think Voodoo Doughnuts were anything really special. Going to Voodoo Doughnuts is just one of the fun things a tourist must do.
Watching the people around me kept me very entertained, however.
Portland offers a bike share program called Biketown, There are one-thousand bikes available to rent at one-hundred locations around the city. A single bike ride will cost you $2.50 for thirty minutes of pedaling. If you aren’t able to get to your destination within thirty minutes, it will cost you an additional ten cents a minute.
Street musicians were plentiful.
Even though it was Sunday, I did get a chance to explore the Portland Saturday Market. The market is open every weekend from March through Christmas Eve. The Portland Saturday Market was started in 1974 and there are over two hundred craft and food vendors set up under the Burnside Bridge and near Waterfront Park
The crafts were unusual and fun to look at.
This is the only souvenir of my trip that I have. His name is ‘Listen’ and he is a refrigerator magnet. Check out Olander Earthwork’s Etsy page for more of their interesting cement castings. The animal faces are a favorite of mine, too. He had a monkey face at his booth that I really, really wanted.
These guys would never get through TSA security! Especially with very devoted TSA agent at the Portland airport. She decided that my iPad, which was in my carry-on bag, was worth a second look. It didn’t help that she found an unopened bottle of apple juice in my bag. I had grabbed it at breakfast, tossed it in my bag and forgot all about. I hope she enjoyed it. On top of that, while I did empty my pockets (lip gloss, change) before I went through the x-ray machine, I neglected to remove a tissue that was in the pocket of my jeans. I was close to being strip-searched.
Oh, did I neglect to mention that the weekend I visited Portland it was the weekend of the Portland Rose Festival? Despite all the goings-on, the crowds weren’t too bad.
Set up along Tom McCall Waterfront Park, City Fair is full of music, rides and food. City Fair opens on Memorial Day weekend with fireworks and goes for three consecutive weekends, the last weekend being the weekend of the Rose Festival. Admission was ten dollars, but I didn’t see the need to add to my already expensive Portland Lesson.
I encountered a family of festival goers walking along Waterfront Park.
The highlight of the Rose Festival is the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday. On Sunday, those floats were on display along Naito Parkway.
There are sixteen full-size floats, thirteen all floral mini-floats, thirteen marching bands and twenty-two equestrian units, as well as an assortment of other entries in the parade.
Again, I am amazed that people have to be told this.
Seeing the floats up close and looking at the detail, work and time involved in constructing the floats was a real treat.
Below are some of my favorites :
Wine : my favorite float.
Here are two of the mini-floats. A little claustrophobic, if you ask me !
An easy to reach to fire extinguisher is a must on one’s parade float.
Fleet Week is also a part of the Rose Festival. Roughly eight ships from the US Navy, the US Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy are on display along the seawall of the Willamette River.
Most of the ships had left by the time I was there.
The next day, I was at the Airport and Spokane bound. I came home with the knowledge that I am a country mouse, not a city mouse, that if a person has it in their mind for something not to work out, it won’t. A Dr Phil-ism comes to mind, ‘what we fear, we create.’ I also learned a huge lesson in appreciation for my family and friends who love me just the way I am and don’t give up on me if I don’t live up to their warped view of what I should be.