Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Portland Itinerary

Take the bus out to the Japanese Gardens. Wander around and admire the vistas, uneven stones and gravel. The brochure points out that the gardens are set in a "human scale" to create a feeling of harmony with the universe. When the rain sets in, pull out your umbrella and watch the crowds thin out.


Stroll down to the Rose Test Garden and sniff the roses all dripping with rain drops. Some smell like bananas. Some smell like tea. Some smell like jasmine. Some smell like roasted caramels. When you start to get cold, pop into the gift shop for a sample of rose petal tea. Sip it while you wait for the bus. 

Go downtown. Stop at The Nordstrom Rack for some retail therapy. Buy a pair of skinny jeans because Portland's uniform this summer is Tom's, a pair of vividly colored skinny jeans and a loose fitting button down, preferably a chambray shirt or a subtle plaid. Step outside to see that the rain is now torrential. Hop on the bus and ride around for fun, watching people darting through the rain, jumping over puddles and hustling inside.

Pop into World Famous Powell's Books and browse through acres and acres of glorious books. Buy a few cute postcards and some great father's day cards. (Why are cards for men so impossible to find?) Grab a cheap slice of vegan pizza and a side salad at Sizzle Pie.

 On the way back to your hotel, stop in at the Nite Hawk Cafe for happy hour. (Inside, it's a little divey, but isn't that amazing vintage neon sign worth the risk?) Order the potato skins and a Newcastle or two. Read Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Meand laugh out loud a few times to yourself, arousing bemused glances from your fellow patrons.

Head back to your home away from home via Airbnb. Stay with Heather in Arbor Lodge. Her house is clean, pretty inside, has wireless and is near the Max line. How else could you stay so comfortably in Portland for around $50 a night?

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