We flew into Portland at 9:40 on Thursday night. We had rented a car and our hotel was the Phoenix Inn in Beaverton. I would have liked to have stayed a little closer to Portland and I would love on my next trip to try and take the public transportation for most of the trip, but this worked well for my mom and I. The main things on my scouting list were:
24 Hour Fitness
Places to Hike
Resale Stores (Clothes, Furniture, Cookware, etc)
Getting a feel for which part of town I would look on Craigslist for a house
We succeeded on all fronts. Except maybe the comic shop, but I will get to that. The car we rented was a Chevy Aleo, which I had never heard of. Turned out to be a totally cute car that got about 25 miles to the gallon driving all around Portland.
Friday morning we woke up bright and early and headed out to explore. First on my list was the People's Co-Op not to be confused with the OB People's Food which is also a Co-Op.
Ever since I heard about this place at Bonzai Aprodite I couldn't wait to check it out. As a result of this being the first place we visited, it became my main point of reference. We used my mom's GPS and had plotted out a list of places to check out before we left. Let me tell you, a printed map with everything roughly plotted goes a long way towards understanding the roads you are driving. I loved the GPS but it was difficult to get a feel for the streets. We drove all over the city that first day, back and forth. I think we crossed the Willamette about 6 times, each time across a different bridge.
At the Co-Op we got lunch (we had eaten breakfast at the hotel. Not so great but not the worst.). I went a little crazy and bought some Gingerbread beer that sounded delicious and festive along with some Theo chocolate bars that I had just seen Hungry Hungry Hippie talking about and my favorite eat of the entire trip:
Vanilla Creme with Karmal & Chocolate. Oh my god. Coconut, cashews, cocoa, maple, maca, mesquite, lucuma, vanilla, salt, soy lecithin. Vegan, raw, local and oh so decadent. We went back right before we went to the airport so I could get one for the plane, but they were out. And I was sad. In case you have delusions that this is all I would eat for lunch you are oh so wrong. I had a raw mock tuna salad wrapped in chard. It was decent but not the best thing ever.
Friday we also went to:
Excalibur Books & Comis (ok)
Gilded Closet (ok)
Seams to Fit (really expensive and not my style but very nice)
Village Merchants (freakin awesome shop!)
Vintage Pink (not on my list but I am soooo in love with this shop)
In fact, I found this coffee table there that I really want to find someone to recreate for me. It had the perfect size display coves for comics.
In our search for one place (and due to our GPS's lack of knowledge that Burnside St and Sandy Blvd become one way at one point) we got turned around and ended up at Voodoo Donuts. I had written their downtown location on my list and then crossed it off. I had heard that they had vegan donuts but that the lines were long. I figured we would be going to enough vegan restaurants and bakeries that I wouldn't need an extra donut. Who am I to argue with fate when we stumbled upon a second location so easily? Besides, who doesn't love a maple bar?
This is not a maple bar but is instead, a voodoo donut. It is shaped like a person (sort of) and then it has a pretzel stick stuck in it like a pin. The kicker?
The other comic shop we visited on Friday (please note, this is all still the first day there) was Bridge City Comics. I liked this store quite a lot. It was well stocked and well set up. It was a little more north than I would have loved, but travel for good comics is not the end of the world. Oddly, I happened upon one other comic shop on our way to the airport that had not been on my list. It is called Future Dreams and it was in the basement of a building that looked to be making furniture. I only got a chance to glance inside but we will definitely be checking out these two locations when we come back. One of the reasons that we feel Portland is the right sort of city for us is that my boyfriend is working towards being a comic book writer and Portland seems to be the west coast comic creator central. Comics are quite an integral part of our lives.
So day one, as it started to get dark, we were debating what else to do. I didn't want to go back to the hotel but we weren't quite hungry enough for dinner. We ended up at one of the resale clothes shops (I can't remember if it was even on my list or which one it was) and decided to go across the street to this little bar and get a drink. I got this oh so yummy cocktail of vodka infused with strawberries (made by the bar) mixed with soda water and lemonade. It was delish!
And with that, I think I may have to extend this trip into more than one post if I hope to get everything done today that I need to. Please join me again next time for Portland: Saturday.