I was rudely awakened by my phone’s alarm at 3:45am. I sat up immediately and turned on the lamp by my bed; I didn’t want to accidentally go back to sleep. I did my normal morning routine, and gathered my things to head off to the airport. At this hour, the roads were super clear, so catching my 6:30am flight would be a breeze. The hardest part was probably waking up. We had planned this trip months in advance and it was finally happening!
I got my car to the airport and got through TSA just fine. As expected, I ran into Lauren and Stacy right away; followed shortly by Eddie and Katrina as I refilled my water bottle by the drinking fountain. When we boarded, we were told that it would be a full flight. Despite that, I found myself sitting next to an empty seat; the seat that was for my girlfriend. So, I spent a portion of the flight sadly staring out the window as the sun rose.
It’s hard for me to sleep in a plane anyway. Before you get too confused, she couldn’t make it to the trip as some things changed last minute, that’s all. I did manage to rest a little bit from sheer fatigue. I later made the poor choice of drinking orange juice on an empty stomach, so I felt kind of gross for the rest of the flight.
It began to rain when we finally arrived in Portland. Funny enough, it stopped raining whenever we were outside. It rained as we got our rental car, but not as we were walking to it. It was also the same van that my family rented during our SF trip. We made our way to brunch at Screen Door. We had to wait a little bit, partly due to having trouble finding parking. Frankly, it was worth it.
I regretted ordering 2 pieces of chicken, one was probably enough. After brunch we stopped by Heart, for coffee, on the way back to the car. Not big on coffee, I instead enjoyed a good conversation with Stacy while the rest of them ordered their drinks.
Our next item on the agenda was Powell’s Books. I wasn’t expecting much from a bookstore. I just heard that they have everything, which to be fair, they did. We split up to wander around for a bit.
I suddenly came upon this. Tip#1 on how to get Josh’s attention, tell him about something that is rare or unique. I just had to go in. They required you to get a pass too.
It was pretty cool. They had a lot of old books from as far back as the 1400’s. I was afraid to touch anything, though I did find this little hidden gem:
After seeing every book known to man, we went to the Portland Japanese Garden. We got in just in time to join a tour. It was lead by a kind old lady that enriched us with the knowledge of Japanese gardens, how to tend to them and the philosophy behind every little aspect. If there weren’t so many people around, it would be a nice place to go to just sit around and be still.
Look at them, they can’t even be off of their phones to enjoy the moment (just kidding!)
Eventually, we checked into our Airbnb. We settled in and relaxed as we waited for Travis to arrive. His flight was later than ours, and as the replacement to my girlfriend’s spot, he would complete our group. We got reacquainted and caught up before we went to do groceries next. In addition to food for a few meals, we needed to get water, as the Airbnb tap tasted questionable. On the way to Safeway, we came across this comical sign.
For dinner, we decided to go to Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Upon first glance of the place, Lauren and I got really excited because it felt like we were in Thailand again. It certainly tasted it like it too!
(probably the most authentic Thai food I’ve had outside of Thailand)
For dessert, we went to Salt & Straw. Despite the fact that it started to rain a little bit, we waited in the line that went out the door. We passed time by making Spongebob references; among other silly things. I ended up sharing a flight with Katrina and Stacy.
(double fold vanilla, honey lavender, freckled woodblock chocolate and sea salt with caramel ribbons)
We couldn’t finish it. So after all the ice cream melted, Katrina agreed to mix them and drink it all for absolute bathroom priority at the house. She made it seem easy.
We headed back to the house where we slowly got ready for bed. Sure, the night was pretty young, but we’ve all been awake too long (except Travis). I did get a chance to teach everyone my favorite dice game, 10,000. It’s one of those games where I don’t really hope to win, rather I hope everyone participating has fun and gets into it. Our winner for the night? Katrina!
And that pretty much signaled the end of the day. Tired, we all needed our rest as there was plenty more adventuring to do tomorrow.