First I want to say that I’m so glad I decided to take the train. I don’t think I had any movie-worthy train moments, and I didn’t get much sleep, but it was still pretty fun. I brought a backpack full of entertainment, and I barely touched any of it. I wrote a little, but I didn’t read. I didn’t watch the DVDs I brought. I barely listened to music. All I wanted to do was look out the window. I felt guilty even napping because I didn’t want to miss any good scenery.
When I first got on the train it was so packed that they were assigning seats, and I did NOT get a good one. I was on the aisle next to a guy who had the window closed. As soon as the observation and dining cars opened, I left to go enjoy some of the view and some breakfast. When I came back, some people had gotten off the train and I was able to finagle my way into a window seat, and I had the seat next to me to myself too! This was imperative to enjoying the ride. Can we all agree, that life is always better in the window seat?
I arrived at the Portland train station groggy but excited. Roxanne picked me up (reunited and it feels so good!) and our first stop was her apartment, where I met her two cats and developed huge feelings of jealousy that she lives in such a cute neighborhood.
Her place is within walking distance to tons of restaurants and shops, so we spent the day walking and shopping around her ‘hood. She took me to dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant, and for dessert we went to the city’s most famous ice cream place, Salt & Straw, where we waited in the always present out-the-door line. This was seriously some of the best ice cream I’ve EVER had. I mean, Oprah put this ice cream on her favorite things list, so… you know it’s good.
After that we stopped by one of her favorite neighborhood bars, then went to see a movie at one of the city’s many “view & brew” theaters. Portland is big on beer (they have the most breweries per capita of any other US city), so they found a way to include it with their movie watching.
Portland seems like a perfect city for a short weekend visit. Everything is close together, so you can see and do everything on your to-do list in a short amount of time. And the best way to see any new city it is with a friend (preferably one you’ve known for 20+ years who you are way overdue with catching up with) who can show you the ropes.