Getting away to Portland for the weekend proved to be a lovely little break. The time I have with Anastasia is always so precious to me. I wish so much that we were able to see each other more often. Hopefully over the coming months, now that we are only separated by roughly 170 miles, rather than the previous 450, we will have more opportunities to visit one another.
1-2. I love the nostalgia of the "old" (construction of King Street Station was complete in 1906) train stations. I also love how close the station is to my place and how hassle free traveling by train is. Showing up a half hour before boarding, bringing my own beverages and snacks and not worrying about the amounts of liquids in my bag are the kinds of simplicities I gladly welcome.
3-4. Gobbled up some blueberries, wrote in my journal (I need to be doing this more often - especially now), and enjoyed the beautiful views from the train. I so prefer traveling by rail to flying!
5. I arrived in Portland a little after noon and then went straight to meet Anastasia at work. We had lunch at a very fancy place where she had called ahead to tell them it was my birthday (hers is only four days after mine, so I thought this funny and sweet), so at our table we found birthday confetti and a card from the staff. We laughed and joked about it quite a bit. She had to return to work after lunch, so I set out to kill a few hours until she was off. I went to a park for a little while, then decided a cool beverage and a little sit would be nice. Wandered to Stumptown, which isn't a special treat necessarily, since Stumptown is everywhere now, but I love the storefront of this location in particular. I sat in the window and sipped my queen's iced tea, wrote a postcard to Kai (I now send him postcards whenever I leave town; a promise I must keep - my heart crumbles at the thought of disappointing him) and read some of my book.
6-9. I spotted Voodoo Donuts, and with 30 minutes left to wander I thought I'd better finally give it a try. I have always been secretly skeptical, but I must say the gold and glittery brick walls were certainly alluring (tried to capture this in the photo but my camera didn't want to cooperate). I stood in line for a while, debating which monster donut to get and settled on the Portland Cream (poor thing looks so disheartened, like it knows it's about to be eaten) - the others sounded too horrifying. All who know me may find that last statement to be a bit surprising, considering I will never deny my sweet tooth a little treat - but really, Voodoo, you are too much for me. I took two tiny bites of my donut and gave the rest to Nate. He ate it gladly. Side note: the very tall building that can be seen standing behind the Voodoo sign is where Anastasia works. It's the tallest building in PDX, and she works on the top floor! What an accomplished little lady.
10. Anastasia clocked out and we made the trip to Oregon City where she and Nate now live. The three of us walked down the hill from their house to the little produce market for some healthy snacks (their house is the yellow one in the trees behind them). After some pizza in Oregon City we took a long trip out to a McMinniman's (I have no idea where this was - it took us a while to get there) where we met up with some of their friends. This place was pretty fun - it felt and looked like Disney Land for adults. I would have sat out there by the fire pits drinking Salty Dogs and Moscow Mules all night, but then a heavy sleepiness fell upon Anastasia and I (we both had been up since 5AM), so we headed home and instantly fell asleep.
And that concludes day one.
I have more photos which I will post soon. Plus, I took my new-old camera (it arrived much sooner than I had anticipated) into a special shop while in PDX and shot a roll during my visit. The man who helped me there had a few concerns about it, so we shall see how they turn out. I've not allowed myself to have high hopes in case none of them do. I will of course be pretty disappointed if the camera turns out to be one of those sad ebay stories.
Tomorrow is the 4th and I am excited to be spending it with sweet Toby and dear Olivia. We are supposed to have sunshine and warmth tomorrow! Our Independence Days are never nice. Last year was spent barbecuing on a covered porch, protected from heavy dark clouds and rain. In fact, it is well known that Seattle summers don't actually begin until July 5th. I am glad that tomorrow may not follow suit.