2023, Personal, Travel

Riley Drives from Portland to San Francisco Day 2 Sunday May 14, 2023

We woke up relatively early – jet lag – but I slept pretty well this night (though not some future ones). We went to find a coffee shop and had some breakfast burritos.

After breakfast, we walked up to Washington Park. We got a tiny bit lost on the way but we eventually found our way up. Washington Park is this incredible public park overlooking Portland, maintained by the city, and featuring a variety of free and pay attractions. It’s a great place full of trails that feel like they are nowhere near downtown Portland, despite being walkable from the west side of the city. Unfortunately for us, we were a little early for the Rose Garden. Also, the Japanese Garden was absurdly priced, we felt, so we decided to walk to Pittock Mansion through the arboretum, as the hiking trails go there.

Deep in the trails and looking lost (we were!), a walker stopped and helped us orient ourselves. (I was quite lost due to a wrong turn. There are lots of trees and very few landmarks in the trails.) He informed us that the pedestrian bridge to Pittock Mansion was closed so we decided instead to walk up to the tallest point and then head back into town. From the top of Washington Park you can see at least four mountains in Oregon and Washington, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and one other I can’t remember but it’s far less famous. I didn’t know you could see all of them from there. (But you could see both Hood and St. Helens from our hotel!) Hood I expected to see, but the rest of them I didn’t realize. The northern skyline of Portland is really something on a clear day.

We headed down to Hawthorne, a trendy neighbourhood on the east side. We walked a while, Jenn very briefly shopped, and eventually looking for lunch. Fortunately it wasn’t as hot as the day before, though it was hot enough. Eventually, we found a Chinese dumpling place on a side street. There we had pork mustard soup, soup dumplings and this awesome thing called a jianbing, a crepe type thing, which I’m happy to report is available in Toronto. Go find one. They’re fantastic.

We then headed further down the street to catch the end of Boston-Philly Game 7. (The time change had confused me and I thought we had more time.) We were in a pretty traditional sports bar, with a bunch of Celtics fans, but in Portland this very traditional-looking sports bar had a great selection of IPAs. (We just had trouble finding them on the monitor, rather than on the menu.)

After the game, we headed north, across the east end of the city. Eventually, we found our way to a tiki bar that Jenn wanted to try. It was a really cool experience, with flaming drinks, and a ton of atmosphere. Though I enjoyed my one tiki bar experience in Toronto, this was a lot more immersive. My drink was excellent as was Jenn’s. And we got to finally try arrack. We also talked to a local who is obsessed with liquor and tiki bars for a while, which was fun. (Well, mostly he talked at Jenn, but it was still interesting.)

After the tiki bar, we walked even further north to Alberta Street, an area that Triple D frequents. By this point we were extremely hot. We went to one of the restaurants on the show, forgetting it was Mother’s Day, only to find it full. (And way, way smaller than we figured.) At first, we couldn’t get a seat. But the owner, seeing how hot we were, and how we’d clearly walked across half a city to get there, found us a table. We had a nice meal.

After dinner we went to get kulfi. These ones were dipped in chocolate and then toppings. They were tasty.

To end the day we took a Lyft home as we both had heat exhaustion.

We never did make it to Great Notion.

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