Thursday, July 15, 2010

Saying goodbye to Portland

Portland 13APR-13JUL

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I am sitting near gate D15 at PDX, waiting for our 12:50AM flight to Nashville via Minneapolis. We’ll spend the next 2+ weeks in the Nashville area visiting family & friends before starting the first leg of our RTW trip on 01AUG.

Today was a whirlwind of packing & cleaning. The packing part took much longer than I expected. We’ve really accumulated a lot of stuff these past three months! Most of it was intentional as we were taking advantage of Oregon’s no sales tax policy to purchase needed items for our RTW trip. We also picked up odds & ends things along the way (2 signed copies of Anthony Bourdain’s new book, 2 books from SakeOne, assorted beer glasses & other brewpub shwag, etc.).

I was hoping to “test” my RTW bags (backpack + small daybag) and carry both onboard the plane, but ultimately had too much other stuff that couldn’t be safely put in checked luggage. Still, I packed the backpack & detachable daybag as if I was leaving for the trip and when I checked in at the airport I was happy to see the backpack only weighed 23lbs. In spite of this semi-successful trial run, I will still do a couple more test packs at home and maybe walk back & forth to the library, which is about one mile round trip from my grandmother’s house where I stay when I‘m in Nashville.

Saying goodbye to Portland has not been easy. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know we’re leaving for Australia within the next couple of weeks, I definitely would have hung around here longer. The weather has finally turned summery (even though I didn’t mind the cooler, wetter days), there are beer festivals galore for the next few months, and I still have so many things on my Portland “to do” list.

One cool thing we got to do last week was meet up with Eva & Jeremy Rees. World travelers themselves, lately they are driving around the Pacific Northwest trying to find a suitable new home city. Sounds familiar, huh?! No word yet on whether or not Portland made the cut. Anyway, it was great to finally meet them in person. I started following their blog while they were traveling RTW last year through this spring. Getting a chance to chat with them face-to-face about their trip was enlightening, educational and entertaining all at the same time! I’m sure Greg & I will be able to use some of the experiences they shared with us to help guide us along on our trip.

We did take the opportunity last weekend to rent a car for 24 hours and drive out to Forest Grove, OR to visit the SakeOne brewery. True, we could have gotten there via public transportation but it was a one hour MAX ride plus a 45 minute bus ride and a 20 minute walk. So I opted for the car because it also gave us the flexibility to go to the rose garden and a few other outlying brewpubs. It was a beautiful, sunny day with temps in the low 80’s and I enjoyed the transition from city to suburbs to farmland and back.

If you’ve never tasted good sake or are just curious about the different styles and flavor possibilities, I highly recommend a trip to SakeOne, the only American-run sake brewery in the U.S. In addition to free brewery tours, they offer several different sake tasting flights for around $10 per person. We took advantage of a Groupon for $15 total for the sake shock flight, which is 5+ sake tasters paired with bites of food, a complimentary glass of nama sake, and sake primers (books) for both of us. This was an excellent value as the regular price for the sake shock is $10 per person, the books retail for $9.95 each, plus we got to enjoy full glasses of nama at our leisure on the outdoor patio with partial views of Mt Hood in the distance.

Well, that about wraps up our time in Portland and this wait at the airport. We’ll definitely look forward to returning to our new home city after we finish our trip!

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited for the two of you. I just returned from my month-long adventure in Turkey and can't wait to get back on the road for a new adventure.

    I look forward to reading about your round-the-world journey. Happy trails!