Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Days 91 - 94: Portlandia!


We love Portland.  It has a lot in common with Austin but it's not as hot and it rains too much.  Otherwise, it's probably the coolest city we've visited so far.  As we drove into town we saw a bumper sticker that said "Keep Portland Weird"!  Ian, our host (we met him and his dad at Mt Ranier about a week ago), said that Portland ripped the slogan off from Austin.  Love it!
Somehow we managed to not take a single photo the day we arrived so we'll have to start with day two.

It's so much better to experience a place from a local's perspective.  We ate at a great Lebanese place, Nichola's, that we never would have known about  if Ian hadn't taken us there.  This plate doesn't even include the entrees yet.  So  much food!

Right next door to the restaurant was this awesome military surplus store with all sorts of cool stuff.  Even stuff we needed! We found a couple of things we were looking for: gloves (called "magic gloves"!!!) for Angie and biodegradable camper's soap.

What do you do after Lebanese dinner and shopping at the Army surplus store?  Go to a bar!

The preferred transportation method in Portland.
Sweet vintage Schwinn "Corvette"

Another of Ian's vintage bike collection, a British Mercian.

Ian's sweet Puch moped.

Famous Portland landmark (the Oregon sign, not the building).

Portland loves beer.  Not just any beer though, independent craft brewed micro brewery beer.  Say that ten times fast.  There's a bzillion little brew pubs spread all over town.  This vendor is one of the bigger ones and had a tent set up at the Saturday Market.  The market actually runs Saturday and Sunday, every weekend, since the 1970's!

Oregon, eat slugs or die!  I didn't buy this t-shirt but I love it.  You know they have those crazy big slugs up here.  Everything is NOT bigger in Texas, thank goodness.

There's always got to be the silver robot dude at any market...

...and some bands jamming on the street, although these guys were really good.  Great name too!  "Glue Horses" Portland

Saturday afternoon we drove out with a van full of folks to "Oxbow Park" on the Sandy River.  There were all these little pyramids set up all over a rocky sand bar.  Hundreds of them.

A local lady comes out there almost every day and builds the rock people in the interest of cosmic harmony.  She put up this sign to remind people to not knock them down.
"Please do not destroy the rock people, cosmic harmony in process, thank you"

Grant and Desi harmonising with the cosmos in the midst of the rock people. 

Beers on the front porch, ahhh what a universal pastime.
(Angie, Grant, Greg, Ian)

Sunday, Ian and his right hand man, Grant, were headed to "the bins".  We really had no idea what they were talking about so we went along.  "The bins" is a big Goodwill outlet warehouse...

...where they don't really make much effort to sort anything, they just roll out these "bins" and let the customers dig thru them.  And man, there are a LOT of customers! Then the items are weighed and sold by the pound.

There's treasure in them thar bins!!!
Ian demonstrating the kind of goodies you can find at "the bins".
(He decided not to buy the mask, by the way.)

A typical bin.

Grant and Ian model some sweet eyeglass frames just unearthed from a bin with the corrective lenses still intact.  Is there any reason to shop anywhere else?
We actually found a few items we were looking for: a very short garden hose and a window shade for LeTigre!

Mmmm, more delicious food.  Our last meal in Portland was Texas BBQ at Podnah's.

A toast to Portland!  Thanks to Ian, Grant, Sean, Annie, Desi, Hannah, and everyone we met.  We had a fantastic time!  Come to Austin and we'll show you around!!

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