Monday, August 1, 2016

Portland or Bust

I must have forgotten what it’s like to feel cold.

My morning began at six, when the sun had yet to return. For the first time on this trip, I was begging for its arrival as I shivered in this newly fifty-degree weather.

Now, why was I up at such an unearthly hour? (That might sound dramatic, but the writing night-owl in me despises using any of my energy before nine.) It was because the three of us made a plan to leave for Portland before my brother and his girlfriend’s arrival.

Our first delay was found in the form of coffee. Shortly after we had left the campsite, my mother noticed a Starbucks. I couldn’t refuse such an offer, so I followed her inside and ordered the best thing possible: a white chocolate mocha and a croissant.

Our Starbucks stop in Mount Hood resulted in the purchase
of some delicious delicacies for breakfast.
While mom and I made breakfast out of Starbucks, my dad acquired a different taste down the road. Eventually, we stopped by a McDonalds.

Finally, after the three of us filled up on various meals, we arrived at the Portland International Airport. Immediately, I affectionally referred to this cozy and quite airport PAX or Pax, due to its similarity of name to the Los Angeles International Airport.

Since their flight had been delayed for half an hour, the three of us, along with Lacey, had arrived soon before them. During this time, we stopped by a small kiosk area that housed many brochures for Oregon. I scanned through them, hoping to find a destination to settle on in the city of Portland.
Shortly after, my brother and his girlfriend arrived. The five of us exited the airport together and made our way around the city of Portland.

I must admit, from what we saw, Portland was underwhelming. I was hopeful for a bit more of a bustling city but not many people had walked the streets. A park sat in the middle where many homeless people found their stay.

In the back of my mind, I was hoping for a New York City style trip. But this certainly wasn’t it.
We tried to get around and find something that potentially piqued our interest.

At one point, we thought the best place to go was Washington Park. While we drove by it, we didn’t stay, but mostly due to the fact that lunch became necessary.

We then went to Goose Island Inn, a brewery and pub that seemed up to the task of filling our stomachs. The menu insisted that their Reuben sandwiches were the best on the planet, so my brother, his girlfriend, and dad decided to test them out on their theory. While I didn’t try it myself, I’m almost positive that Katella Deli or any other Jewish Delicatessen has them beat!

While there, I couldn’t help but notice a chalkboard that piqued my interest. It wasn’t too hard to decide what I wanted to put up there: ‘Let’s Go Ducks!’ (and ‘Anaheim’ added shortly after because I know the Oregon Ducks exist) and a shameless plug to the blog. I’m thinking, maybe - just maybe - someone will be curious enough to take a look.

After our lunch, we attempted to explore more of Portland. The Portland Mansion and Tom McCall Waterfront Park were added to our list, but, on the drive by, it was decided that nothing in Portland was up to the task to entertaining us. I think a bit of tiredness settled in over us as well, causing some disinterest in anything that wasn’t sleep.

On the way back to the trailer, I lost myself in thought. I wasn’t too aware of my surrounds, but I had noticed the green forests and blue water we passed by.

When we made it back, I decided to be lost in thought a bit more. I explored the camp ground by myself, returning to this first place we had looked at when we got here.

A little creek lies behind the campground, housing flowing water and a few fallen branches. While it might not be the most gorgeous sight, it was a good place to collect some more of my thoughts. I allowed myself to think about anything I wanted to for a while.

A creek in the back of our campground made for a peaceful and quiet spot.
I returned to the campsite and found myself in conversation with the family. That was until I got a phone call. During that time, I settled in the truck for an hour and a half to talk with a certain someone that always knows how to put a wide smile on my face.

 ...I’ve said too much already.

Hamburgers became the next thing on the list, which turned out to be another great meal off of that new grill.

Shortly after, the fire was made. And I was ready to make my ‘perfect’ s’mores!

See, at least with my family, I’m a professional s’more maker. I take the time to make sure that they’re completely melted on the inside and unscathed on the outside. That way, when the marshmallows slide between the two graham crackers, they’re soft and squishy. In my mind, that makes for the perfect s’more! I’m not afraid to admit that I had two; they’re delicious.

It didn’t take long for us to settle for bed after that. We were all pretty tired, mostly because we all woke up earlier than usual today.

Tomorrow, though, is another day. At least I get to sleep in this time!

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