Pacific Northwest – Installment 3

Our second full day of vacation started out wet. We were in Portland, after all, so the rain and overcast skies didn’t surprise me. It made for some dramatic wet-flower pics (did you miss yesterday’s post?). It also gave us an excuse to take our time waking up and preparing for our day.

The plan was to spend the entire day exploring the city. We thought it best to wait until after rush hour before heading downtown, anyway.


We made it into the city and found parking without a hitch, thanks to Annelies and her guidebooks. Then we went for a stroll.


I did enjoy the sites in the city. That bookworm shot, seen in the window of a bookstore, is one of my favorite captures from that day. It makes me smile.

One of the first oddities we encountered was a parking lot rimmed with food trucks aka food carts. I guess if I’d read-up on Portland before venturing into the city I would have known these were one of Portland’s calling cards, so to speak. According to a web site focused on the food carts, there are “500 food carts available at any given time.”

Food Trucks

None of us were feeling particularly adventurous. When I think of food trucks/carts, I think of Baltimore hot dog vendors serving what Shannon always referred to as “dirty water dogs.”

More Food Trucks

Mobile trailers in a city can’t be very clean, can they? I have to say, there was an astonishing variety of foods available.

The second oddity we noticed was the sheer number of homeless folks. Wow. From young to old, sane to insane, dirty to clean. It was amazing. And depressing.

Since none of us really enjoyed the city, rather than give you a step-by-step description of what we did/saw, I figured I’d just share images of stuff that caught my eye. Some of it is a bit odd, I know, but that’s the stuff that catches my eye.



Old Church


Old Church


Serene Room


Gorgeous Light


Modernish Stained Glass


Funny Sign


Interesting Sky


VERY Cool Building

My favorite building in Portland was this nine-story structure at or near the Oregon Historical Society. The western face featured a trompe l’oeil mural depicting the Lewis and Clark expedition. To learn more about the mural, and see before and after images of the building, CLICK HERE.


Left Side of the Mural


Right Side of the Mural

I’m embarrassed to admit that we missed an entire mural on another side of the building!

No Caption Necessary


Fruity Sign

While at the Oregon Historical Society, Yves, Mike, and I were sitting on a bench, resting. I noticed our reflection in a window. Behind the window was what appeared to be the museum’s gift shop.

Y’all know how much reflections intrigue me, right? Since I had nothing better to do, I started taking pictures. Just about the time Annelies sat down with us, I noticed an elderly woman inside the gift shop. She was looking at me, probably wondering why on Earth I was taking pictures of her shopping!

Ghostly Reflection

Of all the images I captured, that one is my favorite. I know it’s weird and maybe even creepy-looking, but I think it’s cool.



Colorful Mural


Not-So-Colorful, But Interesting, PBR Mural


Different Angle on the Colorful Mural


Blue Moon Mural




Just Because

This next picture shows me in front of the Great Harvest Bread Co. store in Portland. Y’all also know I LOVE the Great Harvest Bread Co. store in Old Town Warrenton (my hometown), right? I distinctly remember walking down the street and SMELLING home. For real. When I looked up and saw the store window, I had to laugh. How weird to recognize a place by its smell. It wasn’t the first bakery we’d passed either. Apparently, Great Harvest has a distinct smell. Who knew?

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Great Harvest Bread Co. in Portland


Mother’s Bistro & Bar


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Mike and Me


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Goofing Off at Lunch


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Best Fish Tacos EVER

After a truly delectable lunch at Mother’s Bistro & Bar (thank you, Yelp!), we decided to exit the city in favor of some more-natural sort of stuff.

I’ll save that for the next trip installment. For now, here’s a sunset shot captured from the back deck of that Portland Victorian.

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Sunset from Our Deck

Maybe once Shannon moves to Portland, we will re-visit the city…



TRIP Re-cap


Installment 1: In the Beginning (Friday, August 30 – Monday, Sept 2)

Installment 2: Portland Morning (Tuesday, Sept 3)

7 Replies to “Pacific Northwest – Installment 3”

  1. Yes, I call them dirty water dogs, but that doesn’t mean I don’t eat them! Or any of the other food that comes out of a truck and, these days, is more often than not gourmet and really, really good.

    I’m so disappointed that you didn’t like Portland more. Did you know that those sculptures and murals you took pictures of probably ended up being a part of Portland’s scenery because the city has a zoning rule that 10% of all new development projects have to include art in some way? That’s pretty damn cool. Free public transportation in the city, a good beer scene, the Saturday market, neighborhoods with their own personality, and – yes – weirdness. Weirdness is good!

    But if you’re waiting for me to move there as a reason to go back, I think you’ll be waiting for awhile. My plans don’t really include Portland anymore. 🙁

  2. Fun!! It is nice to see the city through another’s eyes (lens). I don’t think I recognized half those sights. We try to avoid Portland, but mostly because of the traffic.

    Some times we ned to go there for shopping though, as what we are looking for isn’t available locally such as motorcycle gear and good vegan food. We are heading there this Saturday for the VegFest but just a day trip.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  3. Shan, there’s something you’re not telling us! No Portland?!?

    Brandy, a Portland Vegfest will probably be awesome. I hear they really know to do food there. Our lunch at Mother’s was awesome.

    I always enjoy seeing familiar places through others’ eyes, too. We should have spent more time at that museum, and actually went inside. It seems like a cool place.

  4. I ate at Mothers when I was there a few weeks ago. I agree it was really good! And I agree with Shan – Portland is pretty cool in it’s own unique way. The lady at the front desk of my hotel definitely warned me of areas to stay away from because they were overpopulated with homeless camps – so maybe you guys weren’t as lucky? And you didn’t eat at ANY food trucks?? That’s sad – they have some really good food!

    And you’ve completely lost me on the whole Shan/Portland thing – what don’t I know?

  5. Kathy:

    thank you for your photos and impressions. I generally try to avoid Portland too. I have been to Oregon nearly every year, for years and I have never stopped in Portland. but they are known for their excellent food trucks. Best in the Nation as to variety, taste and quality. It’s a shame you didn’t sample some of them

    as to the homeless it must be the climate thing. In Vancouver you would be surprised how many street people and homeless we have up here. We have the best climate in Canada and they all come here from the East to spend their Winters.

    at least you are having a good time visiting with friends

    Riding the Wet Coast

  6. Bob, I do think it’s the climate. Plus, I hear Portland takes care of their homeless. It’s still sad to see so many people living on the streets. We probably would have enjoyed it more if we’d had a few days in a National Park first. I’d go back, but I would either do more research first or find a tour guide.

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