Short and Sweet in Portland, OR


This last week has been quite the whirlwind of hanging out with old friends, floating the Clackamas River and tonight attending a beer festival downtown. There are quite a few people I wanted to meet up with and other things I had hoped to do, but unlike two years ago when we had the whole summer to explore Portland, this time I’m only here for a week and stuffing it all in is really making the time fly.

We had a wonderful walk through the city’s night heat the other day, Portland’s canopied, tree-lined streets and summertime weather perfect for long walks through it’s plethora of neighborhoods. We met up with some old friends for sushi at a place called Umi (which is also the name of a sushi place in our old Pittsburgh neighborhood) where the rolls were 2 inches wide and barely, if even, could fit in your mouth. Yesterday we took a case of PBR and some rubber rafts down the Clackamas River, sunning our skin, swimming our souls and soaking in the day. Tonight I shall partake of the finery they’ll no doubt be purveying at the 2009 Oregon Brewers Festival on Portland Waterfront Park, which is less than a hop, skip and a stone’s throw away from our downtown hotel, from which the view of the city at night is simply immaculate, lights flaring, buildings stacked seemingly on top of one another, and the twin towers of our neighbor, the Convention Center, in the foreground.

As for tomorrow, the wife and I plan to take it easy, touring some random neighborhood and lavishing ourselves on one another before we embark on another great adventure sure to involve trains, redwood forest, mountain passes and desert hotels. All of this motion, and perhaps because we haven’t been in “parent mode” for the past few weeks (Tristan is still staying with his grandparents back east), has me feeling like a champion youth. I’m in better shape than I’ve been in since I was a non-stop skateboarding teenager and every morning I wake up freshly adorned with the will to take whatever the world can throw at me.

Thankfully, it mostly only throws rafting trips, train rides and easy afternoons my way. :)