Monday, February 16, 2009

Voodoo Doughnuts, Dead Guy Ale, The Goonies and Homemade Pizza

A well deserved break to see the country side and catch up with an old friend.

In January, just after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season had ended, I decided to jump a plane and check out the great American northwest! Accompanying me on the trip was my lovely girlfriend Kasey, who shares the same passion for travel and exploring as I do! We experienced the Portland nightlife, a home-made pizza pie, the beautiful scenery and explored a quaint beach town home to Haystack Rock of the Goonies.

We caught the late flight out of Minneapolis mid-week and arrived in Portland about midnight. We were staying with my friend Ross and his girlfriend Ashley. I went to High school with Ross and will always be great-full for how much he improved my athletic career. I remember Ross would pick me up every morning to workout keeping me accountable to my other teammates and teaching me the importance of making improvements in the weight room.

Day 1:

Ross was working until 5pm. Ashley had to work a midday waitress shift. Kasey and I were left to explore Portland on our own. We set out, armed with only our camera and GPS. We headed to lunch at the Rogue Brewery Public House. All I need to say is, FRICKEN AMAZING BEER! The food was perfect too. Every Rogue beer had earned a gold medal from one beer competition or another. I had the Dead Guy Ale and the Mocha Porter. Kasey had the Hefeweisen. Following lunch we went to the mall where Ashley worked and shopped for about an hour. Kasey helped me pick out some clothes from Urban outfitters. This is unusual for me because I do not normally spend money on clothes. Kasey only bought a few things too. This is unusual for Kasey she usually goes crazy while shopping! The onset of night gave way to the gorgeous Portland skyline as we viewed it from the Portland Grill on the 30th story of the second tallest building in downtown. After happy hour we hit up a must see bakery in Portland. Voodoo doughnut is home to the most bizarre pastries I have ever come across. We got a quick sugar fix and headed to the comedy club for a few laughs. Our night ended at a martini bar where the atmosphere was a little “different.” We had a few drinks and retired for the day.

Day 2:

Ross was working again. Ashley had the day off and was going to escort us around some of Portland’s scenic spots. We packed up our lunch, the dogs, and ourselves and set out to hike to the top of Multnomah Falls. The hike was pretty easy and fast and the view from the top was magnificent. There was a spot overlooking the falls which rose 542ft. from there the view of Willamette River Valley was indescribable. We also were able to sneak a couple of great glances of Mt. Hood in between passing clouds. On our way back to the city we stopped at the Widmer Brother’s Brewery where Ross was able to meet us for a tour and some sampling. We ended the night by cooking dinner (home made pizza and salad) and visiting back at Ross and Ashley’s place. I was exhausted from day 1.

Day 3:

Our last day was Saturday and we decided to take a day trip to the ocean. It was about an hour drive from Portland. The town we visited was Canon Beach, OR. The beach town is famous for its role in the Goonies, as it is home to Haystack Rock (you know where the pirate ship comes out of!!) Unfortunately, the weather was not your typical beach weather, about 50 and raining, but I always enjoy spending time by the surf. We only spent a short time on the sand, but there were a ton of fun shops to visit in the small downtown. We had lunch at a small hand made pizza shop, it was amazing, and then went for coffee at a quiet little coffee house tucked away from the main drag. After that we stopped by the homemade candy shop, and then toured a couple of the small art galleries each presenting their own unique style and atmosphere. One thing we missed out on was glass blowing. We had arrived too late in the day to view the days work. After some minor car trouble we got on our way home. It had been a long day, but well worth the trip. Tomorrow would be another long day of traveling.

All-in-all I was very impressed with Portland and the exciting activities it had to offer. I only wish we would have had a day to spend snowboarding on Mt. Hood, we had to choose between the beach and the mountain and economics won the decision. I’m glad I decided to make the trip and happy to spend the weekend with Kasey and catch up with an old friend and his girlfriend. THANKS ROSS AND ASHLEY FOR THE GREAT EXPEREIENCE!

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