They do it differently over here. People are laid back. Cars stop willingly for pedestrians. Bikes outnumber cars. Trolley tracks line the streets. A food truck is the new 5-star restaurant. Black tights seem to be the ‘in’ fashion. Vendors give homeless people free meals. No sales tax (winning). And nobody seems to care about how much money you make. They are just interested. Interested in you, your story, what you like to do, and if you liked that locally-brewed beer they just recommended.

This is my kind of city!

So instead of renting a car and driving to all the hotspots, I took a run around the river. (Which really was more like a slow jog that involved some walking and quite a few breaks for some snazzy pics.) The ‘run,’ however, included a stretch across a pretty narrow steel bridge that also contained the busiest road in the city. And.. I’m afraid of bridges. And heights. But I went through with it. And even stopped for a few seconds to take a very shaky picture so I could remember this terrifying experience. Go ahead and laugh, but this was just a little moral victory for me in my book :)

Then instead of going to an expensive restaurant that was recommended online, I went next-door to a hole in the wall sandwich shop. A terrific decision. A tasty tuna sandwich and root beer, combined with even better conversation with some locals. Falling upon goldmines like this is what has been making my trip worthwhile.

Now I have also been hitting a few of the tourists spots, like happy hour at Portland City Grill for the best view of the city (thanks to Trish!), but for the most part I’ve been trying to be a part of the crowd, and stick to the everyday activities. I’ve got to say, I’ve enjoyed the pace of life around here, and being just plain interested in everything Portland has to offer.

My view from my hotel. Baller status. Thanks K$!

The start of continuously making my body ache.

A few views from my trot around the river.

Geese and birds fill the cities. Put a bird on it Portland!

Here’s that shaky pic from the bridge I was talking about.

Bunk Sandwiches. Eat there.

My friends from Bunk Sandwiches sent me east to some of the neighborhoods to take in the culture and check out the cool shops and restaurants. We also like to refer to this activity as people-watching. I haven’t gotten my stalking-picture-taking-skillz mastered yet, so I took a picture of some bikes instead.

And Laurelhurst Park. Designed by the same person who designed Central Park. Also can’t forget that it was Sept. 11th, and several people were showing their American pride that day.

For happy hour, Phillip’s aunt treated me to happy hour at Portland City Grill. I was told I was pretty fortunate since it was a clear day and I could actually see Mt. Hood. Sorry that my phone doesn’t let you see it, though :-/

What the sign says!