I know I was a bit mopey yesterday after my visit to Powell’s, but today I’m feeling much more optimistic! If I could live anywhere on the planet for longer than a year right now, I would quite possibly choose Portland, Oregon. This is an outstanding little corner of the world and here are the reasons why.
Number one, and I hate to do this, but we have the Heathman Hotel. I made my man-friend take me here. It’s featured in Fifty Shades of Grey… but as well as some serious kink, they have nice Malbec to drink. There are a number of other lovely hotels here, too, which I’ll get around to another time because quite frankly, any women between the ages of 18 and 40 right now will only care about the Heathman.
It’s a rather extravagant hotel. We had some drinks in the bar area, sat on hard and quite frankly UNCOMFORTABLE seats, in the vague knowledge that people were enjoying much more comfort (and kink) elsewhere in the hotel. So we went for an adventure tour. There were a few empty rooms that people had vacated after a conference of some kind, so we hung out in one of them, in the darkness. If you know what I mean. Well, why pay top price for a red room when you can have a black one for free?
Number two, as well as Fifty Shades of Grey, Portland has Fifty Shades of Gay. Maybe even sixty. We watched a gay pride parade on my first day, which meant the whole city was alive and loud and very, very proud, leaving a very colourful first impression. I even got a free neon sticker so I felt like I belonged. Aww.
In fact, people are proud in general here. On my first night we stumbled upon a charity bike ride consisting only of cyclists in the nude. Well, why not? This couple were very excited about being involved… her more than him, by the looks of it. WAHEY!
Number three, the nature. Oh… the nature. Evan drove me out to see some seriously spectacular lakes and waterfalls, and trees so tall you can barely see the tops from the fern-covered floor. I can see why so many books about speedy, lion-eating vampires have been set in this part of the world (ahem). In all honesty, I think a certain Christian and Anastasia would have benefited from a nice old-fashioned hike up a hill instead spending all their time being flogged and tied up with ties. Just sayin’.
There’s something about the clouds here, too, like chrome curtains being pulled against the sky, leaving only passing planes and God a space to peek through. You’ve got to believe in something, when you look at views like this.
Number four, the coffee. Oh, and the craft beer. I’m kind of loving the IPA’s, some of which are more tangy and fruity than others, but sampling as many as you can and deciphering which you like the most is part of the fun. Most of the bars will give you free tasters. Bonus! There are so many cute and cosy bars and coffee shops here actually… and being a scribble-on-the-go kinda girl I’m always into discovering new and funky places to hang out and do my work.
Number five… the shopping. You can get absolutely everything here. Shoes are a big thing. Especially big shoes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many big shoes in my life, but strangely, I’ve only really seen men wearing them. Hmmm…
Number six, OK I know I’ve said top five, but there are six ’cause you can’t skip the activities! There were activities aplenty in Bali but here it’s all about the outdoors. Hiking, camping, trekking, cycling. It’s a cyclist’s city, and not everyone does it nude. Which is a shame. If I was here in August, I like to think I’d try and do this:
Beer AND bikes! What’s not to like? Although, let’s face it. I would probably rather buy myself a lovely bike for show, park it outside the Heathman Hotel and do something else in the nude, instead. Just sayin’.
Gotta love Portland, Oregon!