i had high expectations for portland, as i have been daydreaming of visiting there since this book came out (almost ten years ago) and have been told time and time again how much i'd love it. and, amazingly enough, it exceeded my expectations. i have never been to a city quite like it.. it is so relaxed and laid back (which suits the hubs and i quite nicely). i wasn't expecting people there to be so friendly! it didn't have the pretentious air of other cities i've enjoyed. loved that. i even made a friend on the light rail; actually, joel did too (each on separate occasions). the light rail system made it so convenient to get around, and enabled us to check out quite a few neighborhoods.. loved how each had its own thing going on. so many unique restaurants, bars and coffee shops!
thank you to everyone who offered up suggestions -- they were all delightful // i spent pretty much an entire day at Powell's (one of the largest independently-owned bookstores in the country). and we had really freaking fantastic food. there seemed to be an endless amount of amazing choices, most of which sourced from local farms :D (favorites included :: por que no, mother's, pok pok, clyde common & bunk sandwiches... thank you Bon Bon!! i have particularly craved the tacos from por que no & the roasted brussels sprouts sandwich from bunk since). man, i would love to live somewhere with such amazing (and sustainable) food offerings!!
oh and i would also love living near Olivia of For Me. we met up one afternoon, and let me tell you, she is a gem of a human being, beautiful inside and out. i am oh so sad that we forgot to get a picture together, but glad it's because we had engaging conversation :)
on our last day there (and hubby's only free day), we decided to rent a car (cost us a whole $12) and check out some more of your guys' recommendations. SO glad we did. i was not expecting Oregon to be so breathtakingly beautiful!! Mulnomah Falls was one of the most awe-inspiring sights i have ever beholden. it seriously looked like something out of Lord of the Rings; it felt so other-worldly to me. the brightest green i can ever remember seeing (except for maybe Ireland), and the moss!! it was so magical. i actually cried a little during our drive there, it was so majestic.