The first weekend of February, I flew to Portland to spend the weekend with my friend and her new husband. I missed their wedding because I was stuck on the ship, so I was anxious to see them and hear all about it!
The night I arrived, my friend and her husband were both working, so I met up with another girlfriend, also a former San Franciscan, for dinner and drinks at Bottle + Kitchen. I had seen her just over a month before in New York, but we still had a lot to talk about! The husband met us at the bar and the three of us had a drink together. Next, he and I went to Safeway and picked up my friend, his wife (still not used to the label), at work. She and I spent the rest of the night chatting over a bottle of wine.
The next morning, hubs had to go to work, so my friend and I set out on our own. We started with a delicious brunch at Tasty N Alder. The biscuits and honey butter were to die for! Our next stop was Yard House. Since they have a great selection of beers on tap, we decided to do a sort of tasting. We ordered a few shorties (small beers) and extra glasses, and split each beer so we had a nice sized sample. We were feeling good by the time we stepped out on the rainy sidewalk!
We walked a couple blocks to Glowing Greens for black light, pirate themed mini golf. My friend and I are both terrible golfers! My worst hole took 10 shots. The couple in front of us seemed to be struggling as much as we were, so I didn’t feel too bad. Our final stop of the day was Paddy’s, an Irish bar. By the time my friend’s husband met us there, we were ready for a nap! We went home and flopped on the couch until the husband roused us for a homemade meal.
It was still raining the following day, but we decided it would be fun to go to a vineyard. After reading some reviews online, we chose Hawk’s View Cellars. There was a nice, large tasting room with a variety of seating options. We sat at a high top table and enjoyed a tasting of the standard wines and the Cellar Series. Even with the rain, the views from the tasting room were beautiful. On a clear day, it would be stunning! The girl helping us, Lauren, was very friendly and answered all of our numerous questions. Since we are familiar with California and Virginia wines, we had a lot of comparative questions for her! We enjoyed our time there so much that we bought 4 bottles.
By the time we got back in the car, we were starving. We stopped near their home for a hearty barbecue meal at Southland Whiskey Kitchen. With full bellies, we returned to their apartment to watch basketball. After the Duke game, my other friend joined us, and we headed out for a ladies’ night.
It felt like one of our usual nights out in San Francisco, with bar hopping, making friends, being generally awkward, and having a great time. We started with cocktails at Teardop, then walked to the roof bar at Departure. The clientele at Departure was a bit too accident prone for our liking, so we moved to the Thirsty Lion. We had one or two other stops before taking a pedi-cab back to the apartment. We chatted with our driver, Jim, during the twenty-minute ride. He is a trained chef, lived briefly in the Caribbean, and now works at a Montessori school during the day. Luckily, he thought we were fun, and not completely insane, and welcomed conversation.
Early in the morning, our other friend went home to do some work. My hosts and I slept in, then begrudgingly got out of bed to find food. We needed something to soak up our mistakes from the night before, so we returned to the Southland Whiskey Kitchen. The waitress recognized us, but reassured us that we were her third table to come two days in a row! My bloody mary and brisket hash were just what the doctor ordered! We walked home, then fell asleep on the couch. We perked up to watch the Grammys and eat dinner, then went to sleep early.
For my final morning in Portland, my friend and I had a quick breakfast near the streetcar stop. She rode the streetcar and got on the Max with me so we could maximize our time together. She got off before me to go to school, and I continued to the airport. Although my visit was short, it was fulfilling. I was able to catch up and have fun with one of my best friends, and got to know her husband better. In spite of bad weather, I left with nothing but good memories! I look forward to crashing on their couch again after my next contract.