portland on a clear day

Since I promised frequent updates, I will give you a quick run-through of the jist of my trip so far. You ready? Here it is:

I’m sure you are well aware that the Pacific Northwest dabbles a little in the coffee business, as I was. However, just as several Southern cities have a church on every street corner, Portland follows suit with coffee shops, especially Starbucks. I am aware that Portland is very into the supporting local industries and businesses, but I am astounded at how many Starbucks stores there are. I have not seen Seattle, but I am willing to bet there is more of Seattle’s hometown store here in Portland than in its place of origin.

Ken, the guy with the title too long to explain, so I’ll just call him the man in charge (not to be confused with THE Man in charge), was driving me around the city today to see a few different sites. As we were passing the Portland Building and the 133rd Starbucks I had seen thus far I exclaimed my fascination at how many of these famous chain stores I had seen. I said, “I can’t imagine how many Starbucks stores are in Seattle. They are even bigger connoisseurs of the bean!” He then proceeded to tell me that Seattle and Portland are neck and neck in the race of coffee stores. Folks, you may think you know coffee, but you haven’t seen Portland!

I hope you have gathered by now that I must be partaking in this popular pastime. And yes, it is quite true! I have been doing a lot of this. Melody and I went for coffee on Hawthorne after my visit at Western Seminary yesterday evening. We also went for breakfast this morning at a lovely little shop called baker spice, and tomorrow will commence with a trip for coffee to meet a friend of Matt’s and Melody’s over in Sellwood. So to Portlandians, coffee is a way of life, and that’s an understatement.

Since I have accidentally brought the sunny weather to Portland with me, I had the luxury of seeing both Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood today. They were beautiful! Now if I could only take that short one-hour trip over to hit the slopes for a few hours…

As I said before, I stopped by the Portland Building to snap a shot with the infamous Portlandia statue enshrined above.

We briefly perused through Powell’s, the powerhouse bookstore, and I decided I was too overwhelmed so we walked straight through to the other side and headed to our next destination.

Ken and I made a stop at his friend’s favorite chocolate fix, simply called Cacao, where I had my first ever cup of drinking chocolate. This is not to be confused with hot chocolate. My concoction was made with 62% cacao, milk, cream, and infused with cinnamon. Delectable. I’m sure I will frequent this spot over the summer.

Our lunch break consisted of a short drive through Sellwood and stopping for lunch at Grand Central Bakery. This has been a favorite hangout for the Parachute teams and rightly so. They are a little café that packs a big punch. I tried the red curry lentil soup and salad and boy was it good!

My last Sellwood stop for the day was game night at Cloud Cap Games. Although I was pretty lethargic, I did enjoy myself. Melody and I met up with her friend to play a couple of card games: Coloretto and Crappy Birthday (a lot like Apples to Apples, but the object is to see who’s gift is the crappiest).

All in all, it was a really good day. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow!