Sunday, September 19, 2010


Our rest day in Portland (the first of two as we we wait for the rains to pass through and clear our way for the coast) was highlighted by a walk though the Hawthorne District, vintage clothing and antique shops, a PHENOMENAL americano, some great art, the quirkiest donut shop I've ever heard of or seen, and some delicious pho.

Our "host family" of Alisha, Savannah, Kathy, and Jordan live in a quaint little house on the outskirts of the Hawthorne District in southeast Portland with their dog Jack(son). Actually, according to their Wifi connection, it's "Jackson's House". They've been more than hospitable, and we're very grateful. I'm writing this entry from the comfort of their home, and I'm full of delicious blueberry pancakes that we contributed for breakfast (for the family). I'm listening to a Jose Gonzalez record. Life is good.

The Hawthorne District is an arts district in the soulful part of Portland (that statement is based off of nothing but the personalities of our hosts and the awesomeness of the surroundings), and is apparently sustained solely by secondhand stores and antique shops. It's very cool. It'd be easy to bleed rock and roll if you had access to this kind of style every day - you can see why there is such a vibrant arts and music scene here. We stopped in to browse in a few shops and found a lot of cool apparel and trinkets. I almost bought a Hall and Oates LP. Eric almost bought a military jacket. Amy almost bought every purse/umbrella/girls' accessory she saw. Then we remembered that we're all homeless gypsies. C'est la vie.

My personal highlight of the day came when we strolled past a cafe that had an original Banksy piece on the outside wall (disclaimer: Banksy hasn't taken credit for the piece, but he hasn't denied that it's his, either). If you haven't checked out his art yet, do. Cool stuff. The cherry on top was the perfect americano I was served inside. I love a good espresso drink, and this was one of the best I've had in some time. I may go back today.

The group highlight of the day was undisputedly our stop at Voodoo Doughnuts, which was recommended by our hosts. Quirky dosn't really cover this place - they serve all sorts of weird doughnuts (they were cited for health code violations last year after adding a Nyquil-filled donut to their menu) and have a very unique style about the place. In addition to serving doughnuts, they offer civil unions conducted by a legitimate reverend on site. I thought this was a joke on the menu, but a couple was getting married when we walked in. Seriously.

The photos above give you an idea of what they're working with.

We ended our day about town with a heaping bowl of pho at a local Vietnamese restaurant, and it hit the spot. Something about the Pacific Northwest - they do pho right out here.

We're taking an extra day here to let the storm system pass though and clear our way to the coast and the Pacific Ocean. Tomorrow, we set out for Lincoln City, and a night's sleep on the beach.

I can't deny the feeling that the real adventure begins tomorrow.

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