On my second trip to Portland there was a sense of gratification knowing I can be a bit of a tour guide than tourist this time around! We started off our first day downtown at Blue Star Donuts which IMO outshines Voodoo Donuts on a completely different level. They have fancy flavors including creme brûlée and blueberry bourbon basil. I wasn't feelin' too adventurous that morning (probably tired from Seattle's shenanigans), that having the lemon meyer custard donut a second time didn't disappoint. They even gave me an extra green tea donut and I mean who ever complains about a free donut?
Walking around the impressively clean streets of Portland made me think about how different the streets that we're used to in the Bay. The city boasts to "Keep Portland weird," and definitely has it's crazies. In our case, the city had a strange effect on embracing how weird the weirdos can be - it's possible we were even the weird ones at one point.
The crazy peeps of the city do bring together the dedicated foodies of the world which is evident at the Adler Food Carts down 10th and Adler, a block stretch of unique ethnic food hybrids and all the specialty cuisines you can imagine. The endless amount of food trucks may sound like heaven, but it was not a good mix with my chronic indecisiveness, so I must have circled the block a few times before deciding on delicious Korean tacos! In the evening, we picked up a few books at Powell's book store for my niece and nephew then called it a day.
The ultimate highlight of the trip? Visiting the Grotto on our way back home. There, it was a spiritual garden filled with art pieces that tell stories of the bible. Religious or not, a place like this automatically puts you at peace. At one point, I felt so overwhelmed I started to cry about how at peace I felt and that I was able to experience something so beautiful. I took some time to think about how moments in life can change so suddenly, to have graduated from college to start the big career path, and see that some parts of my life I have dreamed about have actually come true.
Everything about it was charming and enchanting. If you're like me, your heart will be so happy from all of nature's green eye candy and super handsome trees. If we had more time, I would have loved to satisfy my craving for hiking like I've been wanting to but being at the garden seemed like enough. I was so ready to go back home.