August 11-21 2008: West Coast US Tour


I've always liked Portland.  It reminds me of Victoria quite a bit - a bit larger and not on the ocean, but otherwise there are lots of similarities.  Mostly I think both have done a very good job of preserving and revitalizing their downtown cores.  We used to visit Portland nearly every summer, but that stopped maybe 9 or 10 years ago, so it was great to go back.

How can you not like a giant purple octopus on the side of a building?

There is a nice 'linear' park that runs for several blocks of the downtown core.  Gardens and park benches line the whole thing.  The shade from the old trees was really welcome since it was in the mid-nineties while we were visiting.

We got our coffees-on and spent pretty much the whole day just wandering around.  This is one of our favourite activities!

There appears to be a theme of very large sea animals suspended on the corners of buildings.

Portland has a ton of bridges due to the rivers.  Shortly after this phone was taken, we saw a rather dim looking young woman do a 5-point turn in a giant SUV on this bridge, while talking on a cell phone.  On a bridge, no less...

On the advice of a friend, we crossed over to the other side of the river to check out another trail that runs along the water.  We hadn't been over there before so it was fun to explore a new area.

The arbutus trees and scorched summer grass were also very reminiscent of home!

This was a great place to rest and stay cool in the hot afternoon, until some weird bum came along spraying something on the grass.  I think he suffered from CWD, or Compulsive Weeding Disorder.

One of many very cool old buildings!

We rediscovered this bar that we had been to 10 years ago.  We were really glad to see it was still here since we had some good memories of spending time here with some friends way back then.

My new shoes, which I bought in Portland, have bird feet on them, which help me considerably on these kinds of perches.

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