After a very short 8AM flight from SF with friends Sam and Jeremy, we arrived in Portland and my brother Tom met us at the airport and whisked us away to his amazingly cute neighborhood in southeast Portland, where he lives with a lady couple, a small dog and a damn fluffy cat.
We also got to see another friend from our area here in MA, who introduced us to two small squirrels he had saved from his cats' grasp and was nursing back to health -- so cute!
He and his girlfriend also made us a great dinner -- thanks Ellie and John!
We spent the next few days exploring the city and getting to know Tom's neighborhood and his local cafes, video store, food co-op and maybe a few bars/brewpubs. What a great city! I can't believe I never spent any time there while living about 2 hours away for 4 years. I have no good excuse, but that I just didn't know how great it was. You can ride a bike anywhere since it's supremely flat (especially for a relatively costal West-Coast city, I assumed they were all the hilliest!), and there are great shops and restaurants everywhere, everyone has a great garden, and everyone we met was super friendly and welcoming. Not to mention socially/politically progressive, which doesn't hurt. ;>
Below are some shots of Tom's neighborhood and apartment and scenes from around the city, as well as our trip to the Rose Garden with Sam and Jeremy. More pics are on my flikr page.
And then, we rented a car and jetted off for Seattle and other Washington destinations -- a fun, somewhat quick drive later, we were there!