Monday, August 30, 2010

First week in Portland

It's been well over a week now since we landed! This first week involved a lot of exploring and a lot of unpacking, of course. We took several walks around our area and I took my camera along each time so there are already a ton of pictures in my Portland collection on Flickr.

Swallow Swallows
On one of our first walks last week was to the waterfront. I guess there is some significant grade change here, even if it looks like less than downtown Seattle, because I was surprisingly sore the next day. It was worth it because it was a lovely sunny day but we also watched a family of swallows hanging out. I don't think I've ever run into swallows just hanging out before. Usually they are flying around quickly making it very difficult to capture them in photos. But these guys weren't busy at all, and weren't too bothered by our presence. It wasn't until after watching these guys for a while that I noticed our spot had a pretty nice, leaf and bridge framed view of the Mountain.

City of Bridges Views
Another excursion started with my suggestion that we go straight back on the park blocks to see where they end. We did that and kept walking, crossing the highway and heading to the bottom of the southwest hills. We came across a wooden stair and decided to find out where it went. (I also wanted to have a better reason to be sore, but surprisingly this climbing didn't seem to make me feel any worse.) It went up. A lot. Into a lot of greenery and a residential area with a range of architectural styles all designed around the amazing views. We climbed as far as we could and our adventure ended on a newly constructed road with several "lots" for sale. These lots are very steep and the homes we saw on this trek required significant supporting framework. On our way back down we saw a flock of tiny birds, about the size of hummingbirds, that we are still wondering what they were. The group was too fast to get any decent pictures. Also berries and two cute dogs. Well worth the effort!

Vegan Sausage & Maple Waffles Food Cart Burrito
Exploring downtown this week has also meant a lot of great vegan food from food carts, a phenomenon Portland is becoming known for. And finding vegan options isn't really a problem. Just check out that crazy waffle thing pictured above! Vegan sausage with maple icing in sandwich-ish form. It was good! Another food cart Chuck had a nice vegan burrito and a Mexican (cane sugar instead of corn syrup) coke for cheap, and I had a tempeh stir fry. I'm getting very hungry just thinking about the food carts....

peppers farmers market
And then there are also the Farmers Markets. There seem to be at least 3 markets that happen fairly close to our apartment. There's one going on right now as a matter of fact, but I think we have enough vegetables at the least enough to get us through to Wednesday, when there is another. Of course the Saturday market was the largest of the three. We bought our veggies there, I picked up a bouquet of flowers ($8!) and we had breakfast and lunch. And there was so much music! I saw a trombone, trumpet, cello, and violins, and that's not even considering the designated music tents! Exploring this city is going to be so much fun.


VeganCraftastic said...

I have to say that I'm really jealous that you moved to Portland!

Emma said...

It's pretty great here!