Never ever ever ever did I think my 21-year-old self would get into the swing of 9 to 5 life. Living for the weekend, counting down the clock, getting way too casual on casual Fridays, and following a strict daily schedule, only to be interrupted by the occasional happy hour. I did. I got into the swing of things real quick. After two trips to the ER (a very fancy ER at that) for a mysterious allergic reaction (let us pray it's not strawberries because I love strawberries and we think it's strawberries so crap), my roommate and I had nearly reached the week's end. Thursday night we both sat in the living room looking at our calendars, seeing if we could squeeze in a trip somewhere along the West Coast when we realized we were about halfway through our summer in Seattle. In what seemed like simultaneous harmony, we shouted, "PORTLAND THIS WEEKEND!" and so it was. We booked a signature "Portland-weird" hotel for Saturday night and headed south to Portlandia early Saturday morning. Of course our trip was amazing, and I think our decision to "live a little" had a lot to do with it.
First stop was at Veritable Quandary for brunch. Blackened catfish and hollandaise? Lavender Collins? I knew I fasted the evening before for a reason.
The telly. The Hotel Monaco featured a morning iced coffee bar, a bicycle for loan, unique seating at every corner, and bird wallpaper. The location was perfect.
Voodoo Doughnut is definitely one of those places you have to go or else you didn't go to Portland. But the difference between Voodoo and those other "signature" spots is the doughnuts are actually really good. The Captain my Captain was an instant cavity and I loved every minute of it. I got the Maple Bacon bar though, because protein, duh.
Other trip highlights included: Powell's City of Books (holy $#&% it was great), Stumptown Coffee, the Portland Art Museum, the Portland Saturday Market, lunch at Food Cart Square (I named it that), and dinner @ Imperial (the only way to describe that restaurant is pickled).
While encouraging spontaneity is often seen as a cliché of youth, I'm telling you it's freaking important! Breaking your daily or weekly routine allows you to physically and mentally reset as well as see your life with a fresh set of eyes. Our trip was fairly inexpensive (of course, we work full-time so it depends on where you are and what you do) and more than worth it. I encourage the little getaways, even if it's breaking from your usual weekend spots and trying something new.
I didn't want to sign off this post without recognizing the Charleston and Carolina communities for their strength and resilience in the time after the horrific and terroristic massacre that took place at Mother Emanuel AME Church. While I encourage everyone (and I mean every person) to fight injustice with powerful knowledge and anything but silence, I also encourage you all to hug harder, sing louder, and live more. Our time is short.