On The Road…Part 2

This has been an especially wonderful trip to Portland, and only served to reinforce how much I love this city. From food to transportation to weather, this has been a model trip.

Our last trip to Portland was done in by one thing; location!  We originally thought we were booking a place in the North West section of the city, but it ended up being in North Portland.  This time we were much more selective in our choice. It makes a huge difference.  This time we are in the Nob Hill neighborhood of North West Portland, and it is great; a beautiful neighborhood in every sense of those words.

We are using AirBNB for our accommodations, and no matter how you feel about the subject, you have to admit they’ve changed the game when it comes to finding and booking rooms.  We booked about two months in advance, and spent just over $100 per night for a beautiful house, built in the late 19th-century.  More than that, it is right in the middle of great food, shops and feet away from the streetcar pickup.  Which brings me to my next favorite part of this trip.

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and I didn’t have to get back into my car for two days, a full 48 hours, until we checked out on Friday.  We used the Portland Streetcars, and MAX Light Rail. (We avoided busses out of personal preference, not lack of choice). These conveyed us to the Oregon State Zoo, downtown, food carts, a great Farmer’s Market, coffee, dinner, lunches, and home.  We never once worried about traffic, parking, or safety.   It made one of the most stressful parts of a trip a complete non-issue.

Portland has long been recognized as a “city on the go,” with an expansive public transportation system, but if those trains have no destinations, what’s the point? The City of Portland has a lot of reasons for that system; over 10,000 acres of public parks, a world class downtown area, and beautiful neighborhoods, each with their own flavor and mood.

This is my third trip to Portland, and each time I go I find something new and exciting to do.  Portland is an incredible city with amazing gifts.  And I love it more each time.

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Oregon State Zoo
Elephants Delicatessan
Eastside Distilling
South Waterfront Farmers Market

Update From The Road

I am traveling this week, but I wanted to share a little with you.  Enjoy these images from a wonderful trip.  I will be back next Wednesday with a regular post.

Fire escapes are plentiful in the Alphabet District.  This one particularly grabbed my attention.

One of our favorite buildings in the Alphabet District. Mixed use buildings are so amazing to me.

“Keep Portland Weird.” Portland has a wonderful sense of humor!

A wonderful day at the Oregon State Zoo.  My son had a fantastic time.

The architecture of Portland stuns me when I see it.  It is uniquely Portland.

A great Farmer’s Market by the waterfront. 


As I mentioned on Sunday I just returned from Portland, Oregon.  If you have never been, I cannot recommend the city enough.  I have been to Seattle, and to San Francisco, and to Los Angeles and San Diego.  Portland easily tops all of those.  It is up on the list of favorite cities with New York.  The scenery, the people, the food; these all combine to create a wonderful world class city, with a small town feel.

I could tell so many stories.  Of getting up at 4am, after going to bed only three hours earlier.  Of my son singing in the backseat.  Of some of the hairiest driving I’ve ever done, exhausted, in hard rain, in an unfamiliar vehicle on unfamiliar roads, right next to semi-trucks going 70 miles an hour.

I could talk about staying in Salem and some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had.  I could share about taking my son to the Portland Children’s Museum and watching him run around, playing and pretending.  Of having to walk away from some of that because my anxiety got the better of me.  Of eating at Elephants Delicatessen (which, if you ever get the chance, you should really eat at), and having amazing pulled pork.

I might even talk about traffic in the suburbs and the beauty of Lake Oswego in the rain, or dinner at the “Oldest restaurant in Portland,” (Hello Huber’s!).  Even about visiting Apple Stores or beer, both of which I could talk about at length.

No, I want to talk about how I almost killed my child.

It was the evening of our first night in Portland.  We had finished dinner at an excellent fondue restaurant and had decided that we wanted crêpes.  Utilizing Yelp, which Portlanders seem to take very seriously, we had found a restaurant a short walk away.

This being Portland, it had been raining, and we were all enjoying looking at the architecture and sights.  Portland is a beautiful city, and in the evening light, with a fresh rainfall, it sparkles and shines with a very unique light.  We passed gorgeous old apartment buildings and a beautiful park.  We passed a building with an amazing dome, and an elementary school.

We also passed a row of houses, all painted in different colors.  When we had passed the beautiful park just a block earlier, my son had wanted to go running in the grass.  I had swung him up to my shoulders and we continued our walk.  But as we passed the row of houses, I never saw the metal panel in the sidewalk.  My foot slipped out from under me.  I tried to hold on to my kid, but we were both falling fast.

I knew a couple of things as soon as I landed; my wrist hurt, my rear hurt, and he was no longer on my shoulders.  I jumped up as quick as I could, but my wife was already with him.  He was screaming, it was craziness for several minutes.  I am both amazed and thankful that no one from the houses came out to see what had happened.  We headed to a store just down the street, got everyone checked out and cleaned up.  The diagnosis was a bruised forehead and cut cheek for him, a bruised wrist for me.  Later on my back and neck started in, but right then, everything was ok.

Until that night.

I slept terrible for the remainder of the nights in Portland.  Actually, every night since; struggling with dreams of dropping my son.  Of him tumbling over balconies and falling into pools.  And I know it is silly and needless and he is fine.  I know that it was an accident and that it could have happened to any of us that night.  That I did the best I could in the moment, and that it could have been much worse.  But my mind just won’t stop showing me.

I love traveling.  I love finding the places you were not expecting.  The surprise and the beauty of a new place, or rediscovering the qualities of an old favorite.  I love finding the character of a city, and how it’s people react.  I like finding a great coffeeshop or bookshop or breakfast place.  And Portland had all of these, believe me.  In fact, Portland is one of my favorite places I’ve been to.  And I look forward to going back.

I will always remember the beauty of Oregon.  The clouds seem bigger, the rain not as terrible.  The people are amazing and the food is to die for.  Coffee and treats abound, and nature is 20 minutes in any direction.  This is the Portland I will take with me.  But it will also always be the place I almost killed my kid.

Note from Author: As I’ve shared this story with several people, I have heard so many stories about how other parents have had moments that almost killed their offspring.  The more stories I hear, the more I realize that I am not alone.  Thank you for sharing.

Also, if you have anything to share about your travels in general, or Portland in particular, please share.  I am planning my next couple of trips, and would love to hear any suggestions you have!


I like traveling. The adventure of going to new places and finding new things is exciting. I love looking at architecture and statues and people.

I just returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon, and had a wonderful time. I’m planning a post for Wednesday about the trip, but I wanted to share a few pictures with you before then.


Collage of fun times at the Portland Children’s Museum


Downtown Portland


Happy family time


Huber’s; the oldest restaurant in Portland


Weather was wonderful, and provides beautiful scenery.


Portlandia; second largest copper repoussé statue in the US.

Also, an extra special thank you to Krisann Gentry for filling in for me last week. I hope you all got a chance to read her post, and encourage you to visit her site, Now Hark This.

See you all on Wednesday!