I checked in my duffle because southwest airlines allows for two free bags checked in and I didn’t think I would find overhead space because I had checked in late. Southwest, for those of you, who have not flown it in a while, does not assign seating. You board based on your check in time.
When I arrived in Portland to collect my bags at baggage claim, I could not locate my flight. I did not see any flights from SF. Wandering around the SW luggage carousels, I realized I had flown from Oakland. It’s not like flying from JFK or LGA (which are both NYC), it’s OAK or SFO and they are different cities.
I went to the information desk at the airport, like I do at every city and asked how to get to my destination by public transit. The red line from the airport is a rail line, and $2.50 adult one way or $5.00 for a full day. Seniors are called “honored” citizens. I kind of like that. Portland’s public transit system is very inexpensive. For a monthly pass, it is half of what we pay in SF.
Disappointingly, the information guide obviously does not take public transit and he sent me to take a bus line that only runs M-F. Fortunately after 20 minutes of waiting, I realized the problem and went to find another route via google maps. 2 buses later, I made it to my home for the week. I am renting a Airbnb bedroom in a family’s home, using their’s sons’ bedroom while he is away at college.
Activities for the day, picked up rental bike and explored town. Portland has 5-6
bridges that cross the river, all serving different purposes. The newest one, opening in the fall will only be accessible for trains and people, no auto crossing.
I biked across the “steel bridge”. Trains on the inside, multi-use path on the outside. Rolled through the Saturday market which is supposed to be a artisan ware, but found it to be touristy, small and too crowded. I swung by the famous Voodoo donut shop, but a line 30+ deep isn’t worth a few hundred calories. Visited Powell’s city of books, which is the largest independent bookstore, probably in the world. I loved the used books were sold next to the new books. President Jimmy Carter gave a talk at the store last week. I found myself in the travel section looking at a book titled, Newcomer’s guide to Portland. I’m not yet a newcomer but may be interested in becoming one. I loved the travel writing section, bookshelves and bookshelves of stories about wanderlust and exploration. Then biked to the International Rose Test Garden, which is 4.5 acres of roses. Portland is known as the city of roses. Finally, I made my way to Pioneer Square for my two hour best of Portland walking tour. I learned some fun facts, like Portland’s water is soft water without fluoride, from snow fall from Mt. Hood. Portland does not have fluoride in their water because all the microbreweries said it would fundamentally change the taste in their breweries. Interesting priorities, better health for your teeth or economics? Second, interesting fact, Portland has the largest concentration of food carts- kind of like SF’s food trucks scene but they seem to be more permanent. I learned many interesting things about this small city of Portland and looking forward to exploring.
Pioneer square, fun display. You could take a picture pretending to be a track star, running out of the starting blocks.