Salem and Portland Oregon

Firstly, I must apologize for getting lazy with the blog. I’m a couple of entries behind, but hopefully I’ll be caught up this week!

I left off in Napa, CA from which I drove 9 hours north into Salem, OR where my friend Alana has been living for 6 months for her job. I stayed with Alana for 5 days in Salem, and we didn’t do a whole lot, but it was awesome to hang out and relax. The first night I got there we polished off most of the hard liquor she had in her house, and over the next couple of nights we drank countless bottles of wine and stayed up late trading old stories and laughing our asses off. Alana works a normal job, so she’s at work during the day Monday thru Friday. I spent most days lounging around and hanging out with her roommate’s dogs.

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Jasper and Gina

Friday night after Alana got out of work we went out to dinner at Marco Polo’s, which was really good, and then we went to a local watering hole, where naturally, Alana knew the bartender.

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We had a blast, drank way too much, stayed out way too late, and made some bad decisions. It was excellent. The following day, we both had the Irish flu, and spent the day sleeping, lounging and eating delicious pizza.

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Alana enjoying her pizza…

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We also went to a wine tasting while I was there, and learned that Oregon makes some of the best Pinot Noir in the world, because of all the rain. After that, we went and bought nice cheese and crackers and wine and went home and finished all of that off. On the rare sunny day in Oregon, we went to the park and walked around. It was an awesome visit, Alana really is the best. 

 I left Alana and drove up to Portland, where I stayed with my friend Greg, who I used to work with at Baba Sushi. I haven’t seen Greg in over 3 years, and when we used to work together we both worked more than full time, and we partied together, hard. Well now that we’re both older, we partied just as hard. I wasn’t in Portland 5 minutes and we were on our way to a bar, where we drank bad beer and worse whiskey, but also had awesome burgers. We ended up back at Greg’s apartment partying into the wee hours and playing MarioCart.

We slept away most of the next day, then went to a Mustache March party where all of the Portland hipsters show off their mustaches and drink more terrible beer. We played some pool and other bar games, and when the bar finally kicked us out we went back to someone’s house and kept the party going. By the time we made it back to Greg’s the sun was almost up.

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By the third day I was really feeling this hangover. We slept late and then spent the day wandering around Portland a little bit. We went to Powell’s, which is the largest independent bookstore in the country, as big a city block. We spent a couple of hours wandering around and looking at all of the books, it’s literally so large you can get lost in there. Then went across the street and had some awesome thin crust pizza. That night we went to the movies and saw Jack Reacher, and then hit a couple of bars and got some food before heading back to Greg’s.

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Portland is a very cool city, full of hipsters and homeless, but a cool city nonetheless. Its full of small businesses and great restaurants. The homeless population is staggering, it’s very much like San Francisco, there are homeless people everywhere. I don’t know why some places have so many more homeless than others, if there aren’t enough shelters, or programs, or if they’re more strict about welfare, I don’t know, but its a defining aspect of some cities. It also rains all of the time in Oregon, its nice to visit, but couldn’t live somewhere with that much rain.

The next morning I headed out, into the rain again, got back in my car and back on the road, continuing the head north.

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