Travel Diary: Portland - Day 4

January 14, 2016: On my last day in Portland, I wanted to explore the Eastern Promenade Trail where you can view many of the famous bridges that cross the Willamette River into downtown.

The day started off with breakfast at the much hyped Tasty n Sons, where I ordered the Moroccan chicken hash and a "nutritious" chocolate potato doughnut on the side. The Moroccan chicken hash had a nice, complex blend of flavors that warmed the palette with its hint of spice. While I found the doughnut to be nice, it was a little on the dry and crumbly side unfortunately.

Moroccan Chicken Hash at Tasty n Sons.

Chocolate potato doughnut with creme anglaise at Tasty n Sons.

Something that made me chuckle while waiting for the bus.

After breakfast I headed towards the Eastern Promenade Trail. Right away, you’re confronted by the Steel Bridge, opening up for boats passing through and rumbling under the weight of the light rail and cars. The view from the walkway, you can peek through to the Broadway and Fremont bridges. On the other side was a clear view of the Burnside bridge leading to Old Town. Seeing the expanse of the river and downtown was breathtaking (but it also could’ve been the dead of winter air that was taking my breath away!).

Heading further into the trail, there is a dock that you can walk into the river on and get an unobstructed view of the city. There, I found amusing little graffiti anecdotes that make Portland the absurd city that I love.

I ended my walk across the promenade and ended up in the Pearl District area. Needing a pitstop and shelter from the cold I went for a Moroccan latte at Ovation Coffee & Tea, which had a front row view of the Fremont bridge. Later on, I grabbed a vegetarian burrito for dinner at the Laughing Planet Cafe, before heading back to catch my flight to Seattle that night.

Fremont Bridge

My overall view of the first time visiting Portland is that it is one of the friendliest places I have ever been. I feel like their city motto of “Keep Portland Weird” really resonates with its culture in that I never felt judged by the natives, and everyone I encountered was willing to engage in a friendly conversation. It was definitely a great start to my trip across the west coast.

All photos taken by me on my Canon 70D and iPhone 6.

Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens

I had come across the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens through researching my next mini adventure in LA. It came at a perfect time when there has been so much tension and emotions running high in the world.

The location is described as a spiritual oasis in the city, and when I visited today, I had found just that. There was this calming energy that washes over you the longer you stay there. I took one of the free tours that recalls the history of the restored mansion and development of the grounds. After your tour you are able to stay in the gardens as long as it is open publicly. You don’t have to come from any particular religious background as it is open for all to enjoy.

I thought the labyrinth was a beautiful physical manifestation of the philosophy that there are no shortcuts in life. You walk the path that is laid out, and you cannot cut across to reach the middle (your target). Walking the path allows you to truly contemplate, to build the foundation first, then when you reach your destination, you will have the right tools to allow whatever you wanted to grow into fruition.

I posted a snapchat (user: meganmatsuoka) and instagram story of my time here so check it out while you still can.

All photos taken by me on an iPhone 6.