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A rare sunny moment.

Portland in a rare, sunny moment.










Man, I suck at blogging. But might as well try to keep posting. This is a good domain name after all. 🙂

Over Thanksgiving I decided to visit high school buddy Yo-Yo Yosef in Portland. His family moved there after Yosef graduated from high school, providing me a fortuitous excuse to visit the capital of microbreweries.

Since I decided to visit Yosef last minute, I booked a coach ticket on Amtrak’s Coastal Starlight, a train trip that spans 2 days and stretches from Los Angeles to Seattle. I took it because I’ve heard that you can see scenery from the train where you can’t see them anywhere else, and also because the plane tix were just too expensive at the time.

The starting point:

Starting point: I love how each train station preserved a feeling of romanticism often associated with rail. Font is very 50's-ish, no?

Starting point: I love how each train station preserved a feeling of romanticism often associated with rail. Font is very 50’s-ish, no?











I slept through the stretch from Emeryville to the Oregon border town of Klamath Falls, but in the morning I woke up to this amazing sight:












The train meandered the trail slowly, bobbing sideways and up and down mildly enough to rock its sleepy passengers to sleep.


The Lounge car













If you weren’t sleeping,or watching a show on your laptop, you could spend some time in the Lounge car, which features floor-to-ceiling windows that permits a spacious look at the great wild out there. I spent most of the time in this car since my own car was a bit stuffy and smelly. I also just liked the ambience of this place – all passengers on board congregated here quietly to observe the beauty that passed swiftly in front of us.


I finally arrived an hour late in Portland on Sunday, at 4pmish. Yosef took me to some pizza joint and I scarfed up my chicken pesto pizza because I was a cheap asian and didn’t bother to buy any food on Amtrak. I’m glad I worked up the appetite because the pizza was amazing!


Mama miah! Pesto chicke pizzah!










After dinner, we visited the famous Powell Books, though, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I felt I should have. I am an English major after all, and I enjoy snaking  through the aisles of book stores, but I think after the 18 hour train ride from Emeryville to Portland I felt a little overwhelmed by the immensity of the bookstore, and felt a bit nauseated by the blaring, halogen lights. Nevertheless, I was glad to have hit a major landmark in Portland. A thriving, non-chain bookstore in the heart of a city? You’ve got to give it props!

Major Portland Landmark!

Major Portland Landmark!










The next morning we visited the grand daddy of them all: Multnomah Falls. Just 30-40 minutes outside of Portland main sits this gushing waterfall that pours into the Columbia River. I have to visit Multnomah again some time and come better equipped – I was drenched by the mist after standing next to it for only 5 minutes! And this was from the parking lot!

Happy to be in Oregon!

Happy to be in Oregon!













Here’s another view:












We also decided to hike a bit up towards the source and found some picturesque gems along the way.

Beautiful trickle into Multnomah

Beautiful trickle into Multnomah













The ultimate destination of all flowing water, the natural Oregon-Washington border, the Columbia River.











YOSEF!!! photogenic as always.

YOSEF!!! photogenic as always













The next day we celebrated our adventure by eating at Pine State Biscuits, a little hipster diner that features flaky, thick biscuit sandwiches.


Mecca for biscuit fanatics!













Here’s “The Reggie”. A fried chicken patty, bacon, and egg serve as the main content, but the fluffy, flakey biscuit serves as bookends to this ‘novel’ sandwich (pun intended).

A "novel" sandwich. it looks like my heart after eating this thing.

A “novel” sandwich. I imagine my bleeding heart looking similar to this after after eating this calorie mammoth.














I wish I had taken some pictures of the brews I drank with Yosef during the trip, but then again, golden amber gets old sometimes. I’ve never drank so much in my entire life, but that’s not really saying much. I probably had at most 2 beers a day. Of all the brews I tasted that week, I discovered the Deschutes Pale Ale, a very smooth and light beer that perfectly complements my Asian tolerance! The Widmer Hefeweizen, a citrusy delight, came in close second.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Portland and my train trip along the gorgeous mountainous rail line, the Coastal Starlight. There’s definitely a lot more that I want to see and places to visit around the Portland area, but I think I’ll try to pick a less wet time to go.

My chariot

My chariot


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