The same week back in February that my mother flew down to visit me, I flew over to visit some of my extended family in Portland, Oregon. Essentially, I had taken a week off between ending my previous job and switching from part-time to full-time at my current one. A few days with my mama and a long weekend with my aunt and cousins was the perfect combination.
It all started when my cousin/ lifelong BFF, Britney, was straight-up BEGGING me to visit for over six months. So I finally gave in and graced all of them with my presence. The first day was dedicated to my family showing me her new town, Wilsonville, a little outside of Portland. Britney took me to the restaurant my aunt manages and made a couple other stops before she had to ABANDON ME AND GO TO WORK for the evening. Later the rest of my family took me to dinner at their favorite sports bar, Wanker's. The food and drinks were good, but I had to call it an early night, due to my really early flight that morning.
Day two got off to a late start, but the main event was Britney, my other cousin Nick, and I going to a country line-dance bar the next town over. My aunt and her husband met us over their later in the evening, but didn't stay long. I jumped in on some of the dances, but for the most part, I was just catching up with my family. It's amazing how much you appreciate simply talking to someone in person after having been apart for so long.
But Sunday, that was the day I had been looking forward to. Everyone had the day off work so they took me into downtown Portland for the day! We started off looking for a place to get brunch, but our first two attempts were fruitless. Luckily, third time was the charm and we ended up at a place called Kell's Irish Pub and Brewery. I had a delicious brunch with Pimm's, because of course it was Pimms-O'Clock. The bartender was actually from Ireland, so we had some fun conversations... Once he (probably) took a shot in the back to help with his hangover.
After we were done eating, it was on to the next stop, primarily, a place for us to watch the Nascar race. We ended up at Fatheads Brewery (shocker, another brewery in Portland) for a few drinks and even more food. It was a cool place with high ceilings, lots of light, and visibility to see the actual brewery from the restaurant area. I was so tempted to buy a koozie for my collection, but I managed to control myself and save my money for the third stop my cousin had planned.
It's not a complete trip to Portland, Oregon without a stop at Powell's Books! Powell's is DEFINITELY a bookstore I could spend hours upon hours in. Walking through all of the different rooms reminded me of The Book Loft in German Village of Columbus, OH. I found way too many books to lust over. Literally, I found a book to put in my basket after being there a full 30 seconds. I think I managed to get out of there with only six or seven books, compared to the thirty or so books/items I had my eye on. The best room, by far, is the rare books room - you must be quiet and leave all your other stuff outside the room. Show some respect for the books, dude. Honestly, I was shocked we were only in there for two hours... Britney and I, at least. The rest of the fam had gone off to another brewery. Uncultured swine. But they're MY uncultured swine and I love them anyway.
The day ended with a wonderful home-cooked meal by my aunt and some board games. All in all, it was a great weekend with my fun family, who I miss so much all the time! I hope to be able to make it back for another visit soon, but my bank account would like to veto that plan. We'll see who wins.