After some chillax time in Idaho we headed back to Portland to rejoin our friends Bjorn and Megan. Last time was a fly by in the rental whilst Porkchop was being fixed, and we opted to again hit up a number of Portland’s many breweries whilst working on the expanding waistlines with more food stops.
We spent the first day sitting around reorganising our lives – maintaining the banking, parents and general boring shit that gets skipped easily when you’re free camping in the US of A. Matt’s day was a little more interesting as he had been eagerly awaiting a new laptop/tablet, the ASUS TA100 Transformer with 500GB memory. Having already purchased the same model in the UK (minus the 500GB memory), we had both been squabbling over who gets to use it when, and as we wanted to maximize every opportunity to blog, the decision to buy a second one to maintain our sanity (along with the relationship) came easily. Costing a little over USD$330 on Amazon in Oregon (no sales tax!) we wished we had of bought the first one here too (a 32GB version for GBP£330 or USD$515!!), though owing to a break in at the rental flat in London before we left, this wasn’t really an option.
With Bjorn working from his lovely weather board clad three story home in Portland, lunchtime soon arrived and it was off to the first brewpub, Hopworks Urban Brewery. As Portland is the land of forward thinking and environmental innovation you can opt to ride an exercise bike out the front to offset your beer guzzling carbon footprint. Sarah leapt at the opportunity to work on the waist line and soon had enough credit to indulge in the 12 sampler beer flight (ok that’s a total lie) along with a gorgeous Organic Single Hop Hommus plate (yes they even infuse their organic hommus with beer, what’s not the love!), whilst Bjorn had the burger and Matt the chicken strips. Waitng on the beer and food the lovely waitress gave us some small samplers of the freshly brewed Raspberry Wit which on a balmy summers afternoon refreshingly relives the thirst.
Spending a little longer on a boozy lunch than expected, Bjorn’s meeting that he’d already pushed back was fast encroaching so it was back into the golden rocket (Honda Civic) deftly navigating our was back to the house.
Chilling out at the house waiting for Megan to arrive back from work, we then headed to check out their favourite taco joint, ¿Por Que No?. This establishment has it wrapped up perfectly. Sitting at the table photographing and Instagramming your crappy selfies before ordering doesn’t cut it here, no sir. Waiting in line to enter, the menu is force fed to you and before you hit the register to pay the ladies are all over you begging for you’re food and drinks order. Arriving at the counter your Margaritas drinks (get the chilli salt rim, its heaven) are abruptly though welcomingly given to you and it’s up to you to find seating to accommodate your party where you’ll find a lovely sign thanking you for busing your own table (what’s the tip for again?).
Opting for the Pollo al Gusto amongst other traditional style tacos we tucked in realizing why we had been bought to this particular establishment. Finishing your food you’re kindly asked to put you left overs in the bin and plates in the cleaning rack. Told you, perfect business model. Leaving here next up was one of Bjorn’s favourite local microbreweries, so with a pregnant Megan having to hit the hay we were dropped off at Migration Brewery. Finding a dart board at the back the challenge was on with Bjorn beating Matt in the first game. Next Sarah jumped in with ‘I’m not very good at darts’ and a most unorthodox style of ‘chucking’ the dart at the board, yet she completely cleaned up, nailing both boys and finishing the game needed only a 16 to win and scoring it with her first dart of her last throw. Tails between the legs we took ourselves home for the night, the boys to lick their wounds and recover pride/egos.
Arising the next morning knowing that we again would be restricted to sleeping in the back of Porkchop, we savored a few more precious moments in the bed not knowing when the next time we’d have a full size one might occur. Saying our ‘see you laters’, Porkchop was brought to life and we set the compass for south and took off. On the way down the coast we heard about the outlet shops of Oregon and detoured briefly into Woodburn Premium Outlets to buy some half priced perfume and cologne. Matt even scored ‘another’ sweet pair of Vans for $20 – no tax!
After one new engine and 13,000kms, we finally hit the west coast and we’d though we’d go for a dip in the Pacific. Finding our way down to the beach we were immediately shown clues of how rugged this stretch of coast acutally is, confirmed by the freezing waters pounding into its shores. Barely putting our feet in the water we passed on the swim (yep, whimps) venturing only as far as Cape Perpetua to pull up and sleep the night, with the relaxing sound of the breakers crashing into the night.