the other week i traveled to the majestic and storied city of portland. it wasn't exactly a vacation, since i had nothing to vacate from, so we'll call it a trip, a trip with a purpose, i along with a group of guys, i spent the better part of my college years with, went to witness and enjoy the wedding of a friend.
we all had plans to arrive in the city of roses on friday. with portland having a wonderful public transportation system, we all made our way from the airport to downtown via train. we assembled most of our group while enjoying coffee at stumptown coffee roasters. after catching up and taking in a heavy dose of caffeine, we hit the sidewalks, familiarizing ourselves with the city. walking downtown we found our hotel, the ace, a little "vintage-mod" number located on stark street. well designed and beautifully minimalistic, our three single beds fit snugly into the room leaving just enough space for a corner sink. our communal bathroom was located down the hall. we dropped off our bags and continued to take in portland. our days consisted of late morning brunches, followed my lengthy afternoon conversations on sidewalk bars and river front parks. occasionally we'd wander into a used book store or architectural icon and take in what it had to offer. nights would be spent finding a restaurant to enjoy that could, or would, accommodate our group . tucked neatly into the middle of all that, we attended our friends wedding. a beautiful ceremony, that followed the customs and traditions of south canara.
maybe it's because part II of "on the road" was fresh in my mind but the entire weekend had undertones of kerouac and his "soul-searching", "anti-materialistic" beatnik entourage. we left our unemployment status's and cities behind for a few days and traveled out west, where conversations over coffee entailed future plans and dreams. frustrations were vented, thoughts were discussed, decisions were analyzed, memories were retold, laughs were contagious. between the lattes' and lagers, we experienced portland as well as non-locals could. there's a wonderful feeling about not knowing anything about a place and throwing yourself into it. with friends, you can make it though any situation, and usually with more laughs. we might just all make it through the recession in the same fashion.
"all of life is a foreign country" - jack kerouac