Pacific Northwest: my second choice [?]

My quest to find a place to live is not over yet ladies and gentlemen.  Mainly because I can’t decide if I like California or the PNW more.  And which city in the PNW I liked the most.  I should probably make another trip out west to re-evaluate, no?

Portland was our first stop on the way up North.  I fell in love almost instantly.  Maybe it was the random bar we went into because they didn’t ID us at the door [Stephanie had lost her purse that day and, therefore, had no ID to prove that she is actually 23], and was filled with no more than 10 people including the live rap duo performing.

Needless to say, I was quite enjoying myself when we left to go meet Erin’s aunt and we found out we were actually in the “gay part of town” [it’s Portland, I thought all parts were gay parts…], and we followed her to an amazing bar a few blocks away near her house.  It was in a converted theatre and had some really great local beers on draft [plus vegan cookies, so hipster].

The next day we occupied our time with Powell’s books, coffee[!!], and thrift store shopping.  I am an espresso drinker through and through.  I don’t like coffee- except for the kind at Courier Coffee Roasters that is [and then more later at Powell’s cafe].  Slow drip coffee is sublime.  It has flavor that doesn’t threaten to burn an acidic hole in my stomach and make me wince from it’s bitterness.  Oh no, it was creamy, bold, and beautiful.  Just beautiful.  Now, of course, I can never get coffee anywhere except in Portland.  Fact.

I loved Portland for it’s small town feel despite having all of the amenities of a major city.  I liked that it would be totally acceptable for me to ride my bike everywhere and be extremely caffeinated while doing it.  I liked that there is wine country less than an hour outside of the city [sadly, we weren’t able to visit it].  I also liked the college [with an AMAZING football team] in the city that happens to have majors I’m interested in.  I mean, I’m not going to lie- I had a definite bias toward Portland going into it because I thought it was going to pale in comparison to San Francisco.  Turns out, I think I like it better…crazy how that happens.

Buuuut, then there was Seattle.

Oh, Seattle.  I reallyreallyreally loved you.  I may have been hypnotized by your awesome architecture and that ferry ride, but either way you’re totally awesome.

We did the typical touristy things like going to Pike Place Market- we noshed on some Piroshki’s as per recommendations from my sister.  They were totally bad for you, and therefore totally delicous.  We wandered and took the [free!] bus around downtown.  I got in my healthy dose of architecture spotting with the Seattle Public Library and the Olympic Sculpture Park before we headed to the largest Chinese market in the U.S. where I had the best avocado bubble tea of my life.  It was also the first one, but that’s irrelevant.  I officially can never have an avodaco bubble tea anywhere but Seattle.  Fact.

The weather was a little chilly, and there was the occasional spit of rain.  In my sweater and jeans I felt perfect, and totally ready for my first oyster.  I decided the best way to do it was to go raw, and about vomited on the spot.  I think I should ease my way into oysters.  Raw probably wan’t the best way to start our relationship.  After a beer to calm my stomach we hopped on the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.  We stopped in at a wine tasting and met a bunch of guys who’s side hobby is winemaking.  I ended up buying an ’08 Cuvée after a solid 45 minutes of conversation about wine and Dave Mathews jazz.  Beautiful.

In the end, I think I was charmed by Seattle’s views and ferry rides, but I fell for Portland. Hmm perhaps graduate school at the University of Oregon should be investigated a bit more…

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