Tuesday, December 31, 2013

City of Karma

Portland, Oregon skyline...
Portland skyline...

The last major stop of our late-summer tour through the United States southwest was Portland, Oregon. It turned out to be one of the most  memorable experiences of our trip.

During our one-day tour, we experienced a string of what I can only describe as good karma.
  • At one point, we were looking for the aerial tram, but our GPS led us astray and we found ourselves lost in the suburbs. A landscaper working in a yard not only gave us detailed directions to our destination, he further recommended his favourite ice cream shop, Salt & Straw ice cream to us.
  • At the aforementioned ice cream shop, the cheerful upbeat girl working behind the counter let us sample every flavour of ice cream they had before we made our choice. She also recommended the Portland City Grill to us as a place to have a nice dinner.
  • At the tram we couldn't find any place to park. The attendant at the nearby hospital was nice enough to let the visiting Canadians park in his lot for free despite the fact that it was a pay parking lot for hospital patrons only.
  • Following the tram tour, we decided to ride the highly praised Portland commuter rail to see the city at large. However, the ticket-issue machine was broken at the time. The conductor of the train told us that 'as much as I would love to take your money today I'm just going to have to let you ride for free'.
All this love and good fortune left us feeling pretty good about Portland. We stopped in at Voodoo Donut and picked up a dozen donuts. We ate two, but gave the rest away to homeless people in the area -- our way of paying it forward.

Approached to Portland seen from the tram...
The not-so-mean streets of Portland...

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