It's been a little while since my trip to Portland, but I haven't stopped thinking about what a great time I had there.
Directly after flying in, Bobby picked me up and we headed out to a place that he was super excited to check out. The place was called McMenamins and it was AWESOME. It seems like an old retreat hotel and compound that was transformed into a brewery! And they have golf! We played 20 holes of the par 3 course with some phenomenal beer... Nothing like the beer girl selling bombers of kick ass IPA instead of Bud light.
From here we went back to the casa de Dettmer to meet up with Natalie and prepare for our night out. After much catching up we headed out to eat at a place called Pok Pok for some Thai food and found we had some time as they were on a long wait. No problem, and we took a stroll through an awesome Portland neighborhood and sat down for drinks and appetizers at the Whiskey Lounge. While out on our stroll I may have made a few comments about how many Asians there were in Portland (I had imbibed in a bit too much to drink so my volume control and filter had left me...). It was similar to how I felt moving to Denver, just with the white people (my hometown of Salinas, CA is filled with Mexicans like me so I had just assumed other places were like mine). I believe the population of Asians is generally higher in the PNW than other places in the US, which makes for some great cultural delights such as...
Pok Pok. It could have been that we had waited for a while, but I was really impressed with the food. It was AMAZING. Natalie had been stoked to try it, and usually when something is talked up, it disappoints. Not this one. I can't remember a better Thai meal, ever.
We had great conversations all day, it was just a delight to see my great friends again after far too long. We talked and hung out until it was LATE, and then headed off to catch a few hours of sleep before the race.
After the race, we headed back to the house to clean up as I was a muddy mess, and then slipped off to downtown Portland for food and beers at Deschutes Brewpub. More great conversation and crazy good food. I had two meals and then had to order some extra sweet potato fries! But, before long it was time to head home. While I was excited to see my wife and son, I wished I had even more time to hang out with my great friends. To Bobby and Natalie, thank you so much for picking me up, touring me around, and being such excellent and exciting people. Hopefully we'll see you soon!