At the end of January, my group of high school guy friends and I headed to Portland for our friend Jeff’s wedding. I’d been to Portland once before, in December 2005 for Nike Team Nationals for HS cross-country. I didn’t get to do much exploring then outside of the Nike campus, so I was stoked to explore PDX – and go to Jeff’s wedding, of course.
I flew from LAX on the Friday night with my buddy Bryan (we call him “Witty” which is play on his last name…by no means an indication of his intellectual capacity). Witty is 8 months younger than me but already done with law school. So we kicked off the trip in true lawyer fashion.
On our first leg of the trip (we changed planes in San Jose…ick), we had the lovely fortune of sitting next to a legitimate crazy person. My FB status from the night says it all:
We landed in PDX and got to the hotel where all of our friends were at. Portland has awesome public transportation – we took the “MAX” light rail train all the way to the Hilton downtown. We met up with our friends at bar called Departure at The Nines hotel. It was pretty swanky and had epic views, but as Witty loudly proclaimed in the elevator “this isn’t any different from LA…this bar just feels like it’s trying to be cool.”
The next morning, I knew I had to get a run in since I was slated to run a 13.1 the following weekend. I did an easy (and relatively slow) 6 miler along the Willamette River. I joked that I was channelling my inner SkinnyRunner (since she runs in Portland often). Here are some photos from my am run:
I headed back to the room I was sharing with 3 of my buddies (after a Starbucks pitstop) and quickly hustled to get ready. My friend Matt (“Matty/Matt-Dawg/The-Deeeawg”…i refuse to use that one) was adamant we get out of the hotel by 10 to explore the city and I was on board with that plan. First on the agenda was a coffee shop recommended to me by the mother of the groom, Carol. I am coffee obsessed and while I have really insane brand loyalty to Starbucks, I love checking out local places. (My all time fav cup of coffee is from Blue Bottle in SF).
Stumptown Coffee Roasters was equally edgy. It had a unique, hipster vibe. The coffee was sweeter/less bold than I’m used to, but really tasty. I did not hate it. Of course I made all of boys pose for pictures. Gotta play the girl card when it works to my advantage.
They were incredible.
Our friends also indulged Matt and my INTENSE obsession with The Real World by stopping by the house for the upcoming season. I know…I am ridiculous, but I have watched every season of the RW since Hawaii. Do the math…I was in 3rd or 4th grade.
Before we headed back to get ready, we had lunch at a local bar, Rogue Public House. They brew their own beers and had tonsssss of super hoppy ones on tap. #heaven.
Brutal IPA was impeccable. Also, I may have loudly admonished our table for choosing “Women’s Water” instead of beer. Embarrassing. (For them, not me). After lunch + beer we leisurely headed back to the hotel to get wedding-ready. We were right by the “Pioneer Courthouse” which is a 9th Circuit Courthouse. Witty and I were in law-nerd heaven, obviously.
Finally, we were ready for Jeff and Kate’s wedding! I’ve been friends with Jeff for 10+ years. He was on cross country with me and basically instantly made fun of me constantly. It’s crazy how long I’ve known these guys now…
The ceremony was at a cute little church – Grace Bible Church – and the ceremony was short, sweet, and very true to Jeff and Kate’s personalities. I absolutely loved when the officiant needled Jeff for kissing Kate on the forehead before he said to “kiss the bride.”
After the ceremony, we took cabs to the World Forestry Center for the reception. It was such a cool venue – and felt very “Oregon.” I loved the touch of their hot chocolate bar…
…A.K. and Witty liked it too…
We enjoyed the endless IPAs (and by “we” I mean Witty enjoyed them the most), dinner, and catching up with Jeff and Kate.
The toasts were great – Kate’s Dad literally had me dying with laughter with one anecdote. Apparently at Jeff’s Bachelor party, his groomsmen gave him a test of questions about Kate. One of the questions was “Who is Kate’s Celebrity Crush?” Kate put: Jeff Spiegel. Everyone laughed. Her Dad goes…”that’s not the funny part. The funny part is Jeff got the answer right.” CLASSIC Jeff.
We spent the rest of the night dancing, goofing off, and catching up with other guests…
The next morning we were all lazy and barely made it back to Los Angeles. I think Andrea said it best when she told Witty and me that we were both “goners.” We all had a blast at the wedding and LOVED getting to know Portland a little more.
We also got to see Jeff and Kate before they jetted off to Lisbon and Barcelona for their honeymoon. Rumor has it they had a fabulous time – but how could they not in the best city ever?
There were tons of hilarious and sweet moments from the weekend – if you’re reading this and were there – leave it in the comments. But remember, people’s parents read this.