In honor of the day, we decided to take the train to Portland. I've never made the trip, but have always heard good things about it. It was a lot of fun. The train left promptly at 8:15 a.m., the staff was friendly and helpful, and the ride was very comfortable. My friend Rick who lives on Puyallup Avenue was sweet enough to give us a proper send off, and stood guard on his balcony until we passed by.
We arrived at Union Station in Portland right on schedule, exited the station, and started to walk a few blocks until I realized I had no idea how to get to PSU. I have to say I've never met nicer, more helpful people than the ones we ran into that day. One young man even went online on his Ipod thingie to get us information, and soon we were on PSU's South Park Blocks which was filled with information tables, vendors selling recycled/reused goods and art, and there was live music.
It was fun surprising Lisa with our visit. She was so busy talking with people and sharing info that we could only have a quick chat before we started looking around. I was so busy looking at everything I didn't take many pictures (oops), but we walked away with info on Take Back the Tap and Ban the Bag. I bought this really cool knitted soap/sponge mitt from Jenifer Rank and she threw in a free knitted coffee cup cozy. If you're a bike rider check out Bike Cozy's etsy site -- she had lace keepers, cycling caps, toe cozies, and mini bike repair kits. Heather bought a mushroom starter kit! It's pretty ugly looking but I can't wait to see what happens!
After the fair Heather and I set off to find Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Chris at TRH recommended the place, and who were we to argue? We took the yellow line down to Pioneer Courthouse (main transportation hub) and discovered the green line would take us to SE Powell which is the street that HUB is on. 29th and SE Powell. So we settled in for a comfy 20 minute ride, and as promised the train dropped us off at SE Powell. Unfortunately it was 92nd and SE Powell. Luckily for us we had bought day passes (a mere $4.75 that gives us access to streetcars, trains, and buses -- ARE YOU HEARING THIS TACOMA? ) and we hopped the #9 and they dropped us right across the street from the HUB.
What an awesome place! The theme was bicycles (it is Portland after all) and beer. Outside were flowers planted in beer casks, the lights over the bar hung off of bike parts, and even the art work was bicycle and beer themed. There were 10 beers on tap to chose from, and a great menu. I had the black bean burger that was made from scratch (so much better than the Garden Burger that Crown Bar served me) with a salad, and Heather chose the portabello burger with nachofied fries. Add a couple beers, and we were two happy girls! Yes, you read that correctly. I had a beer. It was their Earth Day Ale, and in honor of Earth Day (and the fact that I was sitting in a brewery pub) I had a beer -- get over it.
We just had enough time to take the bus downtown, walk a few blocks and hop a streetcar to take us to the Pearl District. The streetcar was PACKED so we escaped after a few blocks and decided to make a quick stop at the Blitz on Pearl for a rest and a cocktail. Not impressed with the place. All I can say is at least they have Sweet Tea Vodka (my new favorite).
Having survived the drinks and the bathroom (yeah, for that story you have to talk to Heather) we walked back to 6th to hop the yellow line back to Union Station. After about a five minute wait we looked to our right and saw we were about three blocks from Union Station, and decided to hoof it, and arrived at Union Station just in time for Heather to get insulted by a street person (again -- Heather can tell the story), take a couple of pics, and get in line for the train home.
Long day, lots of fun, and I can guarantee next Thursday we'll be staying in Tacoma 'cause there's no place like home!