Over the Christmas break last year, Gani and I decided to head south and explore Portland, which we had heard so much about even when we were living out in the Midwest.

I love inter-city train rides. There is something so romantic and thrilling yet peaceful about watching familiarity whizz by. The scenery was also lovely as we traveled along the coast.

First impression of Portland: Wow, there is a lot of homelessness. Way more than I expected.

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As soon as we were out of the train station, we made our way to Powell’s City of Books, a gigantic bookstore that is actually really like a city in itself, complete with navigational maps.

We spent a whole day there and it was absolutely glorious. Gani even managed to squeeze in a nap.

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In the evening, we headed to the Airbnb we had booked. It was a reasonably-priced, comfortable room in a house which happened to have a freaking hot tub in the backyard—I didn’t take any pictures of it but I can assure you we spent a lot of time in it. It was heavenly soaking in the jacuzzi while sipping cold brew coffee (and organic kombucha, because… well, Portland) and just watching snowflakes dance and puffs of steam billow around us in the crisp night air.

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Portland does a good job of keeping itself weird. For example, did you know it is home to the world’s smallest park?

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Yeah… okay.

And then of course, we had to make a trip (or two) to the infamous Voodoo Doughnut, which is a legit tourist attraction just because it is so weird. The shop is decorated with Voodoo priests (?) and features really silly doughnut creations. My personal favorite was the Portland Creme, which is actually just like the Boston Creme, except it has two white dots on it to represent eyes because “Portland has vision”. LOL. (I guess this is only funny in context.)

Portland has very pedestrian-friendly streets so exploring the downtown area is so much more enjoyable than it is in bigger cities.

Oh, and food trucks! I love food trucks and there is an entire food cart pod in downtown Portland.

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Also, I love food and Portland has some of the best food—in terms of selection, quality, service and price—I’ve ever had in my life! This alone was reason enough for me to blurt out several times to Gani that maybe we should settle down right here in Portland.

On our last day, we indulged in some delicious hot chocolate at a fancy little chocolatier. We had a flight of three drinking chocolate shots—dark, cinnamon dark and spicy dark.

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I can almost taste it just looking at the pictures.

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Ah, Portland. You are so lovely even in the rain. Especially in the rain. Till we meet again!

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