Hello Portland, with your maple bacon doughnuts + Coconut Key Lime Pie cocktails.

It’s been a long, incredible day.

I was sad to leave Phoenix and all my friends and family behind – second big goodbye I have done in as many months. But now my solo journey really starts. I left home at 7AM this morning: first stop on my adventure, Portland.

I have been excited to visit here for years, but have never gotten around to coming. My older brother lives here, and I’ve promised to come stay for years. From what I have heard, Portland is the US city most like Melbourne. And I hadn’t yet found a place I am willing to live when I get my US citizenship. I thought Portland might be it.

And it totally is. I’ve been here 14 hours now and it feels like it could be home. Nowhere else in the world besides Melbourne have I had the sort of day I have had today. Portland is full of all the cool things I love. Nowhere else am I able to play pool, drink local chocolate porter and dance to Major Lazer’s Bubble Butt and then Talking Heads directly after one another.

But I am getting ahead of myself. I landed at 11:30AM – from a balmy 25 degrees in Phoenix, I was dropped into rain and sidewalks covered in snow. I love it. I missed weather that wasn’t just sunny and blue every day. While it is lovely I need diversity! And Portland’s snow covered parks definitely provided that.

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My brother Skylar picked me up from the airport and we came back to his awesome house, built in 1915, and I settled in. After a bit of work we head out to one of the coffee roasters I was wanting to hit up, Stumptown, and then caught the bus downtown.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

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I had an appointment at the Travel Portland office to pick up my media kit. It was super cute – trust Portland to have a beautiful media kit with amazing typography, Portland Tote and a cute little notebook.

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Afterwards we head towards Clyde Common, a downtown bar that calls themselved a ‘European style Tavern’. We sat at the bar for happy hour and had pork terrine with mustard, pickled vegetables and baguette.

Clyde Common on Urbanspoon

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I had a gin, St Germain and egg white cocktail.

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Next up, Skylar took me to his favourite place to take out-of-towners when they first arrive, Portland City Grill, on the 30th floor of a building downtown. Looking out over the city, we had a dinner of sesame ginger pork riblets with soy garlic glaze, yellowin tuna sushi with spicy mango sauce, spicy peanut noodle salad and a caesar salad.

Portland City Grill on Urbanspoon

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I was drinking a dessert in a glass, quite literally: I had a Coconut Key Lime Pie margarita with a graham crumble rim.

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We were pretty close to one of my bucket list places in Portland at this point – we head towards Voodoo Doughnuts, made famous by Kumail tours Portlandia, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Man vs Food and others. They are known for their eclectic flavours, such as their cereal covered, bubblegum, maple bacon: and eclectic shapes, like their cock and balls doughnut, or the maple blunt.

Voodoo Doughnut on Urbanspoon

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Sky’s friend behind the counter gave us a box of different flavours to try – I had the INCREDIBLE maple bacon, the Portland Cream which was really a bavarian cream, and the Ain’t that a Peach Crueller. Tossing up between the maple bacon and the peach as my favourites, they were fresh, soft, delicious and American sized! Just the way I like my doughnuts.

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Afterwards we met up with some of Skylars friends at a neighbourhood bar, and did a bit of a bar hop around to the top local spots. We ended up in the bar on the corner of Skylars street with his housemate, where I danced to Talking Heads and drank chocolate porter.

I was terrible at pool. I kept ruining it for myself so ended up out of the game a lot. So out came the camera to keep me entertained!

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