We are staying in the Howl Room of the most eclectic Crystal Hotel where Allen Ginsberg’s influence reigns. This evening we got into the Ginsberg spirit on the way home from dropping off some laundry (needs must) with some ale at Tilt and a shared bottle of Reisling with our meal in the Zeus Cafe attached to this establishment.
After an early morning flight from San Francisco, we settled in with a walk along the Willamette River and captured some bridge and geese action. We also had a successful excursion to Union Station where we bought a train ticket to Seattle for Saturday afternoon.
We have a full day here in Portland tomorrow and a rich list of suggestions and referrals of what to see from those who have gone before us. 🙂 Watch this space for the Friday report.
As an aside, tomorrow sees the release of Apple’s iPhone 6. These campers were ensconced outside the store before lunch time today.
Please forgive the informality. I feel like we should be on first name terms.
Thank you very much for The Layover program, in particular the San Francisco edition, where you alerted us to the existence of the Swan Oyster Depot. Our lunch today was the perfect intermission in our day, sandwiched as it was between a stunning morning walk along the California Coastal Trail and an afternoon ferry ride across the Bay.
The hour in line to join the counter was well worth the wait. We started with a cold Anchor Steam Beer to accompany a mixed dozen of the freshest oysters which we watched being shucked. Then it was on to a cracked cold crab which was equally delectable. We were made to feel very welcome and all of our requests were met with good humour. Despite the growing queue outside, there was no pressure on anyone to rush their meal. It was a wonderful experience.
We ended the day with pasta from Uncle Vito’s which, while most enjoyable, could not begin to match the sheer pleasure and entertainment that we found on Polk Street.
Yours most gratefully.
The squirrel sighting was a bonus. This photograph is offered up for those who are easily distracted.
You forget how steep the hills are in San Francisco until you need to walk them.
This afternoon was the kind of Spring activity you have after you’ve both agreed that, after being awake for 24 hours, sleep is the sensible option. Then the need for food arises, and wins.
And of course, it really is a good idea to get out into the sunshine for a melatonin fix to adjust more quickly to the time zone, so we can go to bed on West Coast USA time and not still be 18 hours ahead on the body clock. Today’s walk steered clear of the hot spots, as will tomorrow. No Fisherman’s Wharf, no Alcatraz, no cable car rides. Just a steady reconnaissance around downtown and Chinatown.
The stop off at Lori’s Diner was to charge up for the hill climb back to our digs. I ordered a chocolate malt and forgot to say no cream. This might well have been considered impolite as the server was very keenly pitching every kind of extra calorie boost to her customers. I worked around the problem.
A short rest break then it was out for a quick Chinese meal, having clocked up 32 hours of nothing but the odd short doze. It was a relatively painless excursion across the ocean and through airport processes. A good start to the trip.
A koala sighting is pretty special. It’s even more so when the SECOND koala you see is in the mood for sitting for a photograph.
If not for the fact that I alerted some bike-riding visitors from Yorkshire to the first one (curled up and sleeping), I wouldn’t have known this one was about. One of the women kindly rode back to alert me to its presence.
In other morning walk news, there was a blue kingfisher on the shoreline quite a way out of good range. And the lorikeets are still feeding on the eucalypt blossoms.
This water dragon was perched on a stone wall near the Kangaroo Point cliff in Brisbane. Taking in the view perhaps?
There wasn’t too much activity on the incoming tide late this morning so I wandered up to an area of the wetlands where pairs of shore birds are gathering in these early days of Spring. There were curlews too, doing what they do best, laying low and camouflaged in the scrub. And this white-faced heron came a little closer than another pair I spotted. This shot gives a good sense of the colour of grasses near the mangroves at the moment.
On the way back home I dropped in again on Oyster Point and was rewarded by an egret on the hunt for fish.