Portland, Adam Levine, Beautiful Views….Did I Mention Adam Levine?

by EmilyEsposito

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to go on more weekend trips. Last year, in France, I would visit a new city almost every other weekend. Of course, that is easy to do when you work 12 hours a week and live in a country the size of one U.S. state (I could see Spain from my house). It’s so easy to fall into the weekend routine of waking up late, puttering around and just relaxing. Not that there is anything wrong with that – I definitely appreciate my puttering time – but sometimes you just have to shake things up a bit. Luckily, my close friend from college was in the Portland-area for the week and I hopped on over to PDX. Here are some highlights and must-dos for a Portland weekend trip:


Enjoy a scenic train ride, but don’t expect WiFI

On a sunny day, the train from Seattle to Portland has great views (I couldn’t tell you where this is, but isn’t it pretty?) I took the Amtrak and was pleased to find out that it offers free WiFi on board. I brought my laptop along thinking I could finish some work projects – the answer was no. During my 3.5 hour train ride, I had an Internet connection for maybe 3 minutes, and the wheel of death the rest of the 3.47 hours. I had one important email to send out and tried everything (no, you cannot connect your iPhone to your laptop to use its 3G – you have to call Verizon to set that up). I even seriously considered asking a fellow passenger for his password to his private network. Moral of the story: do not expect to have Internet when you are on a train passing through small farm towns, bodies of water, and the freeway.

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

Ride the aerial tram

Portland’s aerial tram travels 3,000 feet between the South Waterfront Terminal next to OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing and the upper terminal at Kohler Pavilion. It kind of looks like an alien pod, and there are some terrifying moments during the ride when the pod swings pretty heavily, but the views of Mt. Rainer and Mt. St. Helens are worth it. Just think about it like a Disney ride and you’ll be fine.


Eat at Papa Haydn

Papa Haydn is heaven.You could stare at the pastry case of desserts for hours. We split two cakes: one was a peanut butter mousse torte and this one was a milk buttercream-hazelnut ganache-caramel cake. I almost didn’t want to ruin the beautiful chocolate design, but that only lasted a couple minutes. You can’t let all that chocolate and caramel go to waste!


Stand 10 Feet from Adam Levine

No, I did not see Adam Levine in Portland nor does he have anything to do with taking more weekend trips (but he does fall into my list of ‘beautiful views’). This post was originally going to be about my highlights from the past week and turned into a recap of my Portland trip. But, since standing in the VIP pit right in front of the stage for Maroon 5 and Neon Trees is a life-highlight, I felt the need to share it.

My other friend and I bought tickets to see Maroon 5 and we were originally seated in row 208, in the highest tier of the Key Arena. Beforehand, we had eaten dinner at a Thai restaurant and they had a bowl of those chocolate mints. So, when I left, I grabbed a handful because I love them and they’re always good to keep in your purse in case of an emergency. When we arrived at the Key Arena and to our seats, I was on my third chocolate mint. Then, this man comes up to us and asks if we came alone. My first thought was that I was in trouble for eating my chocolate mint (since there was a sign explicitly forbidding outside food). Then, he asks us if we want to get a little closer and go stand in front of the stage. Needless to say, we grabbed those VIP bracelets and ran to the floor. Not to brag or anything, but I was so close to Adam Levine that I could see every detail of his tattoos on his beautiful arms. We even made eye contacts a couple times and I stopped breathing for a while. I love Maroon 5, I love pop music, I love free upgrades and I love beautiful men. It was a perfect night.