Traveling to Portland, Oregon
November 4, 2014
After hemming and hawing over the dates - and waiting for my husband's frequent-flier miles to get high enough - it's finally happening: I'm headed to the States for the holidays. It has been over three years since I've been back in my home country and five since I've spent a Christmas outside of Germany. At this rate, I wonder if what used to be reverse-culture shock during my trips 'home' will now just be culture shock from the way of life that is now so foreign to me.
What has me particularly excited is that I will be spending a month at my parent's new home in Portland, a city I have never been to, so it will feel like a real holiday. Consistently voted one of the best cities to live in, both in US and internationally, Portland is clearly more than just the hippie-vibed ridiculousness of Portlandia. Apparently, it reminds my mom a lot of her previous laid-back home on the California coast, just without all the drug problems and weekly stabbings. It also gives Berlin's lush green spaces and waterfronts a run for their money. Add to that a West Elm and a Target, and I'm already a fan.
But really, aside from seeing my family for Christmas, one of the things I'm anticipating most is the food. More importantly, all the gluten-free food. Ever since my celiac diagnosis, travel as a way of life for us has taken a major hit. Everything from jetting to to far-off lands where they don't understand what gluten even is to just staying with friends whose entire kitchens are contaminated with the stuff, eating safely away from home has seemed a dangerous prospect. But Portland, oh wonderful Portland, has countless restaurants and food trucks - and even a brewery, for goodness sakes - that are 100% gluten-free. That means I can eat out at any number of spots without hounding the wait staff for every details of their food preparation or risking accidental glutening from an unknowing kitchen and set my already glacially-slow recovery back even further. Compared to the few Berlin spots I can eat at worry-free, it seems Portland is a celiac's paradise.
Of course, somewhat begrudgingly, I will have to do more than eat. I am greatly looking forward to exploring this beautiful city and hopefully some of the surrounding areas. So if anyone has any recommendations of great things to see and do, or great gluten-free restaurants, please let me know in the comments. In the meantime, will be counting the days until I get there, watching Portlandia and planning my tour of GF baked goods and food trucks.
*Thanks Mom, for the lovely photo.