Because my boss is based out of a Portland suburb, I've actually flown in & out of the city a couple of times now. With the exception of the time the team took a day trip out to wine country (that'd be the trip where I fainted at the Alaska counter upon checking in and then spent the rest of the night in the hospital), unfortunately I hadn't really seen any of Portland beyond the freeway and my hotel room.
In theory Portland is a city that would be very livable for us if we decide to leave Oakland any time soon (incidentally, moving out of CA is one of my "must do" Before I Turn 40 goals): there is a vibrant tech scene for Alan, I already have a job based out of there, housing is varied and affordable, the weather is perfect for me, and it's in the Pacific Northwest, which I love. With these things in mind, I wanted to get out and explore the area a bit more so I convinced Alan to join me for the weekend - we flew in Saturday morning, and I dropped Alan off at PDX on Monday morning (I came home Tuesday night).
We didn't really have a fixed agenda except to eat a lot of good food, drink a lot of excellent beer, walk around a couple of neighborhoods to see which ones we liked if we do decided to move up there, and take a side trip out to the country.
Now, it's no surprise to anyone that reads this blog that I am a bit of a real estate stalker. I love monitoring what's for sale in places I love. I've been stalking the listings for Portland for about a year now (basically, ever since I got this job). Based on the houses I have liked - in the price range I like - I'd deduced a few neighborhoods would be ideal for us. My hope was that we'd get to visit a couple of them and confirm they'd be great places for us to live. We missed a few of the neighborhoods on the list, but did manage to see others. while I thought Rose Park City had some adorable houses, I felt like it was really far out there - almost like a suburb of Portland versus a neighborhood of the city. We also drove through Laurelhurst, the area around Mt. Tabor Park, and Lake Oswego. I liked the houses out in Lake Oswego but to get to PDX or my office would be quite the commute. Surprisingly, my favorite neighborhood was The Pearl where we spent the majority of our time. No stranger to loft living, I'm now obsessed with getting a loft there and being able to walk to Stumptown for my morning coffee.