Things One Californian Might Do in Portland in October

  1. Have lots of strong feelings about trees
    Blink up at the startlingly orange and red, look down in wonder at the crisp leaves underfoot, feel a deep sense of satisfaction with the state of the world.
  2. Have LOTS of strong feelings about water.
    Fight the impulse to look for the filtered/bottled water that is commonplace in California. Walk over to your nearest faucet. Fill up your mason jar with water so clear, crisp, and alpine you feel it must be some holy elixir. Wash your face and hair and feel your body sing. Your hair is silky and strong, your skin is retaining more moisture than it ever has in your life.
  3. Buy a bright yellow raincoat.
    You see it beckoning from the window of an impossibly cute boutique on 23rd Avenue and you realize that this is what you've been looking for. This is who you are. The girl in the yellow raincoat.
  4. Sleep under approximately 5 quilts.
    The air is chilled and maybe the slightest bit damp overnight and there you are, snuggled up under an impressive assortment of mismatched blankets, feeling like a Swedish baby taking a nap on the balcony.
  5. Drink all the coffee.
    You do not have to suffer a bad cup of coffee in Portland. The Starbucks sit cowardly on corners, but they are no match for the many exquisitely interesting independent roasters and cafés.
  6. Please, have a donut.
    Donuts are a thing in Portland. So, yes, you should probably try a new one every day you're here. If you're like me, some of these donuts will be so perfectly satisfying that you might find a tear in the corner of your eye and a low, guttural moan escape your lips. Just go with it. Enjoy.
  7. Smile! People are friendly here
    Oregonians are some of the most genuinely friendly, unruffled, easy-going people. You'll be hard-pressed to find a service person that isn't extremely good natured and helpful. Also, people smile at you on the streets, say hello, and will probably compliment your yellow raincoat.
  8. Probably don't leave...
    Um, who wouldn't want to live in this fantastic city? Maybe cancel your return ticket, go prancing along the Willamette, kiss a tree, and promise to never leave.