Portland, Oregon, with its unique, progressive culture, has adopted the slogan, “Keep Portland Weird,” which certainly was true for our time there. A typical week for us usually consists of one drive day, two days off and 4 days of events at grocery stores – which, even though my job is awesome, can get pretty monotonous. Portland was an odd, refreshing week for us because, instead of working retail events, we got to live the life of luxury at a PGA-Tour-qualifying golf tournament.
When I say life of luxury, I really mean that instead of setting up our tent and handing out peanuts to people, we were treated like VIPs, or shellebrities, if you will. Each day, the volunteer coordinator, Bobby, brought us and the Hotdoggers a huge new bag of snacks. On top of that, we got golf cart lifts back and forth from the clubhouse to our vehicle to the volunteer tent where we were treated to free lunch and snacks everyday. In case that wasn’t enough, all we really had to do was relax, walk the beautiful Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, take naps and just hang out. Needless to say, Portland felt like a dream.
When we weren’t at the course, we were of course adventuring around the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Even though we only had one day off this week (although, every day pretty much felt like an off day at the golf course) we made the most of it and spent the day at Cannon Beach. As I’ve mentioned before, hanging at a beach is pretty much my prefered way to spend any day, and Cannon Beach was unlike any I’d ever been to. The beach had huge rocks just off the shore, and the way the waves would crash against them was absolutely beautiful. Additionally, Cannon Beach had an adorable downtown area where we visited several shops and had lunch at a local brewery, Pelican Brewing Co.
Our one and only off day was cut a little short because we had agreed to hold an event during our hotel’s social hour. Although we were initially a little annoyed about working on our day off, the rewards were plentiful, and this Embassy Suites proved to be the nicest hotel we’ve stayed at thus far (which is saying a lot considering we live in hotels). The staff gave us a free meal at their fancy restaurant, which included any entrees, appetizers and desserts we wanted as well as a bottle of wine. On top of that, their continental breakfast was gourmet and even offered a made-to-order omelette station. Needless to say, I highly recommend Embassy Suites, especially if you are ever in Portland.
There are two other places you have to check out if you are ever in Portland. First, is Rogue Brewing Co., which has a beer called Rosie that is my favorite to date (except for maybe Spotted Cow — I have to stay loyal to Wisco). Conner met up with some friends that night, but us lady Hotdoggers and Peanutters hung out and talked on Rogue’s patio for hours over several Rosies and delicious appetizers. The second thing you have to try is Salt & Straw Ice Cream, which has tons of interesting, rotating flavors — I had carrot cake batter — and waffle cones that are made upon being ordered and still warm when you get to enjoy them. You probably have gathered that I eat a lot of ice cream on the road, but Salt & Straw is hands-down the best so far.
In Portland we also saw our first concert on the road, which was a band called San Cisco (ironically, they are named after San Francisco but are actually from Australia). Despite never having heard of this band before seeing them, they were awesome live and I was definitely a fan by the end of the night. My favorite song of theirs was “We Spend Too Much Time Together,” which has sort of become our theme song because of how relatable it is to our team (although I am shockingly not actually sick of either of my teammates just yet).
Right before heading to Portland, I was on the phone with my friend Casey who told me that one of her friends that she met on a business trip for their company recently moved to Portland. I’ve learned to never pass up an opportunity to meet up with someone on the road, so I immediately reached out to her friend, Tim, and we ended up meeting up for dinner one night. My partners and I hit it off with Tim right away, and it felt crazy that only a few days ago I didn’t even know of his existence. I never ceased to be amazed how people who we don’t know at all are willing to meet up with us and how easily our new friendships are formed.
Overall, Portland lived up to its slogan — it was definitely a weird week. I saw a band I’ve never heard of, spent every day lounging on a golf course, ate odd ice cream flavors and met a friend through a friend who had just met the new friend a week before. However, if this job has taught me anything, it’s that you have to embrace every opportunity, even if seems “weird” — how else would one end up taking a year-long road trip in a giant peanut?
Keep KilliNUT & Stay Weird!