Picking cities to travel to made me think of cities I have lived in and loved. I spent 7 years in Portland, OR which is a beautiful city centered around 2 rivers, equidistant from the Pacific coast and Mt Hood. So what did I love about it…the people, my friends and the other very weird people. There is a whole group dedicated to keeping Portland weird. I love Seaside in the summer and Cannon Beach in the winter. I love all the little neighborhoods, each with their own identity but still united in being uniquely Portland. I love all of Portland’s independent shops, Powell’s, clothing boutiques, music venues, and art galleries. I love that once you are downtown, you can walk almost anywhere. I love all the bridges and the bike racks that look like my favorite bridge, the Fremont. I love the public Rose Gardens and the private gardens in almost every yard. I love the idea that even I could have a green thumb there. I love having favorite restaurants where I always order the same thing but also knowing almost any other currently unknown restaurant will have something delicious. I loved living within walking distance to a post office, library, Trader Joe’s, 2 indie movie theaters, and lots of restaurants and shops. I love the crepe stand. I love Portland’s living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square anytime but especially at lunch time or during the KINK free concert. I love the radio stations who mix perfect amounts of old and new and not too much talk. I loved flying back into Portland and seeing the rivers and mountains and when the person next to me told me I was so lucky to get to live here. I knew then that she was right, but now that I’m no longer there, I know it even more.