As you know, my wife and I live in Hannover, Germany. She is a native German citizen — bright, beautiful and freakishly enthusiastic about her work as a Gymnasium teacher — and I am an American expat; dark and introverted, spinning graphic design projects from my home office like a funnel-web spider tending to its silken trip-lines: “Oh yes, my pretties… come closer. Let me sink my venomous logo into your fledgling business enterprise…”
So normally I’m the hateful side of our little German-American relationship, and my wife is the loving side; she genuinely enjoys people and always looks for the good in them. But after living in a questionable apartment building with psychotic inhabitants and an apathetic management company for two years (See: Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane), even she was ready to burn the place to the ground and piss on the ashes.
She checked the house rental listings every night for months until finally she found the perfect opening: A little house in a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, still close enough to commute to work, but far enough away we wouldn’t be tempted to climb on top of our new roof and pick off our former neighbors like a couple of wildly underqualified Marine snipers.
We got the news our rental application had been approved, and then we started packing like mad. We boxed everything up, hired a moving company and got the hell out of that apartment. As we drove away, gazing at the building as it receded from view, my wife stuck her hands out the window — both middle fingers held high in the air — and shouted, “Adios Amigos!”
Of course, with her adorable German accent, what actually came out was:
If you would like to read another classic Denglish quote, check this one out: My German Wife Is A Huge Fan of HBO’s A Game of Thrones
Welcome to Portland: City of beer, beards and reefer buds.
My wife is a smokin’ hot, full-blooded German woman with a killer smile and a wildly unpredictable sense of humor. I am an American expat built from the lesser parts of cyborg nerds and dragon jockeys. Together, we live in Hannover, Germany, and this blog is an ongoing account of our shared misadventures.
Now, we hadn’t visited my hometown of Portland, Oregon, since late 2013, so it was a pretty big deal for us to see our friends and family members this year. What follows is a picture gallery depicting our trip from beginning to end, complete with an epic pub crawl, a visit to the very site where I asked my wife to marry me, and everything else which makes me proud to call myself a Portlander. Or a Portlandite. Portlandian? Portlandonian! I COME FROM THE LAND OF PORTS.
Click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow and read the captions:
We arrived on a freakishly sunny day, and our skin was so white from the long, northern German winter we actually got sunburned. SUNBURNED. IN MARCH.
There’s our ride. We rented a Chrysler or something. (I’m not a car guy.) But God damn do new cars get good gas mileage since I left the States!
That’s adorable. We stumble across a döner kebab place on NE Mississippi within minutes of leaving the airport.
Oh, this just gets better and better! See that non-alcoholic beer on the menu? It’s made in Einbeck, which is like an hour away from Hannover. QUIT FOLLOWING US, GERMANY.
Lobster tail at Salty’s on the Columbia! Holy Christ, I hadn’t indulged like this in years. (Which would explain why I went from a 32″ waist to a 34″ waist in less than 2 weeks, God dammit.)
Here’s a view of the Columbia River from Salty’s upstairs dining room. I instagrammed the shit out of this picture.
This is the ceiling inside the Pied Cow Coffeehouse on SE Belmont. You can get super fat on coffee and dessert there, and even smoke hookahs, just like Jabba the Hutt.
Check it out, yo: Escargot on NE Mississippi. They say never to cut the snails in half before eating them. Now I understand why. *Shudder*
This scary bastard begins our epic pub crawl through the breweries of Portland’s Central Eastside. This place is called “Gigantic”… for reasons still unknown to me.
You know, Germans are pretty cocky when it comes to beer. But with all of our microbreweries, we Portlanders just smile to ourselves and sigh: “Yes, that’s it, Dieter. You drink that pilsner which hasn’t changed since the Dark Ages. We’re brewing a torrent of liquid dreams over here you can’t even IMAGINE.”
Here’s another brewery along the way — this one called Bazi. They had one hell of a Belgian beer menu, which I ignored entirely. (I’m an amber man. To me, Belgian yeast tastes like apricots and horse piss.)
Hey man, it’s cool if you like Belgian beer. We can still be friends.
Next stop: Prettyman’s. At this point, about all I can remember is that sign. I think we ate a burger there though. (I feel like we ate burgers at every single one of these places…)
Aaaaaand here we are at Base Camp Brewing Company. This place was huge, and strangely enough, the quietest brewery on the circuit. I guess everyone else had turned in for the night. Pussies.
Here’s an Instagram shot taken in some fancy neighborhood of Laurelhurst. My wife loves to walk around and look at insanely expensive houses we can never afford. I just get angry and start breaking shit.
This is the trail leading to the top of Mount Tabor, where I planted one knee in the mud and asked my wife to marry me.
I had the engagement ring in my pocket and a bottle of champagne in my backpack, but my wife kept stopping to take stupid pictures like this one… all while I was so nervous and eager to get to the top I had to struggle not to have a heart attack.
This is the view my wife saw just before I proposed. I pulled out an illustration I drew of a squirrel holding an engagement ring, asking, “Will you marry me?” (She totally cried.)
Mt. Tabor is pretty sweet. That water you’re seeing is actually a reservoir, and it feeds directly into Portland’s water faucets. (Which is kind of scary, since it’s completely open and exposed…)
There’s a closer shot of the reservoir, and yep, you guessed it: Some kids pissed in it a while ago. Caught on camera and everything.
We caught a performance at the Gerding Theater at the Armory. It was called Slingshot: SISTERS OF MERCY, and it was hilarious. (You just gotta love it when people openly mock organized religion.)
Here we are in the wacky Hollywood District. “So, what’d you do today, George?” “Oh, nothing. Just built a crazy Trojan horse in my front yard…”
Look! A tiny, precious smurf village at the foot of a tree! (It took all of my willpower not to smash it to pieces.)
My wife dragged me to a pedicure in Vancouver, Washington. Now, I have a lot of flaws, but I gotta say, I have REALLY nice feet for a dude. Am I wrong?
We also caught a performance of I Love Lucy Live on Stage, at the Keller Auditorium. It was EXACTLY like watching a rerun of the original show, so… wait, why did we do this again?
Here we are, sitting on the Freemont Bridge during rush hour. Because my wife is German and her accent refuses to accept a hard J sound, she would call this a “traffic yam.”
This is the hideous carpet at the Portland Airport. It’s super old and they’re going to replace it soon, so everyone is taking pictures of it before it’s gone. I’m the one doing the “cowboy” stance.
Made in Oregon, yo — just like me! (Oh my God that’s gross.)
You’ve seen this slogan before. Apparently, we jacked it from Austin, Texas.
This was the view from the plane as we departed my beloved city. (Just before I doped myself stupid with Xanax and passed the fuck out.)
This is a sculpture you can see at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. It’s called, “Two incredible sitting black snowmen.”
You thought I just made that up, didn’t you.
The morning after we got home, we discovered some potatoes we’d apparently neglected for some time. Clearly they are growing into some sort of superorganism. I named it, “Spudward: Eater of Worlds.”
If you would like to read another post regarding my hometown, check this one out: My German Wife’s First Encounter with ‘Kitchen Kaboodle’ in Portland, Oregon
Posted in Pictures
Tagged America, Beer, Expat, Oregon, Portland, Pub Crawl, Spring Break, Things to do in Portland, Tourism, Travel, USA