The following are scribbles from my actual travel journal...

October 8th- I don't know what made me book a ticket to Portland, I guess it was that craving, that lust that those of us bitten by the travel bug eventually have to succumb to.

I recognized the feeling the second that I took a seat on the light rail, the feeling was overwhelming and completely present.  Exploration. Adventure.  Not knowing, yet being completely content.  I met a girl on the train from Denver, Katie, she's in Portland for an acro-yoga festival, she went to CU.  We kept making eye contact, she had the smile that those on an adventure wear.  I liked her, she had to get off the train because she figured out she was going the wrong way.  She hopped off with cheers of, "It was nice to meet you, enjoy Portland!"

The train makes it's way deeper into the city; a train employee chases off a clearly homeless and disturbed man, the whole train car breathes a sigh of relief.

We cross the river, we stop by a tavern and a nice looking man raises a window shade from inside the restaurant and he immediately starts taking chairs off tables.  It's his routine, this is where he lives, this is where he works.  

I come to my stop and get off dragging my suitcase behind.  I am instantly aware that I don't know where I am going as all the other commuters bustle around me.

I plug the address of my final destination into my phone, knowing that this will drain what's left of my battery.  And I begin to walk.

I come across the most beautiful park.

Autumn is here in Portland.  You can feel it in the air, the chill at the end of your nose.  It's there in the way the smell of smoke is sticking to smokers clothes, you can see it in the colors and the varieties of leaves littered across the path.  

Across the park is the cafe my friend suggested. 

I enter.  It is warm... and cozy.  A corner table opens right near the window.  I tuck my suitcase in the corner, set some things on the table to claim it as my own and head to the counter to place an order for a pesto chicken panino and a large latte.

I get back to my table, pull my notebook out of my suitcase and start recording my thoughts.  The server sets my food and latte down.  The steam rising from the cup, the notebook, this scratched table... it's so cute, so quaint.  I must instagram this moment.  Right as I'm about to post my picture, my phone dies. Reminding me to be present, that not everything has to be displayed.  Documented, yes... but displayed in the moment for validation... no.

I find an outlet to plug in my phone and I decide that I will stay here, in this cafe, drinking lattes, reading and writing until my phone is charged and my friend gets off of work and finds me and we can take my luggage back to his place.

I'm here.  I'm in Portland.