After 8 weeks of studying, MIM students have time to relax for 1 week due to Thanksgiving break. Everyone is excited about the long holiday especially Black Friday. Domestic students plan to have a big dinner with their family. Some of them are excited to cook turkey which is a symbol of Thanksgiving. International students plan to travel in Portland, out of State, and to other places such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and so on.
I decided to stay in Portland for 4 days and then go to Seattle for 4 days. After being in Oregon for a while, I really love Portland because the weather is very fresh and clean. Also, the city is surrounded with lots of trees. It is relaxing when I am stressed out after studying. Although Portland is not the capital city of Oregon, I think it is more interesting than the capital city, Eugene. Portland has many skyscrapers, and there are many interesting sites such as the International Rose Test Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Oregon Zoo, Portland Art Museum, Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Saturday Market, Central Library, and Portland Farmers Market. Portland was designated as a city of roses, so there is rose festival in every year.
Portland is not far from Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, Canada. It takes about 3 hours to drive from Portland to Seattle, and 5.5 hours to Canada. Our trip to Seattle made me realize that it is another great destination; there are many places for travelers like the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle Public Library, the first Starbucks café, and the Experience Music Project. My friends and I visited the Space Needle which was the highlight of our trip to Seattle. The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high at its highest point and 138 feet (42 m) wide at its widest point, and weighs 9,550 tons. From the top of the Space Needle, travelers get a 360 degree view of Seattle. Also, we went to Pacific Science Center, Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle Public Library, Pike Place Starbucks, and the Museum of Flight.
Finally, Black Friday is an important day for shopping because all shops offer many discounts up to 70%. An amazing thing that I’ve never seen before is American people wait in line to shop even before the store has opened. The Coach store definitely seemed to be the most popular for shoppers. I also waited in line with other shoppers at Juicy Couture and True Region for about 3 hours! Finally, I was able to find a hip pair of jeans and a nice jacket. An important advantage of being a student in the state of Oregon is that there is no sales tax in Seattle if you show an Oregon drivers license. How lucky I am for being the student in the state of Oregon?
After spending 4 days in Seattle, I came back to Portland, my beloved city. Even though other places are nice and interesting, there really is no place like home. No matter what, I believe Portland is the best city for me.