Mike and I just returned from a week away in Portland and Seattle. Neither one of us had ever been to the Pacific Northwest before, and we had such a nice time. Here are a few or our favorite things from our time in Portland:
Powell's Books takes up an entire city block and sells more new and used books than I've ever seen. I showed extreme restraint and only bought one kids book. Mike loved browsing this book. I wished so badly that Mabel had been there with me. She would have flipped! After looking at books, we walked to Salt & Straw and waited in the super long line for ice cream. Was it worth the wait? Yes. I got a scoop of smoked cinnamon apple and it tasted just like fall.
Portland is a lot more quaint and homey than I was expecting. It's not at all as weird as Portlandia would make you believe. And everyone was so friendly! It felt like all the restaurants were filled with regulars and the servers were their best friends. I liked that it didn't feel like a big city. We didn't rent a car and were able to easily walk wherever we needed to go. We even went running a couple of times on the waterfront paths on the banks of the Willamette River. It was so pretty.
Also, we totally lucked out with the weather. It was sunny and warm everyday. I think they were having an end-of-summer heat wave, but it felt wonderful to us desert dwellers.
There are large murals painted all over the city. I especially loved the ones of roses. Portland is known as the Rose City, I think.
The big draw of downtown has to be the food. There are entire blocks made up just of food trucks. We loved Chez Dodo (get the shymosas!), Kargi Gogo (get the cheese bread), and Korean Twist for the tacos.
We also enjoyed Brunch Box, Tilt, and Pok Pok (get the wings). I didn't get a picture, but we met up with one of my oldest friends and her husband at Pok Pok. That was the highlight of the trip for me. I love you, Laura! And you, too, Dave! Thanks for driving into the city to meet up.
There are lots of pretty tree-lined streets and old buildings. One day we popped into Blue Star for some doughnuts. Everyone said to skip Voodoo and go to Blue Star instead, so that's what we did. They were simple and fresh and delicious.
Sunday afternoon found us wandering around Washington Park. The colors were just starting to change. It was gorgeous. We tried to go to the Japanese Garden, which I'd heard was a must-see, but it was closed for renovations. If we were ever to move to Portland, the neighborhood bordering this park would be a dreamy place to live. Think really charming bungalows in pristine condition on windy, tree-lined roads.
It's hard to believe that we could walk here from our hotel in downtown! (Actually, we took the MAX there, but we did walk home.) Having a getaway like this with Mike is such a treat. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law, Lindsi, who doubled her bunch by taking on our kids while we were away.