First Time in Portland

This adventure began the day I got two $100 Southwest vouchers due to a very delayed flight I had complained about. Sometimes you just gotta vouch for yourself amiright? Hehe. Anyways, with the entire continental U.S and some select central American cities at our finger tips, we chose to use the vouchers to go to a place that we’ve been dreaming of going to for a long time: Portland.

We’ve binge watched Portlandia and have had enough craft beer to call ourselves connoisseurs, so we figured it was time to head north to the PNW to experience the real deal. Plus, we only had a weekend to go somewhere, so we didn’t want to spend the entire time flying.

We snagged an early morning flight out of San Diego on a Saturday. As we flew in with Mount Hood to our right and greenery below us, I couldn’t help but wiggle in my seat with excitement. I had been planning for WEEKS where we were going to go and when. We touched down, got swindled into upgrading to a Jeep for our rental car, and set out for our first Portland meal. I had a few options for the first meal but got so overwhelmed once we were in the car so I blindly picked one from the list hoping it would be a good one.

I had a breakfast scramble and Jordan had a burger from Grain & Gristle — a quaint restaurant on the east side. I’d give it a 7/10. Food quality was great, bit pricey though for the portion size.

I desperately wanted to hit some thrift stores while we were there, so we found one called Rerun where I bought a book from the 70’s about Alaskan Wildflowers. Don’t ask… it had a cute cover. I also found a Point Loma pennant. Can’t escape the naz’.

After our late morning brunch and thrift-excursion, it was socially acceptable to hit up a brewery. We ventured to Eclipse Brewing. We sat on the patio and each had a beer. I got their peach sour and Jordan got an IPA that tasted like magic. We had a view of the city, lots of dogs around, and a whole weekend ahead of us. I was giddy.

In our itinerary I had planned to go explore downtown Portland that afternoon, but I really just wanted to visit the haunted mansion. I mean, Pittock Mansion. This early 1900’s restored mansion was the perfect spot to view the entire city AND Mount Hood. We paid the entrance fee to go inside and I could not stop whispering to Jordan about how many spooks this place must have at night. It was beautiful and scary at the same time. Although I’m a chicken so maybe that was just my impression.

We toured the grounds, took a short hike through the nearby woods, and worked up an appetite for our highly anticipated meal at Güero! It was everything I had dreamed it to be: hip, plant-filled, and DELICIOUS. I had the Desayuno torta with a classic margarita. I’m not kidding you guys, it was the best meal I’ve ever had. Perhaps it was because I was in a new city and was excited, but if I’m back in Portland sometime soon that will be the first place I go. The margarita was shaken I believe? Which made it even more flippin delicious.

Afterwards, we made room for ice cream around the block at Fifty Licks. This place had some pretty unique flavors, including a lavender mint chip. For me it was a bit too lavender-y so instead I chose some type of chocolate (with caramel? unsure) and a warm waffle cone. Calories did not count this weekend! I ate the whole dang thing.

We wobbled our way back to our car after the ice cream and went back to our cute Airbnb guest house in the back of an old Victorian. I was in a pretty hefty food coma and ended up taking a nap from 5-7pm! When I woke up, we wanted to go out but maybe save downtown Portland for the next night. Luckily my gal Katie texted me about the Portland Night Market not too far from us! It ended up being a perfect night. It was chilly as we walked to the market but luckily I had my Doc Martens and faux leather jacket. Did I fit in or stand out? I still don’t know.

We found ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder inside the market which gave me a biiiit of claustrophobia so we went outside to stand in line for some Pips doughnuts and chai! The mini donuts were a perfect snack, and the chai warmed my soul.

At bedtime we were planning for the next day, and we spontaneously decided that we would drive out to the coast the next morning. Jordan has always wanted to visit the Oregonian coast, and we had a rental car so I figured why not! We woke up at the crack of dawn and groggily made our way to Good Coffee (highly recommend!!! The baristas were super friendly and very helpful in giving us recommendations of where to go on our trip). We listened to indie folk as we drove an hour and a half through woods and fields towards the coast. It was dreamy and I didn’t want it to end.

We arrived at the coast and quickly found Haystack rock at Cannon Beach: a classic insta-background I’ve been seeing for awhile now. It was beautiful in person, and the beach was absolutely huge. I’m used to beaches that have waves coming right up to the road. It was refreshing to have to walk a long ways to the tide! We took pictures and explored the tidepools at the base of the rock.

Our friend recommended Pelican Brewing Company that was a short walk from the beach. We both had the most delicious burgers (another meal win for this trip!) and yummo beer! A bit expensive for us but hey, we were on vacation.

We drove up to Seaside and strolled around the town for awhile, but figured we should head back to Portland in order to make it back for dinner downtown.

We got back, changed real quick, and drove downtown (we found 4 hour parking!!!). First stop was 10 Barrel Brewing. Their Cucumber Crush is one of Jordan’s favorite beers so we had to visit. Determined not to lose our good parking, we walked all the way to Powell’s Books. I was in HEAVEN when we go there. SO MANY LEVELS OF BOOKS!!! I felt bad dragging Jordan through all of it, and it was quite warm, but it was worth it. I really wanted to buy a book but I ended up with just a mug. Had to prove I actually went there!!

At dinnertime we wound up at Thai Peacock. It was absolutely delicious. It was a small place, but had this second story level inside that we sat at. Very homey feeling! I got something OTHER than Pad Thai! Big shock there!!! Not sure the name of the dish, but the noodles were a bit wider and the sauce was mild and yummmmmy. Also their meatball appetizer was so good we ate it in like 3 seconds literally.

After dinner we walked a few blocks to The Society hotel where we drank some hot drinks on the rooftop, cozied up with blankets, and had an amazing view of downtown at dusk. It was blissful.

We walked to Bailey’s Taproom where Jordan got a $12 beer. Yes you read that right. He got swindled into it. Afterwards, we ended the night at Deschutes Brewing. We sat at the bar with our beers and watched some football. It was a brewery crawl that night!! By the end I was exhausted and my feet were pretty sore from walking all over Portland, but it was thrilling.

The next morning was allllll about waterfalls! We hit up Heart Coffee Roasters to start the day. I got a pumpkin spice latte (natural, none of that Starbucks grease), and I’m so sad that I can’t get that again in San Diego.

We took the scenic highway all the way riiiiight before Multnomah Falls, but since the road was blocked we had to drive ALL the way back around on the regular freeway. I didn’t mind though because we saw the most incredible sights along the scenic route. I’ve never been in such awe. At the Vista House (scenic view picture above) I wanted to cry it was so incredible (also the wind was crazy and cold and my eyes were tearing up). I’m not used to seeing rivers this large or that amount of green!

After the 30 minute detour we finally made it to the famed Multnomah Falls. It was incredible and COLD and so beautiful. I wish I had brought an extra jacket! I’m glad we saved this for a Monday because the crowds were a lot smaller than weekend crowds!

We had a few hours to kill before our 5pm flight, so we went to Great Notion Brewing which was probably my favorite beer place this whole trip. I ate this quinoa-kale-sweet potato salad which sounds terribly healthy but it was warm and delicious. Even better than that, they serve this blueberry muffin sour that tastes like HEAVEN. It’s barely sour, so it just tastes like a cold blueberry muffin in beer form and I wanted to drink an entire growler of it. I was broken hearted to not be able to take it home on the plane (had a carry-on only). We turned in our rental car and headed back to the airport. I didn’t want to leave!!! I wanted to stay an extra few days just to soak up everything, but we had basically done everything we had set out to do.

So Portland, thank you for being everything we had dreamed. We gained a couple pounds but I regret nothing. We’ll see you someday soon.

the best adventures are ahead,