Better late than never, right!? Ok so I know we took this vacation quite awhile ago, but now that I have my MacBook and I can actually edit photos with the quality they deserve I started re-doing our shots from our PNW adventure last summer and they are just too good not to share with all of you! Especially since we won't be traveling anywhere until fall this year, I thought I'd slowly share our travel story from this vacation with you all on here. So, let me start from the beginning...
In summer 2017, we took our big annual vacation and this time we chose Portland, OR and Seattle, WA! I have been to both cities in the past with my best friend who lives in Portland, but Caleb has never been. We visited with my best friend Ashlyn and took Caleb to all of our favorite spots as well as tried out some new ones! We spent 2 days in Portland, drove up to Seattle and spent 4 days there, and then drove back down to Portland where we spent another day and a half. For the sake of not making this post be a novel, I'm just going to share the Portland part with you today. Please forgive the lack of photos, too, we really took this time to enjoy spending time with each other and Ashlyn and I was also in my first trimester...so as you can imagine I was really concentrated on surviving and enjoying each day to the best of my ability!
We arrived in to Portland really late at night and did my favorite ritual that Ashlyn and I have when I first get to Portland...we went to Jack in the Box! This is one of those fast food places that we don't have in the Chicago area but we really love it, so we we're excited to grab some burgers, tacos, and egg rolls after our long flight.
Our first full day was filled with just exploring the city since it was Caleb's first time. We hit up the famous Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee for breakfast, did some shopping at Powell's City of Books, and then went to a new spot for me for lunch, Pine State Market. The cool thing about this market is that it is basically like a dining hall. There are a bunch of small restaurant stands inside and you can get so many different kinds of foods! They have Korean BBQ, burgers, hot dogs, ramen...you get the picture. Caleb got the ramen, I got a burger, and Ashlyn got a jumbo hot dog. The best part about this is we all got to share and try a little bit of everything! We also grabbed some soft serve ice cream from the Wiz Bang Bar stand, which is Salt & Straw's only soft serve location in Portland. Hands down the best ice cream you will ever have! After stuffing ourselves crazy, we drove over to the Alphabet District (which is my favorite neighborhood in PDX) and did some shopping. I love this area because there is a great mix of one of a kind boutiques as well as some well known favorite stores. Our favorite store in the area though is called The Meadow. It is a salt, bitters, and chocolate shop and is owned by Mark Bitterman. If you've ever dappled with higher end salt, his name probably rings a bell. So as you can imagine with Caleb being the amazing cook that he is...he was in absolute heaven. We walked out with a bunch of salt, chocolate, and a pink salt block! We then took a nice afternoon break for this preggo lady, freshened up, and headed out to dinner at a new spot for me, Pok Pok. They serve authentic Thai food and it was so delicious. We suggest getting the fish sauce wings and Kaeng Hang Leg, which is sweet pork belly. We then walked over to get more Salt & Straw ice cream because we promised Caleb it would be at least a daily occurrence. I got a scoop of a seasonal option but Ashlyn and Caleb both got pints, so we could have it whenever we wanted at Ashlyn's apartment!
Our second full day was an amazing one to say the least. We started the day out at Pine State Biscuits for a great breakfast. This is one of our all time favorite places in Portland, and we have to go every time I visit! We then headed out to the Columbia River Gorge where we did a full day of hiking. We started out at the Crown Point Vista House, which is a great overlook of the Columbia River. We then did a 2 mile hike to the Upper Falls, a 1 mile hike to Bridal Veil Falls, and a half mile hike to Multnomah Falls. All three hikes we're fairly easy...at least easy enough for a 12 week pregnant lady! You can access all three trail heads off of Historic Highway 30. After our nice long day of hiking, we headed back in to the city where we had dinner at our favorite Portland restaurant, Radar. Ashlyn and I discovered Radar on our first visit out there before she moved to Portland, and we fell so in love with this restaurant. We hyped it up a bunch, but Caleb agreed at the end that it is some of the best food you will ever have. Our favorite dishes are the braised brisket and smoked pork shoulder. My mouth is watering right now just typing about them!
The following morning was a quick one in terms of our time in Portland. We popped in to a cute little doughnut place called Pip's Original Doughnuts and Chai for breakfast. They serve little doughnuts, coffee, and the best chai teas. We got one of each mini doughnut with the cinnamon sugar and the Dirty Wu being our top choices. We then drove up to Seattle, which I will save that fun for a different blog post!
When we got back to Portland a few days later, we kept the doughnut train going and hit up Blue Star Donuts for our first breakfast back in PDX. I really really love the lemon poppy doughnut but the blueberry bourbon basil is a close second. We stuck around the Mississippi neighborhood of PDX after breakfast and went in to some cute shops in the area. We hit up another Meadow location and this time Caleb grabbed some bitters and I grabbed some rose cocktail syrup that I am still dying to try. Only a couple more weeks hopefully! We opted to stick around the area for lunch, too, and went to Little Big Burger, which is right next to Blue Star. My travel crew graciously took an afternoon break with me back at Ashlyn's place before heading over to the Old Town area for our Shanghai Tunnels tour later at night. This was a brand new experience for me, and I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous about it. Ghost stories aren't really my thing, but I sucked it up and went underground for the tour of the tunnels. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it really isn't that bad. Just watch your head! The ceilings are low and you could whack your head on many many pipes. After the tour, we went over to Cartopia, which is an awesome lot full of food trucks! We each got something different and shared just like we did at Pine Street Market. I love doing this so you get to try a little bit of everything!
Our final day our of vacation was only a half day, but we ended on quite a high note. We went out for breakfast to a place called Off the Waffle. You guys, I LOVE waffles so much. Like Leslie Knope level love waffles. This place apparently also loves the show Parks and Rec because you can get a plate called The Swanson! It was our dream breakfast. It was unfortunately time for us to head to the airport after that, but we definitely left with full hearts and bellies. We can't wait for our next visit out to the PNW with Nugget in tow!
I'll be sharing our time in Seattle and Mount Rainier National Park in separate posts. so stay tuned! Make sure you're following me on Twitter for daily ramblings and blog post announcements! Hope you all have an amazing weekend!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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