Four days and three nights in Portland, Oregon was a whirlwind of great brews, excellent food, unplanned grandeur, and Oregon’s tale-tale signature, waterfalls. My forever and I met up with two of my best friends whom I have not seen in far too long. They are excellent planners, and we saw parts of this growing city that I never knew existed.
Our Air BnB was excellent, and looked straight out of a magazine. It rather far away from downtown, but I had my car. The first day, we got there in the afternoon. I met up with my friends at one of the downtown markets. It was a craft extravaganza with tons of amazing aromas drifting off of different food trucks.
After the long drive to the area with already somewhat frizzled nerves, it was a bit overwhelming in the sense that every item was almost too cool to choose.
We had amazing pizza, and ice cream for dessert that evening. My ice cream was mango marionberry habanero. I never would have tried it most likely, but my friends were getting it to, and sometimes crowd mentality is not a negative trait.
They drizzled it in caramel and handed it to me in a handmade waffle cone. That was a great ending to our first day. The next day we visited the Pittcock Mansion. Apparently, a man who was the owner and editor of the Oregonian, and he had lots of money and built this mansion. It cost $11 to get in, but it was worth every penny.
The craftsmanship and architecture of this space is on par with some of the buildings I saw in Italy. Each room is ornate beyond belief, or it incorporates technologies that would have been considered state-of-the-art at the time of their use, which includes a in-set lighting and a laundry shoot that works by motor instead of being hand pulled.
Plus, the gardens around the mansion are exquisite, and the view of Portland and the mountains in the distance, is, well- a multi million dollar mansion kind of view. In other words, go there, if you can.
After this lush adventure, we went to the Portland Forest Park to find the Witch’s Castle. It was a goregous short hike in the woods. I had no idea that Portlandians had these types of trails to exercise in everyday.
Turns out this structure was actually a bathroom stop for people traveling along the trail. I found this rather hilarious, but the structure is perfectly situated with its moss patches to sit in the backdrop of that charming forest next to the creek. A lovely free excursion.
The Portland Rose Garden was not too far away. It is close to the Portland zoo, and it is free except for the price of parking. I’ve been to the rose garden in Berkley, CA, which was awesome, but this rose garden was bigger and dare I say better? It was different; let’s just call it that. The International Rose Garden has 10,000 bushes and 650 different varieties. I saw purple and tie-dye roses. Some of the rose bushes had been in the ground there since 1919. It was awesome and another charming must-see in Portland.
That evening we went to a Speakeasy. It was cool because the house looked like any normal house. Later that evening we went to an Irish Pub that boasted some great food, which include a squash risotto.
Our adventure the next day was in search of waterfalls. Not waterfalls, but the waterfall that is often advertised when one thinks of Oregon, Multnomah Falls. These falls are located in the Columbia River Gorge. The waterfall includes a 611 foot drop, which is amazing. Normally, one can hike to the top of the falls, but because of fires that affected the area, we could only walk to the iconic white bridge that gives one an astonishing view of water falling into a calm pool that looks good enough to swim in.
The amount of people who were also there to visit these falls was substantial. I loved the many different languages that we heard while hiking to the different photo opportunities.
Our friends felt like they saw all that they wanted to see in Portland, so one of them suggested that we could go to Vancouver, Washington. This way they could say that they went to Washington too during their stay. I’d been there once, and had great coffee. My intuition told me that there had to be a cultural center of young awesomeness somewhere in Vancouver, especially because it was so close to Portland.
We went to the first brewery that we saw once me made it into Vancouver’s downtown. The first brewery reused their spent grains to make quesadillas and other items on their menu. Plus, it was happy hour so the prices were great. My forever really liked the quesadilla; I thought it was alright, but I thought the fact they were finding new ways to reuse their grains was excellent.
We found out that we could go on a brewery tour, so we took up the challenge. There are over 20 breweries in Vancouver, and we went to different one’s trying a beer and visiting a delicious food truck there.
I got to try so many different types of beer, which I love. I’m completely fascinated by fermentation. Heathen Brewery had an amazing selection of sour beers. I find them akin to kombucha, but with a stronger, more sour punch. I also had an apple pie cider at at Doomsday Brewery, which was my personal favorite brewery of the 6 that we went to. We didn’t make it through the whole tour, which was probably better for our bodies and bank accounts, but we had a great time in the process.
The next morning we ate breakfast at this amazing place that made eggs Benedict with house-made vegetarian sausage on a waffle, yes, a waffle. It was soooo good, and the perfect send-off to our adventure, which was great.
As the title states, this little vacation reminded me of how much I love traveling, and how much I love to explore. As such, when my Dad suggested that we fly out to Denver to spend time in a cabin in the mountains with my family next week, I just could not say no. Plus, we are flying out of a new airport, which means we get to drive to a new neck of the woods, Lake Tahoe.
I drove through the area five years ago, and my forever has never been. This means we get to add two new adventures into one trip. This is an amazing way to spend my birthday month, and a grateful escape from the smoke that we’ve been surrounded by this month due to the fires. I’m sure I will share another post about my adventures in the future.