Portland Has My Heart

Portland has been on my mind for a while now. In the midst of an emotional November, I booked a ticket on a whim. I am so glad I did.

Maddie, Tyler (lovingly known as TDahle) and Kylie all decided to join me. TDahle flew in from Vegas, and Kylie from Buffalo. It couldn't have been a better mix of people. So thankful to have such great friends. 

Maddie and I met TDahle at our beautiful airbnb rental late Thursday night after a slight luggage snafu. (I decided to leave my luggage behind at Alamo after securing my car rental.) It made for a pretty late night, but he had a fire roaring and some Jamiroquai playing loudly when we got there... in true TDahle fashion. 

Our house was beautiful and full of charm in every corner. If you've never rented through airbnb.com, it's definitely the way to go when traveling. Hotels are a thing of the past. We got lucky and randomly picked a house that was pretty centrally located for everything we ended up doing. We had no clue going into this trip what Portland had in store for us, no agenda, no real ideas of what we'd do once we got there. 

After picking Kylie up from the airport on Friday morning, we headed downtown for some eats and ended up in the Pearl District. The shops and parks and people in this neighborhood were arguably my favorite of the trip. Everything is clean in Portland. The people there take pride in their city and it shows. Everyone was very welcoming and overly kind with suggestions of what to do while we were vacationing (including Striparaoke, but that's a story for another day). 

The boutiques and vintage shops in the Pearl District were right up my alley. Everything was white. Mojave and Yo! were a couple of favorites. Kylie and I ended up spending way too much money on some quality denim from Imogene + Willie. (Worth it.)

After a quick stop for smoothies - we decided to head up into the hills to see the Rose Gardens. If only they had been in bloom. :) Roses or no roses, Portland is still a luscious green and world's better than the brown Omaha that I returned to. 

Ironically enough, we ended up at an Irish bar called Paddy's that night for dinner. Lots of interesting characters there. Headed downtown (I think) shortly after dinner for the night. Ended up at some weird European Hipster-esque bar with a crazy DJ. We didn't last long there and before we knew it, we were hailing a cab so we could get some sleep. 

Day 2: Brunching and checking out the vintage shops on Mississippi Street. Lots of cool finds. 

Wandered back downtown mainly so I could snap a shot of the "Keep Portland Weird" sign and nom on a couple of VooDoo Doughnuts (after a 30-minute wait in line). Again, worth it. 

After downtown, we began the 1.5 hr trek to Cannon Beach. (Goonies, anyone?) It was miserably cold and windy and Maddie was right at home with her toes in the ocean. We only lasted ten minutes on the beach before we took refuge in the restaurant and watched the sun set over the ocean through the cloudy sky.

Day 3: More adventuring. We hit up the Alberta Arts District for brunch at The Radio Room. What is it with Portland and the 45-minute waits for brunch? 

We went on a tiny house tour and it was the coolest thing. I could never do it on account of all the things I own, but I know someone who would absolutely love that minimalist lifestyle. (Drew.)

After brunch we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge. The view was unreal. Similar to how I felt in the middle of the mountains in Colorado... places like these open your eyes to a whole new reality. Our world is beautiful if you take the time to see it. My goal is to travel somewhere new every year. 

After the Gorge, it was off through the windy roads to Multnomah Falls. There are no words. I wish the footbridge hadn't been closed off due to structural damage. Would have been neat to be in the middle of it all.

We spent our last night east of the river at a swanky hipster hangout reminiscent of Krug called "Sweet Hereafter." Kylie had an early flight so we didn't stay long, which was okay by everyone - it had been a long weekend.

If you have never been to Portland, I highly suggest going. Even if you don't stay in the city, the views that Oregon has to offer are spectacular. I miss the green already. 

Any suggestions for my next trip?