My fiance, Jose, and I have been wanting to go to Portland forever! We figured it would be a good birthday trip for me, but we already had plans on my birthday weekend. One of his former colleague, Katie, was born and raised in Portland and gave us a lot of great suggestions for our trip!
Thursday: We had a late flight out of DFW to PDX. I wasn’t looking forward to getting in after midnight, but I liked the idea of not having to take an early flight and jump straight into exploring. Well, summer storms in Dallas delayed our flight to even later than it initially was, getting us to the hotel (which was only about 10 minutes from the airport) around 3:30 am (PT). Yikes!
Friday: We took our time getting up, but did set alarms so we could make it to the hotel’s breakfast. Since the rental car company was closed by the time our flight landed we took the hotel’s shuttle back to the airport (praise Jesus for 24 hour shuttles!) to pick up our car.
I didn’t have a huge to-do list for Portland since we didn’t have a ton of time. I’m learning from previous trips not to plan too much because I’ll come home exhausted, which kinda defeats the purpose of a vacation… Katie had set up a few things for us to do together and emailed us a few suggestions. What I mainly wanted to do/see was downtown so that’s where we headed. First stop was Powell’s Books which came highly recommended. I am used to Half Price Book’s flagship store in Dallas, but was still impressed by Powell’s. I totally could have spent more time browsing, but I didn’t want to buy something that I could find back home. Jose did buy a comic book that he had been looking for!
We were getting hungry, but I hadn’t looked up many food places which is odd for me. We walked by the food trucks and wandered around town consulting Yelp. We ended up grabbing lunch at a Freshii, which isn’t anything unique, but it hit the spot. Next we strolled down the waterfront. I enjoyed the breeze and checking out all of the cool bridges and signs.
Jose suggested going to the Chinese Gardens which were in walking distance. The gardens were lovely and were a nice change of scenery. It was so odd being surrounded by Chinese architecture, then looking up and seeing a traditional brick building.
Our last stop before dinner was Stumptom Coffee. I hadn’t had coffee all day because I wanted to have real Portland coffee. By the afternoon I was a little cranky so I chose a cold brew to cool off. Jose was probably the only person that day who ordered a hot chocolate. I’m more of a hot coffee person, but really couldn’t imagine drinking a hot beverage after walking around in the heat.
We went back to the hotel to rest a little bit before going out to dinner with Jose’s former colleague and her husband. They even had our names printed on the menu – how cute is that?! Jake’s is a Portland tradition and tasty option for tourists and locals. When travelling, I like to get something that I normally don’t get to have at home and ordered the X which was really fresh and something different. We walked to a restaurant a few blocks away to share dessert. We went to bed reasonably early since we had an early morning, full day of sight-seeing, and had a morning of hiking ahead of us!