Day 1 + 2 in Portland were a blast an awesome start to our trip. You can read about why we decided to go to Oregon and what we did for our first two days here.
New Years Eve! I’m not a huge celebrator of New Years Eve, but there’s something nice feeling most people around you are pressing reset too, but if we really wanted to make a change shouldn’t we be able to do it at any time? This was also my First New Years celebrating with someone 🙂 Yep, that needed a smiley face, I won’t make this too cheesy but it felt awesome to be taking the time to celebrate this change in year with someone I like being around.
We slept in a little bit, making breakfast at home in our cute Airbnb. I’m really all for these small spaces, including a kitchen instead of a hotel room. It feels much more like a quick home away from home, and the option to have breakfast + coffee at home is so welcoming.
After the boy cooked (while I cleaned up and made myself coffee), we headed off for a hike! I really wanted to go visit Cannon Beach, but we decided it was too far for the amount of driving I had already done. A friend recommended us to Multnomah Falls, about 45 minutes from where we were staying, I’d say an hour from downtown.
Easy to get to, parking available, even a little gift shop which mean washrooms + a food stand so he could get his espresso. The hike is 1.6 miles, but all the way up. I’d 75% the incline of Grouse Mountain. Neither of us enjoy heights, but felt good to be breathing in some fresh air before our night out.
When you look across the water, that’s also Washington state. A body of water dividing the two. At the top there’s a small look out, and you can get misted by the water fall! Great to get views from both ways.
This hike doesn’t require any particular gear, depending how slow you go can be for any fitness level, and it doesn’t take too long. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a mini day trip outside the city.
We stopped quick at a liquor store on a hunt for some local Gin. Recommended by a few locals in the store we got Aria Gin. A bit more dry of a taste, but I think my most favourite Gin yet!
We headed back home, to go back out for walk around our neighbourhood. We stopped by a Safeway to pick up some more bananas, I was craving for some lotion (craving? I think my skin was craving, that sounds better) and Mom’s requested Shout dryer sheets from the US haha. The weather was cold, but with our toque and mitts on we found the walk bearable.
We had reservations for dinner but not until 10:30pm…probably the latest I’ve ever pre-planned to eat! We knew we needed a little pre-dinner, dinner. By fluke, we stumbled across Lardo, a rich, trendy + heavenly sandwich shop. I also learned that Lardo in Italian means fat which was fitting.
Although no fully plant based options were available, he opted for the Griddled Mortadella and I went for the Chefwich, the special of the week with partial proceeds going to a local organization. Omg. Some of the best sandwiches ever. I really wish they expand even farther North into Vancouver, we could use a good sandwich shop like this.
We hung out at home binge watching the Portlandia show on Netflix, which was a weird dejavu because some of the places in Portlandia, we had already visited!
We got beautified (well I did, took him 3 minutes to get ready…) and headed to Tusk for dinner. Lots of the Portland restaurants had set menus, including this one. We didn’t opt-in for the pairings alongside the food because we just wanted to enjoy a bottle of wine together.
It was amazing. So amazing we ate too much. I mean actually ate too much to the point of feeling ill, ha! It had nothing to do with Tusk’s food, but gosh we couldn’t help our selves from indulging. 5 courses, a bottle of wine and even a small glass of champagne at the end of the night to celebrate midnight!
Although our night ended sooner than we were planning on, we were very pleased with Tusk for food and enjoyed our evening. Uber only took 8 minutes to get home too!
We took it easssyyyyy on New Years Day. Enjoying one another’s company and a, we have nowhere to be anytime soon morning.
We stopped by the Portland Juice Co to grab two smoothies and a quick turmeric + lemon shot before heading out for a mini adventure.
An Uber driver earlier in the week had recommended Pittock Mansion, and luckily I wrote it down! This is on the North West side of town, which we felt was an area we hadn’t explored yet. We headed up the hill, a beautiful drive, to realize the mansion was closed, but the view is phenomenal, you can see the whole downtown and beyond Mount Hood.
We also saw there was a little hike while trying to find parking, and decided some movement would do us well. Probably the first time I’ve ever hiked in jeans, wool coat and a purse on haha. But we didn’t know what our day was going to hold when getting dressed.
2.5 hours later we ended hiking all the way down the mountain and back up. A couple told us we could go down to a river or back up to the mansion, where we came from! It was the perfect amount of movement and fresh air to start the New Year.
We headed back downtown hoping to get into the Multnomah Whiskey Library but it was closed for New Years Day :(. We headed over to Grassa, which we later realized was brothers to Lardo, the awesome sandwich spot from the day before. Grassa is a bit of a casual restaurant spot. You order at the door, but go in to sit down and eat, ALL hand made pasta. I got Spaghetti ‘Aglio Olio’ and he got Tortelli, my boy is Italian and very hard to please with pasta but he LOVED it. So simple, delicious and affordable for the portion of food you get.
We also stopped at Blue Star Donuts AGAIN this time getting a few new flavours like Blueberry Basil, the glaze on these were amazing! So rich, fresh and accurate to taste, they went up in my donut books but still did not beat Voodoo.
We also had to stop at Lardo again because he wanted a sandwich one last time. Opting for the Pork Belly Gyro, which I snuck a bite of and think this was the best of the 3 sandwiches we had at Lardo. Clearly we like to double dip when we find a good food joint.
Another chill evening enjoying our Portland Gin while watching Portlandia was a great ending to the trip. Even though we could have pushed it to explore one more thing, I feel like exploring when all you want to do is be relaxing, does make for a good mindset.
Home time! We mostly packed, even did a load of laundry the evening before and had everything set for the morning. Around 9am we left, hoping to stop by Voodoo donuts one last time…yes more donuts. He had ate all the Blue Star the night before, but when we pulled up Voodoo was closed on Jan 2 🙁 A big disappointment.
While stopping by Fried Egg I’m In Love AGAIN… yep another repeat, we spotted Coco Donuts from the corner of our eye. We decided to stop over for a quick espresso and bought a dozen donuts.
Coco donuts were better than Blue Star Donuts.
Coco donuts were better than Voodoo Donuts
WE HAVE A WINNER!
Yeasty, clean flavours, simple glazes + decorations plus the server went to school at UBC, we had a mini bonding moment.
We drove as straight through as we could back to Canada, eating our snacks and donuts on the way, stopping for gas just before the border.
A quick stop at Bob Likes Thai Food for dinner and we were HOME!
I highly recommend Portland to anyone looking for an easy going, simple, friendly + city with amazing food!
Planning your trip to Portland? Make sure you share your trip with me by tagging @anna_dueck.