Our Travel Guide to Portland
Recently Aaron and I went to Portland to check out the city. For some reason, Portland seemed like a really cool place for a wedding or a wedding celebration. We are moving away from the idea of a traditional wedding because our perspective (I know this is not everyone) is that spending 20k-40k for one day is bananas. We would rather put that money into a down payment for a house, travel, and so forth. This is why we are thinking we're going to lean more towards the path of doing a wedding celebration trip. Anyway I'm rambling now but this is what triggered us to go there in the first place.
Our journey started off at Hotel Rose, a Staypineapple Hotel. When we arrived, the yellow really called out to me, and no wonder Addie Mannan wanted to utilize the bright color with this gorgeous skirt. Checking into this beautiful hotel was such a treat, and we enjoyed the process so much because as we got our room keys, the staff gave us so many amazing recommendations for where to eat. We had already set our minds on hitting up Pine Street Market and luckily it was a quick walk. I went for the ramen of course, and Aaron went for some BBQ. I think my ramen was one of the best I tried recently. After we ate, we decided to take the walk to the brewery area and hit up 10 Barrel Brewery. It was a nice chill spot, and we liked the vibe. The cool thing about Portland is that it doesn't matter what day of the week it is, people are always out and they're drinking. We have found our permanent drinking buddies.
The next day I did a photo shoot with Addie for a few hours. We got a lot of incredible shots, and drove throughout the downtown Portland area to find the best places for the various outfits I had to shoot. The feeling of a completed photo shoot is one of the best. You feel so accomplished and good once it's done and you have a lot of new content. After that successful shoot, I grabbed Aaron and we went to grab some lunch. We knew we'd hit up Whole Bowl because we wanted something somewhat healthy.
Once we finished up lunch, we did a little bit of exploration downtown. By exploration, I mean exploring some breweries. We enjoyed some happy hour beers before we headed off to dinner at nel centro. We had a few delicious appetizers, including cheese and olives. The pizza was delicious, and I think we even split a burger. It was all delicious, and I would recommend the spot if you're in Portland.
The next day, we had quite a bit of an agenda. We started off viewing a wedding venue called Bridal Veil Lakes. The drive in to the property was so gorgeous, and unlike anything we've ever experienced before.
We had planned to do the Multnomah Falls Hike, but unfortunately the hike was closed down. One of my favorite experiences was having lunch at Full Sail Brewery. We sat outside, and we were in between two buildings so the wind outside was not affecting us, and it was so pleasant. We split an appetizer plate, and a burger. Of course we had to have some beers. The Full Sail Brewery takes up an entire block, and it was incredible to experience and see one of the biggest breweries in the US.
After lunch, we casually made our way to the Tamanawas Falls Hike. This was an intense one that seemed to never end. It was definitely worth it though, because the waterfall at the end was so beautiful.
After quite the exciting day, we went back to downtown Portland to check in to our next hotel. We were excited to check into Jupiter NEXT given it is a brand new addition to the Jupiter Hotel. As we arrived to our room, the layout was convenient and modern. Not to mention the doors were chalkboards on both sides, and each room had chalk. It was such a fun concept that I'd never seen before!
After we had settled in, and enjoyed our incredible view outside (night lights from top floors are always so amazing) it was time to find dinner. We had planned to go to the Smokehouse Tavern, but we made a quick stop for some local beer first. The tavern had some delicious BBQ, but the beans were the spiciest thing we had ever tried in our lives. I could only take two bites before I had to put it down, so I would warn you that the beans are spicy AF. After dinner, we went back to our room to hang out and just chill.
The next day, we decided to explore a little bit of Vancouver Washington. We went to breakfast at a really popular breakfast spot (you'll find it based on reviews if you search in Vancouver.) There's not much in the downtown besides a few good restaurants. Our plan was to go to Moulton Falls to do a hike, but we flipped the script and decided to hit a cute little winery before we made a last minute decision to drive all the way to Mount Saint Helens. We drove all the way up there, checked out the visitors center and then drove back. Something we love when we're in new places, is going for long drives. Aaron loves to drive, and I love the road trip aspect and stopping off to find good coffee shops, wineries, breweries and delicious restaurants. It was a good day!
That night we decided to check out the Thai food truck that was just next to the Jupiter NEXT hotel. We had noticed a long line the day before, but now we just had to check it out and see what the hype was all about; you know I'm a big foodie, and I need the best food. Food trucks sometimes really get me going, so Aaron convinced me to do it. Me being naive and not thinking about how spicy Thai food usually is, I went for medium spicy levels. Wooooow, that was one of the spicy things I've ever had but I stuck through it and ate my lo mein. I love spicy, but I remember semi-crying and my mouth being on fire. This amazing food truck is called Thai Champa, and if you're ever in the area, you have to give it a try. It's well worth the wait, but make sure you plan ahead and just call in your order. It'll save you a whole lot of time. You can thank me later!
On Sunday, we drove to the Oregon coast. We went to Lincoln City, and then drove all the way down to Thor's Well. It was a long drive, but it was so beautiful as we drove through Oregon's wine country: Willamette Valley. It's home to some of the best pinot noirs in the world, and we saw winery after winery. As you can imagine, I was like a little kid in a candy store because there was wine all over the place during the drive. Once we reached the coast, we stopped off at the Flying Dutchman Winery for a glass of wine. We met the nicest group of ladies who have traveled (and continue to travel) the world. One of them was celebrating her 80th birthday, which is just so amazing. I was honestly loving our time learning more about them, but after about an hour, we had to hit the road to continue our trek along the coast to Thor's Well. We made it all the way there, grabbed some snacks along the way and then decided to head back. We want to make it back to wine country before a lot of wineries closed so we drove the 2 1/2 hours from Thor's Well back to wine country. We made it just in time to enjoy a delicious glass of red. It always makes me laugh when Aaron orders wine, and then hands me the glass halfway through - he's not much of a wine drinker so I'm always happy with extra wine (LOL - it's true love.)
We loved the Thai food truck next to Jupiter NEXT so much, we had to grab more food there the next night. Only after hanging out at Modern Times for a few hours. I can't explain the level of excitement we had with having a local Modern Times Brewery. They are expanding it too, but it was an epic space. Modern Times Beer is the bomb dot com, and it's been our favorite the past few months. The beer that's really rocked our socks is Booming Rollers, an IPA (le duh!) Anyway, once we grabbed our six packs, and our Thai food, we hung out in our rooms all night watching TV, chatting and enjoying our food and drink. It was such a great chill night.
The saddest part about the trip is that we went to the Bosnia Restaurant (I'm originally from Bosnia) and it was closed because the family who owns the restaurant had likely gone on vacation for the summer. So sad it was during our stay, but all the more reason for us to go back to Portland in the winter. Has anyone been to the Bosnia Restaurant in Portland? I need reviews!
Our last day in paradise was another chill day. We may or may not have found ourselves at Modern Times again. Maybe. Anyway, we did some driving around the city and checked out all the neighborhoods we hadn't actually seen before, so that was a lot of fun. We tried Blue Star Donuts (no we didn't have Voodoo Donuts because we refuse to stand in line for an hour for a donut.) Blue Star was bomb, and we devoured our donuts in under two minutes. It was epic.
The biggest thing we learned when traveling to Portland, was that people are unbelievably nice. If someone in California or Arizona asked me a question, I would likely get a little freaked out and try to escape the conversation. In Oregon, people are so kind and considerate. They genuinely want to chat about your day and see how you're doing, so it's not weird at all. The people were just so nice. We had amazing food everywhere we went. Incredible beer in every single brewery. The weather was perfect. It was the most amazing weather for just a tee and shorts. We were never too hot or too cold. It was just right! The biggest thing is that weed is legal. While I'm not big into pot, it was pretty cool to walk into a dispensary. I will admit I bought a nut and fruit granola bar, and it took me all week to finish it since my tolerance is LOW. The outdoors were incredible. Green for miles in every direction, especially when you get to amazing forests. All in all, we were so taken back by Portland in the best way possible. We didn't expect it to completely make us fall in love. So much so we were talking about moving there! Have you ever been?