Portland, I love you

Oh, Portland. I took a leap of faith in planning this trip and it paid off so, SO much. I had an amazing time in Portland, met some awesome people, and dropped off a few critters while I was at it. If I had to sum up my trip in 4 pictures it’d be these:

Otherwise read on for more on my trip!

So one thing I hadn’t mentioned in my previous post about visiting Portland was that this was my first time traveling alone, so while I was excited about my trip, I was also feeling a lot of anxiety about going solo for the first time. All that went away pretty quickly…the city has a great laid back vibe to it that made me feel like I was in a good place. 🙂 Here’s a recap of my time in Portland:

  • There’s no sales tax. WHAT. One of my Lyft drivers told me that Portlanders pay out the ass in income and property tax to make it happen, but he’d still rather keep it that way!
  • Everyone was so nice! Every person I met (both local and visiting) was warm and friendly and didn’t mind me bombarding them with questions (“So what’s the story to this place?” “I’ve got a few hours to kill and I just finished walking down this area, where else should I go?” “I’m not from here, if you had to pick one beer for me on the menu that screams ‘Portland,’ what would it be?”). I don’t know what it is, maybe something in the water just makes everyone nicer, but I loved it. And I come from a friendly city.
  • Ok, so us Houstonians are friendly until we get behind the wheel. That being said, Oregonians are so damn polite on the roads too! I took a zipcar out to hike some trails and I ended up feeling like the asshole on the road because I was still driving on alert like I do back home.
  • Multnomah Falls. Beautiful. But the trails were closed, so I just dropped in for some quick photos and left. Hopefully I can come back someday when it’s opened again.

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  • I know Multnomah Falls is the poster child for Oregon’s waterfalls, but why doesn’t anyone talk about Latourell Falls more?? Since the trails for Multnomah were closed I ended up taking the 3 mile loop trail for Latourell instead and I LOVED it. The 3 miles was just the right distance for me, elevations were just enough to give me a good bit of cardio without feeling like “OMG I’M DYING,” and there was plenty of greenery, gorgeous waterfalls, and since the trail takes you upward, you get to a point where you can get some great sweeping views of the gorge. It was exactly what I wanted.

  • Also there’s no scary wildlife to worry about on the trails?? It was all birds and butterflies. It was like being in a fucking Disney movie, it was amazing.
  • The Kennedy School! The Kennedy School is an old elementary school that has been converted into a hotel/theater/bars (plural!)/brewery/spa/EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE. My main purpose for visiting the Kennedy School was to check out their mineral pool, where for $5/hour you can enjoy a good soak, AND you’re allowed to bring in-house drinks to the pool. After a day of hiking, a good soak in the pool with a beer in hand was the best thing I did for myself.

  • BEER. There’s so much! I tried beers from Great Notion, Sticky Hands, Wayfinder, Breakside, and the in-house beer at the Kennedy School. Great Notion had my favorites, but I’ll have to visit Breakside’s Brewery if I come back because I heard so much about it.

  • The tap water just tastes better??
  • The whiskey wall at Multnomah Whiskey Library is one of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen.

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  • Pok Pok wings: These wings showed up on just about every “things you must eat in Portland” list that I found, so I had to try them. I wish I could say they lived up to the hype, but I thought they were too salty? Maybe it was just the location I went to.
  • Salt & Straw and Wiz Bang Bar on the other hand DID live up to the hype. Holy shit.

  • The Geekcraft Expo! A lot of people thought I was going to Portland just for this, but I actually didn’t even know about it until a few weeks before my trip! Once I found out I had to pay a visit. 🙂

  • I got lost in Powell’s City of Books and I was 100% okay with it. Walked in and somehow got spat out on the other side of the street with a souvenir mug in hand. AMAZING.

  • I was so pleased to find two copies of Literary Yarns on the shelves at Powell’s!  I know I didn’t exactly write a NYT bestseller, so it’s always a pleasant surprise when I see my own book in the wild. 🙂

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  • I stayed on the NW side of town (Nob Hill), but I enjoyed the east side more.
  • Mississippi Ave might be my favorite street in the whole city. Just look at these! The shops were so fun and pretty.

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  • I visited a barcade called Ground Kontrol and these guys took it to a whole new level with a freaking Guitar Hero ARENA.

  • FOOD. I ate everything and regret nothing.

  • Things I DIDN’T get to do: Visit Apex or Bailey’s, check out the Kidd Toy Museum (their hours are SUPER limited now?), check out Kachka, go food cart hopping (I was saving it for some late night snack hopping, turns out they close early), hike the trails at Multnomah (I guess that won’t be open for a bit)
  • I had an amazing time for my first trip traveling solo, and it was all thanks to all the great input I had from locals and just the entire city being an amazingly fantastic spot to explore. One thing I noticed is that I never met anyone who said “oh yeah, I’ve lived here for about 20 years now but I’m starting to get tired of it”…every single person who had moved to Portland from somewhere else loves it and doesn’t plan on leaving, and I can see why. Thanks again, Portland, hopefully I’ll be back someday. 🙂

    4 comments on “Portland, I love you”

    1. I need to get back there. What a wonderful trip you had and your photos are awesome. It was fun to follow your trip on social media and now see it all compiled here. Congrats on your solo trip!!

    2. Any food places you’d recommend, other than the few that you mentioned? I’m taking a solo trip to Portland in the Fall and I am SO excited! 🙂 I’m going to need a whole empty suitcase just so I can bring stuff back from Powell’s.

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