Friday, May 13, 2016

This One is for Mom - Portland

I think everyone has heard of Portland before, at least in passing. The hipster capital of the world where coffee meets donuts and food trucks are abundant.
This place has captured the hearts of many and I would say it has captured mine too. I wish I could say I've traveled here a lot, since I live in Seattle, but within the last 10 years or so, I've only been downtown a couple times.

Being able to successfully plan and travel down to Portland with both my mother and sister, was a good highlight of this year. My mom was entirely excited to go down and see old friends and the sights, taking pictures at every turn.
Just throughout the planning process she couldn't contain her excitement.

We were able to do a couple things I didn't get a chance to do at my last go-around there, but there's still so much left to see.
Here are the things we did as well as some other sights that would be worth seeing if you ever venture there:

We stayed right downtown, near the Pearl District of Portland, which was the perfect location to get around. The hotel I chose was Hotel Lucia, which had a classic feel with modern touches. The hotel itself was nestled right in the heart of this part of the city, with attached restaurants and all. The room was awesome and suited our taste for the weekend just perfect.

The amenities they offered, while we didn't end up using any, were pretty great. Fully stocked mini bar and snack array, in case we needed it. Pillow service, ice cream service from Salt & Straw (I wish they had had my favorite flavor, snickerdoodle), basically anything you needed you could ring them for.
They also had a gym, meeting rooms, dining options, and more.

Our stay was great in the fact that we were in walking distance to the max, the Portland light rail system, that can basically take you wherever you want to go in the city.
We started off our Saturday morning right, with the glorious Voodoo Doughnuts (just blocks away from where we stayed). Who says donuts aren't a staple for breakfast?

We then journeyed our way, via max line, to the Oregon Zoo! It ended up being awesome and very easy to see all of the animals out in their enclosures. The lions were probably the most enticing, since the cubs were in their teenage years and very feisty. So funny to watch them jump on each other and even pounce and hit the window right in front of us! Crazy, but very cool!

I wish that we had gone to the Japanese or Chinese gardens during our trip, but my mom and sister had been to both so we opted out, sadly for me. If you do get a chance though, definitely go, because I've heard they're very beautiful and interesting to walk through.

The Saturday market is also very eclectic and very Portland, so we had to stop and visit as much as we could there. We actually walked around the whole place, checking out every stand and seeing what goods were available. I always talk myself out of buying things, but it was still cool to walk around. We grabbed some awesome food from there as well, lamb gyro for me!

Our night was spent with more exploring and grabbing dinner at a small quaint but fancy little restaurant northwest of us, North 45 Pub. Delicious selection of mussels and add-ons to their mac & cheese. All in all, delicious.
We were going to get drinks up at the roof-top lounge at Departure, but it was very busy. Apparently a sports team was staying at the hotel it was a part of.

Sunday morning, Mother's day, I had made reservations at the hotel restaurant, Imperial, for brunch. Let's just say, that was a great choice on my part. The food was delicious and it started off with a lovely homemade poptart. Perfect!

Portland, while being the hipster city you might know it to be, has so much character and so much to offer. The myriad of dining options and things to do is amazing. The transportation system is incredibly easy to use and makes everything that much simpler to do. Oregon, while not sounding entirely exciting, should be on your next trip list of places to go.

Cheers and safe travels everyone!

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