little getaway to a place i've never been

I've never been to Portland, Oregon.

And I'm sure that a lot of people have never been there, but I only live three hours away. I grew up three hours away.

But let me retract that.

I've never been been to Portland. Does that make sense?

I've driven through it countless times-- on the way to the Oregon Coast, on the way to Mt. Bachelor for skiing, and most often, in the back of an Astro van on the way to California.

Quick side story: My parents moved to Washington state when my mom was pregnant with me. Every year after I was born, we went down to California (usually twice a year) to visit extended family. And we never flew.


I didn't get on a plane until I was 14.

Up until then, we drove to California to see the relatives-- my two brothers and I in the back of a gray Astro van bombing down I-5.

My mom says she's blocked most of those trips out. At least the traveling part.

But back to my story. Portland was the city we drove through, peering through windows at the sprawled skyline just on the other side of the river from Washington. But we never stopped.

On Friday the husband and I are taking a belated birthday trip down and I can not be more excited.

Everyone is telling me what it's like.

"It's like Seattle, but more hipster," several people explained.

"Just go in a bar and look around," one of my friends told me. "Every guy will have a mustache and be wearing plaid."

your typical hipster (yes I just googled hipster)

I think they've been watching too much Portlandia, the comedy show about Portland.

All I know is that we're staying in a new hotel within walking distance of a Saturday farmers market.

The city has tons of little food trucks with delicious, cheap food.

foooooood trucks calling my name
There's no sales tax.

And we're taking the train to get there. (Another thing I've never done.)

Anyone from Portland or has gone to Portland? What do I need to see? Where should I eat?

All suggestions welcome.


also, mom, if you're reading this, check here for the definition of hipster.


  1. Have a blast! Here in MI, we see all of Seattle as hip, so to be more hip than you means a lot ;-)
    Share pics when you get back!

  2. Yay! You'll love Portland. I kinda grew up(7 years) north of Seattle, been to Portland just a couple of times, but was so young that I don't really remember. I'd love to take a drive up there.
    Takes LOTSA pics!!!!

  3. i spent a week there last year on vacation and I absolutely loved it! You must visit Voodoo Donuts and do the Saturday Market! We did A LOT of eating and shopping because there's just too many fantastic places!

  4. They're right, Portland does have a lot of hipsters but a lot of them are way hotter than the guy in the photo. I think it's an awesome town. Hit up the Saturday Market and Voodoo, try to get in some brewery time because tons of awesome beers are made in Oregon.

  5. Oh man, we are going there this Fall for part of our honeymoon, the other part yeah! SEATTLE!!! WOOT!! You'll have to tell me ALL about it!

  6. I'm kind of like that with Detroit, ha. We never really got out of the car in Detroit (except maybe at duty free! But that doesn't really count...) but we have driven through it plenty of times!

    Portland is a completely different place though, I would looooooooooove to go there!

    Have an amazing time! I can't wait to see your photos from when you get back. :) No sales tax? AWESOME, ha!!

  7. I've become an unofficial tour guide to Portland for all my visiting friends since I moved here 2 years ago.


    -Definitely go to Farmer's Market (I live nearby!)
    -Saturday Market on the waterfront
    -Wunderland (nickel arcade - check their website for coupons & cheap theater)
    -This weekend there's a pop-up shop at West Elm downtown with 15 crafty vendors you might like
    -Classical Chinese Garden (most authentic in US, we traded one with China for a rose garden)


    There is sooo much it depends what you're in the mood for.

    For food carts here are some great ones:

    -SE Hawthorne & 12th: Belgian frite, wood fired pizza, fried pies, crepes
    -Good Food Here - BE Belmont & 42nd: Hawaiian/korean, violetta burgers, French
    -Mississippi Marketplace - 4237 N Mississippi: Egg sandwiches, meatball sandwiches, sugar cube cupcakes


    -Toro Bravo: Spanish Tapas
    -Tasty n Sons: Breakfast Tapas
    -Pine State Biscuit: Awesome biscuit sandwiches
    -Kenny & Zuke's: NY style deli where they make all their own breads & cure their own meats
    -Iorio: Fresh Italian pastas
    -Pok Pok: Street Thai food (chef recently won the James Beard Award for best NW restaurant chef)
    -Pix Patisserie: Fun french desserts, beer floats, macaroons
    -Little Bird: French bistro & newest casual venture of Le Pigeon's chef who also won this year but for best rising star

    Let me know if you have questions & how it goes! Hope you have fun!

  8. Have such a good time! I've only been once but I LOVED Powell's bookstore. I think Brian and I spent 3 1/2 hours there! It's amazing :)


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