PORTLANDDD. You’re weird and I love it. And so I became weird as well.
And who am I kidding? I’ve always been weird. There was no “becoming of weirdness.” Here’s an itinerary of things to do!
Did I mention that visiting Portland, Oregon in the fall is absolutely beautiful? The sea of warm reds, yellows, and orange colored leaves blanketing the sidewalks is truly a site of wonder and amazement for a girl like me from the city. These maple trees that line the dark, freshly rained roads are magical. Then, I start thinking so practically. I can’t help but think, who’s going to clean this up?? There are so many leaves left in the middle road, waiting to be swept aside by a rushing car, decomposing ever so slowly, withstanding the wind and rain. Anyway, before I go down the whole environmental process of it all and bore you to death, here’s a recap of my trip to lovely Portland. Ready to turn a new leaf~
Flew from LAX after work. Not enough time to get a decent dinner, so I had this depressing pizza at LAX. Can we just… I mean, this pizza here should be on my ugly kitchen blog.
We landed and caught a lyft to our hotel. Stayed at a very convenient hotel located at Southwest King Street & Yamhill Street! Location of our hotel was very important and decision factor during our stay. We wanted to make sure that we could still walk to places and not spend all our money on lyfting/ubering. We checked in and actually found out we had to walk across the street to the other building. It was a strange set up since everyone could see our rooms, but it wasn’t too bad since we were on the other side of the building away from the street.
After a 2 hour long flight we were ready to freshen up and sleep.
Woke up bright and early (aka 10am, haha) and lyfted to brunch at Mother’s Bistro (Stark Street & 2nd Street). Best brunch I’ve had in a while! And that’s saying a lot considering I’m from West LA and brunch is like a way of life here. We waited 45 minutes. They have a texting service that will text you when your table is almost ready. Meanwhile, we walked to the nearby farmer’s market, Portland Saturday Farmer’s Market (also open on Sundays!) There were quite a few cat centered toy booths, cool furniture dangling things, weird t shirts, and cute stickers like these from What If creations
After a walk to the farmer’s market, some browsing, and back to Mother’s, our table was ready. Ordered the
- Wild salmon hash
- Mike’s Scramble
- Biscuits and Gravy
- Pumpkin Pancakes (a seasonal item on the menu. Gotta love fall!)
We were so full after the meal. We shared among the three of us and we still couldn’t finish. Could we pack it to go? Nope. No fridge in the room and besides I’m on vacation. I’ve got to save my appetite for trying new foods, right?
Next we lyfted to the famous Japanese Garden. What a nice old man we had for a lyft ride. I still remember him. We hiked up a long path with many others to reach the gate. The garden was undergoing construction, so we had to twist and wind our way up a make shift path in the midst of the construction materials. After we paid for our tickets, we walked into the garden and we were faced with a decision: left or right path.
We went right. And we eventually found our way back to the same point.
This place is truly a gem. It’s apparently the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan as well! It’s amazing. Don’t you feel compelled to find a rock, plop on it, and meditate?
These pictures just don’t do justice to the beauty and tranquility of this garden.
Next on our list: the International Rose Test Garden. You can walk there from the Japanese Garden. This garden is literally across a parking lot from the Japanese Garden. I was expecting to see fields and fields and fields of roses, but nope! This time of year is NO GOOD for seeing these roses. They were scattered everywhere. Note to self don’t go in October. I recall visiting in the Spring and it was beautiful – full of great instaopportunities 🙂
I couldn’t help but think of the quote from Mulan. Am I the only one who thought of it when you see this lonesome rose blooming? Maybe I’m just strange. That could very well be it. The quote was related to a cherry blossom, but it applies here as well.
Next, we walked to the parking lot to find another lyft. We were off to ride the Oregon Tram. It’s a whopping four minutes long (I think of it as a short, teeny roller coaster).
It was fun! I’d do it again. There’s a surprise in store for you when you pass the tower while riding the tram. The world gets kind of… swingy 😉 A second of thrill.
Just marvel at the iridescent sea of trees beneath you
It leads you to the top of the mountain, where you can take spectacular pictures of the view. Also it’s adjacent to a very modern hospital
Next, the SHOPPING! There’s no sales tax in Oregon! That’s an instant “discount” if you come from California or anywhere that has sales tax. Some areas I live around have almost 9.5%, so to have no sales tax was super gratifying and boy did it increase my propensity to consume, buy, and shop. We shopped at Pioneer Place which is just a quick lyft ride away
We left with many happy purchases
Enough damage done? Perhaps. I’d stay tuned until the end of our trip.
We were pretty much starving afterwards, so we had to check out a place for dinner called Luc Lac which claims to be Vietnamese food of some kind. We ordered the
- beef wrapped in banana leaf
- sugar cane shrimp
- coconut curry chicken
- a stir fried beef
- drink – colada with jellies in it
You wait in a line to order. Then you wait to get seated. Then you take your number and grab your seat.
We waited 45 minutes in line. Then we waited 15 minutes to get seated (note: there’s not enough seating. A man stole my seat when I went to grab water. I’ll remember this). We took our number and seated. Then waited another 20 minutes for food to arrive. Also, they forgot my friend’s drink and we had to ask for it but we were already done anyway. 🙁
Next day, we lyfted to brunch at Petite Provence. It was a 20-30 minute wait on a Sunday at 11AM. It was slightly raining, so we tried to huddle near the entrance to wait for our table.
They also sell pastries, bread, and macaroons. They were tasty. We were seated on the second level of the restaurant.
After another hearty breakfast meal, we were craving some warm coffee and hot chocolate on this autumn day. There’s a place called Barista just five minutes away, so we walked there as well as stopping by some boutique furniture and music stores along the way.
Then we took another lyft to Enso’s for wine tasting. This didn’t feel like a tourist spot. We had the red and white flight. Our friend who doesn’t drink enjoyed a simple charcuterie plate.
It seems that Portland has quite a few French restaurants. If someone knows why, I’d be curious to know. We drove to another shopping mall, Llyods to “walk off” our wine.
Afterwards we were ready to try an upscale dining experience at Andina. We felt pretty underdressed for the place. We actually took off our raincoats to appear more dark, sleek, and classy. Food and service were great.
Highlights of our meal
- Pisco sour (cocktail)
- Fried Shrimp
- Scallop entree
Afterwards we lyfted to Salt and Straw for ice cream. Salt and Straw originated in Portland. It’s also cheaper here. I liked the Almond Brittle and Chocolate Ganache flavor. Honey Lavendar flavor was also great. We tried the Chicken Liver and Pig Blood aka “Dracula’s Blood Pudding” flavor which is an October Special. It was interesting.
We woke up too early for the beer tasting, so we walked to Burnside Street for some more… shopping! Lululemon and Toms were open at 10AM so we went and shopped some more. Then we walked to Deschutes Bar.
The Black Butte (pronounced byoot… I can hear the snickering) is their famous beer. It’s one of the dark colored beers in the picture. It has a deep cocoa taste that makes the beer taste like coffee! Not much of a beer drinker myself, I would order this next time.
Some food suggestions
- Pretzel with jalapeno dipping sauce
- Elk burger to try
So something happened while I was trying the flight of beer. As I reached for the glass of beer, my elbow nudged something. As I turned my head to see what it was, my glass was falling towards the floor. I braced for impact and it shatters onto the hard concrete floor. Whoops! I must’ve looked like a drunkard. I apologized profusely and I was of course red-faced from embarassment. The server was super nice and mentioned that this wouldn’t be the first time that had happened here.
One of our last stops was Powell’s Book Store nearby. Walking into the bookstore, I was excited to browse for hours. The book store has a plethora of new and used books, board games, and much more. I bought a book that was half the price of what it was selling for online.
Some of favorite Youtubers have books on display (Miranda Sings and Glozell)
Afterwards, we walked to Voodoo Donuts. It’s quite a far walk, so I’d take a lyft next time. There were some homeless people on the street. One of them seemed high when s/he asked, “are you guys beanie babies? Yeeeaaa!”
After we got our donuts, which were around .90 – $4.00 each, we walked to the famous Keep Portland Weird sign.
Stumptown Coffee was also within walking distance. Stumptown came from Portland, so we had to try it.
We paired our Voodoo donuts with a cup of high quality coffee on a cold day. Even the Woodblock Coffee was rich and delicious.
Then we went shopping some more around the area! What a great trip!
And I did watch Netflix’s show, Portlandia, to prep for my trip. It was nice to see the different places profiled in the show. If you watch the show, I did look up if Women & Women First was a real store. Sadly it’s not. I just wanted to visit for fun and giggles.
Have you been to Portland? What was your experience like?