I had never been to Oregon before...in fact, I haven't been to many states before, aside from California and Washington. But M had expressed to me how much he thought I would enjoy Oregon, and he knows me so well. I LOVED each and every part of our small trip! We only had 3.5 days to explore and I so wished we had more, but we packed a lot into that small amount of time.
Our first stop was Astoria- a cute historic old town along the coast filled with so many antique shops! M found his long lost cultural brotherhood- this town has a huge Finnish community! We also climbed this massive column on the top of a hill overlooking the area (Ok...I only got halfway up before I chickened out. But M conquered it even with his fear of heights!)
You may have seen a photo on Instagram, but my favourite part of this whole trip was the surprise that my husband had planned for us- horseback riding along the coast at Nehalem State Park. I haven't been horseback riding since I was 10, and have been begging M to take me! It was incredible. Like, really incredible! I think that it goes on one of my top ten experiences in life. And I'm not even exaggerating! M begged me to not put a picture of him on a horse on here, so you'll have to settle for a cropped view of our horses, Lucky and Boogie.
After the coast, we shot up to Portland and I think we were both pretty excited for this part of the trip. M had been before, but he loves it and knew that I would too. And as soon as we started to drive through, I immediately fell in love. (It probably helps that our whole weekend was sunny and gorgeous!) This city is the perfect mixture of cool, trendy places and small city, friendly feel. There were times when I felt like I was in Vancouver and Saskatoon at once! It was great. Here are a few snapshots:
We did a lot of exploring, but truthfully we did a lot more eating- I mean, it's Portland! How could you not?! I think we both threw caution to the wind and consumed as much as we could without worry of diet or money... We're feeling the effects of that now, but it was so worth it! A few food highlights:
1. Our first night we stopped at Cha Cha Cha in The Pearl district (picture above is from another location). Yummy mexican food and tasty Horchata (uh oh. Here comes Vampire Weekend stuck in my head again...). We wanted dessert, too, so we drove around a while until we stumbled across Luce. We both hadn't heard of it before, but it was a cute Italian restaurant with a great dessert menu. Hazelnut chocolate cake? Yes, please.
2. Of course food carts had to take place. We stopped by a lot on Hawthorne. M collected a tasty pork gyro from the meat heavy, Lardo. I went for a slightly lighter option and ate a fancy grilled cheese from PBJ's Grilled. I had trouble deciding what to pick but ended up with a delicious blend of walnut butter, caramelized onions, capicola, brie and pear butter...heavenly. We finished things off with a healthy dose of deep fried potatoes, also known as fries, from Potato Champion.
3. Supper at Bollywood Theatre. Not much to say other than, YUM.
4. Ok, we ended off this trip with a bang. We wanted to do brunch (obviously), and we ended up settling on Broder. I'm so glad we did. It was AMAZING. It's a Scandinavian restaurant (so, of course, M was immediately drawn to it!). I've eaten a fair bit of Finnish cuisine now, and have grown to love beets. And this menu is filled with beets! We had to wait a short while to get in, but this place has it figured out. Rather than waiting in a line on the sidewalk, they have access to the pub next door where they had a waiting area with coffee (see M above). But our breakfasts were worth the wait- the perfect mixture of everything tasty.
5. Special shout-out to the coffee shops we found... Heart + Stumptown and spent a long time trying but failed to find, Tea Chai Te. (Next time, I suppose!)
I'm so glad we chose to do Portland this spring break and that the weather was so beautiful. It showed me the beauty of the city. People were so friendly and the culture was so laid back. It made it easy to relax, even with all the running around we were doing. We took so much in, but I already can't wait to go back!