I went to Portland last weekend to visit my brother for the first time. As a first-timer to the Pacific Northwest, all I pictured were green forests in every direction you’d look. I’ve never seen Twilight, but was told that it would look just like that. I wasn’t too far off from from my assumption and was delightfully surprised by this urban city in the middle of it all.
The trip was a quick one. Due to a 3 hour delay I didn’t get in until 12:30am Friday night. My brother picked me up and we drove to Salem to attend a party some of his fraternity brothers were hosting. I was on Central Time and completely exhausted, but I put my game face on though and powered through. I’ve never felt so old in my life.
The next day, we got up early for the drive back to Portland. The first stop was breakfast in the Pearl District. My brother lived in this neighborhood when he was interning last summer and would frequent the cute bakery that we went to called Lovejoy Bakers. We both ordered the Lovejoy Deluxe breakfast sandwhich made with a fried egg, bleu d’Auvergne, bacon, tarragon and frisee on a ciabatta roll. It’s as good as it sounds.
Our next stop was at the Saturday Market. It’s a giant market lined with art and food trucks. After exploring the market, we ventured out of downtown and over to the Portland Japanese Garden. My brother used to volunteer there so he took me on a personal tour with some inside information. We were lucky to have a clear day that allowed us to have the most spectacular views, including views of Mt. Hood in the distance.
Once lunch time hit we went to one of the many Mediterranean food trucks for a gyro. Once we finished we took a 15 minute walk along the water to a coffee shop called Bean and Tree. Without a doubt, they have the best matcha tea I have ever tried. After catching up over tea by the water, we walked back to downtown. We went to Powell’s Books, which is the world’s largest bookstore. This bookstore does not mess around. You walk in and immediately feel like you are in the book version of Ikea. You could literally spend your entire day in here. Dinner time came around and my dad insisted that we go to his favorite seafood restaurant in Portland and our experience at Southpark Restaurant didn’t disappoint. Our day in Portland ended at Rimsky-Korsakoffeehouse. This coffeeshop had a Austin/Rainey Street feel. It was in a cute house with lights strung on the patio and as you walked in you could hear the pianist playing lively music while everyone sat and talked.
Although it was a short trip to the West Coast, it was well worth it. Portland is definitely a city I think everyone must experience. I’m excited to go back to spend more time there and maybe take a three hour road trip up to Seattle. Isn’t it funny how the second you come back from vacation you start planning your next?