Portland is one of my absolute favorite cities, and while I think it’s partially because I spend more time there for business than any other city, I think it’s not unfounded.
One of my (and the world’s) favorite bloggers Joanna Goddard is planning a trip there soon and I figured, might as well put my list of things to do online so instead of forwarding an email around (as I’ve been doing for the past couple years), I can share it more easily.
So a few caveats: I don’t have kids, I rarely leave Portland proper, I’m a vegetarian so most of these restaurants have a veggie option, and I’m not a huge nature fan (hiking, etc). That being said, there are still SO many cool things to do, eat, and drink in Portland.
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai (food cart or full location- note hours/menus vary)
- Food Carts (PDX is known for their food carts – which are kind of like LA’s food trucks but permanent, and often clustered together to take up entire blocks. Some favorites: Dump Truck, Brunch Box, Small Pharaoh)
- Screen Door (sit-down, SO GOOD, Cajun/Southern, no reservations)
- Pine State Biscuits (breakfast/brunch)
- Andina (tapas, downtown, great sangria)
- Veritable Quandry (my favorite “nice” restaurants in Downtown –
- Pok Pok (thai) – not life changing (like Lotus of Siam in Vegas), but really really good
- Mother’s – homey food, great service, nice location in downtown
- Luc Luc (vietnamese, downtown)
- Blossoming Lotus (tons of clean, veggie options)
Haven’t been, but heard good things: Tasty n Sons/Tasty n Alder for brunch or any time, and Ken’s Artisan Bakery, a little further outside of the city (good if you’re driving from the Bay)
- Voodoo donuts is a tourist institution, and a great example of “Keep Portland Weird” – open 24 hours, more touristy, but note that I think the donuts are just okay…
- Blue Star Donuts more fancy, more pricey, BUT SO GOOD! (Note they sell out most days, so go early!)
- Salt & Straw ice cream, 3 locations – the best. Flavors I LOVE: Olive Oil, Honey Lavender, Pear Blue Cheese
- Everywhere good should have Stumptown Coffee
- Lots of breweries if you like beer – like Deschutes (and there are others outside of downtown if you have a car)
- Happy Hour is big in PDX like Seattle – both at normal HH times and late night — Portland City Grill has a BEAUTIFUL view at night (Saucebox is popular too)
- Powells (must do, biggest new/used bookstore in the world) – if you love books/reading/browsing, it’s a great way to kill a few hours between meals
- Multnomah Falls (~30 minutes east) – you can hike or opt to just take in the view
- International Rose Garden
- Japanese Garden
- Portland movie theaters are really interesting — many have bars/restaurants and are adults-only, plus are cheap (like Bagdad, or Living Room Theaters)
- Portland Aerial Tram
- Go shopping! No sales tax in Portland (learning to calculate gratuity without tax as a reference is pretty jarring)
And I know I’m missing things too — so let me know! I already bookmarked these fountains that Joanna posted about this morning… good thing I’m heading back up there next month. Woo!
I’m so behind that I seriously contemplated never catching back up… but hey, it’s the end of September and I had started this draft, so might as well *try* to finish it!
- New Year’s Resolution Update: same ol’ same ol’. No Yelp reviews (sigh) and have not been logging finances. Sorry self! Still doing well on flossing, avoiding fast food/soda/coffee, and reading books!
- Recently discovered that I can multi-task my YA reading — I can walk/sometimes jog on our treadmill while devouring easy-to-read YA fiction at the same time. Wahoo!
- The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays (FIREWORKS!). Played Settlers & did to-go Thai BBQ before watching lots of fireworks from our friend D’s parents house in Los Feliz.
- Attended our church’s Women’s Retreat and it was sweeter than I could have hoped. Had a really, really good conversation and started reading this book on grace that has really blown my mind and challenged my thinking.
- Celebrated my 26th birthday! Had a bunch of great friends over for Settlers, catching up, and delicious healthy food from CCC.
- In preparation for aforementioned gathering, finally bought/sold some furniture on Craigslist 🙂 So satisfying!
- Found out dear friends are moving to Louisville (pronounced “Looa-ville”) and planned a trip to visit them utilizing our newly earned Southwest Companion Pass.
- Regular quarterly trip up to Portland for work — discovered Prasad in the Pearl District (so crucial for the mornings), ate at Little Bird, stayed at the Governor Hotel (which is SUPER close to my dear favorite place Powells), and another fun trip to the Nike Employee Store
- Got a much needed massage after traveling — love Sophia.
- Indulged in a night out compliments of Dine LA at Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills — REALLY REALLY GOOD broccoli soup. Like the best I’ve ever had. And B wanted to lick my bowl clean–that’s saying a lot. Broccoli soup.
- A friend from Cal performed in an alumni performance of RENT at her HS–my first time seeing it! Was a lot of fun, and stayed out late (gasp!) to grab after-dinner drinks at BRU HAUS nearby.
- A really fun Planning Team outing and intense planning meeting — my first time doing laser tag in SO LONG!
- A couple of exciting engagements and LOTS of upcoming weddings! Two in September (B and I are each going to one, ironically), starting to plan for my HS friend’s November wedding in Nor-Nor-Cal <- ha (probably without B), and save-the-dates for our first 2014 weddings in February & March. Crazy!
- In the world of summer television, got into the super-cheesy but still entertaining Who Dunnit and while super late to the party on Master Chef – we LOVE it!
- Babysat our friends’ little boy N… seriously such a cutie pie and Bella loves him too 😀
- John Mayer concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. So much fun! B and I both like him (which is unusual) and really looking forward to his new album.
- Checked out the new West LA location of Daikokuya with my stepbro A and his gf K, fun to meet up with them in our hood 🙂
I really like putting these monthly recaps together.
- New Years Resolution Update: finished both my book on hyperthyroidism and The End of Overeating (details here) & made Thai yellow curry (in addition to the homemade granola and almond milk). No fast food or soda, and daily flossing & Yelping more-or-less on track.
- Thanks (kind of?) to my health issues, I’ve been working from home more often which has helped restore my work-life balance tremendously. This also means I’ve been able to cook more often, though we still eat out a good amount.
- Special occasions galore! Coworker’s birthday at Guelaguetza, sister-in-law’s birthday at Sushi Noguchi & festivities at church too — Easter Sunday, 2nd church anniversary
- Caught whatever bug that was going around (sore throat -> sinuses) and shared it (ha) with B. All better now, though
- Celebrated A’s carnival-themed outdoor bridal shower on a really nice Saturday
- Randomly connected with a handful of college friends again via email and in person (L indulged me and let me choose a veggie Chinese restaurant for her visit!)
- Also, long-overdue webcam date with my high school girlfriends ❤ 10+ years, going strong.
- Kobe 😦 Lakers 😦 😦 😦 & the playoffs in the West are super intense.
- Regular meals with dear M continue–checked out the mini version of the famouse Shojin in downtown called shojin in Culver City
- Spent an ungodly amount of time on the phone with my insurance carrier, insurance group, and doctor’s office sorting out the long-awaited endocrinologist referral. This is why I shoulda paid more for a PPO… #shouldawouldacoulda
- Visits to the endocrinologist, radiologist, and dermatologist. Mixed results and more weighting
- Went to my first 2 yoga classes ever at Santa Monica Yoga (late to the party would be a kind understatement) at the encouragement of my massage therapist– did “restorative” yoga and what they call “slow deep stretch” which was a lot more restful and peaceful than strength by any means–perfect for me and my tense neck/back.
- Last, but not least, celebrated our 3-year (!!!) anniversary with a dinner at JiRaffe (disappointing), followed by a lunch at Lemonade & walk-around in Abbott Kinney 🙂
- Made another trip up to Portland for work — starting to really love that city (and unusually awesome weather doesn’t hurt)
The year is officially 1/3 over. Bring on the summer!!