This year I turned 30! I didn't react the way everyone always does, sad about how they're getting older, I wanted to celebrate! After we returned from Thailand we stayed in Victoria for 5 days and had a party with my friends to celebrate. Then Dave took me to Portland for 3 nights. It was the best birthday week any girl could have asked for. Both of us had never been to Portland and we both fell in love with the city. We were so lucky it was beautiful and sunny everyday we were there so it made all our activities that much more enjoyable. We stayed at a an Airbnb just outside of the city but close to a bus station it made it so easy to get around the city. The transit system is really well done in Portland with buses and trams throughout making it really easy to get from one place to another. I can't recommend visiting the city more!
We left Victoria on the ferry to Vancouver at 9am because we wanted to get a head start on our day. We drove to Portland which took us roughly 6ish hours. It was a long day and drive but worth it when we arrived. We got to our Airbnb, showered and got ready for our night of activities. First on the list was Afuri for dinner. It was the best ramen I have ever had! I had the Truffle Miso which is a mushroom ramen that had the best flavour. Dave went for a classic ramen and we shared some delicious appetizers to start. We had a Japanese eggplant skewer that was to die for that we tried recreating when we got home, was not as good obviously and their beet salad. Which was not only delicious but plated beautifully. I would definitely suggest making a reservation if you plan on eating there, it was very busy and we had to wait just under an hour. After dinner we went to a comedy club to see Brendan Schaub, which was hilarious. I think I cried a little bit I was laughing so hard. Then we headed home since we were still struggling with our jet lag and were a bit hungover from my party the night before.
On our second day we slept in! It was absolutely amazing. Although we had planned a lot of activities while in Portland we decided we needed to catch up on sleep and get back into a normal sleep pattern. After making breakfast at our Airbnb we headed into town on the bus. Our first stop was the Portland Art Museum where they had a special exhibit about animation. It was really amazing and I'll be sharing more about it on the blog next week! Instead of getting more transport we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and walk the city. We were in need of a quick pick me up so we went to Stumptown Coffee. The location was easy to find and the coffee shop had an awesome vibe to it. We decided to take ours for a walk across one of the many bridges in Portland to keep us warm. Then it was time to find Free People. I remember the first time I discovered Free People in Seattle when my mum and I went on a girls trip and I fell in love. The clothes are beautiful, unique and well made and I just had to go back when I found out there was one in Portland. I bought a few bits and pieces before Dave got bored and we moved on to a brew pub for our first taste of Portland beer. Deschutes Brewery was just across the street from Free People so we thought we would sit and try some beers out. We had a delicious tasting flight of 6 different beers before we decided to head out to find dinner that night. We had been suggested another great restaurant that I would highly recommend too, Mediterranean Exploration Company. We arrived relatively early for dinner because we were hungry but it was packed already and once again we did not have a reservation. So we put our names down and headed to another brewery to tide us over while we waited. Luckily we only waited for about 45 minutes and I'm glad we did because it was spectacular. It was some of the best food I have had in awhile with unique flavours and pairings and the drinks were amazing. Then it was back to our airbnb for an early start the next morning.
Our final day in Portland we decided to split up all the eating, drinking and shopping with some nature, especially since it was so sunny out. We drove to Multnomah Falls after Dave had done some research to do a hike there. It was a beautiful and large waterfall but sadly the trail was closed due to a forest fire. We talked to a very helpful parks guide and he told us to go and hike another set of falls. Taking his advice we headed back to the car and decided to take the Historic Columbia River Highway to see some breath taking views. We stopped at the Vista House where we had a great view of the Columbia River and almost blew away because it was so windy! Then we arrived at our destination and did a 3 mile hike to see the magnificent waterfalls. It was a beautiful hike and not too busy considering it was a holiday in the US. I'm glad we got to see a little bit more of Oregon and I would definitely like to do a road trip through the state one day.
After our hike we headed back into the city. Got showered and changed and headed back into downtown to do some final exploring. I had wanted to go to Voodoo Doughnuts at some point over the weekend. The first day we walked by the line up was way too long and Dave quickly decided there was no way we were going to stand in it. So I convinced him to go back the next day and luckily it was much shorter! Be prepared if it is a must do when you're visiting Portland because the lines can be quite long. However, those doughnuts were the best I have ever tasted and a line up is most definitely worth it! We each had one, which were huge by the way and we could have shared one between the two of us. But we had just did a big hike so who cares! I had the "Dirt" flavoured one, vanilla icing with Oreo pieces crumbled on top. Dave had one with different cereals on top. They were both delicious!
I absolutely loved Portland. I would highly recommend visiting the city! The people were friendly, there were so many great things to do and the food and drink were to die for! Come hungry because you will be leaving full. I can't wait for my next visit already!