Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Portland Love

Our Spring Break in Portland was quite memorable, as all other trips with DFJ are. This was something different though because most of the trips we take usually involve hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, and roughing it. DFJ’s ankle injury made us decide to just enjoy exploring Portland, eating to our belly’s content, watching shows, shopping, and relaxing.

We hardly ever go out on dates (unless you count bike rides and hikes)… we eat out once or twice a month, have only been to the movies once, and maybe three concerts and a play. This time, we decided to spoil ourselves silly and splurge a little. If you didn’t already know, many restaurants in Portland serve amazing food for fairly inexpensive prices. Also, Portland has no sales tax, so that’s always a plus for shopping!       

Day 1 (4-3-12):

We stayed at The Georgian House Bed and Breakfast in the quaint, historic NE district. Our stay was lovely… Willie, our hostess, was very nice and accommodating and her house is beautiful. Breakfasts were delicious and enormous! I love bed and breakfasts, staying in one gives me a feel for what it’s like to live like a local in the place I’m visiting.      

Click here if you’re interested to know what we were up to that day.

Day 2 (4-4-12):

The People’s Yoga – I went to an early, 75 minute, Hatha Yoga class and loved it. This studio is unpretentious and has a friendly, community feel to it.  It is also very affordable, $8 for a drop-in class.  The instructor, Devon, was very nice and caring.

Walked around Broadway and NE15th: I fell in love with Kitchen Kaboodle and wanted to buy everything I laid my eyes on.  

Lunch at Blossoming Lotus – This restaurant is very impressive… The food was delicious, interesting, new (to me, at least), and very healthy. We had to wait for the lunch crowd to thin out, but it was worth it. As soon as we were seated, the food came fast and disappeared fast too.

lentil soup and live nachos

spicy bbq sandwich... soy curls marinated in red onion+whiskey ginger bbq sauce

Widmer Brothers – One of the best microbreweries in the Pacific Northwest. If you see their beers sold at your local stores, do give it a try!

Mint – This bar is very urban, classy, and serves delicious drinks with fresh fruit juices.

Le Happy – This cozy, little restaurant is sweet and funky… the dim lights create a relaxing and romantic atmosphere. They have a nice selection of delicious savory and sweet crepes.

Powell’s Bookstore – This is one of my favorite places in Portland! Be prepared to get lost in this huge bookstore that occupies an entire city block. It took a lot of effort to limit myself to just four books.

Day 3 (4-5-12):

Root Whole Body – This studio was quite spendy, $17 for a drop-in class, but it was totally worth it. The studio is very nice and clean. My butt was kicked in an awesome Power Vinyasa class at 6:00 in the morning. The instructor, Shaney, was very patient and stood over me, correcting poses and such. 

Shopped at Lloyd Center

Got lunch at the Food Carts in Downtown Portland – There are so many choices, you would have a hard time making up your mind! Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, English, American, Hawaiian, Malaysian, Sichuan, German, Mexican, Donuts, Frozen Yogurt, and so on…

Stumptown Coffee  - These guys know how to make coffee the right way!

Cirque du Soleil, OVO – My first Cirque experience and it was quite the show! Incredible display of human strength, grace, balance, and discipline. Mind-blowing!

Bar Lolo – We had a late night date at this nice bar on funky Alberta Street. The drinks were great and the empanadas were delicious!

Day 4 (4-6-12):

Explored Nob Hill Area – This neighborhood is very trendy… lots of cafés, restaurants, boutiques, and quirky shops. We found a prAna store and I indulged and bought a scarf and a pair of hiking knickers. The best part about this store is the free happy hour yoga classes that they offer pretty much every day from 6:00-7:00. These awesome things really make me want to move to Portland!   

We stopped for some pizza at Pizzicato – The pizza was good and the place has a very nice, friendly neighborhood and family feel.

Moonstruck Chocolate Café – A very pretty café, with an array of truffles, chocolate barks, macaroons, pastries… they even make their own chocolate! We brought home truffles and macaroons and they were truly heavenly! 

St. Honore Boulangerie – This neighborhood bakery is very busy and you will know why as soon as you get a bite of their breads and croissants… I wish, I wish, I wish I could have taken this bakery home with me.

Clear Creek Distillery – We were each given a “Passport” to taste their Eau de Vie, Grappa, Pot-Still Brandy, Whiskey, and Fruit Liqueurs. Boy, what a fun way to learn about the distillery craft!

Just to be on the safe side, we decided to take a walk and buy some sushi at Dr. Sushi & BBQ (Happy Hour Sushi All Day Long, 50% off) and ate it at a park on Nob Hill before driving back to Washington. The sushi was pretty good considering how cheap it was. But what I loved most was enjoying a very sweet date with my boy.   

We needed some coffee for our long drive home and stopped at the cozy Dragonfly Coffee House and Bakery, where I accidentally used the men’s restroom and left my purse in there too. Fortunately, DFJ needed to use the restroom too and brought it out for me. What a disaster it would have been if we got all the way to Washington without my purse.

There’s still a long list of places I want to see in this city and restaurants I want to try… but that will be for next time.

P.S. It rains on and off in Portland, with glimpses of sunshine here and there. So, be prepared but don’t be daunted… it’s part of the fun!   


  1. Sounds like you had a great time! Those live nachos look unbelievable! I wish I could find a place like that around me :)

  2. I REALLY need to eat my way through portland one day! Everything you describe sounds fabulous!

  3. I saw cirque du soleil for the first time two years ago, and it was amazing!
    Sounds like quite the eventful days :)

  4. What a great spring break agenda! I need to watch Cirque du Soleil :)


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