Ah, yes, Portland – the land of the weird, the independent and the creative. Last week we spent an entire seven days in Oregon, striving to experience the scene as organically as possible. We wanted to experience the unique city through a local’s eyes, while managing to also experience the tourist opportunities. I’d say we nailed it.
So did it – Portland, Oregon – live up to its cliches? Absolutely.
I guess I should mention that we didn’t spend the entire 7 days in Portland. We spent one night in Bend which is about 3 hours southeast and another night in Pacific City, a town on the coast.
Having both graduated from NAU in Arizona, Bend reminded us a lot of Flagstaff. It has a ton of similar qualities like the population of around 80,000, beautiful high desert qualities and the overall laid-back, outdoorsy feel. It was awesome. One of Iden’s old friends from Alaska, Kristian, was kind enough to host us for a night at his home in Bend.
Kristin first took us to a local brewery, Deschutes – you’ve probably heard of it, yeah? I know I had before so that was a pretty cool getting to see the locality of it. After eating the delectable meal (and brews), we took a bike ride to a mountain where we climbed to the top, – in flip flops, might I add – and got a killer view of the mountain town. Unfortunately I’m terrible at taking pictures, so why I didn’t snap one at this picture perfect moment is beyond me.
Funny story: after getting our feet back on the ground a reporter from the local TV station interviewed me for a Mother’s Day story – brought me back to my reporter days! You can watch the story here –> http://bit.ly/1OwDLsw
We then went to a dinner party that was seriously such a blast. Kristian’s friends were some of the friendliest and nicest people we’ve ever met. We had amazing homemade lasagna, more brews, played some bocce ball, gathered around a fire pit (it was cold!), held adorable pups and of course, what’s a gathering without some Cards Against Humanity?
New friends, new places, what more could a girl want?
Pacific City, Oregon
Experiencing the coast was something I really wanted to do with my love of oceans. We took another unintentional scenic drive and stopped by Hangar B, per Iden’s pilot-minded request. Hangar B is a historical building that used to house world war II enemy submarine detection surveillance blimps – that’s a mouthful. It’s also super massive and can fit almost 4 football fields inside of it so I guess that’s pretty neat. And hey, I got to sit in a trainer cockpit of a jet – just please don’t ask me what kind.
Anyway, once we got to the coast we took the rare opportunity to drive on one of the few access beaches that allow vehicles, ate some delicious seafood, watched the sunset and stayed at a beautiful house that was loaded with amenities! I mean this place had a view that was to die for, a hot tub on the deck, a sauna, a tanning bed and more – whoa! If you’re a fellow AirBnBer and are ever in the area I highly recommend this place – http://bit.ly/1Tj8oqU. Again, I failed at taking pictures! Once I get a better camera I’ll be more diligent I promise!
Back to Portland! The first place we stayed at was conveniently located in a really cool area – so cool that it had a freakin’ cat lounge. How much more ‘Portland’ can you get?! So of course, I had to go. Purrington’s is basically a temporary home for cats that are up for adoption. It’s a pretty cool life for a stray if you ask me – they have an awesome setup, a plethora of toys and get to be pet all day. They also provide drinks ranging from beer or wine to coffee or tea that you can order and take into the lounge with you. You then spend as much time allotted to pet cats. So I ordered my Matcha water, again pretty Portland of me but I actually do love Matcha Tea, and pet away!
Side note: I’m neither a cat or a dog person, I’m 100 percent both! I’ve owned both my whole life and am honestly completely obsessed with the two species. And anyone who insists you have to choose one is ignorant and they are wrong. 🙂
Just Bikin’ Around
When it comes to alternative modes of transportation, I think Portland has this in the bag (at least in the US.) Practically everyone bikes and I love it! So naturally we rented a couple bicycles and took a city tour around the river and through downtown. Not only was it a great form of exercise (which was much needed after eating all the yummy food in Portland) but we got the best scenic views! Also, I should add that we visited during the best week possible – the weather was ideal. Not a day of rain, however, the day we left it was forecasted to rain for 10 straight days! We cut it pretty close but made it just in time.
Portland Escape Room
Something we try to always do in new places that we visit are escape rooms. If you’re not sure what these are, I highly recommend them! It’s a room where players get locked in, usually for an hour, and have to use the elements of the room to unlock and find certain clues that will eventually get you out. It’s basically an interactive puzzle with a story behind it. We find them really fun and love the [nerdy] adrenaline rushes it gives us – well, I do anyway.
So far we’ve done one in Minneapolis, Nashville, San Antonio and now Portland and have won all but one!
Pumpkin Ridge Zip Lining
Another highlight of our trip was zip lining through the trees of Portland. This actually taught me that I have absolutely no fear of heights which is something I didn’t know about myself! I loved every second of it and tried incorporating spins and “tricks” like going backwards into every line to make it a bit more adventurous. We went as high as 120 feet on a suspension bridge and cruised through over 5 zip lines.
Our Next Adventures…
Our next adventure will most likely be another Alaskan trip next month to see Iden’s family and brother who will be in town from Vietnam. Until then, we are preparing to move to San Antonio and are still waiting for our next location for work to be stated. Until then!