So after we left Seattle, we were headed to Portland and we decided to get there via train. Have you ever traveled by train? This was our first time and it was a total game changer! We loved it and here’s why:
1.) There are no security lines. You literally walk on to the train that is 20 feet from where you wait in the train station and it takes no time at all. 2.) There are no strict rules about staying seated during certain times, making sure your seatbelt is securely fastened, turing off your cell phone, when you can go to the bathroom. None of that! You just do whatever you want. 3.) There are different cars to keep you entertained. For instance, Parker and I stayed mostly in the observation car that has big windows and seats that face them so you can watch the scenery (we traveled along the Puget Sound – it was beautiful). But there was also a restaurant car, a snack car, a movie theatre car, an arcade car and sleeper cars if you were traveling all the way down the Pacific Coast…how neat! The only downside is the time it takes to get to your destination, but in our case it was just 4 hours.
I thought it was really neat to drift in and out of small towns and the Puget Sound – and there were these sweet, old volunteer tour guides in the observation car that told us all about what we were seeing. They were cute :)
One of my favorite – probably my most favorite, actually – parts about Portland that we got to see in the short two days we were there was the International TestRose Garden. It was so incredible! The garden is huge – HUGE! – and when we went in mid-June, it was the perfect time because everything was in bloom. The garden was started during World War I because rose lovers feared that European hybrid roses would be destroyed during the war, so hundreds of foreign varieties were sent to Portland, a safe haven for them to grow and be sheltered from the war. Isn;t that just the sweetest story?
Get ready for picture overload. I just couldn’t stop. Parker made so much fun of me because he left to wander around by himself and when he came back, after he had gone all the way around the big park, he said he came back and found me in the same row :) I think he was exaggerating a bit.
Oh you know we had to. Voodoo Doughnut is famous and I’d been hearing about it for years so taste-testing them for myself was high on our priority list.
There are so many flavors at Voodoo Doughnut that it really makes it impossible to pick just one. So we got 4 :) I was very impressed with us though that we did not finish all of them. Though we could have. What you’re looking at is (clockwise from bottom left): blueberry cake, the signature voodoo, maple bacon, and oreo.
We took our doughnuts to go and walked just down the street to Stumptown Coffee Roasters – again, I had heard such great things about the coffee that I needed to check it out. The atmosphere was great, so was the coffee – but the best part? They were playing the Hole’s first album “Pretty on the Inside” – do you remember it from 1991?! I just laughed because Parker and I are big fans of Portlandia and we decided that the show is right – the dream of the 90s really IS alive in Portland! :)
Just for the record: maple bacon was my JAM. Definitely my favorite.
I haven’t seen a record-only store in…years. But Portland is cool like that.Another highlight was Powell’s City of Books. It’s one full city block, three stories (or four?) of just books. It was amazing. Parker and I wandered around for hours and lost each other a couple times. I found the art and music section and camped out there for a long time and Parker found the technology and computer section and nerded up (love my nerd).
Our favorite meal in Portland was by far at Wildwood. It’s a farm-to-table American place and the food was amazing. I can’t remember what kind of soup that was, but I remember it was the perfect thing for the chilly, drizzly day…and that shaved asparagus and radish salad was really light and flavorful. Parker got a burger and I sneaked a few of those house-made chips and they were phenom. Loved this place!
On our last night, we went to see a movie at Living Room Theatres – it was really neat! We were pretty tired and just wanted to relax so we found this place, where you can order food and cocktails at your seat (the seats are huge too) and enjoy the movie in a small, intimate theatre. We saw Now You See Me butI fell asleep so I didn’t get to see the whole thing. I told you I was tired! :)
The next morning we were up and headed to San Francisco! California was what I was looking most forward to, so I was really excited.