Summer Family Vacation Part II: Portland, Oregon

Here's Part II of our Pacific Northwest family summer vacation.  We left Seattle in the early afternoon and headed to Portland.  As soon as we were out of the city, the weather started to clear up and we were happy to see blue skies and sunshine! 

We arrived at our rented apartment from AirBnB, unloaded our suitcases from the car and freshened up for dinner.  Our AirBnB was in a great location close to so many of the best food spots in town!  We met up for dinner at the Country Cat with some good friends who'd moved to Portland a couple of years ago from Las Vegas. The restaurant was small and cozy and we had a great table right up against the window and not in the middle of the restaurant.  That was great for us with the kiddos! Afterwards we made our way to Salt & Straw on SE Division St. for ice cream.  The ice cream shop had a long line and we probably waited a good 30 minutes before we had our ice cream, but it was worth it! Plus, time went by fast since we were chatting and catching up! Thank goodness our apartment was just around the corner, because we were stuffed and ready for bed. 

 Before heading out  to explore on Monday, we grabbed breakfast at one of the awesome food truck pods that are all over the city.  We chose Fried Egg I'm in Love because they had great reviews on Yelp and with breakfast sandwich names like  Smells Like Protein Spirit and Free-Range Against the Machine, we knew they'd be good! They did not disappoint. Bellies full we took off on our day trip to the Colombia River Gorge area and got to see the famous Multmonah Falls and drive along the river and visit the countryside. We were a little early in the season for berry or cherry picking but we got to feed and pet some alpacas so that totally made up for it! Plus, the craft beers and gourmet food truck at the Gorge White House really hit the spot after our long day.  Once we were back in Portland we picked up some groceries at New Seasons Market. It's a local(ish)grocery store chain in Portland/Vancouver areas that is similar to Whole Foods.  We were beat after our long day but so happy we got to spend some time in nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

We planned to stay in Portland on Tuesday.  We started our day with a cool make-your-own-pancakes place called Slappy Cakes.  The food was ok and the pancakes weren't amazing, but the kids really enjoyed making their pancakes into different shapes! It's a nice place for kids, but don't expect an amazing meal.  We did lots of walking and sightseeing in Portland and visiting a lot of the major attractions, such as the Japanese Garden, the International Rose Testing Garden, Voodoo Donuts, Powell's Bookstore, and eating from yet more food trucks.   We met up for dinner with our friends again at Deschutes Brewery and Public House, which was another not-so-great place.  The wait was long, the food was mediocre, and the service was poor. We were disappointed, especially since there are so many other good places to to eat at in Portland. I don't recommend it. 

We took another road trip on our 3rd day to visit the Oregon Coast.  Seriously would love to spend a full weekend out there!  The coast is so beautiful and we really enjoyed Cannon Beach and Astoria! We got back to Portland just in time for dinner and we chose to visit another food cart pod, this one was on SE 28th Pl and Division. We were totally diggin' the vibe there and we all ended up picking up our meals from different carts! Diego had pizza, they actually had a brick oven! Elysse chose mini corn dogs (not so adventurous this day) Jason had sushi, and I chose Indian.  We were pretty tired from our trip, so rather than eat it there, we took it with us and enjoyed a nice quite evening at the apartment. I also took advantage of the washer and dryer and ran a load of laundry.  Not exactly what you want to be doing on vacation, but it was just 1 load and it made packing easier. Plus, it was one less thing to do when I got back home!  

 Our last day started off with a quick breakfast in the apartment while we, and by we, I mean mostly I, packed everything up to check out.  We then met up with our friends for lunch at Lardo.  Do yourself a favor and go there for lunch next time you're in Portland.  I crave their Korean Pork Shoulder sandwich and the Pork Meatball Banh Mi! So so good!! The rest of our day was spent at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry! I didn't think we would spend the entire day there, but there was so much to see and do that it really did fill up our whole day. Then it was off to PDX to head back home to Las Vegas! One worse thing about the flights back home to Vegas is that they're usually filled with folks ready to party, while we're always tired and grumpy our vacation is ending and theirs is just starting! LOL 

Seriously though, it's hard when vacations end but I'm always so grateful we got to go! We visited some amazing places, enjoyed cool weather, ate some delicious food, and made lifelong memories together.  What more could we ask for?!? What are some fun places you've visited this summer? I'd love to hear some of your favorite vacation spots ever too!