The final city of our west coast road trip! We spent the first two days at the beach and the last two days in the city. I Skyped Kristy whilst in Portland, and she was like, it feels like everyone is visiting Portland! What’s happening there? I didn’t realise that Portland was a hot destination! We had just chosen it because Kat’s parents had a beach house for us to stay at. But I’m not surprised that Portland is a hot destination; the nature scenes are gorgeous!
I slept through my alarm, so I didn’t have time to grab breakfast, but Kat was kind enough to run down to Top Pot Doughnuts to grab me a latte and ovaltine doughnut. She also grabbed herself a coffee and chocolate boa doughnut. (Julia wasn’t hungry.) As soon as we were ready to leave, we caught an Uber to King Street Station for our Amtrak to Portland. We got pretty good seats on the train with a whole table to ourselves.
We finally arrived in Portland, caught an Uber to the Portland International Airport to pick up our rental car from Hertz, and then drove on the road for two hours until we reached the beach house at Cape Kiwanda. The beach house was gorgeous, especially the top floor with all the windows where the living room, dining room, and kitchen were. The first and second floors were bedrooms and bathrooms. Check out the vlog at the end of this blog post for a tour of the beach house!
I didn’t plan to head down to the beach this day (I was going to reserve my beach experience for the full day the next day), but I decided to pop by and take some pictures (and also take a quick dip in the ocean) so that I wouldn’t have to bring my camera to the beach the next day. Julia went down with me but Kat hung back.
The ocean was ice cold. Julia said to put cold water over my heart to help adjust to the temperature, so what the heck I tried it. I wouldn’t have gone in but the waves were so inviting! I needed to ride them. By “ride,” I mean “float on my back.” I’d prefer floating on an inner tube but I didn’t have one on hand. Julia did bring down a bodyboard from the beach house though. I finally adjusted to the water after getting slapped by waves until I couldn’t tell whether the sting was coming from that or the cold temperature.
After 30 minutes in the ocean, my mind was set on taking a hot shower, wrapping myself up in a bathrobe, and sipping on hot chocolate. All of which I did, except I traded the hot chocolate for tea. We cooked dinner at the beach house, watched a comedy show on TV, and caught the sunset from our living room.
Whoever said they liked long walks on the beach was mistaken. MISTAKEN. After a calm morning of reading, catching up with the blogosphere, and watching Criminal Minds (for Kat and Julia it was a calm morning of napping), we walked along the beach to get lunch at Pelican Brewery. I got fish and chips, Kat got clam chowder with a side of salad, and Julia got clam chowder. We were going to check out the sand dunes afterward, but it was way too windy. Whilst walking back home to the beach house, I got distracted by an ice cream sign at Cape Kiwanda Seafood Market. I got a scoop of chocolate peanut butter, Kat got a scoop of chocolate, and Julia got a scoop of blueberry.
The day pretty much ended there. I watched more Criminal Minds, had more tea, and had a little Skype session with Kristy! Had some much needed rest and relaxation
We didn’t need to return our rental car until the evening, so the three of us debated how we wanted to use the car before we headed into the city. Our options were to drive to a hike, drive to a mall, or wake up super early and do both. For the life of me, I could not understand the logic in going to the mall, especially since 1) we had already been to the mall several times in the previous cities we hit up (unfortunately), 2) we weren’t hitting up any big landmarks the next day so that day would probably be spent shopping too, and 3) malls are the same everywhere. But some people were as adamant about going to the mall as I was about hiking, so we decided to wake up super early and do both.
We drove to the foot of Multnomah Falls and then proceeded on a 1 mile hike up and a 1 mile hike down. It was a pretty easy hike with stairs and pathways, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful. There were other trails that were longer, and I so wished that we did those as well, but we needed to get to the city. (Check out the vlog at the end of this blog post to see the sign that listed all the trail options!) I need to revisit Portland and just hike everywhere everyday.
Then we hit up two malls. If I see another mall, I will mentally stab something.
We kicked off the day with breakfast at Voodoo Doughnut. It’s a tiny little shop, and super crowded because it’s so popular! Lucky for us, we got in right before a crowd. Unfortunately, that meant we couldn’t spend too long deciding which doughnuts we wanted. They had signs up on the wall that listed all their doughnuts, but they only listed the names of the doughnuts, which were more creative than descriptive. The display of doughnuts they had wasn’t organised like the typical doughnut shop where doughnuts are grouped in trays my flavour and labeled. Kat and I decided to share a Portland Cream and another doughnut that was filled with marshmallow, iced with chocolate, and topped with cinnamon toast crunch. I don’t remember the name of that one, but it basically tasted like a s’more and it was SO good (I preferred it over the Portland Cream).
Next up was Powell’s Books. It’s HUGE! I only browsed through part of the first floor. The shelves reached so high that they had ladders at every aisle for you to use. I was immediately drawn to the Gilmore Girls display. After snapping my photos, I resumed browsing the books, and ended up purchasing a beautiful copy of The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki for $3.95.
For lunch, we hit up Grassa. I got creste di gallo handmade pasta (oregon mushrooms, gorgonzola, caramelized onion, green garlic pesto, crushed walnuts), Kat got rigatoni handmade pasta (Sunday pork ragu), and Julia got carbonara handmade pasta (bucatini, pancetta, fried egg, pecorino). This was my favourite meal of the whole trip!
Earlier in the day we had popped by a little shop called North of West, and the shopkeeper had recommended us to check out the International Rose Test Garden. It didn’t look that far on Google Maps, so we decided to walk there, since we had just finished lunch and didn’t have anything else planned for the day anyway. It ended up being a super long walk and we passed some pretty sketchy areas, but we finally arrived. It was too early in the year to visit though, so there were very few roses. I imagine that the garden must be beautiful when it’s fully blooming. Nevertheless, it was a solid walk and I don’t regret visiting. We rested our feet by a fountain before heading to our next destination.
We had noticed Coffeehouse Northwest on our way to the International Rose Test Garden, so we decided to stop by there and have a quiet rest of the afternoon until it came time for dinner at Bamboo Sushi.
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And that concludes our two week west coast road trip! I’ll be posting a recap of the whole trip next Wednesday, so look out for that!