Portland has been on my radar ever since I started blogging in 2008. Around that time, I connected with a lot of designers and artists and realized Portland was widely popular amongst those in the creative field. Funny that it’s taken me nearly eight years to make it to a city that’s within driving distance, but it is what it is. I traveled with my family: Dad, Mom, and dog, Aubrey. A lot of you 20-something-year-olds may not think it’s cool to travel with your family, but we all get along really well and I think my family is pretty fun. We have an understanding that we don’t have to do every. single. thing. together as a family when we’re on vacation. Quite often I’ll break away for a few hours to spend time with some of my friends wherever we’re staying. Or we’ll choose to do different activities/sightseeing/etc. since we have different interests.
If you follow me on Snapchat (@ohmydrifter) or Instagram, you’ve probably already gotten a flavor of what we did, but here’s the fulllllll unabridged recap. And when I say full I mean get yourself a cup of coffee or tea and because you’re going to be in front of the computer for a while.
We chose to do a road trip up the Pacific Northwest for a few reasons:
- We wanted to bring our dog.
- We’d always been intrigued by the Pacific Northwest and have never been.
- We have family in the Seattle area and thought it would be fun to visit them/see their house/get the official insider tour of the area.
Here’s an overview of the trip:
- Friday night: Drive to Redding
- Saturday: Drive to Portland (with stops in Ashland and Eugene)
- Saturday–Tuesday morning: Spend time in Portland
- Tuesday morning: Drive to Seattle
- Tuesday–Friday afternoon: Spend time in Seattle
- Friday afternoon: Drive to Eugene
- Saturday morning: Drive to Redding
- Sunday morning: Drive home
A pretty mountain in Weed, CA on the drive up. I have no idea what mountain this is.
Portland is about a 9/9.5 hour drive from San Francisco. I know a lot of people who would do the drive in one shot, but we broke it up into two days. We started the drive Friday night and spent the night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Redding, CA. Nothing fancy, but it was simple, clean, and they allowed dogs.
A cute hotel in Ashland, OR.
DAY ONE: I know technically our road trip started on Friday night, but I’m just going to start Day One on Saturday since Friday night was so uneventful. The next day, we drove from Redding to Portland. We stopped off in Ashland and Eugene to walk around (both are really nice cities!), but other than that, it was a straight zip up to PDX. I was so unprepared for the major heat wave the entire Pacific Northwest was experiencing. It was hotter than in California! We arrived at our Portland Airbnb around 4pm. That night, we went to the Mississippi Marketplace Food Carts for dinner. It was 100 degrees and most of the food trucks closed early due to the heat. There was only one food truck open—Koi Fusion. He was seriously cashing in with all the people there! I’m extremely boring right now and I can’t eat out anywhere due to my digestive issues (I bought all my food at the grocery store/prepared it in the kitchen in our Airbnb), so I’ll have to give you the food recaps through the tastebuds of my parents. My dad said his rice bowl at Koi Fusion was amazing. After dinner, we drove around the surrounding neighborhoods of where we were staying: Laurelhurst and Alameda. The houses reminded me so much of Berkeley, CA. If you told me we were driving around Berkeley, I would have believed you.
Our Airbnb in Portland. It kills me how tropical it looks! You’d think we were on some island.
The original Portland neighborhoods are so much like Berkeley, CA.
DAY TWO: Since Day Two was a Sunday, we took the opportunity to walk around downtown since we figured it would be a lot less crowded than on a weekday. High on my list was going to Powell’s Books. There used to be a HUGE Borders Bookstore in downtown San Francisco that was such a safe haven for me to recharge from the outside chaos of the city. There could be a protest going on outside and you would never know inside the bookstore—it was so quiet and peaceful (spoken like a true introvert). Powell’s Books was incredible. My mom and I both got mugs that said “Powell’s Books” because we’re nerds and I love collecting mugs and I’m also a sentimental fool who will forever remember my trip to Powell’s Books whenever I drink out of that mug.
We had lunch at Wolf & Bear’s in the downtown food cart pod and walked around downtown.
The Central Library has incredible architecture.
That afternoon, we went to some open houses because as a family, we really love real estate. It’s kind of a family tradition to check out open houses whenever we go on vacation—see how the locals live, get a sense of the real estate market in the area, you know. You never truly get a sense of a city until you check out the neighborhoods (which is also why I love Airbnb so much too).
Later that day, I met up with Andrea to film something for a Drifter Organics project. Then in the evening I modeled for Caitlin Elizabeth Tomlinson. Caitlin took me to a street in Laurelhurst full of breathtaking old mansions.
The house across the street from where we were shooting.
DAY THREE: About 30 minutes east of Portland is the Columbia River Gorge. There are lots of waterfalls that make up the gorge, but the highest and most well-known is Multnomah Falls. It’s a one-mile hike up to the top, which we hiked with Aubrey.
Side note: I thought of Portland when I bought this flannel shirt from Urban Outfitters five years ago and I finally got to wear it in the most cliché of clichés Pacific Northwest setting!
That afternoon, we went to NW 23rd St., which is a quaint shopping district called Nob Hill. My parents went to Blue Star Donuts while I went to Crossroads because I was taking over their Snapchat for the day and had planned to give a tour of the Crossroads in Nob Hill. I really really liked this area. There were a collection of shops and eateries and the entire vibe was very neighborhood-y and casual.
Later that evening, we went to the Tidbit Food Farm and Garden for dinner in the SE district. My mom had Indian food and my dad had Thai food.
Also in Tidbit Food Farm and Garden is Menagerie, a plant and body care store located in an airstream. I was so sad it was closed when we went!
DAY FOUR: Our last morning in Portland. We went downtown to take some pictures, then I met up with T at Barista on NW 23rd St. I met T in SF at West Coast Craft and then collaborated on an outfit post with here. We discovered we’re both selling at the Brit + Co. Re:Make Festival in San Francisco next month. Woot! Then we started our drive to Seattle.
Inside Voodoo Doughnut. I can’t have gluten, but I went in anyway just to get a picture. 😉
I finally FINALLY got to see the Ace Hotel Portland in person. The lobby is just as dreamy in person as it looks in photographs.
Portland, it was fun. Stay tuned for my Seattle recap coming at you next week!