I just graduated college in September, ended an almost four-year relationship, and moved back home to my parent's house with five cats, now two dogs (including my own), both my parents, and my twenty-one (still twenty at the time) year old brother. Needless to say after that amount of drastic change in my life, I needed a vacation.
Originally a booked flight to Denver, Colorado to visit a friend and to go snowboarding ended in a solo flight to Portland, Oregon where I knew no one or anything about anything except that the foodie culture was pretty awesome. Best. Trip. Ever.
I stayed in a hostel that I highly recommend called the Traveler's House. It was like home away from home and I met the most amazing people that I can now confidently say some are my lifelong friends. And no, do not let the word "hostel" scare you into thinking they are all like that creepy movie they produced a few years back. Do the research, I used Hostels.com and read a ton of reviews and as I said, it was the best experience of my life.
The images above are from my first stop when arriving in Portland. This tiny little cafe called SweeDeeDee that I instantly fell in love with. Despite arriving with my backpack, huge canvas duffel bag that probably was more than half my size and weight, plus another smaller duffel that was entirely too much for one girl to carry (average total weight of all luggage was 85 lbs tested at airport on the way home) the staff was extremely pleasant with me, even when me and my luggage took up two of their tables. I had a butternut squash and leek soup with a créme fraîche drizzle and roasted pumpkin seeds on top. Plus the most amazing coffee I had had thus far in life, little did I know that the outstanding coffee experiences only got better from here !
My first three/four days in Portland were actually pretty miserable because I was sick as a dog. Halloween weekend was the weekend before I left and what I thought to be a hangover of the century was in fact a very very hefty sinus infection that when getting on a plane at whatever altitude makes it much worse and actually can result (and in my case it did) in a burst blood vessel on my right ear drum. No. Bueno. I muscled through it the best I could for as long as I could but on day three when sleeping even became unbearable due to the fact it felt like I was swallowing glass, I did go see an urgent care doctor and got some decent meds to help my through the rest of my trip. But of course before going to see the doctor, I tried everything I could imagine to feel better and that included going to this amazing little organic juice truck on Alberta Ave in the Alberta Arts District every single morning. It was adorable and called Sip, they even had this shot I took for three straight mornings called the master shot (ginger/lemon/echinacea/cayenne) that you chased with an orange wedge because if you don't, you may cough a lot (I did the first time cause I thought I was too good for the orange, I'm not.) They have all kinds of juices, smoothies, soups, an other various snacks. It's a cute place and I highly recommend going and always use the orange. :)
One of my absolute favorite things in the world are tacos. So as soon as I saw Korean tacos at a food truck called Koi Fusion, I was there. A friend I met at the hostel and I decided to go check out a few food cart pods and that's where we found Koi. He got the Korean pork sliders you see above and I got one of each kind of taco they offered, chicken, pork, and beef. YUMMMMM. And then a little further down the road I saw this crazy bike blender contraption outside of this other cart and I knew I had to test it out. The cart is Moberi and it is awesome. You pick any kind of smoothie they offer on the menu and then either yourself or whoever in manning the cart that day will hop on the bike and blend your smoothie for you in a matter of minutes. It's quite the workout considering to get everything going initially is difficult with all the ice and veggies but it was well worth it despite how full I was after my tacos. I would definitely go back because the Acai Bowls looked amazing !
There is much more to tell about Portland but I'm going to leave off here as a bit of a cliff hanger for my next post where there is plenty more food and views of the breath-taking landscapes of Oregon. Until then !
Best Always, Cait