Sunday, October 28, 2018

Travel: Portland, Oregon Day 1

Craig and I recently went on a wonderful vacation to the Portland, Oregon area. Both of us had never been to Oregon before, so it was fun to explore somewhere completely brand new. If you've never been, I highly recommend going as there is so much to do, people are friendly, and the food is amazing!
Our view of Mt. Hood as we arrived was spectacular!
Obligatory PDX carpet photo. 
We arrived on Tuesday, September 25th and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Portland Airport - Cascade Station. We found our shuttle driver to be super friendly, the room was a nice size, the hotel was brand new, I loved the gym, breakfast was wonderful, and the location next to the tram station, and a strip mall with Target and restaurants was perfect.
The next morning, we purchased Tri-Met public transit tickets and lined up for our train ride into the city.
After dropping our bags at our next hotel, we wandered around the city a bit. Of course, we saw a"weird" and oh so Portland vehicle within the first hour of being there.
Mid-morning, we were happy to get a phone call that our hotel room was ready for us! We spent two nights in the Pearl District at the Hampton Inn & Suites Portand- Pearl District. It was a new and modern hotel in a great location for city exploration.
Our room was small but totally fine since we hardly spent any time there.
I loved the art in the hotel lobby. These two pieces would look great in our home!
I'd love one of these paintings too. 

I researched and bookmarked vegan restaurants before we left. Rabbits Cafe kept coming up on so many lists and Instagram posts. Our first lunch in the city was at the US Bank tower location. 
Craig ordered the Mini-Barbecue bowl which had Barbecue Soy Curls and Kale in Tahini Dressing Over Brown Basmati Rice. It was topped with Corn, Banana Peppers, and Nacho-Ranch Sauce. Keep in mind my husband never eats kale, but he loved his meal and is still talking about it a month later!

I enjoyed the Zia salad which featured Barbecue Soy Curls, Black Beans, New Mexico Green Chile, Corn, and Nacho-Ranch Sauce over Kale in Tahini Dressing. I had never tried soy curls before and they were so good. 
Yum! And to think, this was just the first of many excellent vegan meals we had on our trip. 
After exploring the city a bit more, we took the wonderful public transit system (light rail train and bus) west towards the hills. The city bus we took dropped us off at the bottom of a beautiful trail at the start of Washington Park.
The International Rose Test Garden was amazing and huge! 
I loved this pink and yellow rose best. 
It smelled so beautiful there. 
That smile says it all. I loved exploring the gardens.
The view of Mt. Hood from the rose garden was perfect! 
Our next stop was the Portland Japanese Garden just a short walk up the hill, where we met up with an friend of mine I hadn't seen in over 10 years.
Janelle and I met in Italian language class in Oakland, California. She was one of my only good friends in California and we picked up right where we left off. It was so great to meet her energetic and adorable son, Nathaniel too!
Janelle drove us around the city a bit before taking us back to our hotel. We checked out the rooftop of our hotel and experienced a great view of the sunset.
Later that night, we ventured out to check out the enormous Powell's City of Books. Did you know it's the world's largest independent bookstore?
I've been a big reader since I was a kid. Needless to say, I was in heaven.
My kind of place. 
What a great first day in Portland! More posts on our adventures to come!

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