Portland Trip 2022 {Part 2}

Good morning! I’m sharing PART 2 to my Portland trip today! If you want to see PART 1, head on over to this blog post where I shared all about our first day in Portland, Oregon. (PS: the map to our trip, including all of the breweries, restaurants, coffee shops, dessert places, and our airbnb address, is embedded in this blog post. I did a bunch of research to scope out some fun places for our trip, so I hope this map is helpful to you if you’re traveling to Portland!)

So, one thing I didn’t mention: since this was our first solo trip together post-kids (Nate and I haven’t been on a trip together since 2018 except for this little babymoon in Texas), it actually took a good 36 hours or so to re-learn how to travel together. I think we were both a little bit like kids in a candy shop on this trip!

We were in a city that was brand new to us, known for food and breweries and coffee, and we each had SO many places we wanted to explore! Also, for the first time in a long time we were able to do things our own way. No nap schedules, getting home by 6:30 pm for baths and bed, early alarm clocks on the weekends, or kid-friendly restaurants.

So we were both really excited.

And it took us a day or so to remember that there’s still another human on this trip to account for. And we need to co-create the schedule and the plan and the lists. Ha.

Anyway, I think that we really got back into our travel groove on day 2 and we had the most amazing couple of days.


Day 2 was beautiful and sunny from the start! We slept in as late as we possibly could on Saturday morning and woke up at…9:00 am. Geez!! For reference, that’s 11:00 am Austin time! I truly can’t remember the last time I slept in that late. It was amazing.

^ I stepped outside to the third floor balcony to see beautiful blue sky!

This airbnb was just soooo beautiful. I truly was tempted to just go out to get some coffee and then spend half of the day hanging out in this gorgeous room while reading a book. (I didn’t because I was also excited to get out and explore Portland!)

One thing about this airbnb, though: the bed was just “meh.” It was not the most comfortable bed of my life. I also loooove having a king size bed on vacation, if possible. Because of the bed, I don’t think I will book it again on our next trip to Portland. But wowza, those beautiful windows!

Anyhow, we got dressed and ready for our day and then headed out the door to walk to…

Screen Door!

This was one of those places I just wanted to check off the list. It’s on lots of generic lists to Austin (Yelp, Thrillist, etc.) as well as some other smaller lists that I really respect. It’s just everywhere. Anyhow, everyone talks about the long line for brunch on the weekends. (Which makes me think of something like Kerbey Lane or Snooze here in Austin, two popular brunch spots that always have long Saturday morning waits but I definitely wouldn’t consider them to be “best brunch in Austin.”)

Anyway, I think my gut was right about this one!  It was really delicious southern-inspired food, but it wasn’t anything new or refreshing. Just really good fried chicken and waffles, fried fish and grits, etc. There was a $4 up-charge to get “real maple syrup” on the pancakes and I kind of thought it was weird that they don’t serve real maple syrup from the beginning…

So Screen Door was a delicious start to our Saturday, but it’s not a place I’ll visit again and again. Once was enough.

^ Off to get some coffee! But first a quick pic by those beautiful trees…

We were near Kopi, a coffee shop that roasts small farm coffee from SE Asia, so we walked over there.

^ Just a girl and her coffee and her first kid-free weekend in a while. I mean, y’all!! I was so happy!!

^ Nate Kennedy, I love traveling with you!

We got our coffees to-go and enjoyed them while we were walking back home so I could do my mid-morning pump…but when we got back to our airbnb, we were locked out.

Yes.

Ugh, it was so annoying! But just one of the small annoyances that sometimes comes with renting an airbnb instead of staying in a hotel. There was a keypad to get into the ground-floor stair entrance, but there was an additional door on the third floor that had somehow gotten locked. (Neither of us remember locking it! Must have accidentally locked it the night before.)

If I didn’t have to pump we could have just stayed out all day while we tried to contact the owner, but I didn’t grab my portable pump on my way out the door that morning. 🙁 The owner wasn’t picking up his phone, so we called a locksmith and went to a nearby brewery while we were waiting.

Good news: Foreland Beer was a really cool spot to kill some time!

^ I’m absolutely obsessed with that little glass on the right. I love how it tapers down to a really narrow base. Beautiful! They had a cask hand pull here, which seems to be much more common in Portland than in Austin.

^ This was just a satellite taproom for Foreland Beer, meaning they don’t brew here…they just serve their beer here. It was a very old, small house that was renovated into a cute little taproom. SO precious! I love that old brick fireplace!

^We’re standing there waiting to order beers when a tenant from our rental property in Austin texts us and says there’s an emergency in the house that involves water leaking in the kitchen. Gahh! So we’re on the phone with locksmiths and dealing with this rental house issue, and I’m way past due to pump. I remember thinking “traveling isn’t worth it!!! This is all so stressful.”

Haha. Just a little bit of reality sprinkled into this vacation recap for ya.

(By the way: everything ended up working out. It always does. It was just stressful in the moment.)

^ Me sitting in the stairwell waiting for the locksmith to arrive. Nate picked up a pair of coffees at Coava while I was waiting to get in to my breast pump!

To wrap up this story, the owner ended up calling us back after the locksmith got there. I’m glad we called a locksmith because there were no spare keys anywhere for us! He was very apologetic and reimbursed us for the locksmith fee, but I think we convinced him to put a keypad on the upstairs door, too. 😉

Ok, let’s move along, shall we?

^ Lunch was at Nong’s Khao Man Gai! Khao Man Gai is a Thai chicken and rice that’s really subtle and comforting. Perfect meal to eat after our locksmith + rental property fiasco that morning.

Yum! It was a sunny spring day in Portland when I ate this, but I can definitely see it being my favorite rainy day comfort food.

Nong’s was such a hit! I loved it for a quick place to pop in and grab lunch.

^ On my way out the door I snapped this pic of their outdoor seating. These outdoor dining setups were literally the exact same at every restaurant! I guess it’s just so fascinating to me because in Austin every restaurant has their own version of outdoor dining, but in Portland EVERY outdoor dining spot was the same. I mean, this looks like a fairly inexpensive + functional setup, so it makes sense that every place does the same thing.

^ Next up, a flight at Ecliptic Brewing! Hi, cutie husband.

Cheers! Sunny and 70 degrees in Portland. I do not do awesome with cold rainy weather (unless I can stay home and work in my office all day), so I was pretty happy that the PNW decided to give us some sun.

^ The beer was tasty and I got a cute crewneck at Ecliptic Brewing! We were walking and happened to go past a Pizza Jerk location, so I stopped in and got a slice. I think, like Screen Door, this is another one of those places that everyone seems to mention, so I figured I’d try a slice.

^ Tasty, not life changing. Someone who is a Portland food pro will have to tell me if it makes a big difference to order an entire pie vs getting it by-the-slice.

On to…Chuckanut Brewing! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Nate so excited to visit a brewery. Haha. It’s from Washington, but they recently opened a second location in Portland.

^ I mean, they’ve won just a few medals for their lagers..

We got a bunch of 1/2 pours at Chuckanut and they were SO delicious! Nate loved this place so much that we ended up coming back again the next day, haha.

Next we popped over to Level Brewing, which is a multiple location brewery in Portland that also has cask hand pulls. Nate was really interested in going there, but for some reason I have zero pictures!

And then it was time for…

The Timber game!

Yay! Again, I was soooo happy it was sunny! I mean, we would have sat in the rain and enjoyed the soccer game regardless, but it was a nice perk to enjoy a beautiful spring evening.

Happiest ever!

I got a few slices of pizza, a Tillamook mac andn cheese, and a pint of Breakside IPA.

It ended up being a 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake.

^ A post game snack at Salt & Straw! The line was INSANE for this ice scream, so we skipped the line and picked up a pint at the register instead…

…and then ate it on the front steps.

It was so delicious! Wish I could go back and try all the flavors!

That wrapped up Day 2 in Portland


Good morning Day 3! I woke up a bit early and headed out on a run at Laurelhurt Park.

I grew up flying to Washington State every summer to visit my grandparents and my aunt, so the smell of the wet earth and pine trees brings back many happy memories.

Photos on the .5 lens on my iPhone camera do not capture the grandeur of these beasts. It was an awesome run!

I don’t always bring my running shoes along on vacations, mostly because they take up so much room in my suitcase. But I should remember how happy it makes me to run in a new city! I can just make space for them.

^ There was a Crema Coffee + Bakery on the ground floor below our flat, so I stopped in for a couple of pastries and coffee for myself and Nate.

^ Happy Sunday!

One of my favorite parts of this vacation rental was the rooftop! The apartment was on the third floor, so the private roof was the fourth floor. I could see over all the neighborhood houses and even catch a glimpse of downtown Portland in the distance!

I love these green rooftops. So cool.

^ Good morning, Portland! Super Joy Coffee FTW.

A cup of JOY?! Yes please.

Teeny little place.

We headed to the Japanese Garden next, and it was lovely. It’s a serene space with waterfalls, paths, a rock garden, and space to sit and think.

Since we went on a clear day, we were able to see a clear view of Mount Hood from the lookout spot!

See the snow-covered Mount Hood in the background? It was so beautiful!

^ I was thinking about how much Milo would have enjoyed that Koi pond behind me. 🙂

^ Sitting and watching the waterfall together. It’s fun going to beautifully cultivated gardens as an adult, because I appreciate how much energy it takes to keep it alive and beautiful. (Although…it’s probably a tad easier to keep things alive in Portland than Texas.)

As I child, I would run through arboretums with the anticipation of “what’s next?!” (Which is totally age appropriate and fine!) But now I love to sit and appreciate the life that’s growing in the garden. I feel like this Japanese Garden filled my soul and calmed me down.

There were a lot of stairs and walkways in the garden. Nate gave his leg a break and sat down for a bit while I walked the rockier parts by myself.

Beautiful.

We had only had coffee and pastries to this point, so we were both STARVING! We went to eat lunch. Friends, this next place ended up being my very favorite bite of the entire trip.

Bing Mi food cart! They were loaded in a food park that had about 8 different food carts. (Note: they call them “food carts” in Portland and we call them “food trucks” in Austin. Regardless of whether they have wheels or not, whether they’re stationary or roaming, they’re “carts” in PDX and “trucks” in ATX.)

Bing Mi serves Jianbing, a savory Chinese crepe filled with fermented veggies, meat, egg, and all sorts of other yummy fillings. This was by far the most popular cart in the park, with a 30 minute wait to get a crepe.

There’s a crispy wonton cracker tucked in there, too! The contrast of texture was amazing. This was such a fun thing to eat because it was different than anything I’ve tried!

We grabbed a couple beers from this cart while waiting for lunch.

And after lunch: more beer. (No one is surprised)

We walked to Breakside, which is known for their IPAs. (I had one the day before at the soccer game.)

We got a taster and then ended up ordering a few more pours, too!

We both decided we wanted to rest up a bit before the evening, so we grabbed a ride back home. One of the beautiful things of traveling without kiddos is that we could take naps! Whenever we wanted! Oh my goodness! The joy!

{Insert afternoon nap here.}

Post nap time, we decided to walk back over to Foreland (that cute little house-turned-taproom) near our apartment. It reminded me of a Rainey Street bar circa 2013.

Since the day before was kind of stressful with the locksmith/rental house situation, we decided to do a second visit to burn happier memories into our brains. 😉

Gosh this place is cute!

Drinking beers with Nate, spying on my sleeping 8-month-old baby boy. It was 3:41 pm in Austin, so I knew he’s be waking up from his nap soon.

For dinner, we went to one of my bucket list Portland spots…

Apizza Scholls! Lots of people calls this the very best pizza in Portland. I haven’t tried enough Portland pie to have an option…but this sure was AMAZING.

They’ve been carry-out only for the past 2 years, which I didn’t realize. We walked in the front door and saw a “carry-out only” sign, and I was about to place an order to go when a server walked up and said “are you interested in dining here? We’ve only started opening a few booths this weekend and we don’t advertise it, but there’s one open right now.”

So we got to sit down and be one of the first dine-in customers they’ve had in two years!

I mean…sigh. It was a perfect pie. I should have taken a picture of the underside of the pizza because it was BEAUTIFUL! The most gorgeous charred leopard-spotting you’ve ever seen. Nice and thin and chewy but not to doughy in the middle. I ate half of this giant pizza!

They have a bookshelf by the front door with pizza books, and Nate geeked out over the most ridiculous pizza guide in the world.

My husband doesn’t sit down and read for pleasure all that often, but when he does it’s to read a 3-volume pizza book set that weighs about 400 pounds.

I also ordered a the Caesar salad, and it was hands down the best one I’ve ever tried. Perfect creamy/tangy dressing (without being too tangy), homemade croutons, entire leaves of crispy romaine, and giant chunks of salty parm-reg.

^ After dinner, another fun brewery! Steeplejack is a church that was renovated into a brewery. I mean…

SO cool! For sure the most memorable brewery space I have ever seen. They kept the integrity of the building (stained glass windows, soaring ceilings, and even a few church pews!) and gutted out the interior to create a brewery and tap room.

They used the choir room and little side spaces to create cozy nooks and crannies. It was all so beautiful!

The beer at Steeplejack wasn’t my very favorite, but the space was for sure the most memorable.

And then, because it was Nate’s birthday trip, he chose the final stop of the night:

Chuckanut. 

Haha. I told you he loved that place!

We went back and got a few more pours of lagers just before they closed at 9 pm. He also got a bunch of cans to bring home!

^ A quick scoop at Fifty Licks that we ate while walking back home… (I would have gone to Salt and Straw again, but Fifty Licks was just a few blocks from our rental so it was more convenient.)

…and then home to bed.

On Monday morning we woke up, packed, and flew back to Austin! Both of our suitcases were a bit heavier on the way home from extra *beverages* we needed to bring back. (Nate’s beverages were way more fun than mine.)

^ And then we were back home to our babies!


And that was it! We seriously had so much fun on our first kid-free trip. I will definitely prioritize traveling with Nate throughout these next few years with young children. It’s so much work to make it happen. I guarantee you that every time I plan a trip I’ll ask myself “why am I doing this again?”

And then once I’m on the trip I’ll remember how much fun we have traveling together.

Thanks for being here and following along on our PDX journey! XO.

PS: all of my travel recap blog posts are here, if you want to see.

 

 

 

 

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Stacy
7 months ago

Its been fun to see your trip as a former Portlander! A little background on the outdoor dining set ups: its a product of the pandemic! Indoor dining was completely shut down for a long time in Oregon, and even when restrictions loosened, it was slow to return to full capacity (things just kept changing!) So restaurants built these inexpensive outdoor structures, often in the street, so they could continue operating in a safer way, even when it rained. I’d assume many of them will go away as we get further from the pandemic, but increasing outdoor dining in Portland was a silver lining of recent years.

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