My family and I hadn’t been on a proper trip together at all this year. (Going home to the Bay Area or Chicago where my hubby is from doesn’t count in my book!) There are a few American cities left that I’ve been dying to visit and Portland was one of them. We decided to fly from LA to Portland and spend a week driving through an area of the country none of us had explored- the North West. Our final destination was Bozeman, MT and we had tons of ground to cover in between. For starters, Portland is SO GREEN. As a Californian I’ve been deprived of grass for such a long and I didn’t realize it until I saw how lush Portland was. The vibe was so chill and I felt like the people were totally laid back and super cool. Below are some of the highlights from our trip. Keep in mind I was almost 7 months pregnant on this trip and traveling with a two year old. I can’t wait to hit up Portland when I can drink and do some fancy dinners, but even in my current “condition” I had a freakin blast and so did the fam.
We chose the River Place Hotel for a few reasons. It was historic and beautiful, had great reviews online and was along the river with easy access to everything. Every time we travel to a new city we check to see if our American Express offers rewards or perks at properties we’re interested in- sure enough River Place was one of them. I’ve mentioned my love for Amex perks several times in the past, but just to remind you, I love it because you can get room upgrades, food credits and sometimes spa credits (my personal fav).
When I posted on my Instagram account that I was in Portland I got a ton of recommendations on where to eat. There was one particular spot that EVERYONE agreed on: Voodoo Doughnuts. I’d heard of this place before and I knew I had to go. I’m not a donut person, but hot damn these were delish! Like SO SO good. Luckily the line was only about 20 people deep, so it wasn’t a nightmare trying to get our grub on. I was pleasantly surprised to see their huge variety of vegan donuts as well. A+ Voodoo Doughnuts. Totally worth the hype! Also, how do you actually spell donuts? Or is it doughnuts?
Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ: Umm. Wow. Just wow. I had a life changing burrito at their little food cart. It was definitely a trek from where we were staying, but so worth it. I got the “Buff Burrito” (thanks Margaret!) I was in heaven after the first bite. It had freakin mac and cheese in it!? Say what!?! Yup, and totally vegan. You guys may know I’m actually pescatarian, (a fish eating vegetarian- not a religion) but I can certainly appreciate when something is 100% plant based.
As I mentioned above I was traveling with my two year old son who, like many two year olds has an obscene amount of energy and it is of the utmost importance that he get’s his wiggles out. We headed to the International Rose Garden that was equipped with the most breathtaking roses I’ve ever seen AND a playground. Win win. Definitely pay this place a visit whether you’re rolling with a toddler or not.
Splash pads: This has been the summer of the splash pad for my family. From LA to Chicago and now Portland. After a hot day of exploring the city is was time once again for Idris to get his wiggles out in the water. Enter: splash pad on the river. Perfect!