My friend Toria (@toria.webber) and I had a few days free mid-week in January so we decided to book a trip to the PNW on a whim! We were deciding between Portland and Seattle, but with Portland we could stay with a friend of mine from college, Ana (@ana_nelson3) so Portland it was!
We booked such an early flight! I had to wake up at 2 am, so getting to the airport was a struggle. Our flight had only 17 people on it so we basically had the whole plane to ourselves. Woohoo!
We took the train to Ana’s place upon our arrival, and conveniently used the key she had left for us while she was at work. We got settled and relaxed for a little bit before we ventured off to find some lunch!
If you didn't know - Portland is a vegan mecca, with bomb vegan food on every corner. We went to a vegan cheese restaurant called Vtopia, and ate UNREAL mac n cheese, a cheese platter, and a buffalo tofu jam sandwich with caesar salad. Toria isn't vegan and she loved it too!
After lunch we explored the city near Hoyt Arboretum. It rained each day of our trip, so getting around was a little harder but we took the train and bus system everywhere and then walked with a raincoat or umbrella. It was just too wet outside to take photos near the arboretum, and since we didn't have a car to travel elsewhere, we decided to wrap it up, get some donuts at VooDoo, and go meet Ana for dinner!
We went to Pine Street Market; a collection of different restaurants and vendors in a cute market setting. I got ramen - nom nom nom. If you haven’t already noticed, FOOD is a HUGE part of any Allison Carol travel experience!
The next day, Toria and I were feeling adventurous and planned to visit the one of the nearest waterfalls, Multnomah Falls. It had supposedly been closed due to all the rain but had recently re-opened. We took a train 1 hour and 45 mins, and then a Lyft for 30 minutes only to arrive and have it be... you guessed it.. closed!! It was very disappointing, but we still viewed it from a distance and got some really cool photos!
Despite our initial disappointment at arriving to a closed venue, our biggest ordeal was actually trying to get back to Portland—apparently Uber and Lyft were not on the regular routes to the Falls, and after trying taxi companies that were way beyond our budget, we finally and luckily connected with an Uber to get us back to the train station, and off to Portland.
Exploring for food, (once again), I found this vegan tiki bar called No Bones Beach Club that was amazing! I would highly recommend the place! Ana met Toria and me there once she was off work. When we returned home, we stayed up watching Definitely Maybe while eating sweets and snacks before bed. I had forgotten how much I liked that movie, and its star, Ryan Reynolds.
In the morning, Toria and I took the train to downtown Portland and went to Petunia's Pies and Pastries - an all vegan bakery. It was such a cute bakery, everything was branded so nicely with blush pastels and delicate fonts and embellishments.
After brunch we took the train and bus to St. John's Bridge, walked around the riverbank and took photos. What a gorgeous area! We then went to 23rd street and shopped around - mostly window shopping but it was such a cute area as well Stopped in Lush - one of my favorite natural beauty companies for some zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bar containers too!
After meeting Ana for dinner at a Thai restaurant, we stopped at the famous Salt & Straw for dessert down the street. All of their limited edition monthly flavors were vegan (bless their souls).. so I did my fair share of sampling and decided on a cup of Heidi Ho Lemon Cheesecake. Heidi Ho is one of my fave vegan cheese brands by the way. They are known for having a creamy consistency like goat cheese, but the ‘cheese’ is actually made from cashews. :)
We finished off the night at Ana's packing and getting ready for an early flight the next day. Ana was such a sweetheart and offered to drive us there at 4 am…blessed.
Overall, it was such a great few days and I really enjoyed spending time with the girls. Tips for next time: 1) go during the summer, but still be prepared for some rain! 2) rent a car – despite good public transportation, in our case, it was a time-waster to not have our own vehicle. Thankfully I'll be 25 soon and won't have to deal with high rental car fees. Yay! Until next time Portland!