This past week I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister in Portland, OR. This was my second trip to Portland, but the first time I came I was only in town for one full day. Although my sisters and I made the most of that day, there was still so much I wanted to explore. I planned a very full itinerary for the five days I was there, but I’ve learned from my past mistakes (London, 2016) and made sure to keep my itinerary balanced with some relaxing activities.
My day started out dark and early at 3:30 AM, which was an hour before my Lyft ride was scheduled to pick me up to go to the airport. It gave me just enough time to wake up slowly, get dressed and slap on some lipstick, and gather my bags. My Lyft made a stop in Los Angeles where I picked up my friend Natalie who also had a 7:00 AM flight out of LAX. It was so nice to have a friend along for the ride, and to grab a cup of coffee with while waiting to board my flight!
I landed in PDX a little sooner than I had anticipated, which ended up being a good thing because it gave me just enough time to catch the train to Downtown and stop by Target to pick up some things I needed, and get a cup of coffee at Case Study. Afterwards, I met Helen at Maya’s Tacos for a very quick lunch before catching the bus to her place. After dropping off my bags, I walked over to a couple of grocery stores to pick up ingredients to make an apple pie. I spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting to bed early.
Helen and I started Wednesday by waking up pretty early to head out to yoga class. We went to The People’s Yoga (Belmont location) for an All Level Hatha Flow class with Abby Kraai . I came in feeling intimidated because I am not experienced at all, but the instructor was friendly and offered many modifications to make inflexible people like me more comfortable. After class, we headed across the street for some coffee at Never Coffee. I really wanted to return to this place because I love their space (quiet and cozy) and their drinks are packed with flavor and have great names (I got a drink called “Rich Boy”). Afterwards we headed home and then out to the Kennedy School soaking pool, where we hung out by the water jets for an hour!
Although we were only there for an hour, I felt very relaxed by the time we got out of the pool. When we got home, I got to work on making the apple pie, and getting dressed up for a nice dinner at the Raven & Rose. Originally, we were going out to get a drink at the Teardrop Lounge before dinner. Unfortunately, I forgot my ID and I wasn’t allowed to be served a soda or mocktail at the lounge. It was a shame that they didn’t card at the door because I had just settled in and then was promptly ushered out of the lounge. Fortunately, we were in Downtown and walked around to do some window shopping! Before we knew it we were heading out to our dinner. The Raven & Rose was magnificent! I had a cheese plate, rabbit, and a treacle tart to eat. The portions were perfect, and everything was prepared beyond my expectations. All I can say is that next time I’m in Portland I’ll going to be going there again!
After a busy day on Wednesday, I wanted to take it slower on Thursday. Helen and I went back to Never Coffee for our morning cuppa, and then took a walk around to explore the gorgeous autumn scenery I don’t get to see around SoCal.
When we made our way downtown, we walked around some and stopped by Rogue Ales for a drink before our dinner at Brix Tavern. I was immensely impressed by Thanksgiving dinner at Brix Tavern. Even though the place was packed, we didn’t feel rushed to finish eating and make way for a new group. Our servers were very attentive and made sure each course made it to our table in a timely manner. I’m glad I ended up wearing my stretchy pants, because I was stuffed! The best part is that I was able to take some yummy leftovers home! We ended our Thanksgiving night by watching the “Christmas Prince” on Netflix. I am a lover of all cheesy holiday movies!
Not one to shy away from consecutive heavy meals, I got us up and out the door to have an early breakfast at Screen Door. They have a family friendly restaurant vibe with a gourmet menu. My choice of breakfast was their signature, the praline bacon waffle, which had homemade whipped cream and warm syrup to pour over. Afterwards, we took a walk over to Hawthorne for a cuppa at ToV Coffee, which is located in a repurposed double decker bus. We both got the Egyptian coffee. Usually, I like having sugar added to my coffee when it’s brewed using this method, but the Turkish Delight served alongside balanced out the strong coffee.
Then we went to explore some vintage stores along Hawthorne and Division. I was proud that I resisted buying a very heavy Lilli Ann coat because it just wasn’t the right fit (and because it would have been a pain to bring back on the plane).
We also walked over to Lardo so that we could grab a quick bite and prepare for our bar crawl later that day. Helen and I opted to share the Pho’rench sandwich because we were still stuffed from breakfast. I was tempted to grab a beer to go with my sandwich, but I wouldn’t have been able to finish it because even half the sandwich was too much for me!
And then began our “epic bar crawl”. We started out at the Multnomah Whiskey Library where we promptly seated at the bar. I really, really like whiskey so needless to say this bar took my breath away. I could have stayed here for ages and been a happy gal, but we resolved to stay for only two drinks. Their inventory is overwhelming, but thankfully the bartenders are really nice and probably accustomed to people like me who don’t know where they want to start. Our bartender brought me two choices, and I went with the Barterhouse 20 yr bourbon. The second time I looked through their list and chose a couple of whiskeys based on how funny I found their names. After consulting with our bartender about what I like and don’t like, I ended up going with the Big Bottom Delta Rye.
I was reluctant to leave, but we had several other stops to make on our bar crawl. Next up was La Moule. I chose this place solely because it was French and bougie, and because they served oysters on the menu. We got a platter of six oysters and opted for classic drinks. Helen got a gin and tonic, and I went with a ‘filthy’ vodka martini (which is basically olive juice with a dash of vodka). I would describe La Moule as a mix of a classic French restaurant with a very modern, neon-sign embellished bar, and a sprinkle of classic movie posters. We spent quite some time here chatting about life and boys before moving on to Hele Pele.
Hele Pele was almost the complete opposite vibe from everything in our bar crawl. I really like tiki bars because they always seem more upbeat and fun than most bars, and no one is going to roll their eyes if you order a piña colada. We also got a “Cuban sandwich” here, which was served with a side of homemade Funyuns and a punch bowl drink that they set on fire. My favorite moment was recognizing an “island” version of Star Wars’ Main Title song.
The last stop on our bar crawl was back at the Kennedy School’s Boiler Room. I’ll keep this one short and to the point. Drinks were awful, I had to practically beg for service, and it certainly looked like a much cooler place under all of those Instagram filters. Finally, our bar crawl ended with some pie and Rick & Morty in bed.
It was truly a blessing that my hangover was not immense after that bar crawl, but I still stuck to our relaxed Saturday plans. We had a very small breakfast and tea before heading out to the second most important place on my itinerary, Cup & Bar.
The drinking chocolate, with whipped cream on the side was something I had been craving ever since I saw it on Helen’s guide to Portland coffee shops. We also went out and had a proper, and much needed, cuppa joe at Heart Coffee.
I spent the day relaxing and eating leftovers until it was time to head out for my flight. I’m so happy I got to spend Thanksgiving with my sister in Portland, and visit her in the city she’s called “home” for the last 2 years. I can’t wait to go back!
- Pedialyte might not be scientifically proven to aide hangovers, but golly I woke up feeling better than I expected.
- In the future, I will schedule an earlier flight back home. I would prefer taking LA’s Flyaway bus to save myself some money and time. Getting home from LAX took nearly 2.5 hours.
- My trip was NOT budget friendly, but because I had planned this trip so far in advance I was able to save some money to put towards my trip little by little.
- Check back on this post for a map of Portland, and the places I visited while there.