Michael and I took a quick trip up to the Northwest. Neither of us had been there, so we wanted to mark it off of our bucket list. However, we also didn’t have a whole lot of time or money to spend, so we picked Seattle and Portland to visit. Yesterday, I talked about Seattle, so today is all about Portland.
We didn’t get to do a whole lot in Portland. We arrived around noon one day, and we had to be on a flight around noon the next day. I know that we have more to do in this city and its surrounding areas, but I’m happy with what we were able to do.
So if you have a day in Portland, a must-see in my book is the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park. It was absolutely beautiful and calm, the perfect way to end a whirlwind trip. We would sit in front of waterfalls, gaze at coy ponds, and just contemplate life in the quiet of this place.
We also when to the Oregon Zoo, which was nice, but not amazing. I think the coolest thing was how close the animals were in the exhibits. We would turn a corner, and there was a cougar chilling in the shade of a window, just staring at us. But we arrived too late to really experience the interactive aspects of the zoo so that probably affected our experience.
But the real gem of this city was its people. This city seemed to be set up for tourists. First, there is no sales tax, which was so weird to me. But everyone seemed so chill and happy, really seemed to love their work. We ate at Cheryl’s on 12th, and the server went through the entire menu, sharing her favorites with us. We received the same hospitality at Grassa for dinner (and some amazing Italian dinner as well). And, in the morning, when we went to Blue Star Doughnuts, the employees were dancing and laughing…and it was morning! Of course, the food was good everywhere we ate, too. Everyone we met was kind, even the drivers of the free shuttle we took around Washington Park were talkative and interested in who we were, where we came from, and the news of the day.
And, the morning of our flight, we decided to check out Powell’s books since it was close to our hotel and had great reviews. We thought it would be like Half Price Books here in Dallas, but it was bigger than any HPB store I have been to! It took up the entire block and was three stories. The store was a maze with several sections filled with books on shelves that reached the ceiling. I could have spent hours there, but unfortunately, we only had 20 minutes. If, no when, we come back, I will definitely devote more time to this store!
I truly felt loved by Portland. I didn’t think there was anything really iconic here until I met the people. I can’t say enough good about them. Of course, as we were leaving, so many people said we needed to check out the waterfalls and hiking areas around the city. Trust me, this place has returned to the bucket list for a second visit!