Portland, Oregon (State #8)

I know, I know – I’m getting my Oregon post up before my California one. I’m from California so it’s a little trickier to write about and I’ve been procrastinating. So, sue me. But I just returned from a birthday trip to see my best friend from undergrad in Portland, Oregon. And honestly, it was just what I needed. New York and work had been burning me out a bit and bringing me down. The trip definitely re-calibrated me a bit and allowed me the space to think and reevaluate some things in my life. As I get closer to 30, I start to freak out about what I’m doing with my life- and some time away from everything with a long time friend seemed like just what the doctor ordered.

I absolutely fell in love with Portland (Kudo’s Taylor for selling me on it!) Portland is such a cute city! There’s so many food trucks and unique food and drink options throughout the city. The city is incredibly walkable as well which, was a nice surprise for me as neither of us had a car. My friend lived on the South East side and there was no shortage of things to do in my five days there. We had excellent weather the whole time as well, despite the Pacific Northwest’s reputation. Aside from the usual best friend shenanigans (involving lots of meals out and plenty of drinks) there was some truly memorable moments that really helped put life in perspective.

To celebrate my last night of being 28, we did a sunset hike up to Angel’s Rest out by Corbett, Oregon. I credit living in Hawaii with teaching me to like hiking, and there’s not a ton of options for it in New York City. The Columbia River Gorge had been on fire a couple years ago and you could still see some of the burn marks as we made our ascent. Once we got to the top, the views of the Columbia Gorge are absolutely breathtaking. Not to mention, there are a couple surprise waterfalls you pass on your way up. The views reminded me a bit of hiking on the Appalachian in New York and New Jersey – but Oregon definitely takes the cake as the views are just expansive and everything is so green. One of our hiking buddies described Oregon as a “magical little forest” – and it really is. It was a really unique experience for my last few hours of my 28th year. I’m the type to always look back on where I spent my last few birthdays, and the past few years were rather lackluster. It was nice to do a birthday trip again and incorporate my blog and get out of Portland a bit to see more of Oregon.

Taylor and I also hiked Mt Tabor park on the day of my birthday. There was a lot of nature on this trip. It was absolutely gorgeous with all the flowers in bloom and a nice view of the city of Portland. The day ended with a trip to the 1905 for some pizza, drinks and live music. All around a really beautiful birthday spent in Oregon.

Naturally, I did more than just hike in Oregon. We managed to get to the famous Voodoo Doughnuts, to continue my quest to find the best doughnut in the country. Voodoo donuts definitely had some outrageous combos. Taylor and I sat down by the river and enjoyed our snack in the sunshine with some Stumptown Coffee as well. Knocked out all the Portland classics in one go! The food scene is next level in Portland. We not only stopped by the Farmer’s Market, but there are a plethora of food trucks near Portland State University. There’s a number of healthy, vegan options as well. I’m not vegan, but I do being able to eat healthier when I’m on the road. I won’t turn down a vegan option. Everything in Portland seems to have a bit of a cheeky name. We got our nails done at a place named Finger Bang and found a taco spot named Tight Tacos. The immature child in me loved it.

I ate very well in Portland- and I can’t stress that enough. I’ll likely be doing a post just on the food and coffee spots alone. I was really impressed with the food scene. The city was really beautiful with a lot of options for things to do. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and hope to be back soon! Not only was this a good break from my daily life in New York, I definitely missed the West Coast and hope to see more of the Pacific Northwest.