Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dream Vacation Hangover- part 2

Let's see if I can remember what I had babbled on about in my eaten by the interwebs part of my previous post.

Upon arriving in Portland both the hubby and I felt right at home. It seemed so relaxed and down to earth. It's a super pedestrian and bike friendly place. We took a short cab ride to our hotel only to find out later that day that we could have taken public transportation for free! Oh well, now we know for next time. Since we arrived early our room wasn't ready at the hotel. The concierge placed our bags in a secure closet so we could wander aimlessly around the city for a few hours. The first thing on the non-agenda was to find a Starbucks so the hubby could get some Chai Tea Latte for the second time that day. He was attempting to overdose on it while we were in the PNW since Starbucks are few and far between in the south. We don't have a Starbucks, yet, in our little town. We have to drive a whole thirty minutes to get to one, oh the humanity. Our aimless little stroll around the city helped us to come up with more activities to add to our busy tourist schedule.

The first night we decided to take a free street car to Deschutes Brewery. The stop where we caught the street car had the most awesome shop called Crafty Wonderland on the corner. I peeked in real quick and made a note to go back later. I went back on our last day there and bought something for each of us. I could have gotten more. I got a super cute shirt by Little Lark for Emmett. (I've already ordered a surprise grab bag of shirts for Emmett and will be getting us adult sized shirts to match his) I could have spent some serious cash in that store but I was fairly restrained and think we managed to keep it in the double digits.

Dinner at Deschutes Brewery was good. But, the beer sampling was the best part. My favorite beer was the Black Butte Porter  and the Green Lakes Organic Ale gets and honorable mention. One big thing I learned on our vacation is that I'm not a huge fan of IPA's and tend to prefer the stouts.

Our second day we actually spent on the Oregon Coast. We rented a car and drove first to Fort Columbia (just across the Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon). It was a fort in a lovely location but it wasn't as cool as the forts on the east coast since it doesn't date back as far as the east coast forts.  We then headed back across the super long Astoria bridge for lunch and to check out The Goonies house. This was pretty cool since the owner is a big Goonies fan and allows people to come up and take pictures, she'll even give tours of the house. The house next to it is for sale for a reasonable price if you're looking, or if you feel like buying it for me just let me know. We also went by the Oregon Film Museum which houses lots of Goonies memorabilia.  We also went to the Astoria Column to get a better view of the surrounding area. I'm proud of the hubby for going up since he really doesn't like heights. It was a long climb up the stairs but worth every quad burning minute of it.

We left Astoria and headed south down the Coast to Ecola State Park. Absolutely gorgeous! I didn't want to leave. I really could live almost anywhere along the Oregon coast and be beyond happy. Indian beach at Ecola park was where the La Push beach scene from Twilight was filmed. We sat and enjoyed the beach watching the surfers attempt to catch waves for a long time, followed up by checking out the life in the tidal pools. We finally tore ourselves from the beach and headed into the town of Cannon Beach right next door to the park. We found an awesome tiny pizza shop to eat at called Pizza a'Fetta. This is totally my kind of beach town! Anyone want to buy me a vacation house there? I promise I'll share.

The rest of the stay was just as awesome as the day in Astoria. I'll just wrap most of it up with a quick list:
-took a 3 hour boat tour down the Willamett River to the falls. Not as cool as the Seattle boat tour but still a good time.
-visited the Japanese Gardens
Tiny Park
-visited the smallest park in the world, Mill Ends Park.
-had lunch at Cupcake Jones (they serve frosting shots, absolutely genius!)
-went to a wine tasting on the east side of the Willamette river with another of my make-believe interweb friends (this one from a running forum) and had an absolutely fabulous time!
-went to breakfast at Bread & Ink in the Hawthorne neighborhood, yummy! We wandered the hood for a bit after and fell in love with the area. Sadly after checking I discovered we can't afford to live right in the area and would have to go at least 15 blocks out. (insert sad blue face)

Enjoying the show on the lawn with the hubby.
The last thing we did while on vacation was to go see The Decemberists at the amphitheater at the McMenamins Edgefield. Before the show we ate dinner at the pub there and did more beer sampling. This time I fell for the Terminator Stout. (must find some local NC beer to take the place of all the yummy PNW beer, I already miss the beer and I'm not a big drinker.) The show was great. The lawn at the amphitheater was lovely and the weather was gorgeous. I got a bit choked up at the end of the show knowing our dream vacation was coming to an end. We seriously fell in love with Portland. It lived up to our expectations and more. It just felt like home to us immediately, felt natural to be there among the natives.

The only thing I forgot to do in Portland was to visit the Museum of Contemporary Craft. I was sooooo excited about going there. But, in all the excitement about the other exciting things, I forgot to go. I think my craft geek status has been revoked due to this error. Hopefully one day I can be reinstated as a true craft geek when I find a way to move there and visit the museum.

So, now I'm suffering post dream vacation hangover. I'm sad to be gone from Portland and my body is trying to readjust to east coast time. For now I will daydream of Portland and work on a plan to move us out there and become residents of Portlandia. It's an awesome place to be. After all the dream of the 90's is still alive in Portland.

I have lots of pictures to share but I'll put them in another post in a day or two since this post became quite the novel. I'm sure I'll remember other things that I must bore excite you with about our vacation as well.


  1. You left out lunch at the Bosnian restaurant in downtown Astoria! I know that was your highlight of the trip.

  2. I also forgot our trip to Forest Park where you did the Robot, but I still have time!

  3. Hi Ashley,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Indian Beach to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!