Well we made it to Portland! Woo Hoo! Nothing but sunny skies. Unusual I know. Portland is known for its unpredictable weather. Usually when we get to a destination after a day of Rving, we just take it easy and hang out. We plan what we’re going to do for the duration of our stay.
The next day was really hot. Triple digits to be exact, but that didn’t stop us. Meanwhile we’re thinking to ourselves, “We left triple digits in the Bay Area when we started out. Guess it’s following us!” Go figure. The Portland Saturday Market is always a fun place to visit. It’s huge market with many vendors where there is something for everyone. There is also an extensive food court.
We moseyed our way into the Pearl District and found ourselves in an area of warehouses that were converted into restaurants. I thought this was an excellent way to repurpose buildings that would have otherwise been torn down. We decided to eat at Tilt. This is super casual dining. You order your meal and they give you a light up buzzer to let you know when your food is ready and you pick it up. The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of sides. We opted for a turkey club and jalapeno tater tots to share. OMG! The sandwich was ginormous easily feeding four comfortably. Glad we decided to share! The tater tots were to die for. Crunchy on the outside and mashed potato like on the inside. The jalapeno flavor came through just enough to get a kick. Yummy-ness.
We need to walk off this lunch…Geez. About 2 miles later we find ourselves in the Alphabet District. The streets are laid out with letters of the alphabet. It’s an urban area with tons of shopping and restaurants. Definitely a place you can loose yourself for a day.
Where do we find ourselves? Ordering ice cream from Salt and Straw and not just any ice cream. This ice cream joint has very unique flavors. They will let you sample all flavors with a smile if you want. If you don’t want 2 scoops of ice cream, they will combine a 1/2 scoop of each flavor into one scoop! Score. I played it safe and had a 1/2 scoop of Honey Lavender and a 1/2 scoop of Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. My husband on the other hand did not play it safe. He chose a 1/2 scoop of Celery Root and Strawberry and a 1/2 scoop of Toasted Baguette PB & J. We shared our flavors and all were absolutely delicious. I was so excited to find out they have locations in San Francisco.
Well what do you know! On the other side of the street, kiddy corner to Salt and Straw was Blue Star Donuts . We told ourselves this would be dessert after dinner. Of course we would walk off the ice cream when we trek back to the car. Blue Star Donuts prides itself with quality over quantity. There were two people working in the shop and no line out the door like cliche Voodoo Donuts. “Why not?” we asked ourselves. We each decided on two flavors. Starting in the upper left of the picture below and going clockwise: Valrlona Crunch (filled), Mexican Chocolate, Blueberry, and Meyer Lemon (filled). Words can’t describe these donuts they were that good. I think it’s fair to say we ate ourselves around Portland today.
The next day after a good nights sleep, we headed out to the Rose Garden . This beautiful garden has over 500 varieties of roses and over 7000 plants. It was absolutely breathtaking and these pictures do not do it justice. Just rows upon rows of beautifulness. You really need to go and experience it for yourself. This is a test garden, so any variety that does not make the cut gets destroyed. That made me somewhat sad. Tip: Parking can be tricky. We parked in the residential neighborhood right before the grounds for free. There is also a Japanese Garden that we passed on. Too long of a line and only a certain amount of people could go in at one time.
We decided to tour the Pittock Mansion. This mansion was built in 1914 by Henry Pittock and his wife. Both arrived to Portland in a covered wagon! Pittock was the owner of The Oregonian Newspaper. I love touring old mansions. So much history. When I do things like this I try to picture myself back in the day. What happened in this room? What conversations were had? I’m really a nerd when it comes to old mansions like this.
After our self-guided tour through the mansion we were able to tour the grounds. In the back of the property there is an outlook with a beautiful view of Portland. What a perfect way to end the day!