Mike and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this past weekend in Portland, OR. Being PNW natives it wasn’t too much of a journey but just enough to recharge and put some things into perspective. Audrey will be 7 1/2 and this was the first time we allowed ourselves a getaway without our kids. With two kiddos and 2 rambunctious dogs its hard to plan and exicute a vacation. But with this milestone we thought… lets just do it. We will go small and fun… relax and treat ourselves…. and boy was it FANTASTIC. We heard wonderful things about the Portland community which in all honestly really didn’t feel all that different from home. Maybe a little more trendy and accessible (slightly more friendly) but really it was a lot like Seattle. Our first day we left home bright and early at 5am, dropped kids off at Grandmas and hit the road. Portland sits right on the boarder of Washington and Oregon, so its about a 2.5 hour drive for us. After stopping for coffee, gas, etc. We arrived around 9:30 am. Hitting Pip’s Original Donuts & Chai was our first stop (if you are ever in the area… very yummy made to order mini donuts and huge chai selection that is to die for), and a cute little treasure store next door. Then downtown was our next stop, mainly because I heard they had a new Anthropologie and I just had to see it, of course.
It was a amazing location with tons to see and loads of inspiration. We must have walked for about 6 hours through the city. Being a shop owner now, I love to see the little shops. I am really into branding and placement so it was really fun for me to see what made all these little shops stand out. Aside from retail, we spent the whole trip checking out coffee shops, speciality doughnut cafes and restaurants. I am so used to doing everything with 2 kids in tow, so it is such a relaxing experience. I wish I would have taken more photos to share some of the places along the way that we visited… but honestly I was a little disconnected to the online world. I needed to step outside of it for awhile.
The second day we woke up early and set off to find Multnonah Falls. Mike did a wonderful job “maping” our trip…. he researched a few things that we should hit while in town and we kinda made a guideline itinerary. But we tried to keep it spontaneous at the same time. Arriving at The Falls was breathtaking. A photo can’t even do justice. It is massive. The greenery around it is really what caught my attention the most. Absolutely stunning.
You can hike a pretty easy path to the bridge and then continue on a not so easy path to the very tippy top of the waterfall (which we originally didn’t really plan to do). Once up there … we just kept walking. Do you know that feeling when can feel your heartbeat in your ears? about half way up, I was totally there. Mike turned to me and said “at the next look out we’ll head back down”. Next thing I knew we made it to the top. IT WAS AMAZING. Its a different kind of relaxation when you are in your head, outdoors… breathing like you may need a hospital when you get to the bottom again. I wish I could do it everyday because there really isn’t anything like it.
The next stop was their weekend street fair. This really reminded me of home… loads of tents filled with creatives. Street bands playing. We even saw a group of what appeared to be a naked bike ride race. Talk about entertaining! We walked the city a bit more and stopped into a few antique stores. Mike found me a “F and F”.. which was pretty neat.
We found the coolest pizza place where we built our own garlic, ricotta, pear and honey pizza! Let me tell you…. it was fantastic. We custom built the base and the chef suggested we add the honey. It is a new favorite! And finally we headed to the movies to end our night… we saw The Shallows. It made me wish I didn’t have a water adventure planned in the morning.
The thing about going on vacation without kids when you never go on vacation without kids is that you really know how to utilize your time. We saw a lot in 3 days… without a wasted minute. We kinda crawled back to our hotel that night… our legs feeling a bit like jelly.
Day 3 was my favorite… or at least the first 3 hours. There is a sweet little kayak rental on Hayden Island, and the people were so helpful and friendly. Something about being on the calm water early in the morning has me hooked. I just kept leaning back and closing my eyes… it was sunny but not hot, windy but not enough to make the water choppy. Very peaceful. Mike and I have been talking about buying kayaks for the last few years but we take the dogs with us on most occasions so we really need a canoe more than a kayak. Either way, our decision is definitely final. I want to do that every morning… or at least as much a possible.
After we were out of the water, we wrapped the trip up with two pieces of furniture that I eyed on Friday when we first arrived, lots and lots of donuts to take home, and a little more shopping. It was so hard to leave! Aside from missing our kiddos it was so fun to hop around the city without a care in the world. I have felt brand new all week, I think I needed it more than I thought. I can’t wait to do it again.. Mike and I joked that we need a monthly getaway, that we should just get a little place down there to call home away from home.