portlandia, oregon.

we spontaneously decided to celebrate labor day weekend 2012 in oregon — portland and the willamette valley (a friend taught us how to pronounce it, like damn-it willamette).
i had never been to portland so that was a plus (danny had his bachelor party there), and it felt appropriate to do wine country as a throwback to our engagement weekend in 2008 (spent in napa valley & san fran).
it was an awesome weekend. i didn’t really know what to expect. i’ve watched a few episodes of “portlandia” (“put a bird on it” video clip – ha!) and knew it had to be pretty granola and funky with a city motto “keep portland weird” – but it was so much more than that. did you know portland is on a river and a total foodie city? yeah, i didn’t.
the minute we landed, we surrendered our rental car to the hotel valet and hit the city streets in search of food and drink… and that never stopped. it was one of the best getaways we’ve had in a while and exactly what we wanted – no agenda, a hip city to explore, beautiful weather and tons of places to relax & eat.
all weekend we joked that we were conquering portland one calorie at a time.

we spent the majority of our time in the funky Pearl District. we walked – a lot – and that was awesome because a) we could burn some calories and b) we kept organically bumping into places and things that people had told us to check out – Powell’s Books, Voodoo Donuts (never waited – the line was ridiculous all times of the day), McMenamins and a gazilla breweries and restaurants.

some of our favorites:
Irving Street Kitchen: we had a 3-hour dinner at the bar. it was amazing. great vibe. great food.
Isabel: wonderful brunch. I had the breakfast quesadilla with a pineapple mimosa – yum!
Stumptown Coffee: an oregon staple. best vanilla latte ever. starbucks, starschmucks.
Clyde Common: cool restaurant/bar adjacent to the Ace Hotel. tasty drinks served in fun tea-time stemware.
Central: stumbled upon “bar alley” – wood picnic tables. awesome vibe. 50+ speciality cocktails.
Sizzle Pie: fun little slice shop, you know, for a mid-day “snack.”
Deschutes Brewery: some of Ting’s fave craft beers + an amazing tuna melt served with honey mustard!

first pic of the trip
see that bottle? it’s specialty honey mustard. deschutes went up 10 points in my book.
 all those white marks are chips of paint missing. people throw coins towards that copper “dish” to make it down the shoot and into the pot. kinda fun / kinda scary when you’re sitting at the bar and coins are flying everywhere.
bikes! everywhere bikes.
lobby at the Ace Hotel.
tea time for two at clyde common, next door to the ace hotel
we saw a bunch of pink boxes walking around and knew we were close to the uber famous Voodoo Donut. That’s the line – doubled back! And that was the smallest we ever saw it. We didn’t have the patients to wait in line for a $4 donut. Maybe next time.
leaving Voodoo we saw this adorable alley with tables, restaurants and bars. we grabbed a table in the sunshine at Central. those 3 people are the servers, bartenders & chefs. the guy kept riding his bike to go get fresh bread and bring it back.
from central, we decided to walk down to the river. i didn’t know portland was on a river. fact.
danny showing me where the majority of his bachelor party happened – on the grass for the giant beer fest.
a common scene over the weekend: ting stretching out his calves. that’s another story.
obviously that walk to the river required a snack. we found this little mexican shop on the corner of a street.
the rogue brewery & ale house. good beer, but we were not feeling the brewery. two-stars.
you may notice danny went from a beard to this lovely handlebar stash. this happened after a full day of “exploring” – clearly my husband was inspired by the portland vibe.
d, finish your flight and let’s gooooooo. i was ready.

portland is just so cool. period.
we were wandering around and ended up in this super swanky area. didn’t spot a single bum. weird for pdx.
so we laid in the grass for a bit.
via social media, a longtime friend of mine & his wife (our super talented wedding photographers – StudioCastillero) and i figured out we’d all be in portland at the same time. we met up for drinks – randomly, his wife and him stumbled upon the same alley and picked the exact same picnic table at Central that we had loved the day before! great minds.
snack time! a few of the TONS of funky portland food trucks. our fave was “volksawaffle” in an VW.
we even scored tickets to see Yesayer at a cool Portland venue called the Crystal Ballroom at McMenamins, a four-story high school converted in a concert and event venue. the old hardwood floors and chandeliers were shaking like crazy – it was pretty rad.
 major late-night bike meet-up.
until next time portland… keep it real. and weird.

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