We recently took a trip up to Portland, Oregon but this trip was a bit different. This was the first big trip, as in having to get on a plane, we didn’t take Sammy on. We’ve left him with really good friends overnight before but this was the first three night trip away and it turns out it was more stressful leading up to when we left rather than while we were gone.
I mean, we missed him quite a bit, especially me due to the fact that I work from home so I’m with him every single day. On the flip side, I certainly understand how important it is for us as well as him, to be apart and get a break. This trip only came about because Annie had work up there so with our friends (Kelly, Ron, Megan, and Brock) willing to take Sammy on…we bailed.
Bailed sounds bad…but we did.
This was our second trip to Portland. Our first time was back in 2009 if I’m not mistake. We fell in love with that city on the first trip so going back was a no-brainer. We stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Portland. The hotel lobby was pretty spectacular. Looked like an old bank or something. It also has a restaurant and bar off the lobby which we visited a few times. Good spot to eat and drink.
The rooms are solid, ours was quite large with a living room and separate bedroom. As OCD and germaphobic (Word is telling me this is spelled wrong) as I can be I did fine in the room but hotels are often problematic for me. The people were great and the location was perfect. I would stay there again.
Our first day there, after checking in and all that we headed to Deschutes Brewery. I’ve had the beer before but never been to the place. Cool vibe in there. Lots of people, the staff seemed cool. Our waitress started off a bit cold but warmed up and did awesome. The snack we ordered ended up being super late so the expeditor in the kitchen brought it to us and said it was on the house. Good acknowledgement, solid menu, and of course awesome beer.
After Deschutes we headed to a favorite in Portland, the Portland City Grill. It’s a favorite because the food is killer, they have a great wine and beer list, the staff is outstanding, and the view…magnificent. On our trip we went twice and our second visit we had some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. This place is simply awesome to hang out at. Get a window seat and you can enjoy food and wine while overlooking the breathtaking scenery of Portland, including the river and the many bridges.
From there we landed at Kell’s, a happening Irish Pub that we ended up going to twice. The second time was to meet our friend Gretchen who recently moved to Portland from Paso Robles. Anyways…this is my kind of place. If you’re familiar with Pappy McGregor’s (still known as The Kilt to locals) in Paso Robles, very much the same vibe. I enjoyed the Kell’s brewed beers. Solid stuff. Staff was cool and the menu is what you would expect from a pub. Good pub grub.
We ended our first day there back at our hotel restaurant called Portland Prime. We got a lot in the first day and that was by design. Annie had work the next two days so while she was off doing that I worked from my laptop and met a friend each day. Our second day there I met with my friend, Cynthia, at a joint called Huber’s Café, said to be Portland’s oldest restaurant. It’s a really cool spot if you’re ever in the area. Good food but the facility itself is unique with its dark wood and ambiance actually reminding me of the show Cheer’s.
The third day there I met with another friend, Scott and he brought his buddy Zach, and we met at Caffe Umbria. A coffee shop like many other coffee shops. Buzzing with the morning work crowd and those needing their caffeine before they could go about their day. Meetings and laptops happening all around and the smell of a damp, hipster, Portland morning.
Another spot we hit up a couple of times was Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewing. A fun spot that we went on our first trip so for nostalgia’s sake we had to go back. It’s a fun place that seems to always be buzzing with action. We also went back to the hotel we stayed on our first trip, which is now called Hotel Rose, and went to their restaurant, Bottle + Kitchen. Great oysters and amazing view…it’s right across the way from the river that rolls through Portland.
Portland really is a great city. It’s best to walk, bike, or take public transportation and be prepared for the big population of homeless folks. Even though I have lived in big cities and seen this issue many times, it’s still tough to get used to especially when coming from a small area like Paso Robles. When Annie was working I would take off and walk around the city. My favorite part is the river. Must go back to my love of moving water…mainly the ocean. It’s gorgeous down there and well worth the stroll.
Some folks complain about the foggy, drizzly, rainy weather in Portland and both times we’ve been there it’s been a mix. Even when it cold and rainy people were still out walking and biking around…so we joined in. What’s a little bit of water? Wish we could have brought some back to drought infected Paso Robles.
There you have it. Have you been to Portland? What are your favorite spots?