New State Unlocked: Visiting Portland, Oregon


Visiting Portland was on my list for a while.  It has always been “would-be-cool-to-do” thing though and not really a goal. I have a friend there who’s been inviting me to visit for the last 3 years and after one of our chats I was like what the heck, the time has come.  Not the best season (November) but the best moment because it’s now! We booked our tickets from LA to Portland, and because it was a random weekend the prices were great! One of those things when you finally do it and then wonder why did you wait so long?!

We decided to take a late evening flight (only 2 hours) and get a hotel for the first night.  My husband and I are not morning people so it made more sense to get there the night before and start our day already in Portland. Originally we were going to use Ubers to move around but eventually decided to rent a car considering the weather and the fact that we were traveling with a kid. Also, my friend lives in Tigard which is a bit of a drive from Portland so it made sense to get a car.

The flight was super easy, Alaric and I fell asleep and woke up only when we were landing in Portland. We got a car and checked in a hotel not far from the airport. For some reason the check-in was taking sooo long, at that point it was already past 2 am. While we waited, Alaric spotted an ice cream fridge in the lobby and demanded a cone, which we ended up getting. But then something went wrong and he threw the biggest tantrum, I guess he was really tired.

Day One

Next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then drove to the zoo to meet up with my friend Sonya and her husband Andrew. The weather was ok, it rained a bit on the way but stopped when we got there.



I always feel kind of conflicted about the zoos, but Portland Zoo was one of the nicest ones I’ve ever been to. It’s built as part of the actual forest which was really cool, and animals seem to be very healthy and have a lot of space to live. Alaric loved seeing the animals although he fell asleep when he got to the best part – a giraffe, hippo, and lions. The giraffe was my favorite, I actually teared up a little, it was so beautiful and majestic! We spent good 2-3 hours there walking around and talking, it was such a nice day out!









For dinner we went to some nice looking restaurant but the wait was so long that we eventually gave up, grabbed some mexican food next door and went to our friend’s house. The rest of the evening we spent hanging out in the kitchen and talking about all kinds of things, I love cozy evenings like that!

Day Two

The next morning, after a delicious breakfast made by Sonya, we went to explore Oregon nature, I really wanted to see Multnomah Falls.  Our friends also recommended stopping by the Vista House on the way.  We had a pretty scenic drive there and stopped a couple of times on the way to walk around and take some pictures by the Columbia River Gorge. It was really beautiful but really cold! Alaric was making faces and screaming it’s cooooold! So funny.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset













Unfortunately, the roads to both Multnomah Falls and the Vista House were closed, there were wildfires couple of months before and apparently it was still under construction.  Too bad I didn’t see any warnings about it online when researching but it’s okay, we had fun anyway and I did catch a glimpse of the falls from the road.

For dinner we had a reservation at Kachka, a hipster Russian restaurant. I’d say it was less traditional and more creative version of the Russian food but we liked it. We shared a plate of salo appetizer, fried dumplings and “herring under a fur coat”. I heard it’s also famous for a variety of vodkas which we skipped this time.









Day Three

On our last day in Portland we went to explore Downtown. The weather was perfect, fresh and sunny.  We had breakfast at Kenny and Zuke’s, my salmon bagel with pickled onions was so good, I’ve been craving and recreating it repeatedly since our trip. We then grabbed a coffee at the Stumptown Coffee Roasters next door and hung out in the lobby of the Ace Hotel which I’ve seen many times on Instagram before. They had a photo booth there and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to take a family portrait, I love photo booths!










After that we walked outside in no particular direction. I love exploring the city by foot, take pics and talk. Portland was covered in orange and yellow leaves, it was really pretty! We randomly found a playground and let Alaric loose for a while, he had it all to himself. We had a few more hours to kill before our flight, we decided to spend it in the Portland Children’s Museum which I will talk about in a separate post.








Overall, this trip was really fun! We got a taste of fall, spent a good time with friends and I personally, unlocked a new state in the US! Next time we’ll come back in the warmer months to see everything else Oregon has to offer.