Exploring Portland, Oregon with Julia, Woody, Jon, and Phoebe. The four of us went during Memorial Day weekend of May 2018. Coming from Los Angeles, California we were immediately all taken aback with the fresh air flowing from the lush greenery that surrounded us.
We stayed for 3 days and 2 nights, and felt that it was more than enough time to do everything we had in mind. I’d suggest to rent a car to drive around Portland to see all it has to offer. Every destination seemed relatively close to one another and due to “little to no” traffic, in comparison to LA, so we easily went through our checklist of adventuring swiftly.
Here is the breakdown:
———— Travel Costs ————
Flight: $192.60 / per person
- We took an economy class plane on the Alaska. Booked our tickets 2 months in advance in March. The flight was approximately 2 hours and 834 miles (one way). Alaska airplane staff was super accommodating, the airplane seats were of a good size, and had plush seats. We were offered complimentary water, a beverage of choice (coffee, soda, juice), and some cinnamon biscuits.
- 3 day/2 night cost. For a more than generous spaced two bedroom, three bathroom, two story condo. Checked in at 3PM on Friday afternoon and left at 11AM on Sunday morning. We split this amongst 4 people which cost us $78 each and also booked the home in the beginning of March.
Hertz Car Rental: $124
- 3 day/2 night cost. We picked a Dodge mini van inside the airport for our suitcases, for we brought large ones to fit our shopping needs. We split this amongst 4 people which cost us $31 each. Throughout our trip, we only used about half the tank of gas and spent only around $35 on refilling the gas back up before dropping the car back off.
———————– Day 1 ———————–
Friday, May 25, 2018
⇢ Tasty & Sons: Great brunch spot, be prepared to wait approx. 45 min. We arrived at 9:45am and got seated around 10:15am. Had the Citrus Paradiso mimosa from the Bubbles section of the alcohol menu. We had the Salmon Board ($10), Potatoes Bravas ($9), Hangtown Fry ($16), and the Tasty Steak & Cheddar Eggs ($17). Loved every single dish to the last crumb. My very personal favorite was the Tasty Steak & Cheddar Eggs. The plates come out one at a time and are meant to share, sort of like tapas.
⇢ Multnomah Falls: Took about 1 hour to get here from brunch. Was very disappointed. Currently, only the “visitor platform” is open because all the hike area’s are closed due to fires that occurred on Sept 2017. The lady at the gift store said the trails will most likely be closed off to public until late Fall of 2018. We still got a nice group photo in front of the falls and went back home.
⇢ Nong’s Khao Man Gai: There are a few locations all around Portland. We went to the one in downtown as it was the newest that opened only 7 weeks before we got to Portland. This one is a indoor restaurant and stays open till 9pm. Ordered the #1 Chicken & Rice aka Khao Man Gai ($11). Don’t let the size fool you, we were all overly stuffed from this meal. It was a simple but flavorful meal with an interesting way of eating it. (It comes with directions on how to eat this the right way.)
⇢ Pearl District: Your “downtown” Portland to walk around in. Pubs, restaurants, ice cream stores, donuts, you name it, it’ll be here.
⇢ Portland Rose Festival City Fair: We ended up here on accident as we walked through Pearl District. It was like any other city fair. Admission to enter was $8 a person and then had to pay for tickets to ride the rides. You know the saying “Keep Portland Werid”, well I would say I saw the “weirdest” people at this fair. Something I’m definitely not used to.
⇢ Wayfinder: Great atmosphere of a pub with amazing beer and bar food. We ordered the Asada Fries ($10) and Mac & Beer Cheese ($6) with a round of IPA’s to finish our night.
———————– Day 2 ———————–
Saturday, May 26, 2018
⇢ Portland Japanese Garden: We originally came to see the Rose Garden and assumed all the gardens would be connected. The first thing you see as you walk from the parking lot to the gardens was a ticket kiosk. We automatically thought we had to pay to enter all the gardens, especially because the admission price was pretty steep at $17/person. Overall the Japanese garden was nice, it had a tranquil zen vibe inside, but honestly I was very disappointed. The only part of the garden I liked was the Koi pond.
⇢ International Rose Test Garden: The rose garden is hidden behind the tennis courts across the street from the rose garden. This garden was majestic and beautiful, and can I also mention FREE to the public. I’m not sure if the city made it this way on purpose but I was still unhappy that we had to spend almost $70 at the (very whatever) Japanese garden, when we weren’t even trying to go there in the first place. I would personally only recommend just coming to this free rose garden. The flowers were so plentiful and beautiful. Perfect place for photo opportunities.
⇢ Cheese & Crack: A cute place to”wine-down” with friends plus delicious charcuterie boards! We got the Sampler Plate Deluxe ($30) and a bottle of wine which fed us all to a “snacking” contentment. Great and delicious assortment of cheeses and the capicola meat was to die for. We also tried the Affogato ($4.50) for dessert. It is almost amazing how perfectly they swirl your ice cream here. Picture perfect swirls that reminded me of unicorn poop. Thought the coffee in the affogato went so incredibly well with a creamy creamy vanilla ice cream.
⇢ Ringside Steakhouse: Upscale romantic steakhouse. We had made previous reservations for 9pm. It is a dimly light restaurant, old school steakhouse feels, with a sultry romantic atmosphere. Would recommend to get the Dry Age Bone-In Rib Steak, you won’t regret it. It is a shareable dish (for 2 people) and it comes on a sizzling plate 34oz. ($110) and each person can choose their own side. We also took the liberty of ordering the House Caesar Salad ($8), large order of Onion Rings ($12), Baked Spinach ($11), and Sautéed Mushrooms ($13). The large onion rings are definitely large. For a group of 4 people, I’d say to just get the smaller size. The restaurant claims to have the best onion rings and did not disappoint. The meal came with a hot delicious basket of sourdough bread. I didn’t want to spoil my appetite with the bread so I only had 2 bites, but I wish I could have snuck them in my bag to take home.
———————– Day 3 ———————–
Sunday, May 27, 2018
⇢ Pok Pok: We arrived around 12 noon and luckily there was no wait. I heard amazing things about this restaurant and was eager to try all the food here. Although the food was extremely flavorful, I sadly was very disappointed on the taste. I’m not sure if the chef was having a bad taste day or something, (or so I’d like to think), but everything was extremely salty to the point I didn’t want to eat a lot of it. And this is coming from a person that likes her food on the salty side. I could clearly tell that the “taste” and “ingredients” of all the food we ate were so so delicious… just far too salty. We had the infamous Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings ($16), Neua Naam Tok Beef Salad ($16), Sunny’s Yam Wun Sen Chao Wang Clay Glass Noodle Pot ($16), and Khao Soi Neua Beef Curry Soup ($16) & Jasmine Rice ($3). I would love to come back again another day to try their food one more time, I would be very willing to give this place a grateful chance. All the flavors were there….!!! I just really really like to believe it was a “off-day” for the chef’s taste buds.
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