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September 15, 2015

Portland + Seattle Trip: Part 1

If I could have stayed in the Pacific Northwest and eaten gourmet donuts until the button that was single-handedly holding my jeans together ricocheted off, I would have. By the time our whirlwind of adventures came to a close on Sunday I felt, more than anything, so thankful for quality time with my love. 

Instead of going throughout the week managing high stress work environments, we giggled at the way sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't float away (so cute!). Instead of worrying about what was for dinner or if the trash got taken out to the curb on the right day, we spent time cracking up at our crazy guide's jokes on the wild Ride the Ducks tour.

It felt good to belly laugh again. It felt overly indulgent to sleep in and walk to an outdoor cafe for a good cup of coffee. It felt good to be free of stress and expectations. Yes, going on adventures to see different landmarks and parts of the world is so much fun, but let me tell you the thing that really rings true...

The joy is in the journey, my friends.

We flew into Seattle on Sunday and decided to take the extra long route to Portland - the ultra iconic highway 101. What a scenic beautiful route it was! It took us through cute beach towns, gave us incredible views like the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park, and the ability to swing by Canon Beach to walk along the soft sand and see Haystack Rock at sunset.

We could've easily arrived in PDX within 3 hours taking the direct route, but I am so glad we chose the journey. See? What joy. We would have missed out on so much had we not chosen the long way.

As soon as we got into Portland, we knew we had to stop at Pine State Biscuits an order The Reggie, which did not disappoint. We checked into our the Paramount Hotel and were blown away by our gorgeous view overlooking the downtown park. That ultra fluffy bed meant it didn't take us long to fall asleep that night... we were pooped!

The next morning, we woke up bright and early (still on KC time!) and we had one thing on our mind -  the infamous Blue Star Donuts. Now you know me, I have high expectations for highly acclaimed food establishments living up to the hype, and Blue Star definitely did not disappoint!  When we arrived the line was at least 50 people deep, but as soon as we took our first bites, that 30 minute long wait didn't seem so bad.

I ordered the blueberry bourbon basil donut and it just melted the second I took a bite. They freshly frost every single donut upon order and the quality and taste in unlike any I've ever had. So so good. Adam couldn't get enough of the old fashioned buttermilk cake donut, and I am fairly certain I even heard an unconstrained hum of "Mmmmmmmm mmm mmm!" as he took his second and third bites, speechless, with his head nodding in heavenly donut approval.

Just around the corner from Blue Star was the largest independent bookstore in the U.S., Powell Books. We spent hours browsing the many levels of books and eventually snuck away with some creepy post-apocalyptic thriller, the hilarious "Adulting" by Kelly Williams Brown, and a ultra cool Mid Century Modern Mania adult coloring book. I will let you guess which 2 are mine...

In case we hadn't met our max threshold of indulgence for the day, we just had to stop by Deschutes Brewery for a little microbrew taster and delicious food al fresco. The citrusy Fresh Squeezed IPA was so good it made me want to slap my mama!

At some point we needed to recharge a bit for the late afternoon/evening, so Adam snoozed while I colored in my new coloring book like an ecstatic 8-year-old. Did you guess right?! ;)

As soon as Adam woke up we glanced out the window and saw that Director Park, steps away from our hotel was buzzing with fun. Tables with checkerboard tops so you could plays checkers, life-size chess that reminded me of Harry Potter, kiddos running through fountains, and a huge stack of board games that were sitting on a stand for the public to use. What a great idea! 

After crushing Adam in NINE rounds of Connect Four, he eventually surrendered and then dominated some Guess Who action (I still think he cheated!). It was the best leisurely afternoon!

It was such a perfect that we knew we needed to be outside to enjoy it. Someone recommended that we visit Council Crest Park as it sits up in the highlands and looks over the city. We packed up a picnic to take with us, and even got lucky that it was a clear night so we could see Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood from the top! The sunset was amazing.

On our last full day, we swung by the iconic Voodoo Donuts to check it off the donut bucket list and head East to explore the Columbia River Gorge. We were completely mesmerized by Multnomah Falls and took in sites and smells of pine trees on our way up to see Mt. Hood. What an incredibly scenic day!

When we returned to Portland, we opted for an ultra tasty meal at Tilt followed by a scoop of ice cream from Salt & Straw. We then retired early to color (judge away!) and read before crashing minutes later from sugar, jet lag, and a burger + french fry carb overload. 

The next morning, we did a little more exploring, may or may not have ordered a blueberry bourbon basil donut for the road, and then drove north to Seattle!

All in all our time in Portland was well spent and we already can't wait to go back and visit! Looking forward to sharing our Seattle adventures with you tomorrow!

Have you been to Portland? 
What was your favorite part?

Other epic adventures...

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