Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jen's Epic Road Trip: Portland

Hi guys!

Sooo looks like thunderstorms are following Sourabh and me across northern Arizona and southern Utah, continuing on this week into Yellowstone. Hiking might not happen as much as we'd like (hiking in canyons = unsafe when flash flood warnings are in effect!), but thankfully we've still been able to see some incredible sights.

I'm going to try and go back this week to recap the places I've been so far on this road trip. First stop: Portland!

After picking Katie up at the Seattle Airport, we headed south on I-5 to Portland, Oregon.

Our first stop upon arriving was to walk around downtown and find some food. We checked out Pioneer Square before deciding that we both were craving frozen yogurt. TartBerry got great reviews, so we headed there.

This place did NOT disappoint! The toppings were out of control. They had fresh baked goods to crumble on top, angel food cake, and even bacon!

This place made your average self-serve froyo place look like a hole in the wall. The best part? It was a locally owned shop with the most cheerful customer service I've received in a froyo place. If you love frozen yogurt and you're in Portland, you must go here.

Katie gives it a thumbs up. What other recommendation could you need?

After checking in to our hotel, we headed to Pok Pok, a Thai restaurant in the Richmond neighborhood of Portland. Pok Pok recently opened an outpost in New York, but it's insanely crowded, so I thought it'd be fun to have dinner at the original. We had to wait about 15 minutes at 5:30 PM on a Wednesday night -- definitely get there early if you're heading here!

Portland has these streetcars that take you around the central parts of the city. I personally found them terrifying because they're fairly quiet and I just felt like I was about to either drive or walk into one at any moment. I think all the New York subway accidents I've read about have made me scared of public transportation, especially when it's out in the open.

Thankfully, we remained unscathed.

Had to snap a shot of this -- Portland being very Portland and encouraging its citizens to be environmentally friendly by taking the streetcar. Another sign encouraged people to take the train.

Thursday morning, after I grabbed coffee with Heather, who's now living in Portland for law school, Katie and I headed to the International Rose Test Garden. Despite the overcast skies and occasional drizzle, it was lovely to walk through. I've never seen so many cool types of roses!

Modeling is required when in a rose garden. Or so I told Katie.

Next up: the Portland Japanese Garden, conveniently located right by the Rose Garden.

Another lovely spot to explore, especially after we'd spent roughly five hours in the car the previous day.

Post-gardens expedition, we wandered along 23rd Street, which is a fun street to walk along. Lots of boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops. We ate lunch at Mio Sushi, continuing the Japanese theme (although I only just realized that as I read this). We weren't sure how tasty it would be going in, since Mio Sushi is a chain of Japanese restaurants, but our rolls were delicious!

I have no idea what the baked sauce on top was, but it tasted extremely good.

After a quick stop at Target to pick up some road trip essentials, we headed to Voodoo Doughnut on our way out of town. Getting doughnuts from Voodoo requires waiting in line, but thankfully it only took about 15-20 minutes before we were inside and could order.

If memory serves me, the upper left donut was the peanut butter rice krispie (SO FREAKING GOOD), the upper right was the butterfinger (super meh -- disappointing and only ate one bite), the bottom left was a maple cake (also SO FREAKING GOOD), and the bottom right was the vegan chocolate orange (less OMG SUGAR and more mmmmmm). I cannot remember what the middle one was... perhaps that was maple as well? Katie can always clear this up in the comments :) 

Oh, and no, we did not eat all of these all at once. We would probably have died of a sugar overdose. 

And with that, we headed to Eugene, Oregon!!


  1. Ah, Voodoo Doughnut! Is it bad I would go to Portland solely to try one of their doughnuts? I've heard nothing but great things--between bloggers and the Travel Channel--so it would definitely be a must-do.

  2. I'm so jealous of your road travels! Portland looks like a great time!

  3. Ah those donuts look like the Crumbs bakery in Time Square's cupcakes. Seriously dying right now, that is so much better than DD