Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Travels: Portland, Oregon

For the Labour Day weekend last year, Vicky, Claudia and I paid a south-of-the-border trip to Portland. We got the train down from Vancouver, which was fun in and of itself (as soon as we stepped onboard, we already felt like we were in the US thanks to little touches like the garbage bin being labelled "Trash." I feel like Canadians never use the word "trash"?!). 

Aaaanyway, the eight or so hours on the train went by pretty quickly, and we were in Portland by late afternoon. I know it's got a reputation for being one of America's rainiest cities, but for the few days we were there, the weather couldn't have been more perfect: sunny but not oppressively hot. I really think that the weather you have while visiting somewhere new can really cloud your perception of it; had we seen Portland in grey, rainy weather, we might have not liked it so much.

As a city, it's definitely got that very West Coast vibe going on. It reminded us of Seattle, but I think I probably even preferred it to was obviously more compact, and I found the attractions there more enjoyable (I thought Seattle's Pike Place Market was incredibly overrated, and I could take or leave the Space Needle).  

We got a 2-day pass on a hop-on, hop-off Big Pink sightseeing trolley, which worked out perfectly, allowing us to see 12 of the city's major sights at our leisure.

{This may be very basic of me, but I actually love visiting different Starbucks around the world, and this one in Pioneer Square might be one of my favourites (alongside the one adjacent to Canterbury Cathedral in England)}

{On the trolley!}

{View of the city from one of our stops...can't remember which one}

{One of our favourite stops was the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park...}

{...they don't call Portland the City of Roses for nothing!}

{We also loved the leafy streets of the Alphabet District (where all the street names progress alphabetically)...}

{...and don't even get me started on my love for Powell's Books: 68, 000 square feet of book heaven}

{We paid a trip to the Saturday Market...}

{...and we had a look at Voodoo Donuts (but didn't have the patience to line up. Ditto the city's famous Stumptown Coffee)}

All in all, we loved our time in Portland. Now that we're living apart, it's rare for us all to be able to take a trip together, and Portland just happened to be the perfect backdrop for spending some quality sister time :-)


  1. Fascinating photos and travel information. I love visiting the different Starbucks Coffee shops too. I want to go visit the Starbucks in St. Petersbourg, Russia.

  2. Great post! Molly and I are planning a trip to Portland so we'll definitely have to check out some of these places.

    Thanks for stopping by our blog :)