One of the things that I would like to make more of a constant in my life is travel. I absolutely love traveling. Its something that I have come to love more in my adult life [maybe its motherhood and needing a little break occasionally!], and I’ve had several conversations with Joseph about doing it more often. There’s just something about stepping into a place you’ve never been before. Setting out to explore the hidden gems that cities have to offer. Its so wonderful. Or as Sam said, “It was like…magic.” [If you get that reference, we are MFEO. ;)]
This post is FULL of links to all that we did. If you’re visiting the area, I hope these suggestions help! We snagged an early flight into Portland, Oregon first, spent the day there, drove up to Seattle and stayed with family for a couple days, and then drove back to Portland for one more day, and then flew home. It was such an amazing trip with my sister and her husband. Instead of the usual tourist schedule, we skipped most of the shopping and instead opted to do things that we would remember forever. Like taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island and hiking Mount Rainier…and of course, we did shoot to the top of the Space Needle. Because who doesn’t like being insanely high above the ground in a tiny little elevator that goes to the top in 41 seconds?? Apparently, one person a month throws up on the elevator. I could empathize.
Walking around Portland that first day was so crazy to me. Of course, I know other states have seasons [dear Arizona, follow suit, please…], but seeing all the trees on fire with red, yellow, orange, and green leaves was so amazing! The piles of leaves everywhere were fun to see [although I hear its a pain because if you don’t rake them up, they turn to sludge and that’s no bueno]. I couldn’t help but imagine my kids diving into piles of leaves on a cold fall day here. You don’t get that in Arizona.
Of course we ate tons of yummy food. We joked that vacations are just trips to eat food in a different place than home. But seriously, it was sorta like that. I had some of the best food I’ve had in my life. Our breakfast when we arrived was at Mother’s Bistro & Bar…it was amazing. I had the breakfast nachos which are basically Irish nachos with the most amazing bacon you’ll ever taste. I just wanted to keep eating. Even though I was full. We visited the Nike Headquarters [because my hubby and my sister’s husband both work for Nike] as well as the Nike Company Store. My husband was like a kid in a candy store. For reals. We spent the day exploring all things Nike and then that evening met my cousin and her fiance for dinner at Portland City Grill. Its a restaurant 30 stories up above the city. It was amazing. We got a table at the window and chatted the evening away while eating yummy food and listening to the live piano. It was so cool.
The next day was in Seattle. On Bainbridge Island we visited a little crepe place (Bainbridge Crepes) that was just…there are no words. I had a savory crepe with fresh salmon and a sweet crepe with strawberries, pecans, and fresh whipped cream. The shop owner is the sweetest lady you’ll meet, and she tries to get all local ingredients for her crepes. YUM. And the crepes she made were buckwheat so they were gluten free. I couldn’t tell…they were SO good. You must eat here if you step foot on Bainbridge. Seriously.
We visited Public Market (aka Pike Place Market) after we came back from Bainbridge. Y’all, the flowers at the market were INSANE. I didn’t get a picture of them because I was in such awe, but you could get a bouquet that makes grocery store flowers look like weeds. Seriously HUGE bouquets for only $10-$15. The first Starbucks is in this area as well as tons of seafood vendors, farmers market stands, and I even found a gluten free pasta vendor! Its such a cool experience; the vendors holler at you from their stand, give tons of samples, and the place is hoppin. I imagined living in an industrial downtown loft and shopping every day at the market for dinner. So fun!
The most magical thing we did was hike Mount Rainier. Having lived in Seattle as a kid for a short time, I remember seeing this snowy giant in the distance. I’d never visited the mountain until now though, and I’m so glad we took the trip. Its a good two hours or so southeast of Seattle through small mountain towns and swerving switchback roads. My sister and I were devouring ginger chews to keep from tossing our cookies on the way up, so definitely take your time.
Once we got through the gate, there are many different places to stop and take pictures before you get to the place where you hike up the mountain. There are waterfalls and many photo stops and then finally you get to the place to climb. It was a workout for sure, and since the air is so much thinner this high up, it is definitely a trail to take slowly. But its SO worth it when you get to the top. Truly breathtaking.
How cute is my hubby? He wrote J + E in the snow up on the mountain. I’d like to think that because its only going to get colder from here on out, that his little love note will be preserved in snow until the mountain thaws next spring. :) A little piece of us left in Washington. :)
The city of Portland is just so cute. I loved the little houses and places to walk. We walked around Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland where there were tons of shops, restaurants, and side neighborhoods to explore. Its definitely a place to visit! We loved Salt & Straw and Barista.
Altogether, it was an amazing trip. In four short days we definitely did a lot! I was so sad to leave and can’t wait to get back. What places are your favorite to visit? Share below in the comments!!