VIII. Chasing Waterfalls

(March 27, 2017 | Spring Break Road Trip: Day 3)

Brief summary of today in a few words: food, food, other things, but mostly food.  I feel like the easiest way to break down how my day went is to just go by location because as you read in my first sentence, it was mostly food.  If you’re looking for food places in Portland, this might be helpful for you.  I took the liberty to be a fatty and go food crazy and ate a million dinners so you don’t have too 😉 URWELCOME #gluttonyexcuse I visited some non-food places too though.  Not to worry.

Tom McCall Park

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This was our first stop of the day, a waterfront park in Downtown Portland that had a view of the river and steel bridge that I’m sure would have been beautiful during a clear sky sunset.  The park itself (and much of the architecture of Portland) reminded me a lot of the East Coast. I haven’t been to the East Coast yet, but I’ve seen enough photos to get the picture of what it looks like.  There’s a huge stretch of grass and lots of trees blossoming around the paths.  One side had benches and the park in front of the bridge and the other side of the pathways had a line of shops that overlooked the harbor.  A good place for photo opportunities.  It’s a great place to take a nice stroll around in the morning.  If you’re face the steel bridge from downtown, the left side is completely filled with huge, pink Cherry Blossoms.  I have no idea why we didn’t go on the other side, but we didn’t so we don’t have any pictures with those, but you definitely should go see those if you’re in the area!  I saw it from the other side of the river and is was stunning.

Pad Thai

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LAI THAI

As far as I’ve heard, Portland is a hub to a plethora of yummy food trucks.  On the way back to the car, we found a few and, since one of my friends was craving Thai, we decided to try one of them.  I ordered a traditional Pad Thai with shrimp and shared it. The serving itself was more than enough to keep me full for a few hours, even with splitting it.  For $7.75, I think (and no sales tax, ho ho ho), it was a good buy.  Perfectly cooked noodles with a balanced sweet sauce.  No wonder there were a group of people huddled around it on their lunch breaks.

Multnomah (+ hella other waterfalls and things)

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A must see recommendation that we got was Multnomah Falls.  I was expecting one big waterfall, but on the drive there I realized how many small ones were randomly coming out of the mountains on the stretch to Multnomah and on the actual road leading up to it.  I don’t really have much to say about the waterfalls.  I feel like pictures don’t necessarily do it justice, but are a good enough visual to represent my little adventure chasing waterfalls versus me trying to describe the same thing over and over again.  “Beautiful, amazing, unreal, water coming out of the mountain, wet, trees and nature everywhere…”  All things true though!  I don’t want to discredit the majestic views that I saw.  You get what I mean though, right?  Enjoy the photos.  Trust me.  It’s better than reading what I have to say.

The Grotto

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Next stop?  Back to my Catholic roots: The Grotto.  Complete with a Church and an outside Stations of the Cross, this religious safe haven was a sight to see.  The inside of the church had murals covering its walls and the outside area had different types of statues and mosaics embedded within the shrubbery.

Food Escapade

Dutch Bros. order of the day: Kicker.  This location had a store front so we went in to burn some time before we went to Le Bistro Montage, upon our Airbnb host’s recommendation since it didn’t open until 5.  It was a good thing that we made a detour though.  We met some really cool people who were working at this Dutch Bros. location. One of the guys gave us a ton of recommendations on what to see, but mostly on what to eat = food escapade.  Surprise, surprise.  Everything across the board was amazing.  It’s safe to say that I’ll be 50 pounds heavier by the end of this trip.  There goes all my food self control and working out at the gym this quarter. Ouch.  Oh well.  Super cheat week? Hehe.  I mean, I have to treat myself.  I’m touring the West Coast.  It’s a must.

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Highlights:

  • Sizzle Slice:  This wasn’t the best piece of pizza that I’ve ever tried in my life, but it was good.  I wasn’t sad after eating it, to say the least.  Pros: clean space, a variety of non-generic stopping combination, open late and consistent promos to accommodate college students.  Would I go back again? Yeah, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.  I wouldn’t mind going back one day to try a few more of their novel flavours though.
  • Le Bistro Montage:  Mary, my Airbnb host, was right.  Definitely “world famous Mac and Cheese.”  The Roasted Garlic and Bacon macaroni and cheese was amazing.  The garlic and bacon were cooked so well that everything melted together nicely.  For $12.95, the meal was worth the dollars.  The portion isn’t huge like, say, Cheesecake Factory or similar restaurants, but I thought that the size was actually perfect.  I split mine with a friend, but I think that if you ate it all by yourself you would be at the “perfectly full level.” Not overly stuffed or still hungry.  This would obviously depend on the person, but I think that’s a good gauge for most people.  And, if you’re with a group of people or friend, y’all should order different things (Mac and Cheese in specific) and share so you can try more things!  That goes for any place, but especially here.  Would I go back again?  For sure, fashoo.
  • Heavenly Donuts:  For the most part, doughnuts are doughnuts for me.  The main thing that would differentiate a good doughnut from a bad one would be the freshness of it.  Other than that, taste wise, it’s usually not that hard to please me.  A big plus for me was the filling ratio though! I like filling, but I hate how much is always put into doughnuts.  Personal preference though.  The one that I ordered from Heavenly Donuts had a very minimal layer of a vanilla type filling in it.  If you’re not a heavy filling person, this one’s a good choice for you.  Would I go back again?  For that specific donut, yeah.  The rest are pretty common.

Hawthorne Village

Per recommendation of the Dutch Bros. employee, we ended the day in Hawthorne.  I was really excited because he said that there were a ton of thrift stores (which I love, obviously) and little shops of all kinds that lined the entire area.  Unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed.  I’m so used to life in SoCal where everything’s poppin’ until later at night that I was taken aback when I saw that many of the stores had closed at 6PM (and I got there around 6-7PM).  I was sad because I couldn’t experience all the stores.  I went into a few that were open, but there wasn’t much and we didn’t stay long — just long enough to walk up and down the streets.  A large reason for not staying too long was because of that ominous vibe I described in my first post about Portland.  Because of this, we were ready to skidaddle by the time the sun set so that we wouldn’t be walking around in the dark.  That wasn’t ideal, but I’m still glad I went.  Plus, the neighbourhood around it had a run down Victorian style that gave off the “witch” feels, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Closing thoughts about Portland, Oregon:  Overall, I really liked Portland.  I would definitely go back to see more of the quirky thing the city has to offer as well as maybe do some nature sight seeing on the outskirts.  My only con is the eerie vibes that I get, especially at night.  Downtown and all the places around Portland are amazing during the day though.  Walking around and seeing the Cherry Blossoms and scenery is such a treat and none of the food disappointed me.  The latter being very important because…food.  It was a good 2 days, Portland.

Until my next trip to Oregon.

Love always, J.

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