Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When a plan comes together: Portland

Thatboy's original plan for my birthday this year was to take me away for a spa weekend. But the first week of June turned out to be a real downer for us here in Thathouse and that weekend was cancelled.

Around the same time I started thinking about how our lives were in the process of changing again, which seems to happen every couple of years. With that in mind, I really wanted to go away one last time with Thatboy while it was still just the two of us.

August seemed like a perfect time. First because we'd be celebrating our five year anniversary, but also because I'd still be able to travel! I started doing research on places we could go that were only a couple hours away by plane and we decided on the Oregon Coast.

Our actual anniversary weekend was out because of my shower. So we planned to head north the second weekend in August. But then UDubb mentioned that her parents were hosting an engagement party for her and Thatbrother in Portland the third weekend in August. For those of you who are not great at geography, Portland is not far from the Oregon Coast. So we decided to put our trip off for a week and combine the two.

First stop - Portland.

Where we stayed:

Hotel Modera

Maybe it was the long day, or the fact that neither of us got much sleep the night before, but Thatboy and I slept like logs in this bed. We were out all night. It might have been the best sleep we've had in months! (Certainly the best sleep we had on the trip!) Since we were only here for a night we didn't take advantage of most of the amenities.

What we did:

Saturday Market - Thatmom had been to Portland years ago and as soon as we made the decision to attend the engagement party she began raving about how we must must must attend the Saturday Market while we were there. It seemed to Thatboy and I that this decision was based upon some fresh walnuts she had purchased there. But since we had plans to do everything we wanted for the rest of our trip, it was easy enough to accommodate her wishes.

The problem? It was probably the hottest day Portland has had in ages (according to UDubb's family, hottest this summer at least). It was naked children hot.

And the Saturday Market? Crowded -

(And this was before entering the wall of people). I was generally unimpressed with the market. Thatmom remembered it being better. The only person who was happy was Thatboy who managed to pick up two pieces of "original art." (He proceeded to talk about his new acquisitions for hours later, always using the term "original art.")

Engagement Party -

This was the first time Thatboy and I had the chance to meet UDubb's family and high school friends. They were warm and lovely, but we didn't expect any less.

Powell's Books - Thatboy loves bookstores. He's spent 3 hours in a Barnes and Noble once. The only thing he loves more than bookstores are independent bookstores. So I knew when we had some time to kill Sunday morning before brunch that we would have to make a stop. Thatboy weaved his way through aisles, stopping to show me a find every now and again. I hung out in the kids section and picked up a bunch of favorites for Thatbaby.

Where we ate:

Saturday Market - Thatboy had heard we should get Thai food in Portland. So we did. And we were disappointed. The Thai we have at home was much better than what we sampled here. Although I had one of those moments where my "spice eyes" were bigger than my "spice stomach" so my meal was mostly just heat. Although, I had to do something to counteract the soggy noodles.

UDubb's Parents' House - You probably won't be invited to eat here. Which is a shame, because it was quite a spread. UDubb's father is a fabulous sushi chef, and he had Thatbrother work as a sous chef. Thatbrother made sure there were California rolls for me since I don't like fish. There was a ridiculous amount of fruit and salads, chicken, beef, AND salmon. And UDubb's mom even made delicious chocolate chip cookies. For beverages, Thatbrother made sure that the party was well supplied with local brews that don't distribute out of state. (And of course, Thatboy fell in love with one of them)

VooDoo Doughnuts -

Sunday morning we woke up ridiculously early to get Thatmom to the airport, and didn't have plans until our 11 AM brunch at UDubb's brother's house. "That doughnut place is open 24 hours, isn't it?" asked Thatboy. And so we made our way over to VooDoo Doughnuts. In San Diego we have some great doughnut shops. But none with flavors like these! The Voodoo Doll is filled with raspberry jelly and dipped in chocolate. The Grape Ape is dusted with grape powder. The Mango Tango is filled with mango jelly. And the Dirty Snowball is a chocolate doughnut topped with marshmallow, coconut, and peanut butter. The verdict? Our faves were the filled ones.

UDubb's Brother's House - Another place you probably won't get to experience. UDubb's brother made us all eggs and sausage. The entertainment at this place is phenomenal, headed by UDubb's Star Diva niece.

Up Next - we leave Portland behind and head to the coast.


  1. Aaaahhh my hometown. I would move into Powell's if I could!

  2. Ahhh VOODOO doughnuts! Never has a doughnut looked so delicious. And..possessed.

  3. Independent bookstores! Yay! I still need to see Portland (drove through it - not enough). I love the good night's sleep and naked children-hot reference. It's all so vivid!

  4. I would be possessed if I entered Vood Doo Doughnuts, I couldn't leave with just one.

  5. Yeah Portlandia! We were there in June-had some fantastic oysters and awesome local brew (some type of vanilla cream brew that I just loved). We also went to Pok Pok and were disappointed. Voodoo D. was closed for remodeling so didn't get my yearly sugar intake.

  6. That is great you got to get away before the baby. Looks like a fantastic trip and I am dying over the voodoo doughnut. How have I missed that before? I have never heard of doughnut flavors like that. Welcome home. I am kinda super excited for your baby. I am just saying.

  7. Wow, love all those yummy and pretty donuts! Thanks for a virtual tour to Portland:D

  8. Sorry you didn't get good thai food :( But yay for Voodoo donuts! We made a point to head there too! (Among other places, of course!)

  9. Oh my gosh! Those donuts look sinful. I definitely want one!