We lived a year in Portland in 2013 and really enjoyed it. We were downtown for most of that time in a high rise surrounded by quirkiness and a plethora of food carts. We debated back then to sell the RV and stay awhile since we loved the town so much, and for better, we kept on exploring. We knew a visit to the PNW area wouldn’t be complete without stopping in one of our favorite cities.
It’s amazing how much changes in 3 years. We knew when we were living there that PDX was growing at a crazy rate. But knowing and seeing the changes a few years later are two totally different things. We still love Portland and since we had a quick stay, didn’t get to revisit all the areas we used to haunt, but – it’s changed.
It’s bigger. More condo looking skyscrapers in the Pearl, new breweries in former piano shops, and a hole in the ground for another tall building where there used to be an art college.
If I sound a little bummed, I am.
At the same time, it was still nice to revisit. We had planned on two weeks in the area but due to jello plans, only stayed a week. Keith and I went into Portland together once – then one day Keith went in to meet a former co-worker and one day I went in to explore the city on a day off.
We hit Pine State Biscuits again, and still good. We searched for our favorite food trucks and while some we recognized, our favorites were not in the place they used to be. Samantha was a champ and walked all over the city with us until she was about to drop. A bit later we drove back into the city and revisited Kelly’s Olympian, Little Big Burger and Rogue.
On my day off I decided to park at Indigo and take my usual walk to work route and see what changed. I think this was the biggest indication of how much the city has shifted. I started the morning with Blue Star Donuts (always a preferred suggestion over VooDoo imho) and then ‘walked to work’. It was fun to try & figure out what used to be in a place, or realize that a favorite still existed. I walked around the NW district where I used to work and made a stop at Wallace Park which was my solace when I was a cube dweller.
I met my former boss for lunch and it was nice to catch up. She’s moved on as well and works at a really fun sounding company with great views from Big Pink. After lunch it was mandatory that I stop into Powell’s and then I hopped on the streetcar and took a tour of the city, making sure I was on a route that crossed the new pedestrian, bike & public transit only bridge the Tilikum Crossing.
We made a few more trips around the area as well (we do know how to pack a lot into a week even with working full time!). We of course made a stop at Multnomah Falls (pro tip, go at sunrise – the parking lot & falls area is nearly empty), and we drove out to Hood River to visit a few breweries – we enjoyed both Double Mountain and Pfriem Family.
Portland may have changed some since we last visited, but the city & surrounding area will always have a special place in our hearts (and stomachs).