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Portlandia

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This year for vacation Husband and I debated for quite some time as to where we wanted to go. I’m always down for a tropical locale and anywhere that involves sun and unlimited cocktails, but seeing as the past four vacations have been just that, we conceded to do something a little different this year. We wanted to take advantage of our proximity to the west coast, and finally decided to take a multi-city tour through the Pacific Northwest. Specifically Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.
When I booked everything I was quite pleased with my success at finding awesome deals and saving us a bunch of money. However, karma or luck or whatever you want to call what plagues me with Murhpy’s Law happenstances, decided it would be fun to spice things up a bit. Three days before we left we realized our flights had been booked arriving and departing from Portland, instead of arriving in Portland and departing from Vancouver.

The really kind, and helpful agent at United Airlines informed me my options were to pay an additional $1200 to change our flights, or to make arrangements to keep them as is. Lovely.

So, instead of casually packing and talking up our plans to take Portland by storm, we (read: I) scrambled to make last minute changes to our hotel reservations and finding a rental car to make the 5+ hour drive from Vancouver back to Portland, on the last day of our vacation.

As it turned out, this non-showstopping yet continual pain-in-the-ass theme carried through the rest of our trip. All-in-all it was not our favorite vacation to date, but there were of course, a few highlights.

We had big plans for Portland. Not only was I going to see one of my good college friends for the first time in years, I was also going to experience the famed foodie city of the northwest coast.
Except, food was actually really hard to come by. More on that later.
One of our first stops was Rogue brewing. Rogue beers are some of our favs so we couldn’t wait to sip on a few of their specialties. 

Then we walked around the Pearl District to check out the local wares.

Stopped by the Deschutes Brewery for another quick beer.

Then met my friend Sarah at Andina (the top rated restaurant in Portland) for dinner. We were lucky to get seated within 15 minutes in spite of not having reservations. That was one bit of good luck we had.

The food was good. Hubs and I’s lamb fell off the bone and had a ton of flavor, but in general I wouldn’t place it in my top 10 meals of all time. 
That night we retreated to Sarah’s apartment to partake in some wine, tour their city home, and see her husband Mike who had just made it home from a grueling surgical rotation at the hospital. It was lovely. 
The next morning however, we got our first dose of frustration with finding food in Portland. 
When I thought of Portland, I envisioned a city full of hipsters, hot restaurant spots, and food trucks that would put most South Dakota restaurants to shame. I came prepared to eat my heart out.
In reality, Portland is a lot like a very large Charlotte, NC, except I think even Charlotte has a marginally higher amount of restaurants available. 
This particular morning we were jonesing for a hearty breakfast full of grease and carbs. Any diner would have been sufficient. Actually, any restaurant, cafe, or food cart would have been acceptable. But instead of finding a slew of options, we found the opposite. We scoured Yelp and Trip Advisor, walked block after block, and for all of our efforts we found one very expensive restaurant that was actually open for breakfast…and the Brunch Box. 

Breakfast sandwiches in hand we grumbled our way through the morning before catching up with Sarah and Mike for the next activity of the weekend.

 

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