The Pacific Northwest {Part I: Portland}

This was a hard post to write and a bit overdue. It’s about to get real… Although this trip was an incredible one, I shared it with someone who was a definitely different person from the person I fell in love with. Life definitely introduces you to people who change your way of thinking and life. Anyways, enough about this stuff…onto writing about the PNW!

If there is one place that has impressed me, that is both Portland and Seattle. I’ll talk more about Seattle in another post. The PNW has a reputation for being the capital of hipsters. In essence, there are many types of people that make up this great part of the United States.

On my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I ventured out to Portland, Oregon, home of the most microbreweries per capita. This place is a beer buff’s and foodies’ dreams, and it definitely was a great trip.

If you’re ever in Portland, you have to at least go to one microbrewery. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate beer as a craft rather than just drinking it to get a buzz (i.e. college). Anyways, this brewery is well known for their innovative craft beers and spirits.

Aside from the beers and spirits, Rogue brewery has one of the best poutine. This poutine is made with french fries, cheese curds, and a gravy made with short ribs and and Shakespeare Stout. When you eat this dish, it is literally heaven in your mouth and is paired well will any of their beers on tap.

Moving on from Rogue Brewery is Widmer Brothers Brewery and Deschutes Brewery. These two breweries are known to have Oregon roots and great beer. The atmosphere of these two breweries are welcoming with a hint of the Oregonian nature feel. Each brewery is known for their owns beers, such as Widmer Brothers is known for their heffewiezen beer.IMG_0246

Enough about food and beer, let’s talk about the nature that surrounds the great Pacific Northwest. As much as there are microbreweries per capita, there are many natural destinations that you can explore. I decided to venture out to Cannon Beach. This beach is known for being part of the set of The Goonies. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Portland, but it is totally worth it. The drive to the coast is filled with rows and rows of lush green trees and shrubs. It was breathtaking.

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Being from a city that lacks a waterfront, I was kind of a kid around this area. It was gorgeous. There are no words to really describe this place. It was magical yet serene. We spent the day walking by the coast and exploring the city of Cannon Beach.

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The town of Cannon Beach is quaint and has a small town beach feel. The roads are lined with beach houses, small hotels, restaurants and gift shops. There’s plenty to see and do around the town.

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I couldn’t leave Portland without having some ice cream. The most popular ice cream shop in town is Salt & Straw. They had some eclectic flavors but knowing me, I kept it simple and went with the vanilla. Although it is a plain flavor, it was done right. Definitely recommend going to Salt & Straw if you’re in Portland.

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All in all, Portland has stolen my heart and I would not hesitate to go back. From here we trekked to Seattle.

P.S. Here’s a pic of me at Eastburn Restuarant with their swing seating. #YAASSS

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Portland, Maine

Being in the city for so long can make you go crazy sometimes. It’s nice to be in an area where you can just drive a few hours and you’re in a different state. For this year’s 4th of July weekend, I decided to drive up to Maine.

Going to Maine has been on my bucket list of places to visit. This trip was different as I had my mom join me and turned it into a girl’s weekend trip. The drive up to Portland, Maine was quite long. Granted it was only suppose to be a 5 hour drive, but then it turned into a 12 hour trip (including train time). Anyways, driving on just 5 hours of sleep was an interesting experience.

After 12 hours of traveling, we finally made it to Maine! The first thing on the list was to get lobster rolls. We ended up going to a cute place called Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. The view was amazing from the restaurant but the weather was not playing around.

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Although the view was spectacular, the lobster rolls were the maine event (see what I did there??). There was more than enough lobster meat on it. Also, they served the lobster on a toasted, buttery flat top bun. It was incredible. Although the lobster roll was the star, the crinkle cut fries and coleslaw were a great addition to make it into a filling meal. I would definitely go back through the hassle of finding a parking spot to get these lobster rolls again.

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The next thing we did was pass out in our Airbnb. We stayed in Scarborough, which I believe is a suburb of Portland, ME. It was a great place to stay as it was only a 10 minute drive to downtown Portland. In addition, it had a quaint small town feeling, which you don’t get in the city often.

My mom and I decided to grab dinner in downtown Portland and walk around to experience the nightlife there. Portland had a pretty small downtown as there was a strip of restaurants and shops along the marina. We ended up at Portland Lobster Pound.

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This place was pretty packed as they had live music. Aside from the music, the atmosphere of Portland Lobster Co. was lively let alone the food was amazing.IMG_0123

As we had lunch at an abnormally late time, we opted for the fried clams. They were fried to perfection and pairing it with a local beer like an Alagash white is just heaven.IMG_0124

Other than eating our way through Portland, we did do some sightseeing. We ended up at a few lighthouses and a private beach.

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Ok so one more photo of food…

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These donuts were sent from heaven. They came from Holy Donuts and are made from potatoes. I didn’t even know that was possible! Anyways, we mostly ate it on the drive back home.

All in all, Portland, ME stole my heart and I would definitely consider retiring there one day. I was also able to teach my mom how to use Snapchat so I think that was an accomplishment in and of itself.