As many of you know, I decided to spend a good portion of my summer in Portland, Oregon. You can read about my decision here. I ventured out on this journey almost 4 weeks ago with one of my best friends, Casey! Casey and I have been best friends since 7th grade and for those of you who don’t know how old I am, that’s 13 years of friendship! I’m so thankful to have her in my life and blessed that she decided to come with me on the drive up to Portland! :) The drive was a total of 22 hours, but we decided to split it up between 3 days and take our time. I absolutely loved every minute I spent with her on the drive and here in Portland! If you’ve been following my journey on my personal Instagram, you’ve already seen a lot of these photos, but for those who haven’t seen them, I wanted to share some of my favorites moments and memories here so far! :)
We started our road trip journey with some Starbucks, duh. ;) We drove all day the second day and so I figured the best way to document that was with a shot of my view all day, the side mirror and miles of fields! We mostly drove through fields and farms but for a little while, we drove through a beautiful area of northern California which had that gorgeous snow topped mountain. I just couldn’t stop staring at it! :) Then you’ll see a photo of my first house that I stayed in, I found it through airbnb and had the place to myself. It was on a beautiful and picturesque street in the Alberta Arts District! Then we of course behaved like tourists! We stopped at VooDoo Doughnuts on our first day and then went over to Powell’s Bookstore! We also checked out Pioneer Square and a few other places in downtown Portland! :)
We also spent a good amount of time in the backyard of the house we were staying in, it was a serene garden, filled with plants of all kinds, like the picture show on the bottom left! Everyone I met around town kept apologizing to me that I was visiting while it was raining, but I made sure to tell them that I LOVE the rain!!! :) The second day we went to the Columbia River Gorge and spent some time at Multnomah Falls! Wow! It’s hard for me to understand how someone could see something as beautifully intricate as a waterfall and still not believe in God. I was in awe of Him. Below you will see more photos from Multnomah Falls as well as a beautiful view on the way. It was exciting to me that from one side of the river looking over at the other side, you’re looking at a different state, Washington! :) In the bottom right corner of the collage above you’ll see a view of downtown Portland that was taken from the Pittock Mansion, which is pictured below in the bottom left corner! :)
In the bottom right corner you’ll see a photo of Casey and me in the Kennedy School! It use to be an elementary school but has been turned into a hotel/restaurant/bar/movie theater! It was so fun walking through those historic school hallways on our way into the theater to see The Other Woman, which was HILARIOUS. And I loved the theater! It’s one room, which I’m almost certain use to be the cafeteria, and they filled it with old couches and chairs as the theater seating! :)
Here’s another photo of the breathtaking view on the way to the falls! I wish I was better at landscape photography, because this would have been a dream for me to photograph! ;)
Another place that I was told I would need to try while in Portland is Stumptown Coffee. In the top middle photo, you’ll see that I not only got a coffee while I was there, but brought home some cold brew for later. It was great coffee, but I’m more of a “I want my coffee to not taste like coffee” kind of person. Haha. Then, before I had to say goodbye to Casey at the airport, I picked up another friend of mine, Ashli! After picking Ashli up, it was time for Casey to go, and I got to spend another week being a tourist with one of my close friends! :) But don’t worry, I made sure to do a photo shoot with Casey before she left! ;)
Ashli and I went to the International Rose Test Garden as well as the Japanese Garden. I was IN LOVE with all the amazing roses at the rose garden, I definitely favored that over the Japanese Garden, but that was well worth the visit also! :) And as we continue to go through my Instagram photos, you’ll see St. John’s bridge in the middle photo! This town is known for their bridges and this one is my favorite by far! :) In the next photo you’ll see some ice cream, some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had! I learned about Salt & Straw from Pinterest, but after I was in Portland for a few days, I had plenty of people tell me I need to go there, so Ashli and I went for her birthday! :) Then we have the “Keep Portland Weird” wall, because apparently it’s weird here and they like it. Haha. The bottom middle photo is a view from the Portland City Grill where Ashli and I had lunch one day, because, well, we LOVE city buildings and couldn’t resist having lunch with a view! ;) And then in the last photo, you’ll see the house I’m staying in now and for the whole month of July! As much I loved my first place in the Alberta Arts District, this new place is on a hill, in the forest, and has an AMAZING deck that I could just sit on forever. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to stay in this home! :)
Here are a few more photos from the International Rose Test Garden as well as the Japanese Gardens! :)
I don’t know why I’m making that face, they smelled LOVELY, I promise! ;)
These are some of my favorite photos with Ashli and what we filled our days with while she was here! Obviously the rose garden again, as well as St. John’s bridge, the Japanese Gardens and then the photo in the bottom left is actually a restroom… haha. We thought it was the most beautiful restroom on the outside, so we had to take a picture. Public restrooms don’t look like that in Phoenix. Haha.
Since Ashli and I both share a love for city buildings, especially city lights, we made sure to drive up a mountain until we found a beautiful view of the city buildings all lit up! :) By the way, all these photos were either taken on my phone or my small point and shoot camera, so they aren’t the best quality, but I thought it was more important to enjoy my adventures here by leaving my professional camera at my temporary home. :)
After Ashli left, I drove up to Seattle on the 4th of July to pick up my sister and brother in law from the airport! I then spent the next 5 days with them exploring Seattle. Although this summer was my first time ever in Portland, and Oregon for that matter, it was not my first time in Washington. My mom grew up a little outside of Seattle, and I visited once with my family when I was younger! Although, if I’m being honest, I don’t remember the first time very much. Haha. So I’m glad I was able to come again and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this time any day soon! ;)
We started our Seattle explorations by celebrating Independence Day watching the fireworks at Lake Union, which is apparently one of the top places to watch 4th of July fireworks in America! :)
The next day we went to the Sky View Observatory, which is the tallest public view on the west coast! Oh, how I love views! :) But we already know that by now.
And now we have another collage of my Instagram photos! Starting from the top left, that was my view for dinner on the 4th of July, I just love the look of boats on the water! One of my new favorite views! :) Another one of my favorite views is the next photo with me, my sister and brother in law at SkyCity, the restaurant on top of the Space Needle. It was quite pricey for brunch, but SO worth it! Not only is the view amazing already, but you also get a 360 view because the restaurant spins slowly as you eat! It SPINS! Haha. I’d go back there in a heartbeat! :) Then I posted a photo of some daisies, haha, simply because it blows my mind that there are hundreds of flowers of all kinds EVERYWHERE you turn! And I love it! :) Then we went to Pike Place Market! Because, you HAVE to go there if you go to Seattle! ;) We saw those fish guys who throw fish right under that Public Market Center sign, haha. Then I stood in line to get a Starbucks from the first Starbucks ever. It was about a 25 minute wait… but I didn’t even care. For someone who loves Starbucks as much as me, it was a must see! :) I also made sure to leave my mark on the Gum Wall near Pike Place Market, shown in the bottom right photo! Well, actually I left my gum. ;)
We also went to Snoqualmie Falls, not too far outside of Seattle! I’m just loving having this whole new world filled with waterfalls in the Northwest! It’s amazing to me! Be able to stand in awe of such beauty and feel the mist on your skin, well, that’s one of my favorite feelings! :) Another favorite feeling of mine is feeling the wind while standing at the front of a FERRY or a water taxi! We did both! The ferry ride is pictured in the bottom left corner… I could have just gone back and forth all day! :) After we left Seattle and before we got to Portland, we made a stop at the coast at Cannon Beach! We had lunch with a view of the ocean and then saw Haystack Rock, pictured in the bottom middle, before we headed back to my temporary place in Portland! :)
Here are a few more photos from my Seattle trip! The top right photo was one of my favorite things about SkyCity restaurant. Kids, I assume, would write questions down on post it’s or paper and leave them on the side of the window. Since the restaurant spins, you could write a response and set it back down so that whoever first put it there would come back around to it! I had so much fun responding to all the fun and silly questions that kids asked! Next time I go, I’m bringing my own post its! ;) In the top right is the view from the observation deck at the Space Needle! And the bottom two photos are from the ferry ride to Bainbridge Island! :)
I took this on the ferry, I love the snowcapped mountains here. I’m pretty sure this is Mount Rainier. 90% sure. Haha.
By the time we took the ferry back to Seattle, it was night. And I guess I didn’t mind the night time view! :)
And here’s just a few more photos from exploring Pike Place Market! Me and my sister, Lindsay, with our Starbucks in front of the first Starbucks ever! Also, me in front of the gum wall! :) And the bottom left is a photo of this amazing band that was my entertainment while I waited in the Starbucks line! I loved their folksy sound! :) And lastly, a photo of me in front of Snoqualmie Falls, which also happens to my new Facebook profile picture! ;)
I have LOVED my first few weeks in the Northwest! I’m so thankful for my friends and family that came to visit me so I wouldn’t get lonely and so I would have some tourist, exploring partners with me! I have a couple weeks left here in Portland and I hope to make even more memories and see even more beautiful places! :)