Living in the PNW we are pretty close to it all: mountains, oceans, big cities, trees, waterfalls, wineries, breweries, you name it. Hop on I-5, get stuck in traffic, have someone cut you off, maybe curse a little if that is your thing, and you’ll be transported to somewhere beautiful in a relatively short amount of time.
Two hours south down the interstate, you will cross the Columbia River and arrive in Oregon. Portland, better known as Stumptown, is nestled right across the drawbridges hovering high above the river; the Washington-Oregon state line literally cuts straight down the middle of the Columbia.
Since our time stationed at JBLM is expiring rather soon, Aric and I are trying to squeeze in as much as we possibly can before we leave the area. Despite COVID-19 basically shutting down any and every single thing we want to do, we are *trying* to make the best out of the circumstances and create new memories, masks and all.
I have included all of the things that we visited while we made the trip down to PDX yesterday.
When you think of Portland, do you also think of the infamous Voodoo Doughnut shop? I know I do! Though some think that this landmark shop is slightly overrated, I found it to be everything I wanted. It was so fun, down to the glitter painted bricks outside to the cheeky named pastries, it was beyond what I expected.
Check out their site here where you can check out their different flavors and their merchandise!
Frank’s Noodle House
I have been D Y I N G to come to this restaurant. Located in an actual house, this restaurant has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Frank’s boasts hand-pulled Chinese noodles and tender steamed dumplings. Though Oregon does not permit in-restaurant dining during this time, we thoroughly enjoyed our stir-fried hand-pulled noodles, leaving us beyond satisfied.
You can find out more about the Chinese hand-pulled noodle method, as well as seeing the full menu on Frank’s Noodle House website.
Portland Japanese Garden & International Rose Test Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden was probably the highlight of our trip. I felt instantly transported to Asia in the best possible way. Right down the road from Old Town, sits the approximate 400-acre Washington Park. Nestled inside, there is the city’s designated park, the Oregon Zoo, and the Hoyt Abortorium.
Inside the city park lies the Portland Japanese Garden. The boys had a blast watching the beautiful koi fish swimming throughout the ponds and the Japanese irises were in full-bloom.
Click here for more information about this little slice of Japan in the PNW.
Adjacent to the Japanese Garden’s parking lot sits the International Rose Test Garden. Also known as the city of roses, Portland and Washington Park is home to this magnificent rose garden where there are over 10,000 plants and 650 varieties. Rose cultivars are sent to the garden from many parts of the world to evaluate the ways the plants are grown.
The smell and colors of the rose plants were outrageous and is an absolute must-see when visiting Portland.
There are a million more places we would have loved to have eaten and visited, but unfortunately, the ‘rona dictated where we could and could not go.
I highly suggest anyone visiting the PNW and adding Stumptown into your itinerary!