Our first stop was Portland, Oregon. Our flight didn't get in until the evening, so all we did on our first day in Portland was check into our hotel and eat dinner. We decided to stay in downtown Portland at McMenamins Crystal Hotel.
It's a fun hotel located right in the center of lots of the spots we wanted to scope out. We could also do some fun people-watching from our window.
I especially enjoying watching people go into the Spartacus adult entertainment store.
While the location was perfect, the rooms clean and the staff helpful, there was one odd thing I feel I should mention. There was no bathroom connected to our room. There were three individual bathrooms located on our floor, which meant we got to pretend we were in college again and wear the robes they provided to get to and from our showers. It wasn't a big deal, just something to note. There was also a saltwater soaking tub in the basement of the building that was perfect after a long day of walking around the city.
The next morning, we decided to explore the city. We began by eating breakfast at Mother's Bistro & Bar. Both our meals were delish! To work off our breakfast, we explored Powell's Books, which happens to be the largest independent new and used book store in the world. I believe it! It was huge and had tons of books to look through.
We checked out some other cute shops and then stopped for a snack at Voodoo Donuts. Our Vicious Hibiscus and Mango Tango donuts were yummy! It happened to be a bit rainy when we hit up Voodoo Donuts, which actually worked in our favor. We didn't have to stand in a long line like all the travel blogs and guide books said we would.
Then we headed off to the Deschutes Brewery. We thought we would be going on a brewery tour. However, the hostess kindly informed us that the tours take place 3 hours away in Bend, Oregon, not Portland. I guess we missed that small fact when signing up for a brewery tour online. Ooops! We still stuck around and sampled some of the beers.
We ended our evening with a fancy dinner at Wilfs Restaurant. Adam got us a Groupon for it and it was a good thing. It was definitely pricey, but delicious. It was almost too fancy for us. We're not used to having waiters place our napkins in our laps and refill our water glasses after each sip. But it was fun pretending that we were fancy for an evening.
The following day, we enjoyed a delightful breakfast at Cheryl's On 12th. Then we decided we needed to work off some of the food and beverages we had been gorging on. So we drove out of the city to Multnomah Falls, which is the 2nd tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. Before we got to Multnomah Falls, we stopped to take a look at Wahkeena Falls.
It was a happy accident that we stopped at Wahkeena Falls first. We followed a trail that took us from Wahkeena Falls to Multnomah Falls. It was a bit difficult and long, but it was absolutely gorgeous!
It was almost like walking through a rain forest. The trees towered over us and the lush ferns and plants filled in the space below the trees.
I am not a huge nature girl, but this was breathtaking. It was one of the prettiest places I've ever seen. The pictures don't begin to do it justice, but it does give you an idea of the beauty.
Eventually, we made it to Multnomah Falls and got to see the waterfall from above and below. It was pretty amazing to see the power of the waterfall up close.
By this point, we were starving from our hike, so we stopped for a meal at Multnomah Falls Lodge.
After our meal, we were ready for more hiking! So we hit up Latourell Falls, which wasn't too far away. Although the waterfall was smaller, it was still pretty impressive. There were fewer people on the trail, as well, which was nice.
We ended our day of hiking with more Gorgonzola waffle fries at Henry's Tavern. I figured since we hiked for hours, we deserved more of those fries.
To start off our anniversary day, we had some tasty donuts at Blue Star Donuts and Stumptown Coffee.
Then we hit up Mt. Tabor, which is a dormant volcano in the middle of Portland that's been turned into a park. There were playgrounds, walking trails and a dog park. Seeing all the dogs around made us miss Jazzy. But we knew she was being spoiled by her grandparents.
Our big adventure of the day was whitewater rafting on the Clackamas River. It was about an hour away from Portland, so off we went. We stopped at a cute cafe for lunch called The Mason Jar Cafe in Estacada.
After our lunch, we headed to the Clackamas River. Adam made reservations with Blue Sky Rafting and he sure picked a winner. It was the best rafting experience we've had, mainly because of our guide Skip. It was a pretty river with lots of rapids. I think Adam and I had smiles plastered on our faces the whole time.
After our rafting adventure, we headed back to Portland to get cleaned up for dinner. We stopped at Fat Head's Brewery for a few drinks, then onto Jake's Famous Crawfish for dinner. Adam tells me it was his favorite seafood restaurant of the whole trip. I'll take his word for it since I'm not a fan of seafood. I can speak to their wedge salad, and it was delicious.
This was the perfect way to spend our anniversary. It was a beautiful day, full of fun. And we got to spend it together, of course.
Our stay in Portland came to an end, and we started making our way towards Seattle. We decided to stop at Cannon Beach along the way. Even though it made our drive longer, it was worth it for the views.
The water was very cold! The only people swimming were surfers wearing wet suits and a few crazies only wearing a swimsuit. I got my feet wet and Adam was a bit braver and got in to his knees.
It was stunning to see the ocean next to the forest and mountains. It was definitely worth the drive!
Adam and I do love a beach. There's just something about sand in between your toes and the sound of waves crashing.
Stay tuned for the second part of our trip in Seattle!