Since we were living in Vancouver, Oregon is just a short drive away. It is aproximately a 5 hour drive, not including border wait.
Most of our friends and colleagues had asked why Portland? Not many from Vancouver have actually ventured into this city, not sure why, but they are missing out. We had done a little bit of reading, but just thought, it would be a shame to not see a city that isn’t that far away.
Our son was 21/2 months old, and well, why not introduce him to a road trip early! So, we decided to go with his schedule and we packed up the car, the dog, and him at 4am – I think that was the first indication we were nuts. We got to the border, and the border guard laughed at us, no seriously, he did, he thought we were insane for leaving so early.
I had previously written something about our adventurous stop in Tacoma in The Good the Bad and the Very Ugly. Well, the first road trip was more adventurous than we had first anticipated. Since the little man seemed to like the car, he did sleep, but he also exploded the whole way. Which meant, we had to hose down him, the car seat, and all of his clothes. To note, always pack more clothes in an easily accessible bag. We had gone through a record number of onesies 6, and had to stop at Target to buy more!
This city is absolutely lovely, friendly and progressive. The sidewalks are wide (which makes pushing a stroller quite relaxing), perfect strangers helped hold doors open (sounds small, but in Vancouver, 1 out 40 people do it, where as, the whole week we were in Portland, I didn’t struggle once to open the door with the stroller. The city is extremely family friendly, I was even able to nurse our son under a cover, in a restaurant, without dirty looks, or nasty comments.
This was the first indication we were visiting a very special city:
Portland had suffered a huge hit when the economy went sour. Which is why we got a rediculously good deal on a fancy hotel (more on that later) These signs were everywhere, and it warmed our hearts. I had lived in so many cities around the world, and have seen poverty at its worst, and since we were living in Vancouver, you saw homelessness in our faces, but, I have never seen small businesses advertise and reach out like this.
Since we had a very little man with us, we decided to do the famous walking tour. We never do touristy things, but this walking tour was supposed to be the best, and it really is! It was a blast, and well worth doing if you ever go to Portland.
A city well worth visiting if you ever get a chance!