Charming Small Town Washington

We really wanted to see Mount Rainier but didn’t want to actually go into Mount Rainier National Park this time so after some research we discovered Crystal Mountain. The resort has a Gondola and a restaurant at the top of the mountain which offers views of Mount Rainier…perfect! Or so we thought. We followed directions from an offline Google Map and found this:

The route Google had us take had us travelling via the Chinook Pass, which is closed during the winter. We decided to head to our hotel in Kent which took us through some cute towns we had never heard of.

Our first stop was Packwood. Here we found The Mountain Goat. If I lived in a small town I would be a frequent visitor of a place like this. Actually, maybe I would own  it!

Next stop…Elbe! We vistited the gift shop for the nearby Mount Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum and saw the Elbe Evangelical Lutheran Church which is on the National Register of Historical Places.

Our next stop was a viewpoint in Eatonville where we got to see Mount Rainier! There was quite a bit of cloud cover so we couldn’t see the top but it was amazing nonetheless.

After catching this incredible view we continued on to Kent.


Portland, OR Day 3

Our last day in Portland looked promising when we woke up but by the time we were ready to head out the rain had started. Luckily it didn’t last all day.

We started with a walk along the Waterfront Park Trail which follows the Willamette River.

We stumbled upon the Oregon Maritime Museum and for $7 we went on a tour of the steam powered tugboat led by a docer.  It was very informative and interesting.

Voodoo Doughnuts was next! There were only a few people ahead of us when we arrived but before long there were people lined up out the door. I had heard so much about this place of heavenly doughnut goodness and when I looked at the display I realized just what everyone was taking about. How on Earth would we ever decide what to get?

I’m borderline obsessed with bacon, so Bacon Maple Bar was a given. We also went with a Raspberry Romeo, a Chuckles and a Memphis Mafia.

We ate these over the next few days and they were delicious!

Now, you can’t visit Portland without eating from a food cart, right? I just HAD to do this before we left. We walked until we found a bunch of carts near O’ Bryant Square. After completing a loop to see what they had to offer I went with a Chicken Gyro…tricky to eat but one of the best I have ever had.

After this we headed to a spot where we could watch the sun go down and get some photos of Hawthorne Bridge and the city before and during blue hour.

All in all, Portland was fabulous and we will definitely return!

Portland, OR Day 2

We woke up to rain but decided we would grab our umbrellas and explore the city anyway. Fortunately by the time we hit the road the rain had stopped! Throughout the day we wandered the streets and made several stops. The most notable are below.

Our first stop was Blue Star Donuts. It was difficult to choose which kinds to order. We ended up choosing Rasberry Rosemary Buttermilk and Chocolate Almond Ganache. The Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk was by far the most amazing donut I have ever tasted.

We hit up 10 Barrel Brewing Co. for a drink and lunch. I tried their Raspberry Crush (sour)…a refreshing sour raspberry flavour with just a hint of sweetness.

Lunch consisted of a Chipotle Turkey Club and a BLTE, both of which were great.

After lunch we headed to Pittock Mansion. The Mansion itself was closed when we arrived but we were there for the viewpoint we had read about. It was breathtaking. This is definitely worth visiting.

Portland, OR Day 1

Trying to decide where to go on a mini-vacation wasn’t too hard. Portland is only about a 5 hour drive from home and neither of us has been here. We rolled into our hotel at around 4:30pm and, just our luck, it started to rain! BLAH. After a bit of downtime while checking out maps of downtown Portland and the surrounding areas we decided to head out.

The rain provided me with the chance to visit the #1 place on my list of places to go…Powell’s Books!A bookstore that needs a MAP! That’s my idea of Heaven. Powell’s City of Books covers an entire city block and sells games, stationary, souvenirs and the like in addition to all the glorious new and used books! There is also a coffee bar where you are able to browse through books. If I lived here I would probably spend A LOT of time there. If you haven’t been, visiting Powell’s is a MUST!

Starbucks was across the street and there was no time like the present to purchase the newest addition to my collection! I already have Portland so I added Oregon.

By now we were absolutely starving so it was off to visit #2 on my list…Deschutes Brewery.

We decided to start with the Brewer’s Choice Tasting featuring six different beers. I really only enjoyed two out of six but that’s fairly typical for me as I really only enjoy lighter beers.

After some serious menu deliberation we decided on Steak Frites and Spicy Chicken and Waffle for our entrees. Both were delicious. 

As day 1 came to a close we headed back to our hotel in hopes of better weather for the next couple days!

Check out my Day 2 post HERE!
Check out my Day 3 post HERE!

British Columbia Views

There is nothing like having an out of town visitor to remind me that I take living in the lower mainland for granted. We are surrounded by beauty. While the weather has been pretty gloomy the last few days we haven’t let it stop us from venturing around the lower mainland in search of some nice views.

Rocky Point Park, Port Moody

Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby

Barrett’s View, Cypress Bowl Provincial Park, West Vancouver

Mount Seymour, North Vancouver