the west coast is the best coast.

by Janetha on August 3, 2016

in eating out,love life,meals,travel

guys! hi! it’s august! what? how did that happen? it’s august third, which means i need to wish a happy birthday to my DAD.. the big 65! and also a happy birthday to linds who is the big 34!

so, i don’t know if i mentioned it prior, but i went on a vacation! like, a real life, no kid, grown up vacation with my husband. yes, i am 7 months pregnant so it wasn’t a total let loose kind of trip, but it was our first kid-free trip since we went to boston and maine in july of 2013. dang! three years sure zoomed by. and, i will say this, once you have a kid.. going places without them seems real, real weird. not having to plan days around naptime nor tote a whole house full of stuff extra with us was something i had totally forgotten about. being parents has become our normal, so this was a trip, haha.

we went thursday to sunday, which was just the perfect amount of time. we definitely missed our rugrat, but he was in the best hands with my mom, dad, and our nanny. he had a ball and didn’t even miss us!

anyway, we went to portland, oregon for our trip, and it was incredible! i wanted to share snippets from our vacation because 1- i need to be able to look back and remember and 2- you need to know about all the delicious food in oregon.

so, why oregon? well, i had a voucher to use since i didn’t get to go to mexico on my company trip (thanks to zika and being newly pregnant.. my ticket was booked long before i conceived, and then the news about zika broke out literally 3 days before i was to go!) and i had to use the voucher within a year. which meant.. in 2016. so, being pregnant this entire year, that meant anywhere south was basically out of the question with zika being so prevalent. i didn’t really want to go to the humid east coast being 7 months pregnant. i am not allowed in canada. and going overseas was too much of a to-do for a four-day trip (and leaving longer than that as our first trip away from the boy wasn’t appealing to us.) so.. that left the west coast! we go to cali often, and have been to seattle before, but oregon wasn’t a vacation we had taken together! i went to hood river for work a few years back, and to portland when i was 10. marshall had been to portland with friends. i was excited to get there with him and see what fun could be had!

like i said, we went thursday through sunday. we had a rental car and stayed in the heart of downtown portland at the nines hotel. it was in a great location and we were able to walk to lots of places, which is something i love to do when vacationing.

since we arrived early and couldn’t check in right away, we grabbed some breakfast. thanks to many suggestions from everyone on instagram, by the way.. you guys helped us make yummy choices! and so did yelp, i am an avid user of yelp.. i try not to eat anywhere less than 4 stars, haha. we hit up mother’s for one of the best meals we had the entire trip! french pressed coffee right at the table, a portobello omelet for me, and marshall had what he claims is the best biscuits and gravy, ever. he gets biscuits and gravy everywhere we go, so this is saying a lot!


after our delicious meal, we headed to multnomah falls for the day. it’s a glorious, 620 foot waterfall and, oh boy, it was so pretty!


we decided to hike to the top, which was about a mile and some change. might not sound like much, but it was quite the elevation climb, and i’m quite pregnant, haha. here are some photos from our adventure.

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after checking into our hotel, we found a nearby place to get pedicures. marshall had never had a pedicure, but i’ve always tried to convince him to get one! he knew i really wanted one, especially after that hiking, so he humored me. but i think he really enjoyed it!

that night we wanted to try 10 barrel brewery for dinner. we walked there and found it was over an hour wait. whomp. rogue brewery was right next door with no wait, so we went there. i think i know why there was no wait.. it was definitely my least favorite meal of the trip. not so awesome, i don’t recommend it. (and yelp had 3.5 stars so i knew going into it.) but i will show you the food anyway. we split a charcuterie plate and i had the fish and chips.

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friday we slept in until almost 10 o’clock! it was crazy to sleep in. it has been years since i did that! usually “sleeping in” means 7 or 7:30 and it’s very rare that fox will do that… so this was definitely luxurious.

we tried tasty n’ alder for brunch, something that came highly recommended. it was definitely a fun, unique restaurant. we sat at the bar and i had a virgin bloody mary, which did not disappoint.

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the kitchen was family-style, which meant they would make a batch of one order for the whole restaurant and you would get your items as they were ready, instead of short-order where your whole table gets the order at once. it’s a great idea, if you ask me.

marsh and i shared the lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes, which were melt in your mouth delicious. he had the breakfast biscuit sandwich, and i ordered the hash.


my hash was forgotten about and it ended up coming well over a half hour after we were done with our other things. and then.. sigh.. there were a few hairs in the hash. so, that was a bummer. they were really nice about it and took the hash and pancakes off the bill. i don’t get too worked up about that sort of thing, i have been a waitress and understand that it can happen. the meal was great otherwise, and the restaurant was cute and fun. i would for sure go back!

we spent the day shopping. we walked to legendary powell’s book store and spent quite a bit of time there.  we also found some local record shops so marshall could fuel his addiction. i picked up some records of my own, too.


we snagged the car and drove to hawthorne for more eating and more shopping. i wanted something light, so we went to por que no for some tacos and guac. it was a super cute little mexican joint!

everything was tasty, especially the homemade horchata. and it was during happy hour, so it was pretty cheap. i had a fish taco and a carnitas taco. the fish one was a little too salty for my taste. the carnitas one was fantastic!


that night we went to life of pie for dinner, because neither of us can go too long without pizza.

IMG_6649this wood-fired goodness was excellent! my pizza had caramelized onions, goat cheese, and roasted garlic. marshall’s had pepperoni. both were incredible.

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it was still early, so we headed to a cute little theater and saw the lobster. it was funny and weird, definitely my kind of movie. check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.

we ended the day with ice cream. we wanted to try salt & straw, but they had closed.. so we tried fifty licks and, boy, it was top notch! i had vanilla bean and oregon strawberry in a waffle cone. perfection.

IMG_6655i loved the ice cream artwork in the bathroom, haha.


saturday we tried to get up somewhat early, around 8, so we could head to the coast. i snagged an acai bowl from kure on the way out. their granola was so good! i think the granola can make or break an acai bowl. so far, banzai bowls in san clemente, cali has my favorite granola. because i know you were wondering.

IMG_6659we hit up cannon beach first, to see the infamous haystack rock. it was a little overcast, but the weather was perfect and it was so nice to walk along the beach.

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we popped into a cute diner called lazy susan cafe for a late brunch. i had poached eggs served over cheesy potatoes and we also split a marrionberry scone.

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my good friend used to live in oregon, and she told us we HAD TO go to oswald west to check out an old growth forest and pretty beach with some tide pools. i am SO glad she told us about this spot, because otherwise we wouldn’t have had it on our radar, and it was definitely the highlight of the whole trip!

here are some photos from our adventuring.. they really do not do the beauty justice. it was so awesome! the trees were huge, it was so green, and there were so many different kinds of plants and flowers. it was super awesome.

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haha.. see me down there?


ahhh.. wish the pics did this growth justice! the beach was equally as pretty, and we spent a lot of time there, too.

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we drove down the coast to tillamook. it was such a pretty drive. i did a road trip along the oregon coast when i was five, so obviously i don’t remember that very much. it was nice to take the scenic pacific coast highway down south and enjoy the views along the way.

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once we got to tillamook i was excited to take the tour.. but it turned out to be somewhat lame, haha. it was a self-guided tour and the factory was closed (probably because it was saturday) so it was basically just a bunch of tourists buying cheese, ice cream, and souvenirs.

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we did have some lunch—grilled cheese and tomato soup. one of my pregnancy go-tos this time around! it was tasty, but really it’s impossible to mess up a grilled cheese in my eyes. and i love tillamook cheese.

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we walked around the “tour” and read a few fun facts about tillamook, but it definitely left something to be desired. i was thinking it would be like an episode of mr. roger’s neighborhood where i would learn the ins and outs of cheese making. not so much. but at least there was ice cream.

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we headed back to the city and it was a really pretty drive. i think renting a car and driving to the coast was such a good idea, we were really able to see a lot of the beautiful state.

you would think i wouldn’t be able to eat any more food, but somehow we made room for pizza. we went to sizzle pie for a slice, and it was really tasty new york style pizza.

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sunday morning i woke up and couldn’t believe it was already our last day. we found a spot that had biscuits and gravy for marshall to get his fix. we were going to go back to mother’s, but decided to try something new. we went to cheryl’s on 12th. they served complimentary beignets that were super yummy. i had the migas which was good, but not out of this world or anything to write home about. i wanted to venture out and try something different, but i’m thinking i should have gone with the eggs benedict because that never lets me down.

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there is a big market on the weekend in portland, right along the water, so we walked there and did some shopping. we got some artwork for the baby’s room along with a few other random items. they had kombucha on tap, so naturally we had to snag some of that as well.

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since we didn’t get a chance to go to salt & straw for ice cream, we snagged some soft serve from their sister store, wizbangbar, which was right by where we were. i am bummed we didn’t make it to salt & straw, but i still had ice cream every day on the trip and was fully satisfied, haha.

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marshall wanted more pizza, so we went to sizzle pie again for him to get his fix. i wanted something new, so we walked to lardo and i got a tuna melt. the caper mayo was a nice touch.

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by the time we walked back to our hotel, it was time to head to the airport! it was a quick flight home and a certain little boy was waiting at the baggage claim to greet us.. it was basically the sweetest thing ever. i thought it was always nice to come home to penny and randy… and then you have a tiny human and they get 293217 times more excited than dogs do. my heart burst.

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and that, friends, is my summer vacation in a very large nutshell!


1. where was your last vacation?

2. have you been to oregon?

xo. janetha g.

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Becky @ The Bex Factor August 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm

It looks like an amazing trip! Portland is on my list of places to go and I think an extended weekend trip looks like a great idea!

Maria August 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

As you know from Instagram, I also just went to Portland. So so amazing. By the last day, we were literally going to open houses and talking to Realtors (though no decisions have been made!). The food was incredible and what I loved is that if one place was too crowded, there’s another 4.5/5 star restaurant just down the street. I cannot wait to go back and hit up all the restaurants you went to that we didn’t get to try. If you go again, Marshall needs to compare Mother’s biscuits and gravy to shoe at Pine St. biscuits. I had to refrain from licking the plate.

Diana August 4, 2016 at 10:11 am

I live in Portland and can’t believe you were just here. It would’ve been so weird if I had seen you and Marshall walking around downtown. I actually work one block from Pine Street Market/Wizbang Bar. I’m glad you enjoyed it here. Mother’s is a favorite of mine too.

Deanna August 5, 2016 at 12:46 am

Your trip looked awesome! The Marion berries remind me of a portlandia episode lol

elaine c August 6, 2016 at 12:44 am

i love seeing bloggers in my hometown! glad you made it to so many great places :) the nines is a wonderful hotel! did you by chance try haystack bread at cannon? yummers. also, i love a good eggs benedict too and portland has some good ones around town!

Linda August 31, 2016 at 9:10 am

We’d headed to Portland this weekend. I love Mother’s but I haven’t tried those other places. Thanks for sharing about your trip!

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