Friday, September 7, 2012

Portland Babymoon Vacation Photos

To celebrate our final days as a family of two, Papa K and I wanted to plan a getaway as one last hoorah. Neither of us felt too comfortable with hopping on a plane, so we decided we'd stay within driving distance from the hospital and head down to Portland, Oregon for the long Labor Day weekend. We kicked and screamed trying to find somewhere warm with a pool, but it just wasn't an option if we wanted to stay local. I really wanted to go to Cave B near the Gorge, but being that it was the Dave Matthews weekend I nearly got laughed at by the girl on the reservations line when I called to inquire. I was really hoping for a Yurt. Next time!

I wasn't bummed for too long because I realized that going to Portland was actually quite timely considering our last trip down there marked the beginning of our pregnancy...if you know what I mean.

We took off late Saturday morning and dropped our little furry friend off with her babysitters for the weekend. She loves staying at my parents house, so it's never too hard to leave her. After making it through a bit of traffic, we finally arrived around 3 in the afternoon.

The plan was to head to the highly recommended, Pok Pok, but when we got to the location we thought it was at the sign said it opened at 4pm. So we found our way to a nearby park and took in the perfect 75┬║ weather by lounging in the grass and trying out our new camera lens! What a difference kicking the kit lens to the curb makes. Unfortunately we're still novice with how to work everything, so most of our vacation photos were blurry and focused on the wrong thing. I think it's kind of charming.
Luckily we're slowly getting the hang of it.

It was nearing 4, so we headed back to the restaurant only to realize we weren't at Pok Pok afterall. It was right across the street and open all along. We were quickly seated and eating in no time. Since we were there a bit early we only had a limited menu to choose from, but ended up loving the food. I had a curry noodle soup with broth that was to die for and Arthur had pork skewers with dipping sauce. We were both a bit bummed to not have seen the full menu since everyone has raved about this spot.

After filling our bellies we were ready to check into our hotel, Hotel Monaco. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was totally surprised at how awesome the entire property was. Even the valet lot underground was decked out with swanky curtains and stamped concrete.

Our room was eight floors up and had a view of a beautiful old building across the street. The morning light was magical in the room and I only dream to have a house with natural light like that some day. Those big plaid pillows on the bed were perfect for lounging my pregnant back on and watching some awful reality TV. We both agreed that it's definitely a good thing we don't have cable!

The entire hotel was full of contrasting colors and patterns. And that bird wallpaper! To die for. I hope to track it down someday.

So we settled in and had some fun taking photos in the big mirror that faced the bed. That stuffed bear was so soft and tempting to get for LB, but a bit too expensive.

After a short snooze, we got up and headed out on the town. We wandered a bit, but I was feeling kind of funky so we stopped in Starbucks to grab a tea. This Starbucks ended up being one of the locations that serves booze and food and has live music at night, so we actually ended up staying for a beer (him) and a smoothie (me) while snacking on some complimentary pumpkin seeds and enjoying the young girl who was performing. It was just what I needed and gave me a boost of energy to keep going.

We found our way over to Powell's Books and had a great time browsing the children's section. Ever since we found out we were pregnant, Arthur has been enamored with getting books for the baby. We both particularly enjoy Richard Scarry books, so we bought this gem that Arthur claims is a golden nugget. He wouldn't stop talking about it the entire trip and can't wait to teach Baby all 2,500 words that are in the book—particularly "Achoo".

Being that we ate so late that afternoon, we planned to skip dinner and just have dessert. The Waffle Window was recommended by a friend, so we went to their first location—literally a window on a wall that they serve waffles out of—but it was closed. They had another location with tables and chairs across town that was open for another hour, so we went there. We were determined to try these waffles.

We had pre-looked at the menu and had an idea of what our options were, but it was so overwhelming once we actually got there. They served savory meal-like waffles along with sweet dessert waffles. I ended up getting the waffle ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate!! It was so, so rich and a bit disappointing because I could hardly taste the waffle with all the chocolate and ice cream. I can't say it wasn't delicious though.

Arthur got a waffle with ice cream, bananas, granola and caramel sauce. His was super rich and delicious too, but also a bit of a disappointment because we couldn't really taste much of the waffle either. I'm not ashamed to say that we polished off both of them, but we were both a bit jittery on the drive back to the hotel.

The next morning we rolled ourselves out of bed to head off to breakfast and church. Our first stop was Pine State Biscuits for the best meal of the trip.

Although there were really only two vegetarian options, which is a usually joy-kill in my book, this place was a 10+/10. We found it interesting that almost everywhere we went to eat in Portland had a line out the door and you bussed your own table. A line meant the place was probably awesome. True to form, Pine State was just that.

I had the straight up biscuits and gravy with vegetarian mushroom gravy that was to die for. For a bit of extra protein I opted for a fried egg on top. Arthur had the Reggie, which was a stack of biscuit, fried chicken, bacon and cheese with gravy, of course. While these weren't the most healthy meals, we both agree that the portion size was just right for how rich they were. Neither of us left feeling overly full. Two very freshly squeezed orange juices on the side.

After breakfast we went to church at Mars Hill Portland and heard a great sermon about how Jesus loves the church through us members being in community. I loved that each of the Mars Hill Church's campus pastors were preaching this week because we adore listening to Pastor Tim and miss him being in Seattle. It was such a treat and we both left feeling strong convictions about how we've been viewing and participating in community.

After church we set out on the town again with the intention to find Arthur some new shoes. This was my birthday gift to him from last month. We visited the Nike store with no luck and eventually ended up at Nordstrom where he picked out an hip pair of Toms.

We walked around town all afternoon until I could hardly walk any further. My hips and round ligament were getting so sore, so we stopped for a quick bite to eat at a gorgeous cafe in the Pearl District called Lovejoy Bakers. We chatted over gourmet sandwiches, fresh blueberry lemonade and got a not-too-sweet triple chocolate cookie to go.

And then on our way out we ran into a friend from Seattle who had been sitting across the sidewalk from us all along. She was there with a couple other ladies, one of them from Portland, so we asked for a dinner recommendation since we couldn't seem to find something that stood out on Trip Advisor. She tipped us off to ¿Por Que No?, so we looked up the menu and decided it was worth a shot.

We weren't quite ready for dinner yet, so we made our way back to the hotel for a rest. After freshening up, we trekked out and were met with another line. Always a good sign. We both were imagining a romantic sit-down spot, but it ended up being more of a hole in the wall with picnic tables.

We shared a basket of chips, guacamole and salsa and got two tacos each. Arthur has roots in New Mexico, and claims this was "legit" mexican food. He also had a cantaloup margarita and I had a fresh watermelon juice. The guy at the counter said that the shrimp taco I ordered has made two ladies go into labor before. I said I wasn't quite ready for those magic taco powers yet, but that it could be worth the trip if it comes down to it...

The meal was great overall and I could imagine going back. But obviously we still had dessert to go. Just down the street, we were met with another line at Salt & Straw ice cream shop.

This was our longest one yet at about a 45 minute wait, but we were set on trying their unique flavors. The menu boasted combinations such as pear and blue cheese, fudgy brownie, snickerdoodle, something with fish sauce and many more unique flavors. I got a scoop of snickerdoodle and Arthur got a two scoop of snickerdoodle and salted chocolate ganache with almond brittle. Both were amazing and worth the wait. We even got to know our neighbors in line and enjoy some good conversation.

The next morning we woke up to hear that our niece had arrived! While we were excited to meet her, we had plans for the morning, so we didn't rush out of town. They ended up not being ready for visitors that day, so it was a good choice.

Before we checked out of the hotel, I asked Arthur to take a few "bedroom" belly shots. We had a quick photo session that felt rushed, but thankfully ended with a few special photos. The images are a bit risque, so I don't think I will post them, but we are hoping to do another shoot when we find a good location and have more time.

After checking out, we stopped for breakfast at our favorite vegan PDX restaurant, Blossoming Lotus. This time around was a bit disappointing and I ended up trading dishes with Arthur, but it's wasn't a bad way to go out.

I am bummed we couldn't make our babymoon a bit more grand, but this was such a special time and I couldn't have asked for anything better. We love spending our vacations exploring and eating and always have the most fun over meals together. I hadn't realized how rejuvenating the trip was until we got home and back into normal life. The freedom from a busy schedule ended up being just what we needed.

Next up is hopefully planning a real vacation with LB to somewhere warm and bathing suit worthy!

Need to catch up?

Pregnancy Posts:

Weekly Updates:
Pregnancy: Week 32
Pregnancy: Week 33


  1. I don't know if it's still there or not, but next time you're in Portland you should go to Montage ( I think it's called ) they specialize in Mac and Cheese and boy is it delicious. I haven't been there in years but I still think about it fondly.

    1. That sounds amazing! We'll look it up for our next trip. Thanks for the tip!


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