Portland, OR

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Portland has more movie theaters, restaurants, micro-breweries, and bookstores per capital than any other US city.

Keep Portland Weird. Just like the slogan we saw in Austin, TX. I would say that Portland earned this title. 

World’s Largest Bookstore

Powell’s Bookstore

Powell’s City of Books is the largest new and used bookstore in the world. It is located in the Pearl District and occupies a full city block. It contains over 1.6 acres of retail floor space. CNN rates it one of the ten “coolest” bookstores in the world. The City of Books has nine color-coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections.They have over four million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books. You can get a pass on the top level to visit the rare book room, which I highly suggest. The most expensive book collection is the Lewis and Clark Journals at $25,000. It’s really cool how they have the new books right next to the used copies. So you can spend full price for a brand new one or reduced price for a slightly used one. We purchased a few gently used books. If you are a book lover like we are, this is an event so plan accordingly.

Food Trucks for Lunch

It’s the thing to do in Portland! The largest gathering of food trucks in Portland is a pod on Alder Street. Abby and I had street tacos and Chris and Mackenzie had BBQ. We had to eat in the car because there is no where to sit or stand to eat. I guess most people just take theirs back home or to the office to eat.

Guinness Book of Records for World’s Smallest Park

Mill Ends Park 

Abby’s face says it all…But in case you can’t read teenage, let me explain. We didn’t tell the girls how small this park was so they were quite disappointed when they realized their plan to run around playing tag in this park was not going to occur they were disappointed.  Mill Ends is in the median of Naito Parkway at Taylor St. It is 2 feet wide and received it’s name in 1971. Through the years it has had many different themed gardens. There are some strange stories about this park, like the miniature Ferris wheel that was placed in the park by a real life sized crane. I would have like to have seen that!

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Right along this parkway is a huge riverside park. Portland is called the ‘City of Roses’ but the only rose we saw was the metal one pictured here.

Voodoo Donuts

We had an afternoon snack at the famous Voodoo Donuts. I had the Maple Bacon, Abby had the Marshal Mathers (M&M), Mackenzie had Bubble Gum and Chris had the Voodoo- which has a pretzel stick through it’s heart and bleeds red jelly. Apparently this place gets crazy busy, like over an hour long wait where the line snakes outside the building by the pink metal fence. We planned to visit the city when Chris got off work on a Tuesday, so we only had a 5-10 minute wait.

Photo booth

This cool vintage photo booth in the Ace Hotel will print out the photos after 5 minutes. We are talking photographic technology from a hundred or so years ago. It uses the same process that was used way back when silver film was popular. It comes out wet. It’s in the lobby so you can just go in without being a guest there. It does cost $5, and be ready for your first of four pictures because there is no count down.

Airplane home in the woods

Picture a luxury jetliner in the sky… this is not that. This is a retired Boeing 727 in the woods… Way out there in the woods of Oregon’s wine country. The wheels are propped up on wooden pallets. I discovered this gem on my Roadside attractions app.

Bruce Campbell bought and transported this plane to his property and took up residence in it. If you contact him via email (found on his website), he will gladly give you a tour.  Don’t just show up, this is his private home, be respectful. He still has a lot of work to do on it but he’s in no hurry, because he’s working on a similar project in Japan. He has restored the floor with clear acrylic panels and removed all the chairs. Where else can you sit in the cockpit of a 727 as long as you want? Check it out here on his website AirplaneHome.

One of Phil Knight’s children lives next to him. The girls just so happened to be wearing some of their Nike product today. 😉It was raining the whole time we were visiting the airplane. This rainbow appeared on our drive home.

Oregon City

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The girls have studied Westward Expansion so what better way to wrap of a lesson than to visit the site of where the Oregon Trail ended, in Oregon City? They have a great interactive museum that we explored all day. We read journals from families on the trail, we made hand dipped candles, packed a conestoga wagon, made rag dolls and leather journals. We played dress up, bought our plat of land and played games.

Bridal Veil 

The drive on 1-84 E from Troutdale, we made several stops; The fancy rest area, the post office and Multnomah Falls.

Stop 1: The fancy rest area A.K.A The Vista House

The Vista House was built, in 1917, to provide travelers a place to rest and use the bathroom as they made their way down the magnificent Columbia River Gorge.

Stop 2: Third smallest post office in the US

The drive from the Vista House to the post office is beautiful. The Bridal Veil Post office is the third smallest post office in the US, I’m not sure how much smaller you can get and still operate as a post office. It does have 60 P.O. boxes that local residents still use. Brides come from all over to get their wedding invitations postmarked with Bridal Veil. We mailed a few things from here and bought some stamps- love bird ones of course!

We love finding Little Free Libraries. Look for one near you. This is great for our lifestyle on the road since we can’t get a library card and don’t have much room on the RV to store books.

Stop 3: Multnomah Falls

This is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. In September 2017, the lodge was threatened by a wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge, which closed it to the public. The lodge reopened but the footpath access to the waterfall is still closed because of a concern for landslides. IMG_0094

It’s a short walk to the falls from the parking lot. There is a visitors center at the base worth exploring.

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We stayed in Troutdale at Sandy River RV park on the – you guessed it- Sandy River. We ate a great pizza place downtown which had yummy salads and cheese sticks as well as local beer. We loved playing basketball, putt putt and playing a family game in the clubhouse. The girls loved the huge meadow next to us, complete with tire swing.

Eating Pizza and climbing statues.

Across the Sandy River was the Lewis and Clark park.

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