My Birthday Getaway to Portland
I've never been big on celebrating my birthday but this year I wanted to make it at least fun enough that the dark cloud that usually creeps around me during the week of would be gone. Anyone else get mildly depressed around their birthday? It's so weird but happens seriously every year... but thankfully I can say not this one! I embraced it and treated myself. Even scheduled a babysitter the day before we left on this trip so that I could get a manicure (it had been over a year!) and go downtown to my favorite health food bar for a fresh juice and quiet, alone time. Sitting in my car alone for 20 minutes is such an splurge for me right now!
With two really big trips on the horizon, I immediately nixed my husband's first idea to make a quick escape to Sedona, AZ for a little sunshine. I didn't want to be on an airplane with the kids since we would be traveling to Italy two weeks later. A friend of ours recently opened a boutique hotel in Portland that sounded like a perfect option. Having only been to Portland one time previously, although on a work trip so I didn't have much time to see or do anything other than a dinner out, it would be a fun first for me and the kids. Even for my husband too since he hasn't spent much time there.
We stayed at Hotel Eastlund and booked their premier downtown suite. The layout has the bedroom separate from a living and kitchen area. I've learned traveling with young children this is key to an enjoyable time. Apple goes to sleep around 7:30pm, Totes around 8:30pm and that leaves us with a little time after they are asleep to ourselves without having to tiptoe around the bedroom in the dark. My husband loves his TV so it was nice to have that going on in a separate space from where the kids were sleeping. We brought Apple's pack n' play and Totes was in bed with us, of course! If he had his way, he'll be co-sleeping until he moves out of the house, I swear. Apple didn't sleep well in her pack n' play the second night though so we all ended up in the same bed... it was rough!
The hotel is a designer's dream. It has so many beautiful features! From the hallways to the lobby, all with custom artwork, my camera never stopped clicking. Especially since I got to dress my little doll Apple up in a matching outfit to mine! I couldn't resist... every parent has got to do it once at least. I make Totes match my husband all the time! They were all killing me with cuteness for my birthday... so many photos!
Here were a few of the highlights of our two-night stay:
- Dinner on the first night at Altabira City Tavern. Casual restaurant on the rooftop of the Eastlund Hotel, it was great to have a dining option so close
- Room service provided by Citizen Baker at the Eastlund Hotel. We also stopped in the actual cafe just off the hotel lobby the morning of our departure for cappuccino and breakfast croissants before we headed out.
- Shopping in downtown Portland. We hit up Nordstrom for tax-free shopping. Since sales tax in WA state is now at 10.5% (!!!), we splurged a little!
- After lunch, we headed to OMSI. We didn't realize that our stay coincided with spring break so the place was so packed! It was hard to attempt any photos so I didn't get many so you'll just have to trust me when I say that the kids play area was so fun. Despite the crowds, we had a great time and Totes was in heaven with the white sand play area, the water tables and more. It's a beautiful space overlooking the Willamette River that would be fun for kids of any age, adults too. I wish we would have had more time to explore because I really wanted to go out and tour the USS Blueback Submarine that is docked outside. Note to Seattle residents: if you have a membership to the Pacific Science Center, as we do, you can get in free at OMSI with your membership!
- Dining out in Portland has a similar vibe to Seattle. So many options with really excellent food. Restaurants we dined at that I would recommend included: Mucca Osteria for dinner, Italian; Ringside Fishhouse for lunch, VooDoo donuts and Salt & Straw Ice Cream in between.
We had a very memorable stay and I'm looking forward to going back again soon to spend more time doing some of the things we didn't have time to do, or that our kids were too young for at this time.
Next on the travel agenda: Italy!
Kids outfit details:
on Melina - (look #1) fur vest | Zara - stretch black top and bottom | BONDS - her no-hair rhinestone hair clip is from a local boutique in Seattle and I don't know the designer - black moccasins | First Steps - (look #2) floral jeans and puffy vest | Baby Gap - navy shimmer crochet shoes | TOMS
on Pasquale - (look #1) Mickey Tee and burgundy sweats | Zara - (look #2) Denim Shirt over Mickey Tee | Zara - denim skinny jeans | H&M - (look #3) Navy blue cardigan over button up shirt with denim skinny jeans | all Zara - Shoes | Adidas originals