EXPLORE: PORTLAND – A 7 Hour Layover
On my way to Maui I had a layover in Portland… a 7 hour layover. Yikes! But, is it an excruciatingly long layover or an opportunity for an adventure? Adventure, duh! My small window of time allowed me to taste, shop, eat, drink, and see a little bit of Portland.
I already had a plan as my plane landed in Portland for my 7 hour layover. As soon as the wheels touched the ground at about 9:30AM I had my backpack and I was off! I exited the airport and headed straight for ground transport where I met up with my Uber driver. I jumped in the car at 9:58AM and $3.74 later (thank you Uber discount code!) I was at my first stop.
First Stop: Voodoo Doughnuts
At 10:20AM I arrived at my first stop. I needed (a second) breakfast and I wanted to try Voodoo Doughnuts. Surprise, Voodoo is cash only. D’oh. I immediately left and walked not even a block away to an ATM. I returned with money in hand and did a little window shopping. There were so many choices… I was already sold on trying the Bacon Maple Bar but then I saw it and had to have it, The Homer Simpson Doughnut! It was a beautiful doughnut with pink glaze and sprinkles! With treasure in hand, I made my way outside to a picnic table and ate as much as I could. The portions were huge and I tried my best but I just couldn’t finish them. After a quick sugar processing break I loaded back up and called a Lyft, ready to get to my next stop!
Second Stop: Powell’s City of Books
My Lyft driver, Sheryl, picked me up at 10:48AM and within 3 minutes she had me at Powell’s City of Books. I walked in and I immediately knew I was in the right spot. I checked out the top picks, the best sellers, and then slowly picked my way through each section. I saw everything from games to magazines to gifts to millions of books. I even made an extra effort to see the rare books in the Pearl Room before leaving. As a souvenir I picked up a hardback copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an adorable cat canvas tote bag, and two Sasquatch car air fresheners.
Third Stop: Deschutes Brewery
After my adventure at Powell’s, I headed out on foot to go a few blocks over to Deschutes Brewery – Portland Public House. I indulged in a robust meal of Black Butte Porter Mac and Cheese, made with fresh radiatore pasta, Black Butte Porter cheddar and blue cheese sauce, Porter-soaked sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, and I chose to add chicken. I’ll go ahead and suggest that you split this dish with someone! I couldn’t decide on a beer or two to try so I ordered a flight of six: Hefeweizen, River Ale, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Mean Stick Mailbock, Prima Chela Lager, and a Fresh Squeezed. Once I finished up I asked the waiter where I could spend about an hour of my time and then headed out for a stroll.
Fourth Stop: 2 Parks
I made my way through the city blocks to North Park Blocks. This park was a nice shaded escape with benches, a playground, bathrooms, and more. I walked down the west side and then headed east towards the Japanese American Historical Plaza. Here I looked around at the park and read some history. I also had a nice view of Steel Bridge which was really interesting to see in person and the Willamette River.
After my whirlwind tour I was back in the car at 2:36PM with Lyft driver Ryan. He got me back to the airport at 3:00PM, just in time to go through security, get a snack, take a bathroom break, and get on the plane. My plane left at 4:45PM and that was the end of my beautiful day in Portland!