Recently, Derrick and I went on a trip to Portland to see Stefan and Milly. (I say “recently,” but at this point it was nearly a month ago.) Portland definitely didn’t disappoint this year. The weather was beautiful (surprisingly!), the food was amazing, the city was busy with different fairs and festivals, and we were able to get out and do a lot more than we have in the past because we had the opportunity to take the whole week off. Best of all, we were able to celebrate Stefan’s birthday.

We also had the opportunity to visit the International Rose Test Gardens. After quite a long walk, up-hill most of the way, the gardens were a huge pay-off. They were absolutely stunning. Although it rained a little on our walk to the garden, by the time we got there the sun was out and beaming, and you could smell the roses all the way from the front gates. We were all very thankful that our walk back was mostly down-hill.

One day, we were able to go kayaking with Stefan and Milly. We ended up rowing to a small island where we were able to stop and eat before heading back down river and we were able to get some beautiful pictures. The weather was bright and sunny, but cool and dry. We must have been out on the river at least 2-and-a-half hours. It was truly breathtaking.

We really spent a lot of time out-of-doors while we were there. When we weren’t eating, we were walking; when we weren’t walking, we were sleeping. When Derrick and I were left to our own devices, we walked up to the hospital to look out over the observation deck. There’s a tram at the foot of the hill that will take you to the hospital at the top. It is probably the most “touristy” thing we could possibly do in Portland, and we love it. We also went walking through the Pearl District and spent one of our days there, just walking through the smaller shops in the area.

Honestly, we did so much, at this point it is all kind of a blur. We went to the most amazing food truck, with waffles for buns (which is Derrick’s favorite thing), went to a great cider bar with Stefan and Milly, visited Pittock Mansion, hiked up to the summit at Multnoma Falls (I made it to the top this time!), visited Sauvie Island and so much more. We can’t wait to go back, but in the mean time, we can share some of our favorite pictures from the trip.