If my dear family didn't live in DFW (or, more precisely, if I didn't cherish living close to these folks), I'd be calling Portland home in a hot second. Waking up to the clean, cool air coming in through the cracked window (no A/C needed up in here) is not a bad way to start the day. But for a straight up excellent PDX morning, you've go to hit VooDoo Doughnut and Stumptown Coffee Roasters downtown. (That bacon-maple number obviously belongs to M; my vegan maple bar didn't photograph as nicely. Or I bit into it too quickly. Whateves.)
Tummies full (and suffering from a mild case of eater's remorse), we headed east to check out Multnomah Falls. During previous visits, my schedule hasn't permitted exploring the falls. But as we were already on a total nature kick at this point from our experience with the Redwoods, the falls became a must-see for this trip. And they did not disappoint in the slightest.
We climbed a mountain, y'all. Like, legit hiked over a mile up a zig-zagged trail (with 11 total switchbacks) at a pretty steep incline. There was some huffing and puffing happening, not gonna lie, but the sights were incredible. And when M and I made up it to the top of the trail, we were rewarded with an incredible, secluded oasis. We sat beneath the shady boughs of the local flora, listening to the clear water rushing by, then stuck our toes in the cool spring and refilled our water bottle for the rest of the trek.
We continued up the mountain a bit on the hiker's trail to take in another lovely waterfall before finally heading back down. The experience of making it up that mountain together was really special for M and I, and I know we'll hold on to precious memories from our little oasis among the trees.
Freshened up a bit and changed into clean clothes, we met our friends for dinner at Vita Cafe. I opted for the seitan cheese steak and a root beer, which was quite satisfying after our active day. M's buffalo tofu wrap was also a winner. Once again, hunger triumphed over the photo op, but just imagine the yumminess as you take a gander at Vita's menu. (You may need a bib.)
After dinner we headed over to Powell's Books to peruse the countless shelves and for my yearly stock-up on handmade and letterpress note cards. We could've spent hours there, reading up on home design, recipes and coffee lore, but our tired feet beckoned us to take a seat and relax for a bit.
Just a short stroll from Powell's, Henry's Tavern invited us in with its comfy booths and low lighting, not to mention a great selection of local beers. (I went with the Widmer Hefeweizen. Delish!)
Tuckered out and knowing an early morning departure for Seattle was in our future, we made our way back to the condo to visit with our friends and their sweet munchkin before falling fast asleep.
Next: Pike Place Market, we heart you...
*I realize the apostrophe in the title of this post isn't grammatically correct, but "Must-Dos" had an unintended latin flair to it, so we're just gonna have to deal.