Maybe the first trimester of pregnancy wasn’t the best time for me to visit neighbor-city Portland, OR. I thought I was feeling up for exploring Portland’s haunts and eats, and for the most part I was. What I did not bargain for was pod after pod of aromatic food trucks. Normally, you’d find me in a child-like state of giddiness at the prospect of eating any number of international foods from the same parking lot, but not this time around. Anyone who has had first trimester nausea (or the flu) can attest to how the mingling scents of a dozen international foods can make your stomach lurch.
After baby is born, or even as soon as the second trimester, we hope to go back to Portland so we can give the food trucks the chance they deserve. We saw some trucks, safely from our vantage point on the other side of the street, that looked pretty worthy. I feel terrible that my husband had to pass on this essential Portland pastime on my behalf.
We were 100% set on visiting VooDoo Doughnuts on this trip, but the downtown crowds were unrelenting. Instead, we headed over to VooDoo Doughnuts Too, their second store, where we chowed down on Maple Bacon (a favorite of Anthony Bourdain) and VooDoo Donuts. It was rich fun. For some reason, the sweet scent of fresh Doughnuts wafting in the Portland air was invigorating. It seemed to be the only scent that pulled my nose upward and lightened my stride. Pregnancy is weird, lemme tell you.
After an afternoon downtown checking out local shops and street performers, we were ready to head to the outskirts to see how “rich folk” (a term coined by us poor people) lived in the early 20th Century.
At the Pittock Mansion I couldn’t help gasping at the detail of the marble staircases, drooling over the custom puzzle-piece flooring, and gawking at the ornate ceilings that adorn the entire home. It’s also worth noting that in the early 1900s, those affluent enough to afford it had something all of us can covet: breezy sleeping porches. I’ll take a slice of that luxury, any day. But they can definitely keep their ‘card rooms’, scary dolls, and fainting sofas…those are artifacts I have no use for.
If you have the chance to check out the Pittock Mansion in West Portland, you ought to. It’s perched up on an Uptown Hill that offers a beautiful panorama of Downtown Portland.
Plans are in motion for our next two-hour road trip south to good ole Portland. Until then, we’ll catch up on some back episodes of Portlandia…whose stereotypes of Portland hipsters are absolutely spot on.