Seattle + Portland

Since getting engaged, Brendan and I have been on a whirlwind of travel. We got engaged on Saturday and by Wednesday we were on our much-anticipated planned trip to Seattle and Portland. We had decided to take a week to be blissfully engaged, not even bringing up wedding planning details. It helped that we were going to be quite literally removed from our city for five of the seven days.

We planned this trip to Portland last year when our friends Derek and Teala got engaged. They live in Portland and we even stayed with them on our visit last year. Brendan and I were so excited to get back! But first, we decided to explore Seattle. Both of us had never been and knew it was only a three hour drive to Portland from there. We arrived in Seattle and walked around (and up and down) exploring this (confusing*) city:

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*What made Seattle so confusing was the city it felt like it kept attempting to be. Does that make sense? It just felt … strange.

We were also told to check out Capitol Hill in Seattle, because “it’s just like Bucktown.” Later, B and I chuckled, because the stranger who gave us such advice really meant Boystown.

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Overall, Seattle was so full of vibrant color from their change in the season. It was also full of Sonja! So glad I got to see that sweet girl.

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At around 7PM PST (important to note) we decided to take our drive to Portland. Well, 7PM was really 9PM for us, and I have zero photos of our drive to Portland. This is due to the fact that I fell asleep, leaving a tired B at the wheel. I would dizzily wake up and encourage B that he was doing great … and fall right back asleep. We arrived at 10PM PST, but our body translated that as 12PM CST. Whoops.

When we finally woke up, we realized we were in the tiniest of homes. It was simplicity at its finest. It was one room that held everything we needed. I should also mention that the owners lived right outside of our door, and upon meeting the owner, she was on her porch in a robe brushing her cat on a recliner.

The cat was later found by our car door, sitting in leaves (iPhone)
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Truly precious. (iPhone)

We then ventured out for our first hike at Mt. Tabor.


This was also a little area for dogs to roam courageously free
This was also a little area for dogs to roam courageously free

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After our hike, we decided to stop in quaint and historical Hawthorne District. We ate a delicious lunch at Harlow’s and perused Powell’s Bookstore.

Powell's! (iPhone)
Powell’s! (iPhone)
Harlow's (iPhone)
Harlow’s (iPhone)

We absolutely adore this side of town. There is something so communal and unique about Hawthorne District.

Afterward, we drove out to Forest Park. As we made our way up winding streets, we were really captured by the neighborhood. Houses were planted on hills and couples were out with their children on a walk. Finally, we reached the entrance to the park.

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We hiked until dusk and excitedly got back in the car. The future held one of our favorite places to eat: Lardo’s. Both of us highly recommend this place if you ever visit Portland!

The next morning (Friday), B and I were headed out of the Hawthorne District of Portland and into St. John’s, where the wedding was being held. We said goodbye to our sweet cat lady/host and packed the car. Our first stop, though, was Mirror Lake at Mt. Hood!

Mirror Lake is a hidden gem. It’s about a 45-50 minute hike up and then you are met with a beautiful, round Lake in the middle of the woods.

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What I adored most about this trip was our evenings. We took the time to go over our highs and our lows from the day. Mine seemed to be reiterated day-by-day. I loved being able to walk side-by-side with B through the woods. We did not have to talk the entire time, but we explored together. We would giggle at the silliest things and run out of breath at the same time. There is something about exploring together that is sweetly intimate.

Once we hiked back down from Mirror Lake, we took a drive over to Trillium Lake! One of our favorites from when we visited last year.


With our hiking adventures over, we headed towards St. John’s. What we arrived to was our newest Airbnb stay: a converted garage.

That little green guy was for us
That little green guy was for us (iPhone)

Again, it was super cute to stay somewhere so simplistic. Plus, we had Netflix there!

Saturday, we planned to meet up with friends in downtown Portland and did just that. It was the day of the wedding, so it felt quick. Derek and Teala’s wedding was great. It was really beautiful to see how much each of their friends adore them as a couple.

Seattle and Portland surely treated us well. B and I enjoyed being able to get away from the city and being immersed in nature. It was so needed for us.

Now, the wedding planning has been in full gear. Here’s to this new, exciting season!

He's my lobster.
He’s my lobster.

1 thought on “Seattle + Portland”

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