Song – Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Soo Jin had wanted to have a low key bachelorette party, so she requested to go somewhere that wasn’t too far. Some ideas were Seattle (but everyone had been), Carmel (but that’s where Janie’s had hers), Big Sur (but that was too similar to Carmel) or Santa Barbara or San Diego (but those were too close to where SJP’s parents live). I suggested Montreal, a Mexican cruise or Yosemite. She had invited her bridesmaids Marina, Janie and Laura – I am not a bridesmaid but I made the bachelorette party cut! Marina hadn’t been to Portland so she put her vote in for that. I would be going to Seattle with my mom in July for her birthday, so I also voted for Portland. That ended up with us going to … Portland!!!
Laura ended up planning most everything, including our cute party gifts. She asked me to help come up with fun sayings to print onto the camping cups she had found, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Robyn gave a valiant effort, but her best one that I can remember was “Park it in Portland” which gives you an idea of what we were working with. Laura and I attempted to find Game of Thrones related sayings, but as two people who never watched Game of Thrones, this was both difficult and ludicrous. We were like “wedding is coming … but isn’t that a bad thing? what about Soo Jin … ruler of dragons, something something … something something? What do you think that even means?”
Laura ended up coming with a GREAT hashtag … but after she’d already submitted the cup order. SJP loves chickens, and Laura renamed our group chat “SJP’s Hen Party” then realized that was the perfect one! Oh well.
Marina ended up having to cancel on Portland last minute because her newborn child was suddenly very finicky. Too bad! We laughed about how she was the only person who hadn’t been to Portland, and now she wasn’t coming. On the plus side, this took a lot of pressure off the planning because there wasn’t anything we REALLY had to do, other than eat.
This was a SUPER low key bachelorette party … no drama, no fuss, and honestly, very little drinking. The nights were filled with movie watching and both days and night were filled with food. I love it!
So we had all flown to Portland on a Thursday night. SJP was on her own flight, which had departed from SFO. Laura, Janie and I had ended up getting the same flight out of SJC. Janie went to the airport on her own, while I had ended up driving to work, drove to Sunnyvale, and then Laura’s parents dropped us off (normally I would have taken the caltrain but circumstances arose!). We got to SJC with plenty of time. LOL without anyone prompting each other, we had checked into Southwest and ended up with B2 (me!), B3 (Janie!) and B4 (Laura!). I honestly feel like people who were able to check in and get an Axx number have BOTS programmed to check-in for them! I just don’t understand how it’s possible for that many people to have been so quick to check-in. Or I often think that Southwest has some sort of program that reserves all the Axx seats in the Bay Area, because I only ever get Bxx positions when I’m flying out of the Bay Area on Southwest, even when my finger is on the check in button at the exact second check-in time starts!
Regardless, Bxx is really not a terrible position to be in. We managed to snag the VERY last row in the plane that had three seats together. The woman who was B1 would have made the difference between us getting to sit together or not – luckily she chose a row that already had someone else in it, and decided not to get into the last empty row! I got window, Janie got middle, and Laura got aisle.
Apparently Laura had expected to be able to nap a little on the plane but of course we spent the ENTIRE flight talking. Janie even had Southwest drink coupons, and we ALL got the same drink – a cranapple juice plus champagne. It was DELICIOUS!!! And of course by the time the plane touched down, I was BEET RED!
Soo Jin’s flight didn’t get in until half an hour later. We went to the restroom and then decided to look for the Blue Star Donuts that was in the airport. It turned out that it was located past security. I called them to check if they even had donuts left, and they did! Cinnamon Sugar and Passionfruit Cocoa Nib, we were told. Laura immediately exclaimed “WE’RE GETTING THE PASSIONFRUIT!” and then we did rock paper scissors to decide who would go get them. Janie did!
Laura and I walked over to meet Soo Jin at her gate (which I think is so fun to do!) She was one of the last people to come out, which made Laura pretty anxious. We opted not to be super embarrassing and yell and record her – the most I did was wave a banana at her. (I had also accidentally opened the banana when I broke it off the stem to wave at her, so Soo Jin was forced to eat it). We then walked out of the gates to find Janie, who had gotten us FOUR CINNAMON SUGAR BLUE STAR DONUTS!!!
We ended up just standing around the airport eating them. Then we went to get our rental car, where they had free ice cream!!! This was the cherry on top. We each got an ice cream, everyone wanted something different! I only remember mine, which was a classic ice cream sandwich. Finally we were able to take off in our rented Toyota Camry. Only took us about an hour to leave the airport, even though none of us had checked bags! LOL
We drove straight to our late night restaurant of choice, Interurban. It was a Thursday night, so not crowded at all. We found a cute booth to sit in and were really pleased with our table, until Soo Jin picked up a small piece of table that said “Reserved” and asked if we had reserved the table and we were like ERRRR… and moved to another four top.
This place was cute and food was delicious!!! We got things like a corndog, corn, poutine (YUM), a chicken cordon bleu sandwich, and fish n chips. A delightful variety! During the flight, Janie had expressed concern that we didn’t have enough emphasis on food for the itinerary – which was NOT an issue AT ALL.
Then we drove to our AirBnB – Laura said there were very few places that were single family homes on AirBnB (as opposed to condos or in law units). Laura and Soo Jin shared a room with two twin beds while Janie and I got our own rooms. It was really lovely! I particularly liked the dining area/living room, where there was a spacious dining table, and a TV hooked up with almost every possible streaming service. This was EXACTLY what our group needed.
Can you believe I’ve written so much about the first day which was really only like travel and a dinner?! This post is going to be much longer than I thought!
Laura and I woke up around the same time – I could tell because the walls at this AirBnB were laughably thin. Laura got up first but then went to lay in the living room. I got up and then texted her to see what she was doing from my room. I don’t know why, but even when I know I’m with a friend who is known to sleep in, I always assume they will go against their nature and wake up VERY early when they’re with friends. Turns out, this never happens! So Laura and I did the right thing and left to get breakfast and bring it back. This turned into a very delightful morning jaunt around Portland, starting with a trip to Blue Star Donuts. I get really confused as to where we went around Portland, but with some investigative Yelping, we were in the Alphabet District!
We got to Blue Star around 8am on a Friday morning, so most things were closed. I was REALLY in the mood for donuts – it seems like Laura was expecting us to get six donuts for everyone to bring back. I was like “can we eat one here?! we should get EIGHT donuts to bring back! oh, can we actually eat TWO here?!” We ended up having these donuts for pretty much the entire trip, so MAYYYBEEE I overpurchased. But we DID also eat ALL the donuts in the end, and we didn’t have to go out and make a second donut trip, so maybe it was the right number of donuts after all!
Then we decided to just walk up and down Alphabet District, which was a nice, quiet walk. I don’t know who said it first, but we ended up passing this bagel place called Kornblatt’s and deciding to go in and split a bagel with a thick vegetable spread. YUMMMM!!! It paired so well with the donut taste in my mouth! Then we drove a bit to go pick up groceries at Trader Joe’s. Laura picked out a salad for everyone (a wrap for Janie) with the idea of eating these when we’d go out to Columbia River Gorge later that day. SPOILER: Soo Jin and Janie both seemed to really dislike what Laura had picked out LOL Turns out Janie does not hate vegetables as much as we had thought.
We then headed back to the house, with a brief stop to pick up a cafe lait for Soo Jin and a latte for myself. By this point I was like “do you think they’re awake?!?! Do you think they’ve been waiting for us?!?!?!?!?” but of course when we stepped into the house … DEAD QUIET!
Janie woke up first and joined us for our donut spread. Even though Laura and I had already split two donuts and a bagel, we also participated in the donut fest, which was basically everyone splitting the equivalent of 3.5 donuts. We also ended up putting on Never Been Kissed to watch and it almost felt like we were all ready to just call it a day and spend the morning watching a movie LOL but with some effort, we paused the movie and moved our butts on out to the Columbia River Gorge!
Lucky for us, all of us had been to Columbia River Gorge before, otherwise it would have been kind of late for us to be rolling out. We ended up stopping at Wahkeena Falls, magically finding a parking spot immediately, and then taking a small hike to reach Multnomah Falls. Very brief stop to generally admire Multnomah Falls once we reached the viewpoint, we took a few photos, then returned to the car. We decided to eat our Trader Joe’s goodies back at the parking lot by Wahkeena Falls … but then realized we had completely forgotten our forks at home!!! The only thing we could really share was the wrap and our giant chips bags. LOL The three salads were never eaten and we just gave them to Jessica at the end of the trip.
We had dinner reservations at Andina around 5:30, so we decided to head back to the AirBnB since it was already around 2pm. I vaguely remember finishing all of Never Been Kissed before heading out to the Pearl District to walk around before our dinner time.
Dinner was delicious!!! This place served Soo Jin’s all time favorite drink, the Sacsayhuaman, which is a habanero pepper vodka with passionfruit and cane sugar. I got a pisco sour, which is honestly my favorite cocktail ever since I tried it once in Peru – it’s pisco with lime, sugar and egg whites. Delicious! But of course I turned deep red before our first appetizers even arrived.
Let’s see if I can remember what we got … we ordered a ceviche sampler, two types of empanadas, causas morada which was like a potato salad and chicken salad mixed together, octopus, lomo saltado, arroz con pato (a late add), and yuca croquettes stuffed w cheese (also a late add, and maybe the only disappointing dish). Everything was so good! And the owner stopped by our table twice to make conversation with us, which was very nice!
After this, we ended up walking around Pearl District and spending quite a bit of time in Powell’s. No books though! We also ended up sharing a shaved ice before heading home for a very exciting night of … ROMANTIC COMEDIES! Well, that was Soo Jin’s request but it turns out that there are very few romantic comedies out there on streaming platforms that any of us wanted to watch! I think I was the one to push to watch Morning Glory, a movie none of us had seen before. Halfway through, it became pretty apparent that this wasn’t a classic romantic comedy, it was a movie about WORK! Maybe because it didn’t follow the standard romantic comedy formula, it seemed like a much more original movie, and I think most of us liked it. Then we started playing Bananagrams with Dawson’s Creek in the background. A hit game! THEN I suggested playing the game that I had brought, Sumoku, and I think that brought the festivities to a grinding halt. Note to self, do not play counting games past midnight! I think we called it a night around 1:30am or so, after a grueling round of Sumoku.
Once again, Laura and I were the first to wake up. This throws me off, but it was only Saturday! I think I woke up first and knowing that Pan’s Labyrinth would be leaving Netflix soon, I was adamant on watching it. But this hadn’t met Soo Jin’s “romantic comedies” request so I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the group to watch it with me. Which is how I found myself watching Pan’s Labyrinth at 7am on a Saturday morning! Laura woke up and watched it with me – she’d never seen it before. We’d eventually leave to get Screen Door take out.
We got the fried chicken and waffle, an oyster po boy with sweet potato fries, bananas foster french toast, and cheesy grits. My favorite was the po boy – I could have happily eaten an entire po boy alone! The nice thing was that we also got to eat another morning meal in the comfort of our home … and with a movie! We ended up watching … actually I have no idea. Maybe we didn’t watch anything? That seems so unlikely but I can’t quite remember what we watched right now – I really doubt it was Pan’s Labyrinth.
Well off we went! We started off in Alberta Arts district for general ~shopping~ which Soo Jin loves. She and Janie looked at clothes for a bit while Laura and I wandered off. We eventually looped back to meet back together again. I don’t think anything tooooo memorable happened here … we then drove to another shopping area, back to Alphabet District where Laura and I had been the morning before. Mainly, I wanted to go buy chocolate from Moonstruck Cafe, which I was reminded of when we wandered into a Made in Portland store. Alphabet District ended up being another place for Soo Jin to shop in – she was in search of earrings for her wedding – while Laura, Janie and I wandered around without her. Janie, it turns out, loves kombucha and ended up buying a cup of it from a pet store LOL Laura also bought some dog treats for her neighbor’s dog from the same pet store. And those were the only purchases made! Other than some VERY expensive Moonstruck chocolate that I bought and took to work.
Then we had to head out to make our 5pm dinner reservations at a farm to table thing. We stopped back at the house first – weird because it really feels like we were out shopping much later in the day, but it could not have been later than 4pm! The farm to table thing was taking place in a winery about an hour outside of Portland. I definitely fell asleep during the drive, it was such a filled and warm day.
We arrived with plenty of time to walk around and enjoy the scenery and it was BEAUTIFUL! The grounds were lovely and remote and the dinner took place outdoors on three long tables in view of the vineyard and house, under some trees. I made the comment that it felt like we were crashing a white person’s wedding – everyone was dressed nice but informally, and everyone was WHITE! It felt like a wedding too, with slightly less pressure to make polite conversation with the people around us (though we still did). Laura checked in and found us great spots that were in shade almost the entire dinner. There was one table that had the sun on them for the majority of the dinner, and Laura noticed that the family that owned the winery had chosen the best table for their own party, which seems kind of rude! Ah well.
The food was overall great – but I must admit my favorite dish of all was their caesar salad LOL because I thought the lettuce that they chose was great quality leaves, not just shitty lettuce cores, and the cheese and dressing were fantastic. Also, I LOVED their olive oil cake dessert. BUT even before dessert came out, I was like “SHOULD WE ORDER A SECOND DINNER FOR PICKUP?” Honestly, we were all contentedly full from this dinner, but it was only 7pm and it seemed inevitable that we’d get hungry again!!! What’s great is, Laura and Janie were immediately like YES! while Soo Jin was like what?!?! Janie had been talking about a pasta place she loved called Grassa, so we looked up the menu and it looked SOOO good. I ended up driving the pasta choices because it turns out I’m much pickier 😦 We got ragu and cacio e pepe.
But before we left, Laura, Janie and Soo Jin drank SO MUCH wine. I probably drank the equivalent of half a glass of rose (and still turned incredibly red) but was sober by the time we left so I could drive. Which only made it even more delightful that the three of them could get truly drunk! It seemed like 2/3 of the diners left pretty quickly after they finished dinner, but we were part of the group that lingered around. We sat in some chairs outside the house and just hung out. At some point, Janie must have gotten bored of our conversation and without saying anything, just held up her phone to her head to start a game of Heads Up. We were all like WHAT, JANIE and then immediately just started playing LOL
My favorite memory was when a young couple came up to us and asked if we could take their picture for them. Clearly this was because we were the youngest people in this dining group BY FAR. Since I wasn’t drunk, I got up to take their pictures, but after a few shots, the woman’s phone said the memory was full and wouldn’t take any more photos. She then had her boyfriend take out his phone, and he seemed a little thrown off and was like “hahah … the quality’s not going to be as good” which I laughed about until I took the first photo and then said out loud “oh wow, the quality really is NOT as good!” and they both laughed so hard. I was like “listen, just delete some photos off your phone and come back and get me and I’ll take more photos!!!” and we were all laughing and I returned to the hen party. Later, she did come and find me for some photos!
We eventually left, and I drove straight to Grassa. We picked up our to go orders … and then we decide to WALK to Salt and Straw! It was only 0.7 mi away I think, or was it 7 minutes away? I forget. In either case, the walk really sobered the three of them up, which is NOT what I wanted! We ended up at Salt and Straw and the line was SOOO long we didn’t even go in for samples. Instead we ended up just getting two pints – a mint chip (controversial, but this is the one mint ice cream I really do not like) and a honey lavender (my personal favorite at Salt & Straw). Then we walked BACK toward our car (we really should have just driven to get ice cream) but also decided to get more alcohol, and ended up at a cider store where Laura, Janie and Soo Jin each picked their preferred drink to go.
FINALLY HOME! We changed clothes and then started our movie of the night which ended up being ANOTHER Rachel McAdams movie LOL this time it was About Time. A movie I TRULY hated. ALSO it was not quite a romantic comedy! We ended up all being a little too sober, not drinking the ciders we had just bought, and the ice cream was too melted for anyone to eat. We DID however, eat the pasta!!! After About Time, we then started watching Ever After. LOL I don’t know how these things happen. Two Drew Barrymore and two Rachel McAdams movies in one weekend!
We went to bed all at different times, starting with Janie and ending with Soo Jin. I just remember at some point going to bed but then waking up and hearing the TV was still on and finding out that SJP was STILL UP! I was really disoriented at this time and had no idea what time it was so I could barely interact with her, I just wanted to make sure whoever was in the living room was ok. Turns out she wasn’t able to sleep until well past 4:30am! Poor SJP.
The last day of the hen party!!! Well, I would actually stay an additional day in Portland to hang out with Connie. But everyone else would go home today, starting with SJP on a 3pm flight! SO EARLY! But she’s of the mind that she wants to get home early, while everyone else is still in the “last flight out!” mode. Laura and I were once again the early risers. Laura had made reservations at Din Tai Fung for 10am, but 10am came and went and SJP and Janie were still sleeping! I think we had to check out by 11am, so while they were sleeping, Laura and I polished off all of our accumulated leftovers – donuts from the first day, Andina and Screen Door leftovers. SO GOOD! I also took it upon myself to finish off Janie’s opened pomegranate cider from the night before. Sadly, both Laura and SJP’s drinks were left unopened (and given to Jessica). For some reason, I’d always had An Affair to Remember on my to watch list, and Laura was like “I haven’t seen this in a while!” so we watched it. ACTUALLY I have “watched” it once at their house before, but I was asleep almost the entire time except for the last three minutes. This movie is really excellent!!! Laura and I kept trying to figure out ways for this movie to be remade in current day. Our ~creative~ casting choice was putting Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone together again – novel, I know. And I said they’d have to be on some sort of volunteer program where they meet and are secluded for some time. But we couldn’t quite figure out a good way to explain why one person would ghost the other with a good explanation.
We did check out pretty much right at 11am and decided to head straight to Din Tai Fung and see how long the wait would be. It ended up “only” being a 20 minute wait. I DID think to myself at some point, maybe we can join the waitlist on yelp, but I remember getting as far as opening my Yelp app, before getting distracted by something and completely forgetting! Luckily, we ate and left and were still able to drop SJP off at PDX with plenty of time to spare! Also, let it be known that this was my VERY FIRST visit to DTF!!! I wrote this in my IG story and I’ve never gotten so much engagement from my followers before. SOOO many people going “WHAT HOW HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO DIN TAI FUNG?!?!” Considering I used to live less than a mile away from the original US location…
Well with SJP at the airport, Laura, Janie and I then drove to check out Jessica’s new house! It was really nice! Hmm… I think we then stood around long enough to be like so… what should we do… and Jessica said we could go to her apartment. So we ended up driving over to Jessica’s current place of residence and finishing up An Affair to Remember LOL quite honestly, I think the three of us mainly wanted to finish this movie, more than doing anything else in Portland, and did not care what Jessica or her apartment guests wanted to do.
After the movie and a short nap, the three of us then went to get a small dinner at a nearby Japanese restaurant (though I was really not hungry at all). Then they dropped me off at Connie’s before they went to the airport!!! SO SAD end of bachelorette party!
When I got dropped off at Connie’s on Sunday night, we went on a walk around her neighborhood, and mainly just stopped at the grocery store. I was pretty exhausted so we didn’t do too much else, other than hang out in the backyard while Tyler grilled and watch two episodes of Big Little Lies HAHA
The next day, Connie had taken the day off so we could go around! We ended up going to … hmm … oh yes! We ended up going to Pine State Biscuit – I’d been there once and don’t remember liking it, but I wasn’t in the mood for the typical eggs/potatoes breakfast and couldn’t think of anywhere else to go in Portland. I’m glad we came because I did like my order this time – the fried chicken with a biscuit AND APPLE BUTTER! I don’t remember what I got last time, but it was probably too dry (because I don’t like gravy) or maybe I did get the gravy and just didn’t like it. But with apple butter, which really tastes more like a jam, it was great!
We then walked around and I ended up getting a bunch of Blue Star donuts to take home. We dropped these back off at her house, then got her dog Deckard and left to go hiking at Beacon Rock! We started a 7mi hike but then turned around because it was getting a bit late and looked like it was going to storm. I’m really glad we did because this way we got to do things more leisurely. And if we had kept hiking, I wouldn’t have been able to do the following – go BACK to Blue Star Donuts to get another three donuts (I ate so many Blue Star Donuts I can now confidently say my favorite donuts are, in order: 1) Orange Olive Oil – A VEGAN DONUT!!!!! 2) Blueberry Bourbon Basil, 3) Mexican Hot Chocolate, 4) Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk). I also got a latte before we headed back to her place to watch Young Adult, then headed back out to get burritos, before we went to the airport! And then… that was the end of my Portland 2019 trip *cries*