Life Style Travel

First Family Vacation

Today, I’m sharing photos from our first family vacation as well as our favorite places to eat and visit. This early summer, we took a road trip and spent a weekend at one of our favorite cities, Portland, OR.  Portland holds a special place in our heart because that’s where we got engaged. Taking Jayce to a place where it all began for his first vacation made this trip even more special.

Since it was our first time traveling with a baby we wanted to go somewhere close by. Portland was a perfect destination because it’s about 3 hours drive from where we live. Good thing we drove because we packed so much stuff for Jayce that if we were flying we would have needed like 5 suitcases just for him. I'll share tips for traveling with a baby in another blog post.

We started our trip on Friday morning after breakfast. We had a late start because of last minute packing and getting Jayce ready. Our first stop was at the Point Defiance Rose Garden. I’ve been wanting to visit this beautiful rose garden for a while. It worked out with our trip because it was on the way. See my full post here.

After the rose garden, we stopped at a rest area and drove straight to Portland. We hit rush hour traffic in Portland which added like an hour to our commute. Our plan was to have a late lunch in Portland and dine at Pok Pok. We’ve been wanting to eat at Pok Pok for the longest time due to recommendations from friends and amazing reviews on Yelp.

We arrived at Portland around 3:00 pm. We were tired from sitting in traffic and summer heat, especially Jayce. We decided to do a take out and eat at our hotel. Based on Yelp reviews, the restaurant gets super busy around lunch and dinner time. They only accept reservation for parties larger than 6. The restaurant is pretty small so it’s best to go around non-peak hours. We had  their famous Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, Kung Op Wun Sen, and Thai iced tea.  All the dishes were so delicious. I highly recommend Pok Pok for amazing Thai food.

Our dinner for that night was delicious ice cream from Salt and Straw. We got there at a good time and didn’t have to wait long. The line was wrapped around the shop by the time we got our ice cream. There were so many great flavors to choose from. Being a coffee lover, I went with Coava Coffee & Cocanu Craque. It had a creamy coffee flavor. It was so good. Jayce was eyeing it so hard.

After dinner, we decided to walk to the International Rose Test Garden. It was about one mile walk from our hotel but going uphill the entire way so it was a good workout. The rose garden was so beautiful. It’s a rose heaven there.

Our hotel was located at the Northwest neighborhood also known as Alphabet District. Our hotel has a full kitchen which was so useful because we were able to make hot water, clean Jayce’s bottles, and store and heat up Jayce’s food. This was our first time staying in the Northwest neighborhood and we loved it. This charming neighborhood is so close to downtown and has so many great restaurants and shops within walking distance. I love being able to walked around the neighborhood to explore. Sorry I forgot to take photos of our room right after we checked in. It got too messy to take photos afterwards.

We started Saturday morning with an Oregon hazenut latte from Barista. Then made our way to Blue Star donut. I had their choclate crunch donut and that was soo...good.

For lunch, I was craving for some hot soup and ended up discovering Boxer Ramen on Yelp. I had Tonkotsu Shio with pork belly and Jimmy had Shiitake Shoyu. The broth was flavorful and pork belly melted in my mouth.

After lunch we ended up heading back to the hotel to rest up so Jayce can take a nap. We headed back to the International Rose Test Garden to walk around the garden since we didn’t have a lot of time to spend on Friday. We spent a couple of hours walking around the garden and admiring beautiful roses.  I’ll share photos from the garden in an upcoming blog post.

We had sushi for dinner at Bamboo Sushi. The service was fast and the food was decent. We ate pretty quickly and headed back to the hotel because Jayce was getting tired. Sorry for the bad quality photo. It was dark in the restaurant and we were in a hurry to eat.

We wanted to visit the zoo on Sunday after breakfast but there were several protests scheduled that day in several locations in downtown area and we decided to play to safe and headed out of downtown first thing in the morning. We stopped by Pine State Biscuits for breakfast on our way home. I had “The Reggie” which has fried chicken, bacon & cheese topped with gravy. Jimmy had “Steak Club” with seared flank steak, blue cheese, heirloom tomato and butter lettuce.

We ended our trip with a visit to Cathedral City park. We took a nice stroll around the park to walk off the breakfast and enjoy some fresh air. The scenery is beautiful. The view of St. John’s bridge is so cool. Tihs park is a must see when you’re visiting Portland. It’s hidden in the residential neighborhood. Our GPS took us to the park without any problem. We walked our way up to the hilly part of the park to get up right underneath the park to take photos with the cathedral-like arches as a backdrop.  

Thank you so much for visiting!


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