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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!


Food Travel

Portland Trip + Food Diary


Jimmy and I went on a weekend getaway to Portland a few months ago, one of our favorite cities to visit. It's about 3 hours ride on an Amtrak. We like taking the train instead of driving so we can sit back and relax. Amtrak tickets are inexpensive and cost about $25/person for a round trip. It costs about the same as driving when you add up fuel and hotel parking fee. The Amtrak station in Portland is walking distance from the heart of downtown which makes it super convenient. We like walking around the city, trying out restaurants and doing some shopping.



We finally had a chance to dine at Mother's Bistro. It was always too busy everytime we stopped by and we were always too hungry to wait.  This time we got there before their lunch rush and only waited a few minutes before we were seated. It has great reviews on Yelp. The interior is decorated in a beautiful country-chic style. They serve delicious home style food at a reasonable price. I had wild salmon hash. Jimmy had pulled pork sandwich. Both our dishes were excellent. We shared their crunchy french toast. I was in food coma afterwards. 


We dined at Red Star Tavern for dinner one of the nights. Their food is excellent and service is outstanding. I had the Fisherman's stew with shrimp, mussels, rock fish, potatoes, cabbage, chorizo, and green chile broth. Boy!, it was delicious. Jimmy had their Tavern Burger and he loved it. We were both starving when we got there and didn't get to get a photo of his burger.


Kure Juice Bar is a great spot for acai bowls, fresh juice, and smoothies. Everything on their menu is amazing.  I had Lush Life smoothie and it was so good and refreshing.  



I'm a coffee addict and love trying to out different coffee shops. This is our first time at Stumptown Coffee and had their mocha. It has the right amount of sweetness and caffeine. So good!




Portland City is our favorite place to go to for Happy Hour. It has a great view of the city at the 30th floor. We order our all time favorite Kung Pao Calamari and Spicy Chili-Ginger Pork Riblets. Portions are big considering it's a Happy Hour. This was indeed a very happy belly trip.

Thank you so much for stopping by.


Hawaii Vacation Part II: Favorite Things to Do









One of our favorite things to do in Oahu was to visit fruit stands for fresh coconut and papaya. They tasted so sweet and fresh, like nothing I ever had. The whole experience brought back memories from my childhood in Myanmar. My mom used to take me and my sister to buy our favorite fruits from fruit stands in the evenings.

We loved riding the Waikiki Trolley around the city. It goes from Waikiki beach to Ala Moana Center for free of charge. The entire ride took about 30 minutes. It was fun to sit back, relax and tour around the city.

The beaches in Oahu are so beautiful. Every day after breakfast we would head to a beach and spend an entire afternoon there reading, eating, swimming or generally relaxing. Lanikai is my all time favorite beach for its beautiful, calm water. The beach isn't too crowded so it's great for relaxing.

Thank you so much for visiting!



Hawaii Vacation Part I: My Favorite Places in Oahu









Earlier this month, Jimmy and I went to Oahu to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. We had an amazing time there. Hawaii is definitely one of our favorite places for vacationing. The weather was gorgeous - mid 80s and breezy.

I want to share our top favorite places in Oahu. Dole Plantation has a cool landscape layout, delicious Dole Whip soft serve ice cream, a fun maze and a train ride tour. It’s a great place to visit with family. Lanikai Beach is a beautiful hidden beach. It has powdery sand and clear calm water. It’s great for snorkeling and people who can’t swim. Makapu’u Lookout offers a breathtaking view of Makapu'u Beach Park, the sea cliffs, as well as Rabbit Island (also known as Manana Island) and Kaohikaipu Island. All of these places are amazing spots for photos.  You should definitely visit them when you're in Oahu.

Thank you so much for stopping by!