Tag Archives: portland

Portland :: Things To Do!

**I’m updating this post as we go on more adventures & find fun, new things around the city and state … Last updated August 2012**

Now that we’ve been in Portland for the better part of the year, we’re going to claim we know all of the cool places in town! No, not really … but after 7 1/2 months, we are starting to get the hang of things. If you’re visiting, we thought this might be a fun little guide packed full of things to do & places to see.


Contrary to popular belief, it does NOT always rain in Portland. In fact, since we’ve been here, it’s been lovely outside more than it’s been rainy … and even when it rains, it’s not a day-ender. Here are our FAVORITE OUTDOOR SPOTS IN PORTLAND:

  • Mt. Tabor – This is an actual volcano within the city limits … it’s dormant now, and is a great place to view the city. There’s great hiking there too.
  • Rocky Butte – This is a lookout point with a 360 degree view of the city and surrounding areas.  Also, it looks like a castle.
  • Hoyt Arboretum – If you love trees & nature, the arboretum is a must! Right by the parking lot, you’ll find the Holly Trail … take that, and you’ll find a stunning view of all of the big mountains (on a sunny day). The trees at the arboretum are so huge. It’s a bit humbling.
  • Washington Park – While you’re near the arboretum, you can swing by several attractions near Washington Park: the zoo, the test rose gardens, and the Vietnam Memorial are a few of our favorite spots to visit.
  • Audubon Society – A fun little stop to see the birds who have been rescued & rehabilitated. We’ve seen several owls, eagles, hawks & awesome bird species up close & personal.
  • Sauvie Island – Oh my goodness, we love Sauvie. Kruger Farms is a huge farm with a you-pick section. The market at the farm is packed with fresh fruits & veggies, and we always have to get Mexican Coke. We love watching the free-roaming chickens, and their giant pig, Matilda. The island is home to several beaches & is a great place to take a blanket and relax on the sand.
  • The Waterfront – Technically, this is the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. We love the waterfront. It’s an AMAZING place for people watching. You can rent bikes to bike up & down the waterfront, and the grass is amazing for just lazing around. The path along the west side is a great place to bike, run & walk, and the Eastbank Esplanade takes you away from downtown to some of our favorite hikes & bike trails.
  • Pittock Mansion – It’s a mansion … perched on a hill … looking over the city. What more do you need to know? It’s a great view & a fun place to visit.
  • Weekend Fun – If you’re here over the weekend, be sure to check out the Saturday Market (on Sunday’s too). We take the street car/MAX over the waterfront & spend the day eating good food, shopping around the booths, and watching all of the street performers. For super fresh food & flowers, head to the PSU Farmer’s Market.

While we love the places above for some relaxing time outside, we also love to hike! Forgive us for the repeats, but some of the places above have awesome hiking too, and it’s worth noting! Here are our FAVORITE HIKES WITHIN PORTLAND:

  • Council Crest – This one is a doozy! The hike starts at the Marquam Trailhead near OHSU. It’s about 4 miles there & back, and the view is epic. Council Crest is the highest point in Portland, so it’s wonderful once you get to the top. The trail takes you behind a ton of REALLY awesome houses in the hills, so it’s great to walk through nature and look at some cool architecture. Bring lots of water … it’s a pretty steep hike.
  • Hoyt Arboretum – While the arboretum houses a ton of trees & nature, it’s also a great place to hike. There are miles of trails, and you can even walk through the arboretum and continue up to Pittock Mansion.
  • Forest Park – We start our hike down at the Lower Macleay Park & hike up to the Audubon Society. It’s about an hour, and a nice little hike. SO much to look at along the way. There’s even a little cottage on the trail … but don’t be fooled! The little cottage is really just a decommissioned bathroom that was built a few decades ago. :)
  • West Hills – We walk up Irving Street past 25th, and up into the hills. It’s a great evening walk with great views of the city. The streets are super steep, so it’s a great workout. It’s a great way to see all of the cool houses too.

Obviously all of this moving is going to make you hungry! Here are a few of OUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT:

  • The food carts – There are SO many food carts in Portland, and we love when we stumble on a new pod of them. Our very favorites are Native Bowl (yummy vegan bowls in NE Portland), and BroDogs (AMAZING hotdogs … vegan options too in downtown).
  • Vita Cafe – Hands down … my favorite restaurant as of late. They serve all diets, however, they have a huge selection of vegan dishes … Like a buffalo tofu wrap. SO BOMB! I’ve had lunch there, and had a lovely date night as well. The staff is great & the food is TASTY!
  • Pok Pok – This is a must if you’re visiting. They serve food from Southeast Asian … mainly Taiwan. They have great veggie options, and our favorite is sharing things family style. Jimmy LOVES their wings (and they’re quite famous for them). While you wait, be sure to visit their whisky lounge. Best whiskey sour I’ve ever had!
  • Skyline Restaurant – Trust us, this place is not fancy (but I think that’s what we love most about it). They’re are no bells & whistles … just GREAT burgers, fries & milk shakes. They have two options veggie burger options, and an endless combo of topping choices. We always take friends & family when visiting. Cash only (they have an ATM inside the restaurant).
  • Mellow Mushroom – We love pizza, and we really love walking here to enjoy it. Located downtown (right in NW PDX), this is a great place to enjoy beer & share pizza with friends. It’s a bit pricey (we typically spend about $60), so if you’re looking for cheap pizza, this isn’t the place.
  • Grilled Cheese Grill – Do you want to eat on a school bus? I already know the answer. We love this spot, and they can make a mean grilled cheese sandwich. Great customer service!!
  • Cha Cha Cha – Super cheap, but AMAZING Mexican food. There are several around Portland … we’ve gone to a lot of them, and loved it each time.
  • Blossoming Lotus – This is an all VEGAN restaurant, and trust me, you’d never know it. They have so many amazing food options to satisfy what you’re craving. I’d say it’s american food with a slight asian twist, but last time we were there, I had a BBQ ‘pulled pork’ like sandwich made me soy curls. It was THE BOMB.
  • Fire On The Mountain – Amazing wing place. They even have a ton of great veggie & vegan options. They have the best wing sauces I’ve ever tasted. So so so good.
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery – Great food. Amazing beer. We love their pretzel sticks. Great place to visit with friends/family.
  • JAM on Hawthorne – Our very favorite breakfast place. So many veggie/vegan options. Great staff there as well … it’s mostly why we love it so much.
  • Blue Moon – It’s our Friday night date spot. There’s only 1 veggie option (a veggie burger), but it’s really good. Their beer menu changes a lot, which we love. During the summer, the windows & doors are open. We love sitting in the warm air enjoying the people watching at 21st & Glisan.
  • Por Que No – Super good, fresh Mexican food. We love their outside seating.
  • Papa Haydn – Just a few steps from our door in NW Portland. We’ve only gone here for drinks & dessert, but it was so so so good. Their staff is super knowledgeable and attentive. Best martini I’ve ever had. Their desserts were to die for.
  • Worth Mentioning – We go to the places above quite often as they’re our favorites … these places are pretty good too: Bridgeport Brewing Company, Dicks Kitchen, The Rams Head, Ken’s Artisan Pizza & Bakery, Deschutes Public House, and Pastini.
  • Sweet Treats – In the mood for froyo or ice cream? We love SkinniDip for frozen yogurt and Salt & Straw for ice cream. Both are in NW Portland, but S&S has a location in SE PDX as well. And, no Portland post would be complete without mentioning Voodoo Donuts. Seriously good donuts. Don’t expect a smile from the people who work there … I think it’s their ‘thing’, but their bad attitudes are worth it once you eat the donuts. Cash only! Lastly, my favorite PDX indulgence: Saint Cupcake. They’re exquisite.

If it’s rainy, or you just feel like being indoors, there are a ton of places to go! Here are our FAVORITE INDOOR PLACES & ACTIVITIES IN PORTLAND:

  • OMSI – We’re nerdy & we love science. This museum is great. We visited when the Bodies exibit was there, but now, there’s an exhibit about natural disasters. It’s super interactive and a great way to spend an afternoon. You can even tour an old submarine that’s floating out on the Willamette.
  • Laurelhurst Theatre – Truly a spot for dinner & a movie. You can grab pizza (or other food) and great beer & wine and enjoy your movie while you eat. Plus, movies here are $4.00 … So cheap! We love that place.
  • Oregon Historical Society – Another place we LOVE to nerd out. This is a huge museum chronicling the history of Oregon. There are so many halls & exhibits … it’s a huge collection of Portland. We loved going up to the storage library to check out old photos & documents about our neighborhood when it was first established. The museum is free for Moultnomah County residents.
  • Powells – Get your read on! This is a HUGE bookstore. We love that they sell new & used books. It’s nice to just get lost in the rows for an hour or two.
  • Shopping – Head over to Hawthorne for some great shopping! So many little gift shops. Our favorite vintage shops are there too: Sorel Vintages, Vintage Pink, and Lounge Lizard. In NW Portland, you can stroll down 21st & 23rd streets for more great shops. Downtown, you’ll find one of my favorite shops, Cargo. They sell amazing, antique Asian furniture & home goods. They also have a big assortment of fun gifts.

If you still have time (and energy), be sure to find a way to head outside of the city for a bit. While Portland houses SO much to do, there’s even more … a ton more all within an hour or so of the city. Here are our FAVORITE ADVENTURES OUTSIDE THE CITY OF PORTLAND:

  • The Columbia River Gorge – Home to breathtaking views, and so many awesome waterfalls, we absolutely love the gorge. It’s only about 45 minutes from Portland, and it’s a super easy drive. We love visiting Moultnomah Falls, Vista House, hiking up to Angel’s Rest, and stopping at the other falls along the way. The hikes are awesome, the views are even better. If you’re going to leave the city, we suggest heading to the gorge first! **Update: We just bought this book about hiking in the gorge. It’s REALLY great & I suggest you pick up a copy before going.**
  • The Coast – The west coast is magical. I never feel as free as the days we’re at the coast … Looking out into the endless Pacific Ocean makes my heart do a little pitter patter. Our favorite stops are Cannon Beach, Cape Lookout State Park (great hiking too), Rockaway Beach, and Lincoln City. Each beach town has it’s own little culture of shops & restaurants. Each has it’s own unique landscape too.
  • Mt. Hood – We love going up to Mount Hood! We’ve visited several times now … It’s fun in the winter & in the summer.
  • Eagle Creek Trail to Punchbowl Falls – This was a great hike. Honestly, a little scary at times. I would definitely not take children. There are some seriously steep drop-offs that made me really nervous, but it is a lovely view once you make it to the falls.
  • Silver Falls State Park – We absolutely love this place. It’s home to 10 majestic waterfalls and amazing hiking trails. Last time, we went over 6.5 miles and it was great. You’ll want your camera on this trip for sure. Dogs are NOT allowed on the trails here, so be sure to leave them behind.
  • Aurora – Love antiquing? This is the place to do it. The entire town was turned into a row of antique shops & stores. There are cute little restaurants too.
  • Wine Country – Oregon is really good at making wine!! Our dear friends are members of a few wine clubs, and they’ve introduced us to the AMAZING wine in Oregon. Our favorite wineries/vineyards are Willamette Valley Vineyards & St. Innocent Winery.  Be sure to take tours of both places (if available that day). It’s totally worth it!

My goodness! I know we’ve only scratched the surface, and we’ll continue to update this post as we explore more & learn about this amazing city?

Do you live in Portland? … Have you visited? What are your favorite spots & stops? Be sure to comment below!! 


Our Mt. Hood Adventure

When my dad was still here, the 4 of us packed into the Jeep to head up to Mt. Hood for the day. We took our phones with us (Jimmy took the film camera, too … that’s coming soon) to document the beautiful day. When I say beautiful, I mean GORGEOUS!!

While we were driving up the mountain, we were un-certain about the conditions at the lodge & Trillium Lake. By the time we were almost there, it was warm & partly sunny <- my very favorite weather.

Hey there handsome!

You can see the base of the mountain peeking out a bit.

Even though we’ve been up on the mountain quite a few times, this is the first time we saw the snow melting …

We stopped at Timberline Lodge for drinks & to show my dad and Haley how awesome the old lodge is!

My sister is a beauty!!

After the lodge, we took a hike around Trillium Lake.

After a long day, we headed back to Portland to prep for a day at the coast … I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to post these images. We have a ton more from our trip! Excited to share.

All images made with iPhone 4 // Processed with VSCO Cam

Our Little Portland Adventure :: iPhone

Over the weekend, we took a little walk to the waterfront. We love this city so much, and I love immersing ourselves in it’s glory!

Images made with iPhone 4 // Processed with VSCO Cam


I cannot believe that May 1st is tomorrow! April FLEW by … We thought it would be nice to recap this month considering I can’t remember a single thing we’ve done ;)

Happenings in April

  • Jimmy turned 27 years old … I love my old man of a husband!
  • We went on a few adventures: A trip to the tulip fields with our friend Amy, a rainy hike along the Eagle Creek Trail, and an amazing hike up to Angel’s Rest in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • We went to see the Wheel of Fortune when they were taping live in Portland. Our dear friends Matt & Ali came with as we soaked in the epic-ness of the day!!
  • We posted 4 lovely Monday Morning posts. We didn’t realize how much we’d love having these photos to document our life … I’ve really loved looking back at the posts from the last 6 months.
  • We used our phones a lot … when we don’t want to haul around the bulky cameras, we let our phones tell the stories.
  • We shot our very first wedding in Portland.
  • I celebrated 1 full year of being an independent business owner! It feels amazing to be doing what I love so much!
  • Portland hit 80 degrees … it was sunny & beautiful!
  • We’ve been knitting!

Looking Forward to May

  • Hoping we’ll see some much-deserved sunshine!
  • We’ll be celebrating 6 months since moving to Portland … Seriously, how did that happen?! SIX MONTHS!?
  • I’m wrapping up a ton of projects to prep for a full month off in June!
  • Our dear friend, Ali, is celebrating a birthday, and we’ll be joining friends at the shore for a few days to celebrate.
  • The farmer’s market is now open, and I’m looking forward to getting some local goodies into the house.
  • There are a ton of birthdays in our family this month: my momma, J’s step-mom & J’s dad are all celebrating birthdays! While we were there to celebrate, we’re happy we’ll be seeing all of them in June!
  • We’re taking a mini-vacation to Seattle. So excited to explore that city for the first time! We need recs of places to see, stay, eat, explore!
  • My dad & baby sister will be here at the very end of the month!!!!! So freaking excited to finally share our life here with our family!

I’m sure I’m missing some things … probably some big things, but that’s the bulk of our life over the course of April!



Our Little Portland Adventure

Last week it was sunny. It was in the 60’s. It was beautiful. We used all three of those excuses to spend an entire day walking around our great city: Portland, Oregon.

We realized something recently: Our family & friends who aren’t in Portland probably think we live in the movie, Twilight. I mean with adventures like this, and this, and then there’s this one, I can see why you might think that! But, we are here to tell you, we definitely live in a city … It just happens to be really close to all of those Twilight-esque places.

So when it was super warm & super sunny, we headed out to explore our wonderful city. 6 hours later, we had a little story to share.


We stopped at this awesome store called Cargo. It’s like a showroom & a flea market in one place. They sell antique furniture & awesomely new home goods. I just love this store.


We really only had one objective for the day … Stop at Bro-Dogs for lunch. This food cart (at 6th & Stark) is so so so good. Plus, they have a vegan dog, which makes it the perfect spot.


After lunch, we headed down to the waterfront. See Mt. Hood out there in the distance (look for the white cap in the middle of the photo)? Any day we can see the mountain is a good day.


Portland is known as Bridgetown … We have a ton of bridges that span the Willamette.


We picked a bright spot in the sunshine to sit & watch people. Yes, Portland is an amazing place to people watch!


Shirtless bike guy.


Giant hula-hoop unicycle (not pictured) guy.


Love this shot J made of me … He has an eye for composition that I just love.


On our way back to the apartment, we stopped at Touche for a drink on the patio.



Such an amazing day!

Made with Nikon D700 // 28-75mm f2.8 // Processed with VSCO film.

Monday Morning

Monday 2.6.12

We’ll call last weekend … refreshing. We shot our first session in Portland with an amazing couple. Afterwards, we shared drinks & delicious food. We talked about life, love, places. We got the apartment to a place that makes us feel good. It’s not quite ready for the cover of a magazine, but for little-ol’ us, it works. This week is for catching up on a few projects, finalizing a few more, and then rewarding ourselves with a camping trip on the coast. It’s one of those mornings that I realize how quickly life is flying by … hoping for a peaceful & fulfilling week.

Happy Monday.

Nikon D700 // Nikon 50mm f1.4 // Processed with VSCO film.

My Little Oaks Bottom Adventure

Last week, my friend Nicolle invited on me a little hiking excursion at Oaks Bottom,  a local wildlife refuge. We hiked for over an hour in the beautiful Oregon sunshine (yes, there really is such a thing). I only shot a few photos … mainly because I was focused on not doing that breathing-like-I’m-winded-because-I’m-completely-out-of-shape thing!!

Nikon D700 // 24mm f1.4 // Processed with VSCO film.

Monday Morning

Monday Morning 1.9.12

No new adventures to report after this past weekend. In awesomely awesome (like, the most awesome) news … J got a job in Portland. He’s working part-time at a great place with flexible hours and good pay. Yes! Yes! Yes! Not to sound like we were desperate or anything, but it’s just so nice to know that weight is off our shoulders and we’ll have a little more income. Okay, let’s be real … We were both super stoked about it. Plus, it will give him/us time to work on a business venture we’ve been developing since landing here. More details soon. So, with that said, this weekend was a breath of fresh air. We got things done around the apartment … we finally got some of our art on the walls, which means a photo tour will be happening oh-so-soon. J worked a bit … I worked a bit. We enjoyed a few movies on our brand new tv. <- Yep, we finally bit the bullet and bought a TV. We went over 2 months without one, and we could have done without it, but we felt we deserved it … and it made us happy.

Things are going to be a bit quiet around here this week … My aunt is coming to visit then we’re heading to Indy for a few days to shoot a wedding & hang out with the family. Until next time …

Happy Monday.

Nikon D700 // 24mm f1.4 // 28-75 f2.8 // Processed with VSCO film.

Our Columbia River Gorge Adventure

Happy New Year!! We’re planning a yearly-wrap-up post, but for now, we wanted to share the adventure we went on today. We thought spending a day amongst waterfalls & trails would be the best way to start 2012. We hopped in the Jeep and headed off to the Columbia River Gorge (it’s a huge canyon that separates Washington & Oregon … the home of some breathtaking waterfalls & views).

First of all, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sunshine woke us up this morning as it flooded our room with light, and the skies were clear all day. This meant, we had a beautiful view of Mt. Hood on our drive to the Gorge.

We first stopped at Vista House … an observatory that looks over the Columbia River. We had visited Vista House last year and missed the memo about the Gorge creating a huge wind tunnel. We thought it felt a bit windy on the drive up … and after getting out of the car we were greeted with hurricane force winds (not kidding, the wind was between 70 & 90 mph). J’s sunglasses blew off and smashed into pieces, and we saw people being knocked down (don’t worry, everyone was okay). We took a few videos to give an idea of the craziness:

Windy Day! from Jim and Ravyn Stadick on Vimeo.

At one point, I was pinned so hard against this hand rail, I couldn’t move. I was laughing and actually almost close to tears thinking I would never get off of it! :)

Ravyn in the Wind from Jim and Ravyn Stadick on Vimeo.

Jimmy’s hair was so awesome … You’ll see more in the photos! So insanely windy!!

Jim in the Wind from Jim and Ravyn Stadick on Vimeo.

Alright, now to the photos!

This guy was awesome … No way was he going to let his leather baseball hat blow away!

Starting to realized just how windy it was up there.

Look at that hair!

This photo looks like the end of the world … and it sort of felt like it! I am telling you … That wind was CRAZY!

Once we decided that Vista House was a little too intense, we hopped back on the road and headed towards Bridal Veil Falls … my favorite place on earth!

After Bridal Veil Falls, we hopped back in the noble steed and headed over to Multnomah Falls (the tallest waterfall in Oregon, and sometimes debated as the 2nd tallest in the US). Once again, we took our favorite picnic basket (a wedding gift from J’s momma) with us … filled with pb&j, chips & sparking cider (it’s New Year’s Day after all, we needed something sparkly).

The water that flows from the falls is crystal clear … and beautiful!

Can you believe all of this is only 30 minutes from our front door? Insane!

Coffee was a must on this chilly day.

We also had to sample some local fudge … We opted for the vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate swirl. Um … It was so good.

J decided to ignore the danger sign … I mean, it’s only like 5 tons of logs & water right up the river that could rush by at any second.


Sparking grape juice!! Realizing this probably looked like trouble to the other drivers.

The little dot on that hill is the Vista House … one can probably see why it might be a bit windy up there.


One more shot of goof ol’ Mt. Hood out the back window.

We got back into town right when the sun was going down. The Fremont bridge is our very favorite. It’s like getting a giant hug every time we drive into the city.

Tonight, we’re making dinner at home, and cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie. Here’s to an amazing 2012 …



Our Road Trip :: Indianapolis to Portland

On November 7, 2011, Jimmy and I packed up our Jeep with a couple of bags, our two dogs and our cat. We said our tearful goodbyes to our family, and we set out on an adventure. This adventure would end up being 2,300 miles and take us 4 days. Thinking back … It seems unreal that we actually left all we knew and loved to write this new chapter of our lives. We’ve learned so much about our love & life since leaving Indiana … Here are a few things we saw along the way.

The clouds were just perfect on this day … It was almost as if you could lay on them.

The first sign of rocks. Little did we know these would look like pebbles compared to the ones we’d see later in the trip.

Our noble steed, Bertha ::

4 days on the road means we got to experience 3 beautiful sunsets. This one in Wyoming was absolutely stunning.

Love this shot of Jimmy … We stopped at a little resting point to take in the view. It was 25 degrees and we got to touch snow for the first time this year.

Surprisingly (at least to me), Utah had some of the most beautiful views of the entire trip … The red rocks were amazing to see.

Then we saw it … Devil’s Slide. It’s this amazing rock formation in Utah’s Weber Canyon. The highway runs right past it, and there was even a little pull-off so we could stop and take in the amazing site. I think Earth is the coolest planet … ever!

The views of the mountains were amazing … I had never in my life seen such a site.

When we went to bed on that third night in Boise, Idaho, we knew we’d be up early the next day for the last leg of our trip. We had shared days 1, 2, and 3 of our road trip from the iPhone perspective, but never shared the last day … I can tell you, it was one of the most exciting days of our lives. Knowing we’d be in our new home was worth waking up at 4 in the morning!

We were up way before the sun … Heading west, we were able to watch the sun rise in our rearview mirrors.

The first sign we saw for Portland. Such an awesome motivator to finish the last leg of the trip.

So, when you’re coming down out of the Blue Mountains (at least I think that’s what they are), there’s a pretty intense downhill grade for about 5-10 miles. AKA, if your brakes stop working, you’ll probably be toast. Thankfully, there are run-away ramps on each turn for just that reason. We had seen them before on our last trip to Oregon, but we actually saw one in use this time. So crazy!

One of my favorite stretches of the drive was along the Columbia & Hood Rivers. The rivers divide Oregon & Washington and the highway goes right along side. So beautiful.

We knew we were almost home when we saw the Fremont Bridge … Portland is a city with a big river right down the middle. We live on the west side of the city, so it was like the Fremont was our gateway … It was 60 and sunny that day, like the city was welcoming us with open arms!

And … we made it to our neighborhood.

We’ll be sharing more about our little apartment soon. Believe it or not, we’re still getting settled!

All in all, the trip was amazing. I would totally do it again. The animals were perfect … like scary perfect. It was a time that I’ll treasure the rest of my life. We’re thinking of a trip down the California coast next year, and I couldn’t be more excited!!



Nikon D700 // 24mm f1.4 // 28-75 f2.8 // Processed with VSCO film.