A Shopping Trip to Portland, Oregon

4 Nov

Last Saturday James and I went on a day trip to Portland for $28.

Return. For the two of us. How crazy is that?

It was super cheap because I booked early and scored one of the promotional $1 tickets each way. Instead of renting a Zipcar, driving for 3 hours to Portland, finding and then paying for parking, and driving back to Seattle, we got to nap and watch movies on the Bolt Bus.

Here is the Bolt Bus that we took from Seattle. I don’t know why the back half of the bus looks like it’s in some sort of alternate reality.

Bolt Bus, I love you!

Almost as much as I love Portland, tax-free shopping mecca. The trip happily coincided with the release of the iPad 4, so that was number one on our list of stores to hit. We more than saved the cost of our bus tickets on just the iPad. Check how busy the Portland Apple store was.

Which is actually an illusion. Because a lot of the people inside (all the ones in blue) were actually Apple staff.

James asked to buy an iPad but the sales person thought he was after the iPad Mini and told him they were sold out. James was so disappointed, but then he saw someone buy the one he wanted and realised they had lots in stock. So he figured he would be more specific this time.

James: I want to buy one of the large iPads please
Apple Lady: We don’t have large iPads

Poor James is not down with the hip Apple lingo.

After Apple we went to Nordstrom Rack where James got a pair of jeans, two pairs of shoes and a couple of long-sleeve tops. The big splurge here were the Magnanni shoes ($199.95). He tried them on and were like “these are really comfortable” but thought they were too expensive. Then all the other shoes he tried on were uncomfortable in comparison so I forced him to get them. Or maybe he played me, I’m not sure.

After Nordstrom we went and got some lunch. Portland has these little food truck villages, where a block will just be full of food trucks. They are awesome. I am so jealous, I wish Seattle had something similar.

We ate at La Jarochita, which was quite clearly one of the more popular food trucks at the 5th and Stark location. I felt quite sorry for the Mr Taco truck next to it. Not enough to eat there, but you know how it is.

We ordered a fajita ($4.99) which was enormous and so filling! James said they were better than the Seattle ones.

(LOL!! James just walked by, saw that photo on my screen and went “OMG now I want a burrito”)

We also got the huarache ($5.50) which took longer because they freshly grilled the tortilla.

It was a little tricky to eat and we both strongly preferred the fajita. But it was still good, especially when I put a bit of sriracha on it!

After our fortifying break we made a quick touristy stop at Powell’s Books. You can see James patiently waiting for me while I ran to the other side of the street to take the photo.

It was massive! But also super crowded and overheated. We wandered through marvelling at the scale of it and James stopped off for a quick coffee.

It was so terrible he didn’t finish it. =(

Then we went to Lululemon (which I had been looking forward to all day!). I had a long list of stuff I wanted but didn’t end up getting the reversible raspberry glo light/black swan wunder unders because the pink showed through the black swan side, which gave it a pseudo-sheer look. Checking the Lululemon website reviews I found that I wasn’t the only one who thought that was a bit crap.

I did get the cool racerback in raspberry glo light (I love the colour!), a brisk run headband to keep my ears warm, some marked-down discover crops (my absolute favourite gym crops because the pockets hold my phone), and a black swiftly long sleeve. James tried on the guy version of the swiftly but was sad that they didn’t have thumbholes like the girl version.

After Lululemon we headed to REI to pick up some stuff that we’d ordered online and had sent to the Portland store in anticipation of our trip. It was a pretty long walk and we amused ourselves by finding the streets that he characters from The Simpsons were named after:

At REI I got a Smith snowboarding helmet and we each got a pair of non-cotton socks for snowboarding. James bought one of those face masks for snowboarding as well.

Then it was time for more food! Several of James’ coworkers had told him to go to Voodoo Doughnuts, plus we remembered seeing it on Man vs Food so it was a no-brainer. This was the line outside:

You can’t really tell from the photo but those bricks were all sparkly, which was a nice touch. The guy in the green top and the beanie told us that this was a comparatively short line for Voodoo Doughnuts. Eep! We finally got to go indoors. Hooray!


At least the line gave us plenty of time to look at the menu and decide on what we wanted. And in the end we emerged with one of these:

Inside we had a voodoo doll ($1.95) and a miami vice berry ($1.60)

and from the top going clockwise, a raspberry romeo ($1.60), mexican hot chocolate ($1.15), bacon maple bar ($3) and an old dirty bastard ($1.95)

The voodoo guy was fun but I think the bacon maple was my favourite and James liked the miami vice berry. There’s a doughnut called the cock-n-balls which is shaped like how you would imagine (plus it’s cream-filled) but it was $5.25 and we didn’t want to pay that much for a gimmick when neither of us even likes cream.

The girl behind the counter said that the top 3 sellers are the voodoo man, the old dirty bastard and the bacon maple. She said that the Portland cream is also a big seller, but blergh, cream.

And then it was time to walk to the Bolt Bus and say goodbye to Portland. We took a slight detour to walk along the waterfront which was really nice at night. Overall we both really loved Portland and thought that the food was fantastic. Portland seems a bit quirkier than Seattle (which is nicer than the way James put it, which was “Portland has more weirdos”). There were fewer skyscrapers and it also seemed like everything wasn’t as spread out.

I thought the timing of everything worked out well (mainly because of the unexpected long line at Voodoo). I was worried that James would hate a long bus ride, followed by 6-7 hours of shopping, and then another long bus ride, but he was really pleased with his purchases and even on the bus he was quite content poking around on his (old) iPad.

This morning I tried to take a photo of our loot.

You bastard cats!

So anyway, that was our brief foray into Oregon. Based on the success of the trip, James now wants to take the Bolt Bus to Vancouver. =) I think we’d probably make that one a weekend or long weekend trip but it’s definitely on our radar. And I wouldn’t mind heading back to Portland to do some more touristy stuff and eat some more of their food.

9 Responses to “A Shopping Trip to Portland, Oregon”

  1. Kaylene November 5, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading your diary Kaye!!! It’s always so exciting! hehehee! Love the pictures!! I show Ray your posts as well, and he also thinks your diary is very interesting!! =D Are you missing Australia? Or anything about Australia that you can’t get in America? I remember the coffee being pretty awful over there… Miss you! Klene xxx

    • pamperedhousewife November 5, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      Hi Klene!! Yeah there are lots of things about Australia we miss – I can’t believe we’re not going to have a cousin Christmas this year! We’re really jealous of the Canadians and Americans who can visit their family really easily. =(

      You can get most Aussie things here but they just cost a little bit more. Some Aussie stuff like Uggs actually cost less!

  2. Kalo November 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    you don’t liek cream?? THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!??

    • pamperedhousewife November 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      It’s weird and milky like a pregnant cat’s belly!

      • Kalo November 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

        sweet milky richness, it is the nectar of the GODS!! (and fat people)

      • pamperedhousewife November 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

        I have it on good authority that the nectar of the fatties is in fact Miracle Whip.

  3. Kalo November 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    is miracle whip soem kind of mayonaisse?

    • pamperedhousewife November 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      According to wikipedia it’s sweeter and contains “additional ingredients”. =/

      James and I don’t really like ranch dressing either. Or whipped cream. They seem a lot more popular here than back home. Also they put cream cheese on hotdogs! Weird (but James likes it).


  1. Awesome Portland: Hiking and Tax Free Shopping | Diary of a Pampered Housewife - July 15, 2014

    […] last time James and I went to Portland we had an awesome time and wanted to stay for longer. So this time we stayed for two nights to see […]

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