For our 2015 Christmas, we spent it in Portland, Oregon with Mimi’s family. We picked Portland because my brother in law went to college in Eugene, Oregon, which is just a 2 hour drive from Portland. He hadn’t been back to his campus since he graduated 30 years ago, so he invited all of us to accompany him on his trip down memory lane. Being that Portland is such an up-and-comer in places to visit, we decided that it’d be fun to explore there over the Christmas holidays.
We really didn’t have much of an agenda for the trip, and intended for it to be as relaxing as possible. Since 2 out of our 4 days there fell on a holiday (Christmas Eve and Christmas), where most places were closed, we got to enjoy our bungalow to its fullest, with game nights and movie nights. In between, we ofcourse explored the different areas of Portland as well, and a bonus was getting to meet up with my sweet friend Karen and her family there!
One of our trip’s highlights, besides the delicious eateries around town, was the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). It was a great place for us to spend a rainy day, and we would recommend paying extra for the submarine tour as we learned (and experienced) first hand what it felt like to live and work within the confined spaces of a real submarine.
Another highlight was spending time in Powell’s Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore in the world. The enormity of the store is mind boggling, and they actually hand you a map when you walk in to help you navigate. I think the entirety of our trip could’ve been spend in that bookstore and we would’ve been happy.
The girls had a box of flash cards that taught them about the various landmarks of Portland, and they got to choose the ones they wanted to visit. Pittock Mansion, a French-Renaissance-style chateau in the West Hills of Portland made it to their list. Each room in the mansion was decorated differently for the holidays, and there was even a small group of carolers inside to add to the festivity!
On Christmas Day, with everything closed, we decided to head up to Rocky Butte Park, which also offers a beautiful panoramic view of Portland.
The Eugene leg of our trip was short, just 1 night, but it was wonderful that we all got to tour the beautiful campus of University of Oregon with Brian. He was able to point out his old stomping grounds to us, including the architecture building where he spent many overnighters working on projects.