When my mom and I decided to put “Road Trip to Portland” on the calendar, I was certain that I would be moving there come January. Well, the date of our road trip finally came and I already had my plane ticket to Costa Rica booked on January 8th and I was in the process of applying to University of Edinburgh for grad school. The likelihood of me moving to Portland in the next three years has dropped drastically, but the rooms were booked and the plans were made, so we figured, why not? And thus began our adventures in the Pacific Northwest.
Our first day was spend driving through the Redwoods, a gorgeous drive that proved we had made the right decision. We spent the night in Klamath and left early the next morning to make it to Portland by dark. When we got to Portland, we parked across from the Yakuza Lounge and, code in hand, I approached the gate next to the restaurant and let myself in. We had made it.
A Tiny House Hidden From View
Our home for the next three nights was a tiny house in the backyard of the lounge. The winter weather had done a number on the trees, but you could tell the garden was a miniature Eden during warmer months. It even had a hot tub and an outdoor shower!
When we booked the tiny house, neither of us really knew what to expect. We were both blown away. “Tiny” is a relative term. While it was indeed a tiny house, there was plenty of space for the two of us. We spent every morning drinking tea and waking up slowly in the comfortable living area. Every night, we slept like babies in the cozy bedroom. Hotels and apartments are always great, but the tiny house was a perfect Portland experience.
The Alberta Arts District (And Why I Love It)
The Yakuza Garden Cottage is in the heart of the Alberta Arts District. Since the Wi-Fi in the room was not very reliable, my mom and I spent a lot of time in coffee shops on Alberta Avenue. Of course this quickly translated to a lot of time exploring the boutique shops and creative restaurants in the area as well.
I was in heaven. The hippie-Sarah that was created by over a 7 months of cumulative time spent in Africa, a childhood in California, and an education at Gallatin could not have been more “at home”. There was Kombucha on tap, vegan gourmet tacos, a whole store for crystals and herbal remedies, and so much more.
On top of that, our cottage shared the same street of three INCREDIBLE restaurants, all by the same person. Yakuza Lounge, Nonna, and DOC. One night my mom and I made our way through the three spots trying cocktails and desserts. We left knowing two things about the woman who owns our cottage: she’s got style and a great taste in food.
On our second day in Portland, my mom and I drove across the bridge and into downtown Portland. We spent the day exploring downtown and the Pearl District. It felt a little less neighborhood-y compared to the Alberta Arts District, but I still loved the place. The shops kept their local charm and the book store was awe-inspiring. Not to mention people in Portland know how to make a mean chai. My “things to do in Portland” guide is in the works, but for the time being I will say this: Portland is an awesome city to visit, and the Yakuza Garden Cottage is an awesome place to stay while visiting.
Am I Moving to Portland?
Maybe. Someday? Who knows? Only if I can have a tiny house.
Assuming I get into Edinburgh (fingers crossed, people!) I have an exciting few years ahead of me. I really loved Portland and I could definitely see myself there, but my list of dreams is longer than my lifespan. So who knows where I will go or what I will do, but there is one thing I know for certain… It’s going to be one crazy, never-ending adventure.