My kids were recently on mid-winter break, which means no school. *PARTY!!* We decided to do a day trip down to Portland, OR because, why not?! It’s about a three-hour drive from our place to Portland, so not too bad at all. We’ve gotten pretty savvy with road trips and kids. We packed a laptop, headphones, and a headphone splitter jack (VERY important). This allowed our kids to peacefully sit in the back seat and watch a movie. It was perfect! No fighting, no whining – ok, a little whining about if we were almost there, but that’s expected.
Once we got to Portland, we headed straight for one of mine and my husband’s favorite doughnut shops. Blue Star Donuts. If you haven’t had them, go have them. If you have, then hopefully you understand why they are so good! They create the most delicious brioche pastry dough that is the base of all their donuts. It reminds me a lot of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, as in light and airy, but there is a tangy flavor, like buttermilk. They also gear their flavors towards adults. There are the traditional maple bacon donuts, but then they have things like blueberry bourbon basil, hard apple cider fritter, and even CBD infused doughnuts. I almost accidentally got that last one for my son. Whoops. Lol
After this, we continued to explore the streets of downtown Portland. We stumbled across the Spice and Tea Exchange, and OMG I’m so glad we did. They have a large variety of loose-leaf teas, including a good range of mate tea, and another wall filled with spices and spice blends. My mouth is literally watering as I write this because they smelled that good. My husband picked up an Indian curry spice mix and I got the most delicious smelling Korean BBQ spice mix. Cue the cooking.
Our next planned stop was Voodoo Doughnut, because you don’t make a trip to Portland without going there, and that’s what our kids were really there for. I like Voodoo for the uniqueness of their doughnuts. It’s sort of like all the toppings a kid could think of like, bubble gum, cereal, Oreos, and peanut butter, and they stick it on a doughnut. I think that’s why my kids like it. It’s not so much about refined flavors like Blue Star Donuts, but more about good old junk food. Eight doughnuts (in a pretty pink box) later and we were ready to get back home.
Of course, before starting another three-hour drive, maybe longer if traffic was against us, we had to grab something to eat. I looked at Yelp for suggestions, and came across Brunch Box. It’s primarily a burger spot, but they also serve breakfast and a few other things. They have a variety of unique burgers including one loaded with beef, cheese, and bacon, another with a Thai food twist (think peanut sauce, pineapple, and jalapeño), and then the one I got. It was a cheeseburger sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches. It was A LOT! I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish it, but — with some willpower, I did it. Next time I’ll definitely share it with someone though.
Our drive home wasn’t too bad at all. Traffic was fairly light, making for good time. Overall, it was a good day trip. We definitely had a chance to scope out some good spots to eat and even hotels to stay in when we come back down in a couple months.