We visited Portland the weekend after Thanksgiving. We took the early train on Friday morning & made it to Portland before by noon.
I always think I have plenty of time to get to the train station but I’m always cutting it close. We left home at 6:15 & biked over to the Link station at UW. We missed the train by 30 seconds (ELEVATOR PROBLEMS) & had to wait 10 minutes for the next train to leave.
Let me just acknowledge that while Link has better (aka ANY) bike accommodations than Metro, they still SUCK. I can’t hang my bike because I have a basket on the front so it doesn’t fit on the hook. Also I can’t lift my bike over my head like that. Plus my bag doesn’t have a zipper so I would need to take it off my rack before hanging. LAME LAME LAME.
So we made it to the train station at 7:10 for our 7:25 departure & ended up with backwards facing seats. Of course. The woman in baggage asked me to take off my front basket but it doesn’t come off. There wasn’t any damage so I don’t know what she was worried about. We were the only 2 bikes on the train.
Once we got to Portland we biked over to the hotel to drop off our bags. We stayed at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront. They were able to get us a room at 12:30 & an upgrade so we could face the river. Awesome! They let us take the bikes up to the room but also mentioned a secure bike room was available if we wanted to use it. Many of their double rooms have bike hooks but we had a king & had plenty of room to store them on the floor. Our room had bike themed art which was really cool!
The hotel is across the street from the Waterfront Park Trail so we took advantage of the location & rode along the water front to grab lunch. We headed to Mothers for brunch. We ate at a similar place in Amsterdam (Moeders) so it was fun to keep up the tradition. After eating we were both exhausted so we headed back to the hotel for a nap.
We headed down to the tree lighting ceremony around 5 & then walked over to Lardos afterward to grab sandwiches for dinner. After eating we hopped on the train to get to the zoo. It was quick & easy to buy tickets & the ride was pleasant. I don’t like biking new places after dark if I can avoid it, plus the zoo had a discount if you took the train.
I LOVE HOLIDAY LIGHTS. This was the best zoo lights I’ve ever been to! There were so many different animals & they were organized in very cool ways. It was the opening night so there were still some kinks to be worked out, but 95% of the lights seemed to be working. We even opted for the zoo train & got to see some super cool displays that were hidden from the walkable section.
The TriMet station for the zoo was really interesting! It had displays throughout & even had core soil samples to look at. This was much appreciated, especially since our train had a 15 minute delay WOMP WOMP.
By this point we were both exhausted & ready for bed.
Stay tuned for pt.2 coming soon!