Monday, August 23, 2010

Making the Most of Where I Live

Whenever I go on vacation, or travel to visit friends, I always plan ahead. I think of places I want to visit while I'm there - sometimes the activities are super touristy and sometimes they aren't...even if it's a town I've been to before I always have a list of things I want to do (call me OCD if you want but I'm a born planner)! When I visited friends in Seattle this past 4th of July, eating at Sky City (the Space Needle restaurant) and visiting Pike Place MarketSan Diego Zoo and my favorite restaurant Spread are always on my to-do. were both a must. When I travel to San Diego to see friends and family the

Back in 2007 two of my favorite actors (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) teamed up for a movie called "The Bucket List". While I enjoyed the movie (and this isn't a movie review folks) it approached the idea of a "Life To-Do" list a bit more...somber if you will. I mean I get it..."Bucket List"...before you "Kick the Bucket"...but I don't want to be running around my few last months of life trying to accomplish things. I want to come to the end of my life having confidence that I did the things and went to the places I wanted to.

After the movie it was almost an epidemic of websites and books giving tips and pointers to people looking to make their own Bucket List. Ideas ranging from 101 Things To Do Before You Die to websites encouraging people to have Bucket List items like "Be Financially Stable" and "Find and Marry the Love of Your Life". 

However, it wasn't any of these websites that inspired me to create my own "Bucket List" was a friend and co-worker. A few months ago she decided to create a Bucket List for the city she was living and attending school in. She decided to explore and do/see as much as she could before graduating school (and thus possibly moving away).

I moved to Portland, Oregon in October 2009 and have done fairly well at exploring my new home. I bought the Secret Portland book (as well as a number of other Portland Tourist books) and have been inspired by a number of the entries. Now I want to go a step further. I've decided I want to take as much advantage of Portland as I can (since I do not know how long I will be a Portland resident). 

I've consulted with friends and family, as well as just my knowledge of Portland have come up with the following:

Places/Things I want to do:
-Portland Art Museum
-Oregon State Fair
-Japaense Garden
-International Rose Test Garden
-World Forestry Center (going on Sept. 7th)
-Portland Walking Tours (underground tunnels!!)
-PSU Farmer's Market
-First Thursday
-Last Thursday
-Hoyt Arboretum
-Pittock Mansion
-Ashland Shakespearian Festival
-Mt Hood
-Mt St. Helens (okay I know it's in WA but its close)
-Oregon Coast Aquarium
-Wine tasting tour

Places/Things Accomplished:
-Powell's Bookstore (done a few times over)
-Multnomah Falls
-Portland Spirit Cruise along the Columbia River
-Pioneer Cemeteries (work in progress)
-Portland Zoo
-Summer Concert at the Zoo
-Train from Seattle to Portland
-Hawthorne Blvd
-Portland Rose Festival (heck I worked for them!) <3
-Chinese Garden
-The Grotto
-Peacock Ave at Christmas
-NW23rd Neighborhood
-McMenamin's Tots @ McMenamin's Edgefield (8/21)
-Gresham Farmer's Market
-Saturday Market
-Seaside (In November so it was super cold. Would like to do again when warmer)
-Tillamook Creamery (2x)
-Oregon Coast & Coast Highway (2x)
-Voodoo Doughnuts (duh!)
-Stepping Stone Cafe (recommendation from my BF after watching the Travel Channel)
-Portland Epicurian Walking Tour (8/24)
-Por Que No
-The Space Room

If you live (or have lived) in the Portland area and have ideas, suggestions, or recommendations - please feel free to pass them along. 

Heck, if you've never been to Portland but have seen somewhere on the Travel Channel or Food Network - pass that along too!!


  1. I am beyond empathetic with this blog. I'm pretty sure you stole this concept from my head, haha. I couldn't explain where I'm at better than that :)

  2. Other suggestions made to me by facebook friends:

    Ape Cave & Lava Cave (@ Mt. St Helens)
    Dim sum at House of Louies
    Kennedy School while taking in a movie
    To eat lots of salmon
    Sauvie Island
    Haunted corn maze at Sauvie Island
    Sandy River
    Saburos Sushi
    Bunk Sandwhiches
    Drag Queen Show: Darcelles
    Happy Hour @ Bartini
    Museum of Arts and Crafts
    Starks Vaccuum Museum
    Pacific City Beach
    Roloff Pumpkin Patch
    Sun River/Bachelor, esp. night snowshoeing under the stars in the winter
    Pendleton Round-up
    Hood River
    Crater Lake