Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Recap: Portland, Oregon

Well I’m back from a great trip to Portland. I came in well under budget – mostly because we were really conscious about our food expenses. And because, well, Portland is a really reasonably priced city for tourists.

Here’s my recap of the weekend:

As soon as BF got off work, we headed straight for the border. Instead of powering all the way through to Portland, we decided to take it easy and book a hotel around the halfway mark. I used my Marriott rewards points and got us a free night’s stay, and this was the only night we went to a restaurant for dinner. The place we went to – Trackside Pizza – is, you guessed it, beside a railroad track. :) When the first train rushes by, it’s kind of cool. But after the 5th or 6th one, it got a little annoying.

We were up early and on the road to Portland. I was a bit worried about the weather, since it was pouring on the drive down. But as soon as we entered Portland, the skies cleared, and we didn’t have a drop of rain all weekend. :) After an awesome brunch at Mother’s Bistro (no line-up!), we spent most of Friday wandering NW 23rd street – a cute area with awesome shops and great houses. I loved wandering down the street, popping in and out of stores, and of course sampling the ice cream at Salt and Straw (eventually sharing a scoop of sea salt and caramel). We both agreed that it was our favourite part of the weekend. After that, we had dinner at a food cart ($6 + $1 drink), and in the evening, we wandered over to Rogue Brewery for a few adult beverages.

Breakfast was quick and cheap, because we had a jam packed day. Our first stop was the Saturday Market, where we spent a few hours looking at all the artisan products for sale, and watching the bands and performers along the waterfront. :) Then we braved the line-up at Voodoo donuts (it was well worth the wait). We were disappointed by Chinatown (and opted not to pay to get into the gardens). Instead, we walked along the waterfront, and then did a bit of shopping downtown.

In the evening, we ventured out to Baghdad Theatre – which is about a 10-15 min. drive from downtown. The theatre is pretty cool – vintage feel, and you can order alcoholic drinks and pub food at your seats. It’s a bit of a novelty because we don’t really have that here in Vancouver. :) The movie showing was 300 … and it was actually the first movie I’ve ever walked out of. Just awful.

There was a massive St. Patrick’s Day run that was just outside our hotel. We were staying on the top floor of the hotel, so we got a great view before we hit the road back to Vancouver – making the usual pit stop at Seattle Premium Outlets, and visiting one of BF’s friends in Bellingham.

oregon2014-budgetCost Breakdown
Anyway here is the breakdown of how much I personally spent while in Portland. It should be noted that I got our Marriott hotel for free using points, and BF paid for the 2 nights in Portland. We split the gas costs, and it was pretty reasonable considering we drove over 1,000km. As for food, we took turns paying, but I think he ended up paying for more than me.

All in all, it was a great trip to Portland. It’s one of my favourite American cities, and I can’t wait to go again. Although I think next time we might want to stay along the Oregon coast instead, just to get a different experience. :)

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Will says:

    Thank you for this post (well for all of them as I am learning how to save more and make my money last). I am planning on moving to Portland and was looking for ways to occasionally (once or twice a month) eat out without breaking my saving streak. Much appreciated.

  2. Tracy says:

    I’m so glad you stopped at Voodoo. It really is worth it :) and I love the Keep It Weird Portland sign.
    I live in Northern Alberta, and our first (and subsequent) trip was inspired by watching Portlandia :)

  3. You were on 23rd? I live just blocks away from there! Salt & Straw is the greatest thing ever :)

Leave a Reply

Buy the Book!

A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

Recent Tweets


  • What an amazing weekend at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference!hellip
  • We took Zoey to pawspetcentre this morning to get ahellip
  • Games and pizza just might be the perfect way tohellip
  • Fanciest avocado toast Ive ever had! Nice catchup lunch todayhellip
  • We decided to check out pivanewwest this evening  thehellip
  • Yep 2017 was a pretty good year! 1 Summited thehellip
  • Loving this gorgeous Christmas tree at the vanartgallery!
  • Current mood

© 2017. Give Me Back My Five Bucks. All rights reserved. Powered by WordPress & Designed by Mike Smith