There was only one place that I took photos in Portland. The biggest tourist trap in town. Voodoo Doughnuts! I’ll just sprinkle them throughout this post so you can enjoy. Just in case you see Voodoo Doughnut pictures in places where they don’t belong. Woo woo – voodoo is everywhere!
I’ll tell you what I’d like to be enjoying right now. A voodoo doll doughnut!
When the deadbeat and I were together we spent a few weekends in Portland. Not fun getaways. He’d get sucked into every scam MLM out there which involved stupid functions in Portland. That could be part of the reason I’m not too fond of Portland because it holds bad memories of the losers my ex worshiped as financial geniuses.
Anyway, enough of the deadbeat.
Motel 6 Portland Downtown
Keeping with my traveling with dogs on a budget theme, I booked the Motel 6. Originally I booked the downtown Motel 6 because it’s walking distance to Voodoo Doughnuts. Then I looked a little closer at what people were saying in their reviews. There were complaints about noise – apparently its near a train station. There were complaints about how dirty the rooms were and the apathy from the staff when reporting this. Yuck. That’s not appealing. Photos showed the rooms were kind of shabby. I was having second thoughts. The biggest issue people were complaining about was the parking. Apparently there are not enough parking spots to accommodate the rooms. That really sucks. You want to park your car as close to your room as possible for ease of unloading your belongings. Also just for general security of your car. When guests asked the staff where they were supposed to park their cars, again most were met with first come, first served apathy. Too bad, so sad if you can’t park your car on the motel property.
I cancelled my reservation at the Portland Downtown Motel 6.
Motel 6 Portland Central
I then looked at the Portland Central Motel 6. The photos showed the rooms were more updated and it appeared to be a good sized parking area. I read the reviews and no one was complaining they couldn’t find a spot to park their car on the grounds. I also had the feeling I might have stayed at this Motel 6 ten years ago. Nostalgia had nothing to do with it. I reserved a room online anyway.
I’m not sure what it is about the Motel 6, but just about every time I stay at one, smokers seem to hang around outside my room. This time was no different. I parked and a woman was standing right outside the door smoking. Fortunately she stepped aside when she saw me and two dogs heading for the door.
The Motel 6 Central Portland was located in a busy area. Across the street was a Target and McDonalds and there were several shops and pizza places nearby. Residential area with cars taking just about every parking spot on the streets. It wasn’t a very good area for walking the dogs. Cement sidewalks with no grass boulevards, and it wasn’t a part of town I’d be comfortable walking at night. Fortunately the Motel 6 had a dog area near my room. Not ideal, but it’s a safe option.
Nearby Homeless Population?
I was somewhat concerned with a homeless population in the area. I think they lived in a park half a mile down the street. When I drove past it, there was an old car parked on the curb, like a Dodge Colt or something similar in size. The roof was smushed in making me wonder what caused that. Did a piano fall on it? The windshield was completely shattered. The car was jam packed with stuff. There was a man standing beside it. Did the car just happen to break down right there? Does he live in the car?
When I was taking my dogs for a walk there was a questionable looking woman in the Motel 6 parking lot. She was just leaving, perhaps spurned on by me and the dogs walking right behind her. She stopped down the street to chat with a woman who had all her possessions in a shopping cart. Clearly they knew each other.
A little later I came across another questionable looking woman in the Motel 6 parking lot. She was pulling a suitcase on wheels and singing loudly and was leaving the grounds, so not an overnight guest.
I think this Motel 6 could really benefit from having a security guard on staff to patrol the grounds. Needless to say, I left nothing in my car!
I was hungry. First plan is a poke bowl for an early dinner and I’d already researched a restaurant called SeaSweets Poke a few minutes drive from the motel. My recommendation if you’re looking for a good poke bowl in Portland, Oregon – definitely SeaSweets Poke!
Obviously this is not the place to go if you don’t already like sushi.
You build your own bowls here, or I should say, you let the clerk know what you want.This is not self-serve. I started off with a base of half brown rice and half kale salad and chose the Hawaiian ahi poke. There’s about 6 or 7 types of poke to choose including tofu if you don’t eat seafood. I’m a pescatarian so I was happy with my choice.
Then choose two sides to add to the poke bowl. There are about ten sides to choose from and I went for the kimchi corn and lemon pepper krab. Then you can top it with various sauces and toppings. I took the fried onion, but I really considered nothing at this stage.
There’s a small seating area, but I took my poke bowl back to the motel to eat, easiest thing to do when dealing with dogs and not wanting to leave them alone in the car for too long.
The best poke bowl I’ve ever had! Yummy!
I’m not a huge fan of driving around Portland, but I’ll definitely detour for a SeaSweets poke bowl.
After eating I headed over to a museum I’d heard about called the Peculiarium. Home of the freaky and the weird. Including an insect sundae you can buy in the gift shop. Admission reasonably priced at $5 and dogs are free! I like to be a patron of places that are dog friendly and I like weird things, so the Pecularium was perfect! It was after 5pm and I must have been stuck in Portland rush hour traffic.
It took longer than expected to get there, and when I arrived there was nowhere to park. This museum does not have it’s own parking lot. You have to park on the street, and there were signs all over the place saying it was metered parking. I didn’t see any parking meters, so I’m guessing there was a pay machine somewhere and you noted your parking spot number. I don’t know for sure, because I didn’t spot anything that would suggest how you pay for parking. And that’s if I could find a parking spot. I circled the area twice and then said to hell with it and left.
I can’t possibly come to Portland and not stop in at Voodoo Doughnuts! The main reason I’d been looking at the Downtown Motel 6 was that it was within walking distance to Voodoo Doughnuts. However, there’s a Voodoo Doughnuts 2 close to the Motel 6 Portland Central. My GPS got me to the pink building with a good sized parking lot. There are two cars in the lot. What about all the line ups I’d heard about? Voodoo Doughnuts is set up to handle large crowds of hungry customers. Outside the door is a fenced area to line up, you know like you’re waiting for a ride at Disneyland. I walked inside and there was one man sitting at a table and a lady behind the counter.
I was here for my Voodoo Doll doughnut and at 6pm on Monday night there was no line up! Yay me! My doughnut is shaped like a voodoo doll and has a raspberry jelly filling, glazed in chocolate, with a pretzel “stake” sticking out of the midsection. The clerk also recommended the Old Dirty Bastard Doughnut and said it was quite popular. Oh why not? I’ll eat it for breakfast – chocolate glaze, covered in Oreos, and drizzled in peanut butter.
I also got a really cute T-shirt that says “it’s worth the weight”. Get it? Play on words. Weight – wait. Voodoo Doughnuts is a cash only store. Hugely popular with tourists.
Outside Voodoo Doughnuts are a bunch of signs with different slogans on them.
On Tuesday morning I did the stop and crawl in Portland rush hour traffic. It took me 45 minutes to get on the I-5 and head north.
That leads to the question – who has the worst traffic, Portland or Vancouver?
I hate driving in Vancouver, but Portland wins this contest.
Goodbye Oregon. I’m looking forward to coming back soon.