San Francisco is my daughter’s favorite destination. Dubbed “her city”  she become hooked from her first visit at age 12. With the diagnosis of Scoliosis and needing a brace, we were referred to a specialist from New York. Thankfully they had an office in San Francisco where they would be doing the fitting.  Contacting the  city’s visitor’s  board for recommendations, upon learning of my travel business, they proudly bestowed us with various perks.  As we explored the city from top to bottom we truly bonded and enjoyed a fantastic weekend together. You might even say she liked having mom all to herself, without older siblings in tow.

Time to plan another trip

Upon turning 17 and dealing with the daily struggles of the teenager years,  it became essential to depart for the Gold Coast once again. The realization hit as to how unattainable the trip was due to my new housing situation and the lack of disposable income.  The plan to vacation in our own hometown was the only solution as I did not want to disappoint my youngest. To my complete and utter surprise, she said yes!


 We turned my basement apartment into our hotel room

My daughter stayed with me for the amount of time we would have been in San Francisco. We turned my basement apartment into our hotel room and ate out every night.

Being descended of pioneers that crossed the Oregon Trail in the late 1800’s, on day one, we chose to explore the End of the Oregon Trail Visitor Center in Oregon City.  

Looking for the covered wagons, and pointing the car in that general direction we ventured out. We were very impressed by the layout of the center. Dressed in period clothing, a docent meets you at the door with a map and gives directions on how to tour the museum.  We enjoyed a hands-on experience of what life would have  been like for the pioneers crossing the Oregon Trail. A 3D movie experience brings to life the history and passion of the pioneers who were exploding into Oregon and California during the early 1800’s. 


Improvising on a budget

With the many references to San Francisco,  the disappointment blossomed into excitement as our “vacation” turned out to be, not a plane ride but less than a day’s drive away. 

Venturing out for a bite to eat, we came across an A&W. Hunger turned into laughter as we our minds filled with the idea of actually being “out of town”. Painted on one of the walls at the A&W, was a mural of cars and people from the 1950’s. Lori’s with it’s red leather seats and old fashioned soda jerks behind the bar, is a 50’s style diner. A favorite restaurant and a must stop on each visit to “her city”. With  the numerous references to the city by the bay at the museum, along with the fun time at A&W, we came up with the idea of our Faux San Francisco vacation. 

Next on the agenda was the Portland Aquarium. What a special treat. Walking through the various exhibits, laughing at the crazy looking fish, and feeding the stingrays, contentment officially set in. 

A package of Ghirardelli Chocolates for dessert ended our first day. As we Pondered what to experience next, the decision was made to take the hop on/hop off trolley tour of downtown Portland.


“I learned things I never knew, and I’ve lived here over 50 years.”

Big pink, is Portland’s Hop on/Hop off bus system. A pink trolley that jaunts through the town showing off the sights and sounds of Portland. Wanting the full experience, we stayed on for the entire tour.  We hopped off at the International Rose Test Garden on the second loop. Sauntering through the historic and iconic gardens,  we literally took the time to stop and smell the roses.  

Day two – Nob Hill was an exciting and vibrant stop on our route.  As we Explored the shops and strolled through the eclectic neighborhood, we felt the need for food. What is there to eat you ask? Bagels of course!  A must stop on any San Francisco vacation.


Looking back

Reminiscing about our faux San Francisco trip, it always makes us smile and laugh. The time we shared together as mother and daughter is one for the ages. Making the most of what you have, it truly does not matter where you are as long as you enjoy every moment.