Saturday, November 10, 2012

P-Town Silliness

Portland has a special randomness that is delightful. If you look, there are interesting stickers, signs and/or graffiti almost everywhere. Take a mailbox for example. Stick some eyes on it and voila – an interesting inanimate object!portland 2012 052  There are also messages to be found tacked onto telephone poles that bear important life reminders: portland 2012 053random nov 2012 004 Even a birdcage in a store has cute little signs: portland 2012 057 Speaking of birds, they were on everything, which is apparently very Portland. portland 2012 090portland 2012 123portland 2012 122Of course, there are the stickers and things on the backs (or even fronts) of signs and on various poles around town. This one was pretty pervasive: portland 2012 016 There were also lots of Kurt Russell stickers and stickers with realistic teeth photoshopped in: portland 2012 105 Here are some other ones: portland 2012 070portland 2012 089portland 2012 121portland 2012 108portland 2012 132

Portland wins when it comes to this kind of thing with San Francisco and Toronto coming in tied for second. Get with it Denver!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Soaked in Beer and Coffee, Drizzled with Salt

It’s Sunday and raining. We’re laying drowsily on Curtis’ couch in NE Portland. We have a few hours before our flight back to Denver and we are pooped.  A few days of walking, eating, drinking, and looking around will do that to a person. Eating and drinking take center stage on any Portland trip – in the three days we visited the damp, northwestern city we had 19 occasions to eat and/or drink.

Friday was the most full food day. It started at Ken’s Artisan Bakery for quiche, cappuccino, and a cinnamon-glazed cinnamon roll.

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This fueled our trip up the hill to the Japanese Garden. The winding trail through the park took us through the rose gardens, which were still plentiful with mist-laden roses:

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We also encountered Phyllis the banana slug on the path!

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I loved the Japanese Garden. We spent over 90 minutes in the wonderful, gentle drizzle strolling quietly through the mossy terrain. Many of the maples and other trees were turning yellow, red, and orange and there were stairs made of stepping stones that descended deeper into the gardens and leaf-strewn paths that took us back out again.

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The whole trip was soaked in coffee and beer – Portland does both extremely well. On our way out of the gardens we popped into Coffeehouse Northwest for surprisingly soothing cappuccino that was beautifully made:

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This was followed about an hour later by lunch at Bridgeport Brewing and dessert of mini pumpkin whoopie pies and fleur de sel chocolate chip cookies at Two Tarts.

After meandering through the Pearl District and getting totally overwhelmed at Powell’s Books, we spent some quality time at the Hostel reading and napping. Vacation is so fantastic…The napping just prepped us for Friday, part 2.

With dinner reservations at Le Pigeon, a seriously cozy restaurant in the southeastern part of the city, we showered and hurried across the Burnside Bridge. Over candlelight we shared a bottle of Willamette Valley pinot noir and enjoyed Pumpkin Agnolotti with brown butter consomm√© and parmesan (me) and Lamb Shoulder with yogurt sp√§tzle, sausage, and persimmon saffron chutney (Seth). We didn’t get dessert per se, but super tasty, gourmet chocolates came with the bill.

Burnside Brewing was on the way back, so we stopped in to try the award winning (Great American Beer Fest 2012) Sweet Heat, which is a wheat beer brewed with apricots and Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers. It was just the right amount of heat – worthy of an award in my opinion. Also on our path was Voodoo Donut, home of the maple bacon donut – see below to the far left of the photo:

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One last Friday night stop – Rogue Brewing! Just five or so blocks from the hostel, we couldn’t pass it up. I had the mocha porter mixed with their chipotle ale from the tap, which mixes to make a mole beer – such a treat.

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We slept very well Friday night.