Archive of ‘Travel and Dining’ category

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

I still haven’t gotten sick of Portland.  Just enough city for me.  I like the weather with its not too hot summers, but the cool rainy winters are even a nice break from Alaska’s cold, dark funk.  It’s easily walkable, affordable and if you haven’t guessed plenty of restaurants, bakeries, and such.

Bone Marrow appetizer at Little Bird Bistro PortlandFirst night at Little Bird, there is always a night at Little Bird.  Something about it just makes me comfortable, it feels European enough that I can sit at a table for 2-3 hours and not feel guilty about it (which we did).  We started with the bone marrow smiley face pictured above.

Ice cream flight at Salt and Straw PortlandThere is usually always a stop at Salt and Straw, my favorite ice cream was the pear and blue cheese.  The snickerdoodle was a close second.  I recommend showing up on a cool and cloudy day to avoid lines.

Bagel at NuvreiCan’t forget about Nuvrei.  We walked by one morning for breakfast and they were closed because of a power outage.  When my hysterics were over we walked back to Lovejoy Bakers and were not disappointed.  How could you be sad with a flaky cream cheese danish?  As you can see by that fantastical bagel, we did finally make it to Nuvrei.  Best thing ever.  The bagel was slightly crusty and chewy, I asked for a fried egg instead of hard boiled so add runny egg yolk to that with crunchy fleur de sel.  The veggies make it all healthy.

Danish at Lovejoy BakeryWe didn’t just walk from bakery to bakery eating pastries and ice cream.  A new stop for us was Bluestar Donuts.  The husband and I lay awake at night and reminisce about the buttermilk old fashioned at Bluestar.  That’s a normal thing people do.  It calls to me in my sleep, singing it’s buttery siren song.

Bluestar Donuts

Bend, Oregon

Lavender Cottage Bend Oregon

We were thinking of babymoon locations, I thought of Paris, then thought no wine for that was off the list.  Hawaii sounds nice anytime but a long flight.  So yeah Bend.  It is one of the happiest places in the world if you haven’t been.  The husband was running the Bend half marathon the morning after we arrived.  First night at Spork which is described as a “globally-inspired green-conscious mobile street food kitchen” when they first started their food truck.  That is still a pretty accurate description.  We were there Saturday night and they have self seating tables and an order at the counter deal going.  My one complaint is the sign that says not to seat yourself until you order.  This always gives me won’t-find-a-place-to-sit-anxiety.  I always get this at weekend dinners without reservations.  The table that I had been eyeing with death lasers shooting from my eyeballs was still there as a I tried to nonchalantly power walk over as soon as the gal up front had taken my order.  My spicy fried chicken with cucumber salad was worth the anxiety.  Super crispy with a spicy sweet sauce that paired well with the cucumber.  The husband had the carnitas sando, one of many pork sandwiches he had over the trip.  With a side of fried plantains, crispy and starchy and not enough places serve plantains!

Spicy Fried Chicken at Spork

Next morning up at 5:30 ish for race morning, we were super stoked to get a early start to our day after flying all day before.  Getting up way before sunrise is always fun and the husband always has such a spring in his step when he has to get up early.


After a forced and silent breakfast the walk to the start was brisk and sunny with a little frost on the foot bridge heading to downtown.


Bridge at Drake Park in Bend, OregonWhile the husband ran 13 miles, I warmed up with a cappuccino and cheered on runners as they went through town.  He didn’t make me wait too long.  I felt sad not being able to race, there was a cut off of 3:30 and I don’t think it would have happened.  Maybe they will add a 10k or 5k in the future for the non prepared pregnant folk.  I also don’t have much use for a bottle opener medal right now, but it’s still way cool.

4-DSC00784Beer is always a good way to finish a race.  With no more early mornings ahead we could really get to work on relaxing.  It’s nice to not have plans or obligations.  Eat when hungry, sleep when tired.  Eating included lunch at The Lot, which is a permamnent food truck gathering with a covered eating area, beers on tap too.  Husband had Korean tacos, I am stuffing my face in the background with fish tacos, I could not make time for a picture.

Tacos from The Lot Bend Oregon We had a leisurely breakfast at La Magie, where I stopped the day before to get the husband a post race pastry (and one for me).

La Magie Bend, Oregon


One day included way too much sun for our pasty Alaskan skin.  The sun and warmth was too glorious to not enjoy though.


Drake Park Bend OregonThe best cure for sunburn is to eat a lot of gelato, prevention with some sunblock may have been smart too.

Gelato at Bonta in Bend, OregonNext, on to Portland.

Eating in Seattle

I like it when others cook for me.  February is a perfect time to get out of Alaska and be somewhere that doesn’t require a hat and gloves to get to the car.  The forecast in Seattle was 50s and 90-100% chance of rain, downright balmy.  The kitchen remodel gets a rest and the husband and I get a weekend without drywall dust and 5-6 trips to Lowe’s.

I have treated Seattle mainly as a stopping point to somewhere else, I figure it’s so close that I can always go there but rarely do.  I am sure I have spent more time in Sea-Tac airport than actually staying in the Seattle area.  But when some good friends moved down there, who like to eat almost as much as me, I got a reason to visit more often.  My favorite place to visit (besides Anthropologie) is Pike Place Market.  Yes it’s insanely busy with tourists, but there is nothing else like it. I loved wandering between food stands, happy to be out of the rain, a bag of mini doughnuts to warm my cold hands and enjoying the aroma of cinnamon sugar while my hair dried out.

Pike Place Market (more…)