Right before Josie's hospitalization I booked a short trip for Luke and me to Portland, Oregon, a place we've wanted to go for ages.
Then she went into the hospital and September flew by and I didn't do any other planning aside from getting in touch with our friends in Portland.
On Saturday morning, First Day of Vacation, I had planned to go to the Tower Grove Farmers' Market but nobody was in the mood. We had a fun morning at home. Jenny and I went to Nordstrom for a prosecco and pants shopping (prosecco >>> pants shopping) with my shopper Christine. Victory was mine! A pair of plain black pants secured.
My mom picked up the girls that evening and Luke and I had dinner with friends. Happy to report Luke's mind is totally changed re: Greek food after having moussaka, that Hellenic shepard's pie.
We slept in, packed, and flew direct to Portland. So leisurely! I brought a bunch of magazines from my bedside hoarder's pile to read on the plane; Luke listened to songs for his upcoming Texas performances.
Per the advice of two friends, we stayed at the Kimpton Monaco. Recommend!
We had cocktails at the hotel restaurant and asked for dinner recommendations. We walked to the waiter's favorite, Tasty n Alder, but it was packed. We crossed the street for pork belly with an egg over fries at Lardo. We sat at a long table and struck up conversations with the couples to either side of us, both really funny. One couple was headed to a comedy show and the other to a Vance Joy concert up the street. "I love Vance Joy!" exclaimed Luke and they invited us along; tickets were still available.
I had never heard of Vance Joy but enjoyed the show -- turns out I have heard his hit "Riptide" somewhere ...
Can you spot the Lucas Jack?
Monday morning city exploring.
Blue Star donuts.
Powell's Books. This was a place I've wanted to go since I heard about it years ago. It was truly heartwarming watching people shop for books.
Woonwinkel home goods.
Lunch at Portland City Grill, 30 floors up.
Trying not to buy everything at the Made Here PDX store. (I did buy some his and hers perfume oil, Lumberjack and Calm Mama respectively, from Wooly Beast Designs. I have enjoyed wearing the rollerball I bought in Florence - a little vacation scent-memory before work).
It was from this tea towel that I learned of Hinklehatz peppers, so named because they resemble chicken hearts. Will definitely be growing some of those at Chez Kunkelhinklehatz von Suburbanstein.
Ducked into a restaurant for a beer (him) and coffee with Baileys (her). We were sitting at the bar when 3 minute hail storm came out of absolutely nowhere.
Post-rain brilliant sunshine.
We Uber'ed over to East Portland to meet up with Ken and David, friends of mine from medical school. We had drinks at Whiskey Soda Lounge, dinner at Pok Pok, and ice cream at Salt & Straw. Next project 1: olive oil ice cream! Next project 2: get Ken and David back to St. Louis!
We booked a Portland tour at 8 am for Tuesday morning but they didn't show. We went to the hop-on, hop-off trolley kiosk and bought tickets. With about an hour before the first departure we walked to Tasty n Alder for a truly spectacular brunch: bloody Mary; cauliflower frittata; steak and cheesy eggs over jalapeño cornbread. Tom Petty music was playing in the restaurant and I thought about what an incredible songwriter he was, with lyrics like:
She grew up in an Indiana townTells you everything about her in fewer than twenty words. Brilliant.
Had a good-lookin mom who never was around.
First visit to a Pendleton store. Of course I bought an olive green sweater.
Trolley tour time. (Attn Mom: my lipstick is Armani Ecstasy Shine in 101 Nuda.)
We went on one loop of the city and had lunch at Sizzle Pie with a detour to the hailstorm bar to pick up a forgotten credit card.
We took an Uber back to Tilikum Crossing, a pedestrian, bike, and mass transit-only bridge, to walk across and take the aerial tram between campuses of the Oregon Health & Science University for a city view.
We caught the trolley back to the city center and enjoyed the hotel's lobby happy hour, talking to a couple from Honolulu. Going to remember this piece of advice: if you want to go to Hawaii, visit Lanai.
Another great dinner with Ken and David: pork belly buns, ramen, and sake at Afuri.
And four very large desserts at Papa Haydn.
Oh but there was more good food to be had: at the airport! A breakfast banh mi with scrambled eggs, pickled veggies, and lots of cilantro. On the return flight I finished the second stack of hoarded magazines (the Suburbs Lucky Peach issue was so good. RIP Lucky Peach!) and started a new novel from Powell's, Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel. I haven't read her Wolf Hall books but LOVED the Mark Rylance series and thought this essay of hers was fascinating. I also bought her memoir.
A wonderful trip with great friends, food, sights, and weather! Can't wait to go back to Oregon - next time with nature!