We drove through the beautiful vineyards in Yamhill county to our airbnb reserved house. The hosts were nice, house fancy and our room fancier with a huge hot tub et al. We cleaned up after 2 days of camping and hit the town. It was full of wine tasting rooms but only one was open as it was past 5.30. Heather was generous and sweet as she poured our Pinot Noirs and explained how the region is known almost entirely on these. We hung out with a couple of locals and it seemed that the town had a very strong sense of community. It was reiterated throughout our stay. We felt sane again after roughing it up for those few days.
We went to the back room of Nick’s, per the recommendation and absolutely loved the asparagus and tempura lemon pizza. A delicious cocktail and a bad game of pool later we stumbled home and passed out on a very comfortable bed.
Looking Good, playing Bad!
Awesome asparagus and tempura lemon pizza:
I woke up later than expected and dragged myself out for a run. It was a nice town with lots of camper vans & boats in garages. It looked like there was a bit of money here. Oh and there are drivers who stopped simply at the sight of a runner. At one time, four cars on all the sides of a junction stopped for me! Slightly taken aback by the niceness I ran home. Ollie was having similar experiences on his run. It’s great and all but I had no excuse to take a break.. other than to take a selfie of course!
We went to a few tasting rooms and met some really nice people serving some very tasty wines. In addition to sharing travel and wine stories we also got lots of free wine. Strangely even the locals came to sample / drink wine. If you strip the pretentiousness out of wine tasting you would get McMinnville. We were loving the relaxed vibe and the great wine. Although we ended up with microwaved Mac and cheese cup in our room for dinner, thanks to the pouring rain and early closing town. $2 dinners do make up for wine tasting expenses!
In Portland we stayed with a recently travelled young family. After some delicious lunch nearby at Shut Up and Eat (love the name, loved the Biscuit Sandwiches even more), we checked out the famous voodoo donuts followed by a visit to the coffee shop and finishing up with some vegan dinner.
A half healthy (Ollie) Lunch followed by a very very unhealthy dessert at the awesome Voodoo Donuts:
I am not sure how to describe it but there is something very unique and weird about Portland. People are amusing (read weird) and you can be yourself, no matter how weird you are without feeling getting a second glance on the road. It’s an amplified version of New Orleans with more weirdos. There’s stuff to do for all budgets, although you can see some nicer, more expensive places popping up now. Money follows hipsters. We really felt at home here.
We saw the smallest park in the world there and went to the pier where the Rose festival was kicking off. It was reminiscent of childhood fun fairs – deep fried and sugary foods, topsy turvy and spinning roller coasters and balloon shooting games where you never win. Children, teenagers and family flocked the fair. A very crawly creepy reptile section complete with scorpions, snakes, porcupines and a tiger made for a great petting zoo. We saw some amazing fireworks over the river to end the night.
Mill Ends Park, the worlds smallest in fact (Built by an Irish man):
Our hosts were a couple who had just recently finished a year a of traveling with their 2 year old son, Atreyu. Hats off to them or let’s say Atreyu. We got some great tips and stories, which they enthusiastically shared with us over coffee.
Atreyu & Ollie
We learnt about all the weird stuff which is considered normal in Portland through the two hour free walking tour with a great guide. We went to which I think is the Mecca of food trucks and had a very hard time deciding what to eat. There are 500 food trucks in the city… 500! Hipster is Portland and vice versa.
We wasted the rest of the afternoon watching a movie in the Living Room – a dining and cocktail serving theater. We checked out a few breweries that were bustling with people.
Tasting menu at Howpworks. Yes they are all on the tasting menu and yes we had to taste all of them:
Late night donuts and lots of chatting with our hosts gave perfect ending to our busy day. I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible stomach ache. I think it was too much food and drinks in one day. Our new basic lifestyle wasn’t prepared for all that consumption. Andy made me some ginger tea in the morning and it felt like we were saying goodbye to some longtime friends.
We ate ice cream for breakfast based on a great recommendation from Mandie & rice bowls from a another hub of food trucks. Oregan, being a tax-free state, we picked up shoes and REI stuff to take advantage. Next stop Washington!
Salt & Straw; this is a 100% must if you go to PDX. Weird but very tasty flavors like Goat Cheese & Marionberry Habanero are always on the menu: