Wednesday, August 21, 2013

72 Hours in and around Portland, OR

Cyclopedia Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum

We visited Andrew's parents who live in Washougal, Washington across the Columbia River from Portland. It was a quick trip, but we packed a lot in.

We arrived late Friday night after a harrowing trip to the airport involving a massive monsoon with whiteout conditions on the Interstate, roads that turned to arroyos and hoping we didn't wash away (literally), a broken axle, frantic calls to AAA and a tow ride to the airport parking lot. We ran to our gate and made our flight. When we finally got to their house that night, we were still feeling a little frazzled. We had a glass of wine and some Cougar cheese, which I had never heard of before. Not the best tasting cheese, but it's fun to have something that you can't get at home and that is special to Washington.

On Saturday we swung by the St. Honoré bakery in Portland to pick up lunch and headed to the coast. Bakeries like that make me long to live in a real city! We visited Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark wintered. We watched the movie at the interpretive center where I learned that among the specimens they collected was a live prairie dog that they sent back east. Poor guy. I was surprised at how spacious the quarters in the fort seem compared to Spanish Colonial residences I've visited in New Mexico.

In the afternoon, we went to Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock in search of seeing sea stars and anemones. We even saw an octopus hiding under one of the rocks in a tide pool. We had dinner at Sweet Basil's where I was reunited with one of my great loves - Dungeness Crab Cakes. The crab cakes at Sweet Basil's were better than any I had when we were in Seattle last year. They were filled with a lot more big chunks of tasty crab meat, and the sauce was served on the side of the plate instead of drizzled over so I could really focus on the taste of the crab cakes. Delish! This place was definitely a star. (As a side note, Andrew overheard two chefs on the ferry once from Bainbridge discussing crab cakes. One chef gave the other, younger chef the advice of putting crab cakes on his menu because they are real money makers because you can fill them with lots of other stuff and minimize the expense of the crab. Harumph!)

On Sunday, I was treated to a fancy pedicure with my mother-in-law at the River's Edge Spa. We had lunch at Kenny and Zuke's Deli before heading to the main event of the day - Cyclopedia at the Portland Art Museum. The exhibit on iconic bicycle design was gorgeous.

my favorite

For dinner we had a classic family dinner chez Andrew - King salmon with roasted asparagus and green salad.

On Monday, we had big plans to get out of the house early and have lunch at Mount Hood, but we were on vacation so we slept in and ate Burgerville for breakfast - Tilamook cheeseburgers, sweet Walla Walla onion rings and raspberry shakes. Yes!!! I normally don't eat fast food, but Burgerville is too good to pass up!

Laughing the afternoon away
Dog friendly!

We went wine tasting at Marchesi near Hood River, and it was so pleasant that we ended up spending the whole afternoon hanging out on their patio drinking wine. We drove back to Portland on the Historic Columbia River Highway, admiring the falls and beautiful scenery. I worked on preserving and restoring the historic highway when I was intern several years ago so it was fun to see the projects that have been completed.

And then, a short three days after arriving, we boarded a flight home where we had to deal with being towed back to Santa Fe.


  1. you really DID pack a lot in!!! glad you enjoyed it! and boy am i ever salivating for some crab cakes now!!!

    i spent about 5 days in and around portland a few summers ago. the scenery was so gorgeous. hiking, trees and coast for days. just lovely. i think i had one good meal the whole time i was there. ?! but i still had fun. but i don't think i could live there -- i kind of felt like a fish out of water -- like i just didn't really blend in well there. but maybe i would feel like that anywhere!

    1. I had the opposite feeling in Portland. It feels like a city full of people like me - lots of Midwesterners who went west. I even ran into a TA from college who was working on the same floor of the agency I was working at. Small world for Minnesotans in Portland! That got kind of old after a while...

  2. I'm sorry about your car troubles! I've had car troubles lately, too, slightly ameliorated by finding out that I have a friend who totally knows how to fix cars, but likely still ending in a reduced-price sale of my old Civvie. I hate cars. I hope your car story improves!

    1. the camry is back and running. it turned out to not be too expensive of a repair - mostly just a hassle.
      that's a bummer about your civic. you could always call blaise too if you need to talk cars. we're always calling him and it's helpful to know a little more before talking to the mechanic. i wish i was in the same city as him!

  3. I didn't know you just visited there?! Sounded so fun!!!!

    Cheeseburgers???? Hahahaha

    1. For BREAKFAST too! That was part of why we decided to try the cleanse...


Hey, thank you!

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