Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Experiencing Portland

We actually did not have a ton of concrete plans for our trip to Portland. The only real thing we had planned was that we rented a car for the last day so we could go see a waterfall about 25 minutes away (will post separately about that because it was so cool). I think the fact that we didn't have a car helped us experience Portland even better. Luckily our rental came with bikes and we took full advantage of those. I hadn't ridden a bike (besides an exercise one) in a long time so it took me a minute to get back in the swing of things. Also, oh my gosh my butt was sore, haha! Portland is so perfect for biking and using public transit. They seriously have the cutest architecture and neighborhoods. I couldn't stop taking pictures and dreaming about what it would be like to live in some of the houses. So many cute bungalows and craftsmen homes. One of the things Portland is also know for is being the home of Nike. We just happened to be close to a Nike outlet and took advantage of some great sales. There are also a lot of runners in Portland, so Thursday night we met at Portland Running Co for a group run. Those runners were fast! We still had a great time though and it was nice to be taken out on a route along the river and train tracks. Super cool way to experience the city. Also, Portland Running Co buys a round of beers after the group run so that was an added bonus. I also went on my own 7 mile run Saturday morning which was really nice. My phone died right as I finished because I kept stopping to take pictures. It really is a great city for running. We took advantage of all the beer and coffee Portland is known for and also did some shopping in downtown Portland. Downtown malls in big cities are so cool to me. A couple of other touristy things we did were visiting Powell's Books (which really is a cool bookstore), seeing a movie (Hunger Games) at McMenamins Bagdad Theatre and eating lunch at McMenamin's Kennedy school (an old school that has been repurposed with bars/restaurants/theaters/hotel rooms). Fall was in full season while we were there and it really was the perfect time of year to be there. We also only got rain the first morning and we didn't mind it at all. It added to the adventure! Could not have asked for better weather and a better city.











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PDX Airport is known for its carpet so we had to document. 

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post-run selfie

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cutest little theatre with beer of course
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We got gifts here for the kids. 
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great weather!
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I don't want to know how much these cost!

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It was 38 degrees but felt great!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Portland Trip: The Food!

Of course I would have to do a separate post just about all of the yummy food and drinks we had in Portland. There was just so much. On my list of things to do/see in Portland leading up to the trip, 90% of it was restaurants. What can I say, we like food. We actually hit almost all of the spots that we wanted to. My favorite spot was definitely Pine State Biscuits. I never would have thought I would be a biscuits and gravy person but had seen a lot of people recommend it so I wanted to give it a try. They also served Stumptown coffee there so it was kind of hitting 2 birds with one stone. We rode our bikes in the rain to eat there on Thursday morning and it was 100% worth it. I had a bacon egg and cheese biscuit with a side of sausage gravy and it was just perfect. Justin had the ham and enjoyed his as well. We sipped on coffee and hung out for a while and it was a perfect start to our trip. We also went to several breweries. We ate at HUB, had a couple of beers at Speakeasy tavern after running, ate and had more beers at Base Camp Brewing Company with food from The Hot Box Barbeque and Pacific Pie Co. Those were both food trucks outside of the brewery. Justin really liked his bbq pulled pork but my pastie was just okay. We also had a couple of pints and toured Widmer Bros Brewery. We had donuts from Blue Star Donuts and Ice Cream from both What's the Scoop and Salt and Straw. I had the Chocolate Gooey Brownie from Salt and Straw and it did not disappoint. I think I am going to order my dad some for Christmas. We had coffee from Extracto with treats from Ville Velo Bake Shop next door and also coffee from a little shop near our airbnb called Caffee Destino. They made their own Pumpkin Spice from scratch and had THE BEST banana chocolate chip bread I have ever had. I have been dreaming about it ever since. We also ate at a couple of other places on our list including Kenny & Zukes (Justin had pastrami and I had the best Caesar salad I have ever had) and Lardo which was out of my comfort zone but had great reviews and did not disappoint. Justin had the Pho'rench dip but said my Pork Meatball Banh Mi was better. It was good and I usually limit my pork intake to bacon, haha. I think that about covers everything but it just wouldn't be right if I didn't share some mouthwatering pictures!

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Kenny and Zuke's
 
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so many baked goods!
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 That banana bread though.
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The busiest place we went to our whole trip.
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The Thanksgiving flavors were wacky!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our First Airbnb Experience

We are back to reality after our wonderful 5th Anniversary trip to Portland, Oregon last week. I have lots of pictures and information to share and eventually I will make a video from our GoPro and a book from Shutterfly, but to start I wanted to talk about our first time using Airbnb. After deciding to travel to Portland, we started looking at hotels and just didn't like what we were seeing for the prices. They had lots of great places but we didn't want to spend $300/night! After a quick search we knew we wanted to go with Airbnb. Portland has so many great neighborhoods that are perfect for Airbnb. Lots of properties have apartments/units with separate entrances so there was a lot to choose from. We ended up staying in this adorable little basement apartment in a cute craftsman/bungalow in the NE Portland Sabin neighborhood. We thought the location was great and the space was even more perfect. The host was just the sweetest and even left us a happy anniversary note. The actual unit had its own entrance and included 2 bikes that were available for us to use which we found very helpful. The unit was also designed and decorated very clean, modern, and simple. The bathroom was awesome and I actually really loved the concrete floors. I thought they would be cold first thing in the morning but they surprisingly weren't. We really were not sure what it was going to be like staying in someone else's place but it was actually pretty awesome. We could not have asked for a better experience. If you want to try out Airbnb on your next trip you can use this code HERE for $20 off your next stay. Here are some photos from "The Little White House Garden Apartment."
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The unit when we arrived in the rain Wednesday night.
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The cutest note from our host.

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The front of the house and our little separate courtyard and entrance.
 
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The living area and bedroom. There was also a kitchen not pictured.
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The awesome bathroom with heated tile floors.

1st Grade Field Trip

This past Tuesday I took the day off from work to volunteer at Everly's school and go on her field trip. I actually volunteered before I...