Saturday, March 11, 2017

Portland

Hello friends! I've been working on the picture formatting for this post for a long time. I work on it, save it, then pick it back up when I'm ready to be frustrated by technology.
I'm sure it's operator error.  😎

I was looking back over my FOUR (only 4!) blog posts that I made last year and realized they are all travel-related. Within the next few months my goal is to share about our garden, essential oils and a few recipes. Actually, my goal was to post once a month in 2017. Oops. It's March. 

So a few months ago (ahem, November), I shared about our time in Seattle, which was the first part of our trip to the Pacific Northwest. I feel like we did a lot more touristy stuff in Seattle. I joked with people before we left for this trip that the only thing I cared about doing while there was eating. That ended up being pretty accurate, especially in Portland. 


This is one of the streets we passed when walking to the MAX (Metropolitan Area Express--light rail). I loved all of the colors. 



 

 

This is our Airbnb. It was possibly my favorite part of our trip. Everything about it was so cozy and funky, which is basically my exact style 😜 It was just what I hoped for when trying to find a place in Portland. We were about a quarter of a mile from the rail stop and we were within walking distance of the Pearl District and ALL the goods. Salt and Straw, Blue Star Donuts and any type of food you could imagine. 

Our precious kitchen. It was so cozy and full of light. 

A charming kitchen window gets me every time. 

Of course when it got below 40 degrees one night we had to have a fire. 

The deck and backyard area of our house. 


We went to the International Rose Test Garden while we were in Portland. Even though we missed peek rose season, it was still so nice to walk around and feel like Alice in Wonderland among the roses. The rose garden is on 4.5 acres and has over 550 rose varieties. It overlooks downtown Portland and the Willamette River. In the distance, you can see Mt. Hood and the Cascade Mountains. 




   


            

         


So in popular, bigger cities there is this thing called car2go. You rent a tiny smart car and they charge you by the hour. It's not a super great deal if you need it for a really long time, but if you are just trying to get from point a to point b without using the bus (which was great in Portland, but takes a long time), it's a good alternative. We used car2go several times while we were in Portland. One day, we rented one to drive to Multnomah Falls.




We survived the drive to Multnomah Falls!
                 



            
 


Jesse and I both assumed that we would just go see the falls and be amazed and that would be that. There was actually a 2.2 mile hike to the top option, which we both thought would be pretty cool. It was a difficult hike, but we saw some great views. The waterfall in this picture is above Multnomah Falls. There is a rail close to this and when you look over the side, you can see down the falls. Scary!


At last 

This..is a Meyer lemon-filled donut. It's really all I've ever wanted from a donut. I think I would go back to Portland just for this. 

I honestly have no memory of what the other flavors were. It was just love at first bite with that Meyer lemon donut. 

One evening, we decided to have a food truck dinner. We obviously couldn't just choose one thing to eat, because we are in Portland and there are thousands of food trucks and we have to eat all the things. So we had a smorgasbord of food truck foods. Chicken ramen, pot stickers, spam musubi and SO MANY TACOS. I really loved all of it, but my favorite things were the spam musubi and the ramen. There was a soft boiled egg in the ramen and it was everything. 



We were told by several people that we needed to check Pine State Biscuits out. They had every flavor combination you could imagine. I ordered a pretty normal bacon/egg/cheese biscuit situation and I really enjoyed it. 


The glitter wall. Do you know what that means? VOODOO!



So we used every bit of self control we possess to not purchase every donut in that place. I got the French cream lemon donut (bottom right) and the Marshal Mathers (top left..get it??). Jesse got the other two and I don't remember what they were called. I really enjoyed these, but they were cold, (and so were we) so I think they may have been even better warmed up. After Voodoo Doughnuts, we went to the Portland Saturday Market. This is like the Monroe Downtown Rivermarket x30 and a bit more funky, of course. I really enjoyed it. 

Jesse thought this was pretty cool, so I thought I'd share. 

This coffee shop was across the street from our Airbnb. It's called the Dragonfly and everything about it (including the name, obvs) reminded me of Gilmore Girls. We made coffee at our house most mornings to save a little money and I would snuggle on the couch with a book and my coffee, looking at this sweet little coffee shop. The last morning of our trip I finally went inside and bought a cup of coffee. 



I really enjoyed this trip and I hope we get to go back. Flights to Portland are pretty inexpensive, so hopefully we can make that happen one day. If we do it again, I think that I would prefer to just rent a car and keep it for the week so that we could go where we want, whenever. 

Our next trip will be this spring to Colorado. We haven't booked anything, but we are planning to drive there and camp most of the time. Maybe the last night or two we will cabin/Airbnb/something. Any suggestions/recommendations about Colorado are welcome! 😊

Thanks for reading! Hopefully it won't be 6 months until my next post. 

Emily






Friday, November 4, 2016

Seattle

Hello November.

Man..this year seems like it went by so quickly and in other ways it seems like it will never end. How does that happen?

Jesse and I went to Seattle at the end of September. We've been back for about a month now and I really wanted to process everything before writing about it. That sounds like a cop-out for putting off writing this post, but I really needed time to be able to step back and look at the trip as a whole (instead of focusing on my most and least favorite instances). We also went to Portland while we were in the neighborhood (of the Pacific Northwest, that is). I will write a separate post for Portland because the two were so different.

A view from our flight to Dallas and a train selfie, heading to our Airbnb in Seattle. 

Our building in Seattle. 

This was our first experience with Airbnb and I was so happy with our choice. We were just about a 15 minute walk away from Pike Place Market and many other things. This space was so light and cozy and I really enjoyed being there. 

Heading out for our first day on the town. 


Top Pot Doughnuts was our first doughnut experience in Seattle and we were not disappointed. This was my favorite coffee in Seattle (as you can see it's not a real coffee..it was a pumpkin spice latte and it was sweet and wonderful and I loved it).

Another morning we ate at the Wandering Goose, and OMGyum. I had a biscuit/egg/ham/butter situation that tasted like home and was so delicious. I loved the look of this little place. In Seattle, many of the restaurants require you to bus your own table. We didn't mind doing that at all, it was just different. 


Pike Place Market was totally my jam. We went there every day that we were in Seattle. There was so much to see (and EAT) and there were different things to look at every day. Pike Place Market reminded me of the French Market in New Orleans. 
                            
Top Pot Doughnuts, the Crab Pot, Cupcake Royale and Beecher's Handmade Cheese (absolute heaven).

We saw so many places that sold gyros and wanted to try them all, so one day we went to two different places and shared a couple of gyros so we would know which we preferred. The top picture won for both of us. It was at a little place beside Cupcake Royale. 

Where the magic happens.

ALL THE CHEESE CURDS

Ok, let's talk about Piroshky Piroshky. They sell Russian pastries and I know..that sounds a little different. Thankfully, my husband and I both actively enjoy seeking out foods that are different. We went here a couple of time while in Seattle. You could smell the pastries from a block away and it smelled heavenly. 

My flowers of choice from the market.
Get ready for all the flowers.





Pike Place Market was full of flowers, fresh produce and tons of seafood.


Eye spy a fishmonger!



The gum wall. Disgusting and colorful! 




Lunch at the Crab Pot. The required uniform.

So one of my favorite things about Seattle (and probably just the PNW) is the fact that they have these bins everywhere. Most places that we went gave you the opportunity to dispose of things into recycling, landfill and compost bins. I know this makes me sound so granola (which I am completely ok with), but it really is a nice thing to have. In our town, there is no pick-up for recycling (unless you are willing to pay lots of moolah). We take our things to a recycling center nearby and we have a compost bin in our backyard, but the idea of an entire city doing this makes me happy.

We were told by several people the the Pink Door is one of the best places to eat. We went there on our last night in Seattle. Little did we know, we would have dinner and a show. There was a trapeze artist hanging from the ceiling as we were leaving the restaurant. Surprise! We stayed and watched for a few minutes. I wasn't supposed to take pictures, which I learned after taking this picture. Oops..

It was strange to see the market so empty. 


Our complimentary picture from the space needle.

Near the EMP museum and the Chihuly Gardens




We went to Kerry Park and had great views of the space needle and Mt. Rainier.


One morning, we rented a car and headed to find Snoqualmie Falls. It's about an hour drive east of Seattle. We left really early so that we could make that most of having a rental. When we arrived, it was still super foggy so we weren't able to see the falls very well. We headed back to a little cafe and got breakfast. We met a woman from Shreveport, LA while getting breakfast. I wonder if it was our accents that tipped her off? Ha. 

The bridge to Snoqualmie Falls

While waiting for the the fog to clear up, we went for a hike. 





We did some exploring in a small town called North Bend. How beautiful is this? I am so ready to go back and explore more of Washington. 


We found Rattlesnake Lake and I couldn't help taking my shoes off and getting in the water. It was freezing but I enjoyed playing in the water. 





We headed back to Snoqualmie Falls and were happy to see all of the fog gone.



Our last coffee in Seattle. We went to Cherry Street Coffee House. The coffee here was just ok, but it sure looked pretty. And the company wasn't too bad either. 

The train station in Seattle reminded me of the train stations in Florence and Rome. So pretty. That morning we took the Amtrak to Portland. More on that later.

Sorry for being so long-winded. I didn't wan't to forget the little details that made our trip so great. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!