Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Portland Spring Break

Hello Friends! I am spending my spring break in sweet, hippie, foodie, beautiful Portland…This is my third time in this fun city and every visit makes me want to move here... wait, maybe not. Traffic in cities bigger than where I live in scares me. One thing very impressive here are the bikers... Man, they are fearless. Sure there are tons of bike paths, bike lanes, and in some streets a whole car lane's length just for bikers, but still... bikers here are not scared to weave in and out of the lanes to make turns and all that. I love biking outdoors but only on two conditions: with DFJ biking ahead or behind me and biking on paths where there is a solid structure between me and road traffic. Biking downhill scares the heck out of me and hearing cars behind me when I'm on bike lanes makes me so nervous, I literally shake on my bike. Commuting to and from work or wherever is a way of life for Portlanders of all ages. It is really amazing to see women in cute outfits and tall boots pedaling uphill with their backpacks and panniers... makes me want to be a Portlander, you know? Maybe if I live here, I will learn to be brave too and not be scared of biking next to cars. Then I can look cool on my bike.

Do you have a travel obsession? Tell me about yours so I can say to myself that I am not completely crazy. Before I go somewhere, I do an extensive research on the following, by order of importance:

1. Affordable but clean and cozy places to stay… depending on where we are: hotel/motel/bed and breakfast/campsites (I’m a no-fuss person and I can deal with no-flush outhouses). The last thing you want is arriving somewhere and not knowing where to lay your pretty head on that night.

2. Good places to eat and artisan bakeries… condition: must be affordable (i.e. nothing beyond $25 entrees).

3. Fun things to do… hiking, biking, walking around quaint neighborhoods, yoga, shopping, shows, local events, etc.

The Travel Portland website is very helpful and has all sorts of information on everything you want to know, do, and eat in Portland, as well as great travel deals.
I have found that doing these beforehand actually saves time and stress… no more worrying about silly where do you want to go – no, where do YOU want to go – I’m cool with anything – well, there’s no such place called “I’m cool with anything” conversations.

After all the research, I plot my itinerary for the day: from morning, noon, until night. Then, just to be on the safe side, I add in some second choice places. You know, in case there’s some extra time to kill. Of course, if there’s anything cool we see on the way, a surprise stop is always welcome!

Drove out of Washington at about 8:45 and headed straight to our first stop in Portland, Cafe Broder... a very hip place in a fun neighborhood. The restaurant is cozy and a little tight, with a neighborhood kind of feel, I like it! Food is cooked right in front of the bar and that made me wish we had bar seats. We got to try a little bit of different things on the menu and I thought everything was great, except for two that were just so-so (chicken salad and shrimp salad... they were classy but a little bland for my liking). The Swedish meatballs were awesome, especially with the sherry cream and the lingonberry jam. YUM! The gravlax was very flavorful too. We got different sides, potato pancakes and mushroom soup, and both were delicious. Oh and the pickled vegetables were soooooooo good, I could eat an entire jar of it.

After lunch, we went to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and got to check out the Planetarium, Lego exhibit called "Art of the Brick", and DFJ had fun playing with the puzzles. The little kid in him always comes out when there are puzzles around.

Dinner was at the Keller Cafe Auditorium... it was a buffet but everything was delicious. It was the best choice, considering our time constraints. This way we didn't have to rush from a restaurant to our show. Then... WICKED!!! There's only one thing I can say... the show is S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R. If it is ever showing at your town or a town near you, do go and see it. Although the show veers off of the original story from Gregory Maguire's book, they still captured the essence of the story and added humor to lighten up the show amidst the misfortunes of poor, misunderstood, Elphaba. Wicked made me laugh, almost cry, and took my breath away. I loved the book and love the show just as much, maybe even more.

Looking forward to some yoga and more fun times tomorrow! Hope you are enjoying your week as well!


  1. I've always wanted to go to Portland! Sounds like you're having a last. And Wicked is my most favorite broadway show. Ever. I've seen it twice!

  2. I did a self-guided bakery tour of Portland a couple years ago on my folding bike. It is the best place to ride a bike that I've ever been. For bakeries, I would recommend Little T - but I can't remember the cross streets. in SE, I think, and delicious.

  3. I've never been to Portland, but I hear lots of great things about it. Those lego statues are amazing, and I'm soooo jealous you got to see "Wicked"! I wanted to see it in NYC a few years ago, but it was sold out when I was there.


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