Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Meant To Be, Portland Sights

More Portland? You may well ask. Were you there a month?

Not nearly, but that would have been grand! We were in Portland two full days, and two half days, which we can call three days. I am already filled with a longing to go back and do it all again, and more. When we cannot travel as much as we would like, when a moment is unlikely to recur, I feel so thankful for our photographs, our best souvenirs. I do hope we will go back, some day, and I hope it will be with the rest of our family... that will be it's own pleasure, with its own moments. In the meantime, I am thankful for this adventure, and the opportunity to travel again, to relive the journey, details, and feelings in our memories.

Monday, August 15th, our last full day in Portland. The list of places and things we were not going to see, was already a torment, but we couldn't let that stop us from making the most of the time on hand. I decided to bring Maria to the place that first stole my Portland-loving-heart, Alberta Arts. We hopped aboard a metro, then a bus, all easy and convenient. Even the bus stops in Portland have a chica appeal!

That bun! I felt so effusive and perked up as soon as we stepped off the bus! Everything I remembered about this funky-artsy-alluring neighborhood was intact, familiar, welcoming. It hadn't been a dream, those 16 hours when I stayed here, was charmed and seduced, almost eighteen months before. Someone tell me they understand, that they also thrill at the prospect of sharing a favorite place, that there's something like an affirmation of what you see, and believe, when a friend can see it, too?


Collage, that art store I cannot get enough of. I feel compelled to say: Unless I say so, no one I mention is sponsoring me, this blog, or my musings. I would welcome stickers, or free paint, a check, from this shop, but I am only linking to them and singing their praises, because I like what I saw there, because I think you might like what you'd see there. Same goes for all the places, things, talents, clubs, and establishments I link to... I do it because I like them. Good will. Effusive perkiness.

How did I not come home with little masks?


Maria and I browsed, and browsed, and browsed. We wishful crafted... something like wishful shopping, but instead of pretending to be on a spending spree, we were imagining all the gluing, glittering, stamping, stitching, painting, sketching, designing, artsing we could do with all of this great stuff! Our other wishful notion is to have crafting lessons with the supplies in each section of the store, on the spot, so we learn the purpose and best uses for every glue and gadget, every media. Wouldn't that be fabulous? I feel the same way in hardware stores, and feed stores, where they sell cheese making, canning, and fermenting, supplies. Hands on... it's my learning style.

Back to Close Knit, and they are still friendly, still have a beautiful selection of yarns, inspiring pieces on display. We popped into Bolt, a small, but perfectly stocked fabric shop. Wool squares? Yes, please. A fat quarter of fireflies on a midnight blue? Yes, please. Enough fabric for a skirt for Maria? Sure, why not?

And yes, by now, there is no way our acquired treasures, and the stuff we left home with, are ever going to fit in our luggage. Nope.

So, we stopped for a bite, to come up with a plan...

The plan: Buy an insulated grocery bag from Trader Joe's and use it to carry only our necessities for the train ride home, and the new found treasures can be stashed and crammed into our luggage. Voila!

That was a good lunch, and a good plan.

Good, then, let's walk!

I didn't open it up. It might be an excellent book. At any rate, I love the title. It takes all types, yes?

Free Little Everything! There were some tempting treasures in there. I love the kindness and common sense of this... direct giving, meeting needs, sharing.

Since our lunch was Little, we had room to see about this Salt & Straw everyone raves for! Ice Cream, anyone?

When I was here before, the line was a long way out the door. And I passed. But this was a treat Maria was eager to try, and I am so glad we went in... even with the line. Are you checking out those flavors?

Here, take a closer look. And take your time. No one is rushing you. Uncertain, or tempted by all of it? No problem... taste samples are unlimited, and offered with gracious smiles.

Not only was the server (Barista? Ice Cream-ista? Milk Maiden Fair?)... not only was she friendly and helpful, she also asked for our allergies, food sensitivities, so she could be sure we would thoroughly, safely, enjoy our treat. I have to say, the service felt four star, first class, warm, generous, patient, welcome. Really, really, really good. As though they actually want our business, but only so long as we enjoy the experience. What a lovely way of doing things!

I sampled... Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon. I do not think of myself as an ice cream person. But, I am going to try and do this justice, because this place deserves a righteous representation. The Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon ice cream was amazing. It was cold. It was creamy. It was only a spoonful, but it had a luxury of rich flavors, like a flavor spectrum. I felt like that one sample was a sensory meal, complete, satisfying. Have you ever enjoyed a spoonful of anything that left you feeling like it had achieved the fulfillment of its destiny?

Next, I tried Honey Lavender. Again, a spoonful of a complete expression, the subtotal of its purpose: A field of sweet lavender inside my head, cool, refreshing, and satisfying. Wow. Maybe I am an ice cream person, now.

Then... yes, I went for three samples! Caramel Corn on the Cob, because, honestly, why would I pass up on that?? It was wildly fabulous, like a great carnival ride, on a pretty day, and my favorite fair day indulgences... corn on the cob and caramel corn! I laughed out loud, from the pleasure.

Maria ordered a double scoop of both the flavors she sampled, so I think we can say, she loved them!

Chocolate Gooey Brownie, topped with Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Freckles. She described how enjoyable the brownie bits were, fresh and delicious. And how the zucchini bread was every bit like zucchini bread, and she recalled her favorite kitchen memories in Wisconsin, and her Great Grandma Nancy's zucchini bread, which is her favorite in all the world.

The Honey Lavender needed my further consideration.

Dear Portland, you are charming, and lovely, in so many ways.

Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable, this day is not nearly over.

Maybe, after seeing The City of Books, you might feel like you'd seen enough, but no. This is Green Bean Books, and it is, if you will, the Charming Small Town of Books! I have a list of criteria, or expectations of any place I fall in love with, and this list includes must haves, like a great playground, an awesome toy store, and a fabulous book store. Green Bean Books is Portland's other fabulous book store. Go to there. Please.

The selection is rich, really defying the small space. Every corner is a wonder to behold. There can be no doubt... Green Bean Books is stocked, fashioned, maintained, and kept up by genuine book lovers, with humor, affection, and creative spark.

Wouldn't this be an awesome way to present a book report? A diorama box, assembled to give a glimpse of your impressions of the story. Scene, characters, and a suggestion of what will unfold, lovingly composed, and shared.

Maybe you know Wild Rumpus, in Minneapolis? There's a bookstore I can never get enough of! Now, this place, too, has inspired my literary imagination.

A small store, with a good selection. We were tickled to see our friend's title prominently displayed.

Did I mention "creative?" Hello! This place was cracking me up... One token, and you can have an instant disguise from the Facial Hair in a Flash dispenser! Hilarious.

Another token, will get you any one of these Fing-o-Matic finger puppets!

Call Geoff, tell him I need one more week. Something important came up.

We found the last volume in that series she read... the missing book will just have to fit in our bags, somehow!

Even from the bus ride, we were relishing the sights... more trees, more shops, more lovely homes, and attractive views. We made our way to the Trader Joe's to see about that insulated grocery bag, then back to Steve's house, so we could do the practical work of making all of our stuff fit for the train ride home. We rested, read, and organized our things. And by late afternoon we were ready for another outing. Just a long walk, on a long summer day, in a beautiful neighborhood.

You are welcome to come along. Even when it was too dark to expect good pictures, I kept holding up my camera, capturing moments, scenes, everything I wanted to fit into our bags, to visit again, if only from our desk at home. These are some of our postcards...


Alicia said...


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Gracias, Alicia... en esa ciudad, es fácil tomar buenas fotos!
Todo se ve lindo!

Adaliza said...

Such wonderful moments - what a memorable holiday with Maria. Thank you for sharing - especially the ice creams! Ax