Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Grand Gallivant: A Week in Portland

Looking up at the trees near Round Lake, WA. It was a nice little loop hike.

I’m sitting on the floor in our room at Zach’s dad’s house, my tummy full of raspberries and blueberries that we picked at the Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch this morning, and trying to catch up on the events of the past two weeks. We just returned from a few days touring down the Oregon coast, and I have some great photos to share and several glowing recommendations of places to stay and things to see. Oregon continues to be awesome!

In the meantime, though, a quick summary of our “rest week:” 

Eating at the iconic Stepping Stone Cafe,
whose motto is, "You eat here because
we let you"
Us at Ken's Artisan Bakery in northeast Portland. Ken Forkish wrote the book ("Flour Water Salt Yeast") that Zach uses to make bread, and after sampling the "real deal," I'm happy to report that the bread Zach bakes is just as good!

When we reached Portland on June 25th, I sort of crashed. Here we were, in a familiar house in Vancouver, WA that we had visited before, among familiar people, doing familiar things, and my brain got very confused because it felt like we were home and done with the trip, except that I was still away from home, so it created a bizarre sense of homesickness and post-trip crash at the same time. It took me a few days to recover from that.

Also we tried quail eggs for the first time. They're a pain to
cook, but very cute and taste just like chicken eggs.
Despite this, we had some great time with friends and family. We don’t get to see this branch of the family (Zach’s dad, sister, grandma, and miscellaneous friends) very often, so it’s been nice to have time to visit everyone. We took some bike rides with Gary (Zach’s dad), had a big family cookout on Canada Day (because it was more convenient than the 4th), attended the apartment-warming of Zach’s sister Ivy and her girlfriend Heather, watched a lot of Parks and Recreation and the Tour de France, wandered around the fern-laced forests, and celebrated Independence Day under fireworks along the Columbia River.

Once when we were visiting Grandma Diane, we got an insight into family history. Her grandparents, Sigmund and Pearl, immigrated from Germany in the early 1900s, and had received several letters from their relatives back in Europe, pre- and post-WWII. Grandma Diane showed us translations of these letters, which were fascinating to read. The later letters talked about how horrible life in East Germany was after the war, and requested cigarettes, food, and shoes. The earlier letters talked about the growing tension in the world, and one from the early 30s ended with, “Thank the Lord we have Hitler, or we would all be in despair.” 

After a week of essentially sitting around, I was raring to go for our four-day trip down the Oregon coast. But that’s a blog post for another time...


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