Portland (kid-free!)

John and I recently celebrated our 1o year anniversary and traveled for the first time by ourselves since having babies. Portland is one of my absolute favorite U.S. cities. If you have not been, hop on a plane right now and go! This is the perfect time to visit.

Food

One of the things John and I were most excited about was eating. Portland has some incredible restaurants and while most of them are kid-friendly, we could be a little more adventurous, wait in longer lines, and order whatever we wanted because we didn’t have to share with little people who can be picky. 🙂

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Our first stop for dinner was the recently-opened Grassa, because our friend, Ian, is the chef there! And also, because he hand-makes pasta and makes amazing food. Grassa lived up to the hype and was delicious. We loved watching the pasta being made while listening to records.

Broder for breakfast has been on our list of places to go for a long time. We tried once before, but had the girls with us and couldn’t wait in line (there almost always is a long one on the weekend). Yum!

Several friends highly recommended tapa restaurant Toro Bravo (another restaurant with a usually-lengthy wait) where the shrimp was incredible.

Luce was insanely good. This tiny restaurant was absolutely adorable and the food was divine. I felt like I was in Italy again.

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Of course, you must visit Salt and Straw – the famous ice cream shop. It was as delicious as we had heard; so good in fact that we went twice.

Coffee/Drinks

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Albina Press is a friendly grungy coffee shop that we have loved for years.

John recently went to a conference in Portland and visited Secret Society, where he couldn’t wait to take me back to on this trip.

I found a little champagne bar called Ambonnay with a friendly owner and warm space, conveniently located next to Olympic Provisions that I loved.

Fun

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We wandered the Portland Art Museum, leisurely, for hours. We were lucky enough to catch the Cyclepedia exhibit (John was so excited). I was entertained by the preschool class on field trip there (and even more so by the parent chaperones attempting to keep the preschoolers’ hands off the bikes). We also caught the Gaston Lachaise exhibit, (a French sculptor – we had the best timing!)

Of course, we wandered Powell’s for ages and found some adorable drawing books we bought the girls.

We strolled for a bit around Mt. Tabor Park (an ancient volcano right in Portland) until I got blistered too badly and had to go back to the car and change shoes for our antiquing trip through Sellwood.

 

Just a sampling of our favorites from our trip to get you started on yours! Bon Voyage!

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Mini-retreat

This past weekend, two of my closest friends that I’ve known since high school came to visit. We all turn 35 this year, so we wanted to get together. We live all over the country. The last time we were together was over 3 years ago. It’s been way too long.

Taken by Lourdes Irizarry slacklinedesign.com

Taken by Lourdes Irizarry slacklinedesign.com

I picked them up in Portland where we ate, shopped, recharged, and shopped some more. That pretty much sums up our weekend, actually. We ate our way through town, taking breaks to play legos and read books with the girls, and then back out for more food.

But there was so much more than that. These girls have been in my life longer than my husband. They know me deep down. There is no drama, no expectations, we just are. Together. These girls can give me one quick little look and it changes the way I think about things for days. This is so rare for me right now. I took a break from being a mother for the weekend. I was as off-duty as you can be when you’re still at home.

After driving back up to Portland to drop off the girls at the airport (and eat, and shop), I realized that I felt like a person again. Not just a mother. I needed this retreat time so desperately.

Of course, I love being a mother and would be miserable if I wasn’t, but it is crazy intense and never-ending. To have a break from it was so much fun! I left the weekend with memories, a stronger sense of myself, energy for my family, and some really cute clothes.

I’m hoping to plan some more get-away time soon. You should too!

portland weekend

John’s birthday was Sunday and we got to spend most of the weekend in Portland.  He had a conference for work there and Ruby and I went up with him and spent the night.  It was perfect timing.  We got to go out to eat at great restaurants on his birthday – quite a treat when we live in a small town!

When John was working, Ruby and I spent most of our time at coffee shops and Powell’s.  I planned on taking her to OMSI, but she took her time snacking and napping and we couldn’t quite time it right.  Fine by me.  I enjoyed sitting around in coffee shops with her and Coco (her bunny).

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