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.


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. 🙂


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.


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.



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.



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!


10 Years!

Newport Bay

Newport Bay

John and I recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary (!) by retracing our steps of our honeymoon. We both grew up in Florida and lived there until 8 years ago. Neither of us had been to Oregon, but we both had a pull toward it and decided to travel here on our honeymoon. We actually stayed a night in the town we now live in because John thought there was a chance he would apply to grad school here.


Boiler Bay


Bob Straub State Park

My parents came out for a couple of weeks and John and I left the girls with them – our first trip away from them – while we drove up the coast, ate our way through Portland, and spent some time in wine country. It was my first vacation away from the girls. I went away for a few days to visit friends several years ago, but I’m not sure if that counts because I was pregnant and sick the whole time. 😉


Bob Straub State Park

Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park

We stopped on a whim at Cape Lookout State Park and hiked along a steep, rainforested cliff hoping for a clearing and view of the ocean. It was one of my favorite things about Oregon – the wet, green forests full of ferns and moss that open up into incredibly dramatic views of the ocean.

Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park

Twin Rocks

Twin Rocks

We stopped for the night in a small, loveable coastal town in a motel that looked out on the ocean. We were charmed and dreamed of having a place of our own on this coastline.



I missed the girls terribly, but enjoyed the spontaneity, leisurely pace, and ability to do things that we couldn’t have done with the girls tagging along. I’ll try to post more adventures from Portland soon. These photos were all from the first day!


We took a chance on the weather this weekend and headed to the coast. We spent the night in Gleneden Beach, which holds such fond memories for me and John. Part of our honeymoon was spent on the Oregon coast (we never knew we would end up living here!) and we love driving up this dramatic coastline.

There was a break between storms and we hiked out to the coast along the bay.

We got all dressed up and ate at a “fancy restaurant”.

We had a fireplace in our room, which was so lovely to warm up to after our cold hike to the windy beach and our walk back from the pool.

The lobby was full of windows and this reading room where we played chess and watched hailstorms pound against the windows.

It was just one night away but it felt like a week.

More Florida Highlights and Handmade

I never know if I should post pictures of people other than our little family on the blog.  We spent most of our trip visiting family and some friends.  It was wonderful to spend time with so many people.  We really appreciate all the schedules that were re-arranged for it to be possible.  John blogged about it here.

We celebrated our niece’s 4th birthday, which was so fun!  Ruby loved that the little dogs wanted to eat her cracker and she had to tell them no.  She retold that story soooooooo many times.  “Ella, cracker, no!, Ruru’s”  She also loved her first taste of chocolate cake.


We gave my niece a repetitive book (some of the words repeat so its easy to remember and “read”) for the budding reader and a bag full of goodies.  I made the two drawstring bags (edited to add: from a pattern in this issue of Living Crafts) and we collected notebooks, sticky notes, stickers, colored pencils, some clay and a copy of The Great Chicken Escape by Nikki McClure.  I hope she liked it!  I’m just glad I was able to finish it in time.


…especially since I was busy completing this wholesale order.