the benches take portland

My parents and two youngest sisters came to visit us last week. We had lots of fun and ate some delicious food. 

We went to the rose garden, walked down to the waterfront and across some bridges, went berry picking and shopping, went to the tillamook cheese factory and cannon beach, hiked multnomah falls and went to council crest, visited the temple (sort of; it's closed and so are the grounds but the visitor's center is great!) watched the opening ceremonies and went to mount st. helen's (which is amazing)! It was a fun week with enough planned but also some nap/plenty of eating time! 

Speaking of eating time, we ate some great food. We have thus far tried two portland restaurants/food carts, so those were first on the list. After that, we were able to try some new places. We ate some great pizza, fries and burgers (pizzacato, kindle kart), sandwiches (big a$$ sandwiches, elephant's delicatessen (new favorite sandwich: croque madame)), seafood (mo's), and some favorites like olive garden and red robin. (and my mom's favorite, lunch at costco). We also tried a lot (a lot) of doughnuts from voodoo doughnuts* and I made some homemade berry ice cream for our olympic party. 

Portland is the food cart mecca of the usa (or so I've read). There are over 500 and while I doubt we would ever try them all, we are off to a great start! (not really, but we'll try)

I forgot to take pictures in some places so I'll just steal some of my sister's photos when she uploads them. 

Thanks for coming and spoiling us, parents/sisters! It was a fun vacation. Even though for most of the days I felt like I was 17 on a family vacation and my boyfriend was back home (dave had to work). Haha. 

*We have now tried at least half the menu at voodoo. Dave thinks they are overrated (but he also hates going downtown, so I think they are related) and while I am no doughnut connoisseur, I think they are worth a try. Some of them were downright delicious, weird names and all. 

Portland happenings

My family has been visiting this week. I'll update soon on all our adventures. It's been really fun having them!

And yes, our adventures included voodoo doughnut's bacon maple doughnut. Which was very good.

I also disabled mobile viewing because I find it sort of annoying on other blogs, because I'm often looking through multiple posts or sidebar links, etc. and I always push the forward button when I'm trying to zoom. If anyone really cares, let me know!

seattle by way of redmond

Last weekend (or two by now), we went up to Seattle and stayed with some friends in Redmond. We drove through Seattle to go to the Ballard Locks. They were so cool! We took a tour and learned a lot. It is very impressive, especially for being built so long ago. The locks don't use any electrical power to raise and lower the water. It's all physics (not that I'm saying that like I didn't need five explanation to understand how it works)

We played some fun games, ate some great food (dick's for burgers and neville's for some british food) and enjoyed the company. I didn't take too many pictures, but here are a few. 

You guys. I am pushing the limits on how far one should go between haircuts with short hair. ugh. This picture also feels like we threw together a thousand different colors and patterns and then squinted into the sun. Oh well, we work with what we have, right? 

cute little pastry from the British store. 

food stuff


I got a new ice cream maker for my birthday and we've tried out two recipes. A lemon sorbet and a salted caramel ice cream. I used this recipe for the caramel but used a philadelphia base instead of french/custard style (don't I sound so cultured?) It turned out well, but the lame-o part of homemade ice cream is it tastes WAY better the next day, as we learned this week.

I also made this bread today and it is really good. You know that "artisan bread in 5 minutes" thing that has been floating around? I never tried it because I thought it was too...hard? But this, while if I compared the two recipes I would find they are probably about the same, this seemed way easier. And it was super easy. Only thing is, if you want it for dinner like I did, you have to start it the day before, since it needs 12-18 hours to rise. Ah well, I got around to it eventually. try it. 

We are headed to Seattle this weekend for a quick little trip. I've never been so I am excited. 

Also, anyone have a favorite ice cream recipe?

hardest v worst.

On Saturday Dave and I decided to bike to Dave's parent's house. They only live like 5.5 miles from us or something. It wasn't like the time we biked to my parents house (8 miles or so) or anything. Unfortunately, the terrain is less friendly than provo/orem. Portland is built on a bunch of hills. There are basically two ways to get there: ride on the freeway (though it's probably not a "freeway" since bikes are allowed?) and then down a windy/fast road with a drop off to under the stilts of the houses. OR you bike through the southwest hills of portland, down a windy road (but with no drop off) and finish it off on a highway (with a bike lane). We chose the later.

Now, this turned out to be the hardest bike ride of my life, and I didn't even bike for half of the time. Or even a fourth, probably. NOW, this is not the WORST bike ride of my life, that would be THIS ride. (you KNOW I had to bring that up, since it's one of my favorites. ALSO, it's been exactly two years, so it's almost fitting. I also fixed a terrible grammatical error that I made when I originally wrote it and feel much better.) I also can't believe I thought I could bike 18 miles in the summer of 2010. laughable. 

Anyway, Saturday. It was hot and sunny (high 80s) and we took off around noon. We live both at the top and the bottom of a hill. We biked the few blocks uphill to the bridge we'd cross to start climbing the freaking mountain that stood between our house and Dave's parents. I am proud that I biked as far as I did, even though, pathetically, it was probably like 1/2 a mile at most? Maybe a whole mile? (nah, probably not). but it was all uphill. Then we round a corner and I stared at the hill in defeat. It went on forever, just a steady climb. There is NO WAY I could have biked that without fainting. I bike on our stationary bike almost everyday, but that in no way prepares me for uphill biking. So I had us pull over because I felt like I was going to die and I would need to walk my bike up the hill.

Dave walked with me, though I insisted he could totally bike up the hill and I'd meet him at the top. (the top being actually like 2-3 miles from the top) But he is nice and just walked with me. So we conquered the first hill. So steep. So hot. Rested before climbing another stretch of the hill. I don't actually know how far we walked and I mean, I make this sound like we walked for 10 miles when it was probably only 2 or so. But it was SO uphill and just never ending! It's a pretty area (very rich and fancy) and the houses are really cool but I was just thinking how this was the dumbest thing we have ever done. Ride our bikes over a mountainhill, eh?

So anyways, we FINALLY made it to the top. We even rode our bikes for a short stretch on our way up since it seemed like it was leveling off/going down. Nope. So after a little bit it was back off the bikes. At the top we gladly jumped on our bikes and didn't even have to pedal that much since it was downhill! It was a windy and sort of busy road. There was plenty of room for cars to pass (though it was just one lane each way). My hands were glued to my brakes because I don't like going too fast on bikes and it was a bit scary. Ah well, we made it to the highway (which is like state street in orem) and it was glorious! My kind of bike ride! FLAT! It felt so good to pedal and feel your legs working but not feel like you're going to die. Too bad that part like 1/2 mile at most. We finally made it to his parents and I will never do that again.

Then we ate lunch (hmm, we always tend to end up there during mealtimes. sorry!) and it was delicious and mostly made up of chips left over from the 4th. And after a while Dave biked back without me. He said he went super slow up the hill, but at least he could bike the whole time. And yeah, then he drove back to get me.

whatever. You bike up a hillmountain and the turn around and do it in the opposite order. I DON'T THINK SO. never again.

this is approximately what we did (though this starts in the pearl and we live in goose hollow). I'm hoping the climb impresses someone or something (I don't know how it compares to anything), so like it wasn't traumatic for nothing. Or that I'm not making this up.

oh well, we survived! and I am grateful that our bodies work!

berry picking

A few Saturdays ago we went berry picking. The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful. We picked way too many for just two people but it was fun. We'll be back for the July berries. 

the fourth in portland

This year for the fourth we didn't do much. We mostly hung out at my in-laws house all day and ate a lot of really good food (which, who is complaining about that?). Susan, my mother-in-law made these cookies and they were so good. And patriotic. I told her about this drink I saw floating around the internet and we bought the drinks for it.

It worked, but not exactly as pictured on OBB. The blue did not show up blue at all, but when my brother-in-law used food coloring, it sort of worked. But red and white still works. And, it was a tasty mix. 

Then we went outside for the fireworks. We mostly heard them, because there are too many stinking trees to see anything!! We did have a few gaps in the skyline that allowed a bunch of the big ones to be seen. I really missed last year's firework experience, with the whole sky filled with newly legal big fireworks (that we could actually see). But we did see a few and brian and dave lit a bunch of these types, which was pretty cool too: 

I think yesterday was the first time I've really been homesick for Utah. So while I am glad we have great air quality here, I really missed the fourth in Provo. I also missed our fourth in DC (though not the heat stroke). I guess those were two years that will be hard to beat. I also realized that last year I "started" a tradition, but completely, completely forgot about it this year. haha. 

I told Dave that I may have to find myself in Provo or DC next year for the fourth. no offense to portland.