Feb. 26th, 2012 06:20 pm
last day in portland. braved the rain to grab a maple bacon bar at voodoo and enjoyed it with a stumptown mocha. set out around 1015, hit the yarn store again and grabbed a corned beef sandwich at kenny and zuke's to take on the plane tomorrow. met [livejournal.com profile] wisemonkey and [livejournal.com profile] olaugh at the food carts, but sadly, many of them are closed on weekends. we found some hawaiian kalua pork, and they had brought half of a porchetta sandwich from city market, so we made do with that. the kalua pork was salty and tender. the porchetta was a crazy good sandwich - big, thick chunks of melt-in-your-mouth pork, plus mayo, lettuce, tomato, peppers, and who knows what else, all melding together between two slices of ciabatta.

took a cab across the river to cascade barrelhouse and met up with [livejournal.com profile] mthgeek and [livejournal.com profile] winterene. i mostly knitted and watched others drink crazy sour beers. i did try one chocolate raspberry and one cocoa gingersnap, both of which were pretty strange in the realm of beers i've tried. from there, we walked to hawthorne street and had an encore helping of potato champion, plus a margherita pyro pizza. the pizza crust was perfect, hot from the brick oven on the cart. [livejournal.com profile] winterene also let us try his whiffie - a deep fried empanada-like, lard-crusted pie, this one stuffed with four kinds of berries, and his chocolate banana scone. the whiffie was strangely addicting. i'm glad that i only had the one bite of his, since i could've easily eaten a whole one on my own and squandered the space in my stomach that i was reserving for other things.

we walked down hawthorne from about 12th street to about 39th, stopping for browsing, shopping and eating. we were drinking french press coffee at a shop called Hazel Room, which was attached to a little arts cooperative, when suddenly an event sprung up around us. there was apparently a launch of a jewelry line to aid women involved in human trafficking/prostitution -- we got to hear three or four speakers on the subject, including a guy who's running for mayor, for about 45 minutes. again, got a bunch of sock knitted while passing the time.

managed to disentangle ourselves from the gallery/coffee/reception and wandered into a candy bus. A woman apparently bought this small school bus off of craigslist and decided to refashion it as a candy store. you walked into the bus, and there were shelves and tables of candy. it was mimi the candybus' first anniversary, and we decorated a cupcake in her honor. from there, we wandered down the street to waffle window, and had the best brie/bacon/basil belgian waffle, ordered from a little window in th side of a cafe.

eventually, we were hungry enough for dinner and followed yelp's advice to chiangmai, a small, unimposing thai place that specializes in northern thai cuisine. we ordered four entrees and ate about 3.5 between the three of us:

  • Sai oua pork sausage - handmade, well spiced without being spicy, plus some sticky rice, mint and peanuts

  • Gang om - marinated, flavorful beef stew, with more sticky rice

  • Pad Thai - best ever. it was wrapped in a super thin egg omelet, which meant getting a bit of egg in every bite, which i think can get lost when the egg is cooked in. the balance of flavors was just right for me - not too sweet and not too fish saucey. the tofu was flavorful and cooked well, and everything just came together perfectly.

  • Khao Soi - an encore from last night at Pok Pok. This one was spicier than last night's, and the chicken was served on the bone (though it fell right off the bone with tenderness). The broth was warming and comforting, and the noodles were fresh, with a good balance of fried to soft.

one of the best things about portland is that all of this food over the course of the day probably cost as much as a regular dinner in boston. you really can eat well and cheaply in this city.

i made it home around 9, laid in bed, and eventually convinced myself to get up and pack. left the hotel this morning at 445am, grabbed a bucket of day old donuts at voodoo, and hit the airport. this was a much needed break from reality for me. i think it's going to make the rest of the semester fly by, and we'll see where that leaves me once the dust settles.


Feb. 25th, 2012 11:34 am

Woke up lazily, Tim brought me stumptown, knitted and drank coffee in bed. Walked to brunchbox food cart and got greasy breakfast sandwiches. Eventually made it out to yarn store and powells, browsed and bought some cards to send and some Madeline Tosh, which is my current yarn of choice. Met John and Cecilia, headed to food carts:

Noodle house - chewy homemade Asian noodles stir fried with chili sauce, curry, veggies and chicken. Classic asian comfort food. Flavors could have been a little more exciting, but good overall.
Nong's Khao Man Gai - the only thing they sell is hainnanese chicken and rice, and they had the longest line of any food truck. This stuff has been featured in a number of magazines. It was as good as I could have imagined it, simple, well proportioned rce to chicken to sauce. I could eat it all the time. Might get more today - seems perfect for this rainy day.

Took a brief detour to hotel, booked travel to Princeton, picked up coat. Took bus to SE. Stopped at Bermongers and admired their well thought out collection of bottles, all of which you could enjoy there or buy to go. Got tim a sour brown and a spike and jeromes collaboration ale, and myself a sweet cider. Walked up to Potato Champion and had really good fries - thin, hand cut, crispy and brown on the outside, moist on the inside, with accompanying sauces - rosemary truffle ketchup, garlic anchovy mayo and satay. So good, especially when my fry consumption has been fairly low this trip. Another bus to Upright Brewing Company, a fairly small craft beer maker in the basement of a random building. Met up with tim and some math people, drank beers, met up with carl, played scrabble.

Last stop of the night was Pok Pok, a super popular Thai place, where winter also joined our group. Its so popular that, after the wait to get in started to get unmanageable, the management established a bar across the street where you could order drinks and appetizers. The restaurant calls the bar when your table is ready and you transition from one to the other. This is brilliant - customers basically pay the restaurant to wait for 2 hours by sitting in the bar eating and drinking. Tims math group split from our scrabble group so we wouldnt have to wait for a table for nine. We had a bunch of appetizers and played fry your brain (a scrabble variation). I won on AAIITV (everyone was stumped when the next letter was an I, though there are four letter steals - I might have gotten some without the time limit for guessing and also without being exhausted from the long day), and EILOVWZ (another E came out of the bag and the only possibilities were words that had been used already). time went pretty fast, and soon we were across the street eating amazing Thai food:

Kai Yaang - rotisserie chicken
Khao Soi - curry noodle soup with freshly pressed coconut milk
Muu Paa Kham Waan - spicy boar collar (too spicy for me to have much, but delicious)
Kung Op Wun Sen - clay pot with prawns, pork belly, bean thread noodles (I couldn't eat this one because of oyster sauce)

Tim and his friends were sitting next to us, so I also got to try their Brussels sprouts and pork belly. Everything was unique and flavorful and just what I was hoping for. My favorite was definitely the noodle soup, with two kinds of noodles, some heat without being overtly spicy, the smooth richness of the coconut. Yum. I admit that I'm now craving pad Thai, though, after having other Thai dishes two nights in a row. May go back to esan tonight and just enjoy my standby food.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Pdx 2

Feb. 24th, 2012 02:07 am

We started the day at Stumptown, which is practically next to our hotel. Excellent. Took a cold press coffee with cream to Saint Honore bakery, where I found a pastry I had never had before. It was basically a croissant dough with a salted, caramelized top. It was very rich, and the chewy-crunchy-salty top was so amazing. Crossed town to southeast - I don't think I had been there before - and visited Fizz, a modern take on an old fashion soda fountain. they had tons of homemade syrups including salted caramel, lavender, Meyer lemon and salted lime. You chose your syrup and had it made into a soda, phosphate, cream soda or milkshake. I finally decided on a black cherry cream soda - super good, though a little rich. Lost a game of scrabble, then headed to Powells to meet [livejournal.com profile] wisemonkey and [livejournal.com profile] olaugh. Didn't really look around much, so I'll try to head back there today. Walked over to food carts and had an order of penne with vodka sauce and sausage and an order of gnocchi with sun dried tomatoes and other fresh tasting stuff. Nibbled on macarons, Lost a second game of scrabble, did a bit of shopping, and walked across the bridge back into southeast for beers at Hair of the Dog partway into the beerage, I had to step outside and talk about scrabble ... After about 45 minutes, it was too cold to be outside and I put my phone on mute and finished my cider indoors.

Tmi went back to conference, and I hung out in the room, watched Rio on tv, wrote postcards and knitted my sock. When he was released from work, we wandered over to e-San Thai, where I had apps and larb, then ate half of a mango tango donut from voodoo. That brings us up to date.

Tomorrow maybe more powells, more food carts, more time in southeast. Scrabble at a market, dinner at pok pok if it isn't too busy, and more beer and coffee.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Wednesday: arrive, dinner with Franz and Sherry
Thursday: if it's not too rainy, the Japanese Gardens. food carts. pearl district.
Friday: southeast during the day? scrabble with carl and dave in the early evening. dinner with tim. 
Saturday: no idea. wander aimlessly. maybe scrabble.
Sunday: leave really early.

every day: Voodoo and Stumptown. we're staying a block from them, so it'll probably be irresistible.

Pack: headphones, scrabble set and score sheets, new socks i'm knitting, camera, iPad, chargers, gym clothes and shoes, umbrella, travel mug, water bottle.

i got a shiny new backpack to tote around. i'm finally giving in to the fact that day tripping with my timbuk2 is hazardous to my back, at least the way that i pack stuff for wandering around.
Yesterday we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge for some taking in of the gorgeous scenery of this area. I forgot my camera cord, so no images yet, but it was quite pretty with the trees and the waterfalls. On the way out, we stopped at a little winery, a couple of waterfalls, and a cider producer. It was a bit warm, but still enjoyable. We crossed a scary bridge into Washington, and stayed in White Salmon, WA, overnight. There was a perfect little restaurant where we had homemade mozzarella, and I had a nice, light salmon with wasabi ponzu glaze while Tim enjoyed the fresh gazpacho, a cheese plate, and salad. This morning, the Inn where we stayed served up a ridiculous spread of pastries, fresh berries, egg dishes, and supergood coffee, which we watched after some soccer. We ventured back across the bridge into Hood RIver, had more coffee (iced mochas whose ice cubes were made of coffee! So smart!), did a bit of shopping, and otherwise lazed about. We stopped at a dam and a fish hatchery on the way back toward Portland. We're all about the geeky educational touristry. Tonight is an Indigo Girls concert - whee!
I'm watching soccer.  Soccer is on nice and early in Portland, which is good, because we can watch it and still have a full day ahead of us (assuming it ever ends - stupid overtime). 

The conference ended yesterday, and my vacation officially started when I went to the post office and shipped 20 pounds of free junk home.  Tim and I headed to McMenamin's (yum) and played free pool after eating our burgers and potato products.  We spent the afternoon sitting around (hooray!) and then Franz (Tim's platonic ex-husband - they have since given each other up for their respective women) and I headed to Scrabble at club.  I won against a player rated 300 rating points above me (sweet!) and ate mac and cheese and fries for dinner (very healthy).  Today we're off to the gorge and the Hood River to enjoy the scenery, with a stop at Tim's alma mater to see if they really want to give him a job.  Good times.
I made it through the opening of the conference. The speaker talked. I watched people fall asleep. It didn’t do much for me. I had had a mocha frap to keep myself alert, though, so at least I didn’t play the head bobbing game that other people were playing. I worked on my budget for work, which I’m supposed to turn in by next week. I looked around for familiar faces and saw very few. I noted a lot of pastel colors. The rest of my day was far more interesting than the conference part.
Read more... )The conference will keep me busy – sessions start with a 7-8am breakfast, and receptions close each day from 9-11pm, with breaks and meals between sessions and sessions in between. I can’t believe we have sessions til 9pm – you wouldn’t get away with that at a student affairs conference – there’s way too much socializing (partying) to be done at one of those to have the educational stuff go that late. I doubt that I’ll make much of an appearance at most of the receptions – at least one night I have to go and play Scrabble (have to!) – but one is a dessert reception, so I’ll probably at least skirt the edges of that one. I really do have to get some writing done, so I will choose my sessions accordingly.


Jun. 25th, 2006 10:00 am
I woke up at 5, 530 and 6, and finally decided that I might as well get out of bed. I took my bag with camera, map, water, and shawl, plus my iPod, and walked down to the river. There’s a nice path along the river, the heat hadn’t gotten bad yet (it’s supposed to hit 101 today!), and there were some runners for company (most everyone else I saw out at 645 am were homeless people). I walked for about 45 minutes, north to Burnside bridge, west to Chinatown, then back south to my hotel, for about 2.5 miles. I watched the city wake up this morning – there really wasn’t much going on until I was most of the way back, and then I started to see a couple of people, some street cleaners, etc. I stopped at Starbucks on the way back for a mocha and scone, which I took back to my room and enjoyed while watching soccer (yay England). I still don’t think my body has adjusted to the time zone yet, but I’m trying to force it to do so. I can’t believe it’s only 10am – I feel like half the day should be over by now.


Jun. 24th, 2006 09:07 pm
I wandered for about a mile between buying my movie ticket and the start time of the movie. I didn’t mean to go quite that far, but I got disoriented on the way back. I did get to my intended destination, which was Nordstrom Rack. I’ve had gift cards for Nordstrom since Christmas, and it’s one of the few places where I can actually shop for shoes. So, I found a pair of brown Clarks sandals that bring my total pairs of shoes for this trip to five (gym shoes, chuck taylors, birks, black sandals, brown sandals). Five pairs of shoes for nine days is probably more than I need. 
The movie (Wordplay) was so fun. It was especially fun that the audience was giggling at the same geeky things that I was. I wonder if any of them are Scrabble clubbers out here. Just like I see in the Scrabble world, the movie reflected the changing age demographic in crossword competitions (even though it wasn’t a main point). It made me want to buy a book of puzzles, so maybe I’ll stop by the Borders tomorrow. I wonder if there’s a NY Times Wednesday/Thursday puzzle book – I think they’re favorite days, although I’ve never done the puzzles with the regularity to know. Monday is always too easy, Tuesday generally is, and I can barely ever finish a Friday. Many of the celebs they showed in Wordplay were left handed. These are the things I notice. Glad to see that they do the puzzle in pen, and don’t cross out the clues. That’s the way to do puzzles, in my opinions. My dad does the puzzle in the paper every day before work, which got me started on them. In college, I’d grab the paper before my first class, get in to the room as everyone was filing in, and race myself to finish before the lecture began. I almost always finished. I wouldn’t be able to do that with the Times, but it was still rewarding to be able to do them that quickly (while also sipping my iced mocha). 
I left home at 430 this morning, feeling completely out of sorts from the disrupted schedule. I’m definitely not as resilient as I used to be for travel. A bunch of flights had been canceled last night due to the rainstorms, so the airport was unusually busy for 5am. I caught my flight (after they changed the gate and required a second trip through security), slept from take off to landing, swapped plans, sat cramped in the back row for 5 ½ hours, got my 50 pound bag, hopped the light rail, and arrived here around 2pm pacific time, over 12 hours from the time I left home. In that time, I ate half of an egg mcmuffin (now completely unpalatable to me. Stupid tastes), a blueberry scone, and a small bag of pretzels. The iced mocha I grabbed at the airport didn’t sit well with the lack of real nutrients in my body. I managed to check in, wandered a couple of blocks to an Indonesian/thai/some other asian variety restaurant nearby, had satay, rice and peanut sauce, got lost on the way back, found my room, took a bath, and now feel almost like a human being. My computer tells me it’s 741. I think I’ll have to change its clock just so I’m not constantly confused.
I’m still a little disoriented, and not quite comprehending that I’m all the way across the country. I honestly have no idea when my conference actually starts or ends (I did find out that registration starts tomorrow morning, so I’ll probably grab my materials before I head out to Saturday market, which happens both Saturday and Sunday). I’m not comprehending that I actually get a few days’ vacation after that, and that Tim and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary today. Summers aren’t supposed to be such whirlwinds, but this one has felt pretty nonstop. I hope to slow myself down a bit while out here in the pacific northwest. I think I’ll try napping for a bit, and then head across the street, where Wordplay is showing at the theater. Nordstrom is also beckoning from a couple blocks down – I can see it from my room. Nordstrom Rack isn’t far, either. Mmm shopping.



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