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iphoneHolidaythe holidays kicked off for me at our company Christmas party on December 1, i had fun collecting pieces for my outfit – i opted for plaid, black, spikes and cream to tie all the pieces together!  Ryan is home for the month and we had fun buying everyone presents, some of which we sampled at the Granville Island market (a little Isle of Mull cheddar and Honey & Hay pecorino from Benton Brothers = to die for, and pâté from Oyama Sausage).  Christmas was up in Roberts Creek with my parents and brother this year, so we ferried up with a stash of Holiday beer to enjoy!  Our annual card from Makito was waiting for us up at my parents – it gets better every year Makito!  We were able to visit and open presents with Grandad on Christmas morning and he shared some of his chocolate stash with us!  Boxing day we had breakfast with my in-laws and met Michelle and Chris’ new puppy!  I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing Holiday!  Best wishes for the New Year! xoxo

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On our last full day in Portland, Ryan and I started our day with coffee and breakfast with the restaurant right below our hotel room at the Ace – Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen!  I had the cheese blintzes and ooooomg heavenly!

After breakfast we walked along Stark St. to Tanner Goods.  Ryan had been eyeing their leather camera strap for a few months and decided to invest!  It’s so beautiful and crafted exactly the way he wanted – he’s very happy with it!  Portland just kept getting better and better!

Of course after a bit more wandering, it was time to eat again!  Next food cart we wanted to try – so we walked back to Food Cart central on SW 10th and Alder to the Grilled Cheese Grill!  I tried the simple, but oh so cheesy “The Gabby” with a side of tomato soup (exactly the way it should be enjoyed) and Ryan tried :The B.L.T.G.C.” – two very happy campers after that lunch!

We walked around all of downtown practically, walked by the LONG perpetual line at Voodoo Donuts, snapped the “Keep Portland Weird” mural, explored the Pearl District, (picked up my new baby Rockie at Nordstrom – SO happy with him), visited the incredible Powell’s Books (wow books) and ate the cutest and most delicious little burgers at Little Big Burger!  We brought back some of the spicy catsup they use – Camden’s Catsup – best ketchup I’ve ever had! Phewf!

We finished our trip with a walk to the Burnside bridge at night to photograph the White Stag sign from the bridge!

Ryan and I (and our tastebuds) thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Portland!  We are already planning our next visit to see the East side (the land across the bridges)!  Thank you to everyone who made it so special!! xoxo

Photos 1, 2, 7 and 22 by Ryan, rest by me.

Our next day in Portland, Ryan and I started out with coffee and scones at Stumptown Coffee (conveniently attached to the lobby of the Ace) and set out to walk around Downtown!  We walked down to Waterfront Park to admire all the bridges (SO many!) and to enjoy the beautiful sunshine (we’ve heard it’s similar to Vancouver in the winter months so we tried to soak up as much as possible, as we will be back in the rainy season)!

In our wanderings, we happened upon The English Dept, a beautiful bridal boutique I’d admired from afar during our wedding planning!  Ryan was a good sport and came in with me, and patiently waited while I drooled over in-house designer Elizabeth Dye’s gorgeous gowns and ornate hairpieces by my wedding hairpiece designer Myra Callan of Twigs & Honey – swoon!  I can’t wait for Myra’s book to arrive (c’mon Chapters!!)

After all that drooling and swooning, I was pretty hungry, so we walked down the block to Food Cart Central (SW10th and Alder) to check out one of Portland MANY food trucks!  We had seen EuroTrash on Eat St. and decided to give the Escargot and Squid Fana a taste!  Crunchy, tangy, spicy, salty creamy… i think that might be everything I like in a meal! 🙂  Next time we’re down I want to try their Chorizo and Chips!

After lunch we wandered around taking photos and videos pretty much all afternoon!  After all that walking and recording we were… hungry!  Ryan and I hadn’t been for oysters in ages, so we made a pit stop at the hotel then walked down a few blocks to The Parish!  We had been flipping through a Portland Monthly (The Food Lover’s Guide to Portland – good timing hey?) we picked up at Whole Foods and came across a feature about must-try oysters and wanted to try some American oysters!  A pleasant surprise in Portland (in addition to 0% sales tax) is that almost every restaurant/pub has a happy hour!  The Parish had cheap drinks and dollar oysters, so Ryan and I got a few dozen oysters and martinis (only 2 martinis)!  Our faves of the night, by far, were the Chelsea Gems from Washington!

For dinner, we walked down half a block to Oven and Shaker for PIZZA!  It was the BEST pizza we’ve had in a long time… second ONLY to Pizzeria Prima Strada in Victoria (miss you guys will always be my favourite!!)  Ryan had his favourite Magherita and I tried the Bianca – amazing (we even went back a few days later and had the pizzas again!)  We finished the night with their house made olive oil gelato and oooooh my gosh, the BEST dessert I’ve ever had (we went back just for the ice cream the next day)!  Thanks to everyone who made our Day 2 tasty and memorable!

Photos 9, 10, 12-14, 16 and 17 taken by Ryan, rest by me!

Ryan and I recently returned from our very first vacation together!  We decided to visit Portland, Oregon for the beer and the food, and boy we were not disappointed!  Boarding our Amtrak Cascades train at 6:40AM on Tuesday morning was a little bit of an early start for us, but it was a painless (except for Ryan’s neck) voyage for 8 hours to reach Union Station in PDX!  The weather was beautiful and we packed light, so we walked to our hotel on Stark and 11th – the Ace Hotel Portland!  I really loved the unique, hip/industrial decor, definitely a breath of fresh air after staying in too many chain hotels!  After Ryan and I settled and unpacked a bit (and checked our twitter, facebook, emails, etc), we headed down the street to try a Portland Brew Pub – Deschutes!  After a tasty flight of beer and some much needed burgers, we wandered around downtown then returned to the Ace for a much needed sleep!  PDX Day 2 next!

Photos 3, 5, 9 and 15 by Ryan, rest by me.

Ryan recently has perfected our fish tacos by making homemade falafel crunchies!  The fish tacos are super simple and really refreshing for a summer dinner!  Ryan mashed up chickpeas, add flour, curry powder, salt and lime juice and formed them into little balls and deep fried them in cooking oil until they are browned.  We make a simple mango/tomato/cilantro/lime juice salsa, cut up some purple cabbage for crunch and colour and add that to a lightly salt/peppered pan-fried white fish, all wrapped into a soft tortilla with a smear of curry mayo!  Yum!

 

Summer has finally arrived in Vancouver, and that means enjoying one of my favourite summer berries – raspberries!  Rohe lies around the apartment trying to stay cool,  I got a great deal on a new pair of Loeffler Willow mignon knot flats (and Rohe loves shoes nearly as much as I do)!  Ryan and I made Curried Devilled Eggs with a recipe from Vij (super simple and really delicious), Mr. Plow is now living in the tree outside our apartment lobby, and Ryan, his dad and I went to the Central City Summer Cask Festival!  Summer is flying by and it feels as though it just started! Hope you’re enjoying the gorgeous weather!