Our first guest visits

Logger soapbox

We had a special NRME guest visit us last weekend, for one day only, during our crazy heat wave. We enjoyed all the best that Portland has to offer (Powells, breweries, Saturday market) and a bunch of special events were happening all over the city. We went up the extinct volcano Mt Tabor to see part of the adult soapbox derby which was fun. Crazy costumes and contraptions going down the volcano at human-powered speeds. From there, we headed to the Hawthorne Street Fair where a lot of the trendy shops had sale racks on the sidewalks and there was live music and additional vendors (crafty stuff and food-we had blueberry cinnamon soup!) in parking lots. It was fun and our friend’s wife wanted to shop around, so we ducked into Bridgeport Brewery for a beer sampler. I have to say their beer is alright, nothing amazing. So far I like Rogue the best of Portland beers.

Tour de Fat

That afternoon we headed to the classic Saturday market and saw lots of handicrafts and ate Mexican food. I’ve noticed an increase in the art/screen printed t-shirts at the market. There were some really beautiful shirts for sale, but at $20 each, I’ll wait until another time. Matt and I headed to the Tour de Fat for an hour to take in the crazy circusy bike party hosted by New Belgian Beer every year. We got there just in time to ride some insane custom-built bikes, have a beer and dance to music by March Forth, a really fun live band with people on stilts and some acrobats. We’ve seen them perform in Seattle before and they are a great time. I recognized one of the stilt walkers as someone from our neighborhood who had a tag sale the first week we moved to Portland. It’s already become a small town! It was such a hot day that we played in the fountain to cool off and met back up with our guests at Powell‘s. I like visiting Powell’s City of Books but it overwhelms me. There are SO many books that I feel like I should go to every section and walk down every aisle that I end up just grabbing a book and sitting down and reading. It is an impressive place.

Bike bonanza

For dinner we were going to get Lebanese or Ethiopian food but one of the group had an upset stomach so we got Chinese. (Silly Vermonters, going all the way to Portland to have Chinese food…that’s all there is to eat in VT except pizza). We went to Vegetarian House on 4th ave and I had my usual, General Tso’s fake chicken. This place is currently my favorite Chinese restaurant (but I won’t allow myself to compare it with China Pan, the ultimate in Buddhist Chinese food). Oh, and the night before we went to the Pied Cow to have a drink and it was our first time there. It’s an old Victorian house converted into a restaurant/bar/lounge/hookah patio and they have a great outside area where you feel like you’re in someones backyard. So, all in all, it was a hot, exhausting, busy day but lots of fun.

I look forward to more visitors as we learn the city better and can take you to our favorite places.

Flugtag & Meteor Shower

We’ve been doing well, settling into Portland, enjoying our jobs and the summer.  We haven’t been hiking yet, but hopefully soon it will happen.  There is just too much going on in this city on a daily basis that it’s hard to leave the city.

Flying dragon

A noteable event we went to recently was Flugtag, a crazy event hosted by Red Bull.  Basically, people build flying contraptions, push them off a 30 foot ramp into the river.  We joined 79,998 other people watching the inventive contraptions and enjoying seeing them crash and hit the water.  There were some fun dance routines and too many rip-off pants on guys who should have kept their pants on.  It was great.  We only took a few pictures but if you want to see the other participants, go here.

Earlier in the week, we went to Rooster Rock State Park with a friend to see the Perseid meteor shower.  There was a science presentation by OMSI and a telescope group was there, sharing their giant telescopes so everyone could see Jupiter, the Andromeda galaxy and more cool stuff.  The meteors were pretty cool.  I saw one giant meteor that burned green across the whole sky.