Portland - Wednesday

One of my favorite things to do in new cities (and often in my own) is to walk and wander. On gorgeous days it’s hard not to be outside. We took a stroll down 23rd Avenue, a trendy district with tons of shops and restaurants. You get such a flavor of each neighborhood just walking through.

We took the MAX to downtown, stepping off into the beautiful Farmer’s Market. I think farmer’s markets are so beautiful, so much color. Determined to visit the “lunch carts”, we meandered in a low blood sugar stupor toward Alder St.  This square probably has a name, but everyone seems to refer to it as simply the lunch carts. It’s a virtual smorgasbord of international food, one truck next to the other. Abby’s favorite is Zena’s Bosnian food. We sampled Bosnian pitas (somewhere between spanikopita and pot pie) and meatballs with yogurt and red sauce. Once again, delicious.

Photo Credit: Food Carts Portland

Everyone in Portland seems to give directions by blocks – “Go four blocks down then three to the right.” These directions are sometimes helpful but often easily misinterpreted. That’s what happened to us and we ended up on somewhat of a wild goose chase in search of the Chinese Gardens. But we did find them, and they are gorgeous. A small party rehearsed a wedding ceremony in the gazebo. The ring bearer informed us that in an effort not to drop the precious rings into the pond, she intended to construct a floatie  pillow with a waterproof box.

We had the loveliest tea party – the stuff some little girl dreams are made of. I chose Tea Flowers and Abby had Eight Treasures. They came in tiny pots with the tea floating loosely. We also had almond cookies and coconut macaroons, all while sitting in tiny stools at a tiny table, surrounded by such beauty. The highlight of the gardens for me was a 100 year old bonsai tree. It was completely aged and matured but no more than 2 feet tall. Crazy.

Photo Credit: Lan Su Chinese Garden

For dinner we made omelets and sweet potato fries. Abby and I don’t have the best track record for cooking (perhaps our most famous mishap was substituting water for oil in a cake mix for Carrie’s surprise 17th birthday party). But we have done our best to learn and with a few blunders, we made an excellent meal. We crawled out her window onto the fire escape where we talked and ate and laughed and watch the sun go down over the Portland skyline and Mt. Hood. That’s something I’ll never forget.

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