Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wine-tasting in Willamette Valley

One activity we like to do on a Saturday or Sunday, year-round, is spend a day going wine-tasting in the Willamette Valley. The best areas to go for a day trip is to the west and south of Portland. Around Dundee and Newberg area there are many wineries to visit.

You can plan out your entire day using a wine map before you head out, or just start driving and use serendipity to guide your way.

This particular day, we decided to focus on a small area in the hills between Newberg and Dundee and see what we would find. Love Winderlea's beautiful modern space. Very nice people too! Met the owner and his wife and chatted a bit.

Some of the wineries have fabulous views from their mountaintop locations.

While others have their tastings underground inside their wine caves where the barrels are stored and aged.

Some we like to visit for the location and tasting room facility on its own - like this one with a fabulous deck in back. While others are all about the wine itself (like Adelshiem where we are club members). 

We usually fit in about 4 to 5 wineries per day before we tire out; which includes time to drive, sip, sit, and relax. Sometimes you meet other people to visit with, or get to visit with the owner or winemaker. There are so many wineries in Oregon and Willamette Valley that there are always new areas to explore and great wineries to discover!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brunch at Irving Street Kitchen

I've been a fan of Irving Street Kitchen in the Pearl District since they opened, but I had only gone there for dinner and drinks (love their local wine on "tap"!). That changed recently when we went to Sunday Brunch. What a discovery! The Bloody Marys were great although a bit heavy on the horseradish for me.

The menu was great with so many INTERESTING choices it was difficult to decide. We took to looking around us at other people's plates and asking our waitress was that dish was. Crowded and buzzy, the atmosphere was fun.

I settled on the Chicken & Waffles served with an egg on top. The syrup below was maple with some spicy heat added. I didn't feel too guilty since the portion was actually quite small. Perfect!

Not a bad way to start a foggy Sunday in the city!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Besaw's for Dinner (Portland, Oregon)

We are fortunate to live very close to Besaw's restaurant in NW District of Portland. They just celebrated their 110th (!!!) year of business in operation as a restaurant/bar. Over the years, Besaw's has improved with the times but still kept the historic building intact.

Besaw's is best known for their weekend brunches and midweek breakfasts. People drive from all over the area to breakfast here. Lines form early outside. 

So sometimes we opt to avoid the weekend crowds there and instead go for dinner. There is nothing more cozy and comforting to tuck in to Besaw's on a cold rainy evening and enjoy their fabulous locally-purveyed food. This evening I enjoyed the Tails & Trotters brined pork loin with spinach and polenta. It was outstanding! Flavorful, juicy, delicious.

My husband loved the meatloaf with roasted potatoes and carrots, and mushroom gravy. So satisfying! We decided to slow down the pace and just enjoy another glass of wine. We like to nab at table by the windows and watch the people and cars rush by outside while we kick into a leisurely slow-motion pace.

And this is how we felt about our food. So good!

Besaw's on the corner of NW 23rd & Savier St., Portland, Oregon. (The crowds lined up here waiting for a weekend brunch table.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Portland Marathon 2013

We happened to be at our place the weekend of the Portland Marathon in September. We were awakened by the sound of cheering, so we dressed quickly and went outside to investigate.

Even though we didn't know anyone running this year, we'd heard that lots of people just line up on the course to cheer people on. So we found a fun group in the neighborhood who were playing loud music and cheering loudly for the runners as they passed by.

Since the runners have their names on the front of their official badges, it was easy to call out their name as you cheered! "Way to go, Cheri"  "Keep it up, Stewart!" It was fun to see them smile through their panting. A fun way to watch the marathon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Tile Inspiration from Portland's Street of Dreams

In August, my sister-in-law and I spent a fun day visiting the 2013 Street of Dreams in Portland's suburb of West Linn. So many great houses this year! Pricey, yes. But there's always some kind of inspiration to take away from the home decor even if you can't plunk down $2 million plus to purchase one.

I took lots of photos, and this year I was fascinated by some of the new tile treatments in kitchens and bathrooms. I noticed lots of metallics and interesting layout (like this herringbone pattern above). Thinking about replacing some tile in our 1992-built house when plain square tiles were the norm.

Love the inlaid smaller tiles latice-style here. Wouldn't need an area rug with this!

Tile that looks like agregated rock! Like this one.

Mix of tiles on the floor and shower of this bathroom. Love the dark gray colors.

Tumbled rock flooring tiles. These were flattened on top, making it easier on the feet than some of the rock floors of recent years. Love the mellow natural colors - beige, ivory, tan, light gray, dark gray. Goes with everything. Dress it up or down.

The same fossil-looking tile was used here on both the floors and counter-tops! Brown paired with white and black.

A reflective glass tile used on wall sections here. Interesting alternative to mirrored walls.

More metallic tiles on the back wall of this amazing entertainment room bar!

More metallic tile on the backsplash wall of another cool bar! Love the mix of metallic tile with granite. Not so matchy-matchy, but stayed with neutral colors.

Use of patterned backsplash tile in this mostly neutral bathroom. And it's repeated along the top ceiling line of the bathtub enclosure. Subtle but effective.

This amazing fireplace surround is made with metallic textured tile rather than brick! Love this!

Another tiled fireplace in this dining room. No, that's not rock. It's tile that either looks like rock or is actually stone tile.  Again, neutral colors go with all the other finishes and patterns in the room.

And still seeing glossy white subway tiles. Can't go wrong with this choice for the backsplash wall in this baking center. Mixed with marble, it's great! Notice too, the small diamond-patterned backsplash in neutral dark mix colors. Smart choice for those areas that might actually get splashed while mixing and baking.

So much tile inspiration - for use on flooring, fireplaces, accent walls, back splashes, showers, tub surrounds, kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor spaces and more! Tile is back!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lyle Lovett on the Lawn - at Portland Zoo

We went to the Lyle Lovett concert at the Portland Zoo this summer. Very fun! Portland has a lot of great outdoor concert venues. We hope to explore more next summer. The Lyle Lovett concert was great! Beautiful evening with fabulous music and happy people. Our advise: arrive early to wait in line and then nab a spot on the grass as soon as possible - it filled up and overflowed quickly. We brought a quilt to spread out and sit on, low chairs, bottled water, and some simple picnic food. We purchased wine and beer at the zoo venue. Our group took turns getting up to walk around while the others stayed to preserve our space. Perfect!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stella Scooter with Sidecar!

Spotted just about the coolest scooter ever seen in my neighborhood the other day. So amazing! Wondering if its vintage and restored or just new and made in the old styling. Such coolness!