I had a great time on Monday because I got to take the train from Seattle to Portland. I hopped on the 7:40 am Amtrak train near the Seatac airport (free parking dude!) and rode my way for a visit to fabulous Portland. I was heading down to meet up with my bloggidy twin Liv and her husband "Marvy” from The Life of Liv. She was visiting the Pacific Northwest and offered to drive a couple of hours to meet me in the middle of Washington for a lunch. I suggested instead that we meet in Portland and it worked out really great because I got to take the train and they only had to go 20 minutes from their hotel. I love it when things work out like that!
Taking the train is really fun and costs RT about the same as a tank of gas ($56). I sat in the dining car, drank coffee and looked out the window at the gorgeous scenery. Here are a few shots out of the train window. Some are dark and have dirt because of the window. To see any picture in a larger view, click the image.
The view was absolutely marvelous, the trees are very lush and green. We rode over rivers and bridges. I arrived in Portland and it was already getting very hot at almost 90°F (30°C). The Portland Union Station was very pretty and I had to snap a few photos.
After donning my sun hat and walking through the lovely old station, I found a bicycle taxi and told the gentleman driver, “I have an hour to kill my good man, how about a jaunt to Powell’s?”
He and I chatted about the bike and the weather. After about 6 or 7 minutes of biking we arrived at Powell’s Books which is a truly remarkable place and everyone should go there. I lust Powell’s. It makes me miss all of my old super awesome bookshop haunts from when I lived in San Francisco. Powell’s in Portland is so awesomepants I am jealous baby, wah!
I perused a few of the sections at Powell’s and then realized I needed to hit Whole Foods where I picked up a couple of bars of Theo Chocolate’s 3400 Phinney bars - my favorites are “Bread and Chocolate” and “Nib Brittle.” My friend Andy is the Chief Operating Officer at Theo. The chocolate is fair trade, organic and out of this freaking world. If you ever come to Seattle, I highly recommend their factory tour. For $5 you get the tour plus chocolate nibbles and samples (unfortunately there are no Oompa Loompas).
So with chocolate bars and book gifts in hand, I walked several more blocks and met Liv and Marvy for a fabulous lunch at Jake’s Famous Crawfish. I had a wonderful lunch. Liv and Marvy are as terrific as you imagined. Both are funny and vivacious and clever and warm. Marvy had clam chowder, then hazelnut crusted wild salmon. Liv had crab bisque, then a blackened salmon salad. I had crab bisque and a Dungeness Crab and Fresh Oregon Bay Shrimp Louis salad. YUM! We talked about infertility and how hard it was to get through it. We talked about her pregnancy and how they let a few more family members know about the little frijole. We talked about how we met our significant others, our work, our vacations, blogging. We talked a lot about photography and travel. I took out The Nikon for Liv to check it out. The time just flew out the window. We ended our meal with dessert. Marvy and I shared a hard-shell chocolate bag filled with white chocolate mousse, fresh wild berries and berry coulis. Liv had a banana cream pie. It was decadent and rich and I was stuffed full for the rest of the day, but it was worth it.
After our lunch, we walked over to Powell’s (they had never heard of it) and perused a few sections together. We wandered to the travel section and Liv pulled out a travel book on Guatemala and showed me photos inside. She told me how wonderful a place it is, how amazing the people and history and architecture are. We talked about the ruins and the hieroglyphics. I told her about this awesome documentary I recently watched on PBS called “Cracking the Maya Code.” It was truly fascinating. I would love to visit Guatemala some day. You could tell how much she loved it and how proud she was of her wonderful heritage. We said our goodbyes, Liv let me pat her belly and wish the frijole well. Marvy took a special photo of us that I converted into a short movie.
Thanks again Liv and Marvy for lunch and the great conversation.
I was also in Portland to run an errand for my girlfriend Alli. She is giving us wraps made in gorgeous Cambodian Silk for her wedding in October. I took many photos of the material and color options they had available. We are choosing a lovely copper color. The matron of honor is having her dress made at this shop. I am soooo jealous! The shop is called Cocoon Silk.
I perused a few other shops for my remaining hours. Did I mention that Portland has NO SALES TAX! The temperature got up to 102°F while I was walking around. Whew! It was really hot and I was glad when 6:00 pm rolled around so I could head back to the Train station and be on my way in air conditioned comfort.
On the way home I relaxed in the dining car again. I enjoyed a bottle of Black Butte Porter and watched the scenery drift by.
I also got to watch the first disc of a series everyone has been recommending, The Gilmore Girls. I enjoyed the first four episodes and thought the writing was very fun and witty.
I had a truly spectacular day. The train ride, meeting Liv and Marvy, shopping at Powell’s books, walking around in Portland, enjoying the terrific shops. Wow. I was smashingly tired by the time I got home (around 10:00 p.m.) but I got to tell MrBeep all about my day and he was happy that I had a good time.