Sunday, August 26, 2012

Three Days Three Cities – Portland Hood River and Seaside

Day 1: Portland

We decided to visit our friend in Hood River last week. Since the drive from Seattle to Hood River is 5 plus hours a break from a car is a must, especially when you are bringing a 7-month old with you.

Our first stop was Portland. We got there around 1:30 p.m. – just in time for a lunch. Per friend’s recommendation we went to Bluehour for lunch. We sat outside and enjoyed a nice lunch. I had smoked trout salad. Nice place to people watch I would say.

Then we walked around Pearl District – I love area around Jamison Square – new urban architecture with benches to sit on. Who knew this was a kiddy area on a hot day?! We stopped for some ice-cream at Cool Moon.

Then we headed to the Rose Garden in Washington Park. Roses were in full bloom and so many. After a short coffee stop we went for a walk along the river in the Waterfront Park. Bite of Oregon was taking place. Smells of barbequed food made us hungry so we thought it was time for dinner.

Our friend suggested we go to the Little Bird Bistro – a French restaurant in Portland Downtown area. Restaurant is not very visible from the street – we had to drive 2 times around the block to find it. The place was full but luckily they had some seats outside – not the best outdoor sitting view – right in front of a bus stop and max transit route plus it was windy that night. None of these stopped us from enjoying our delicious meal – I had pork shoulder braised with apricots and served with a big onion ring on top and my husband had a spin on trout almondine. Of course we had bread, desert and salad. The staff was very attentive and we enjoyed our dining. After we were done I had the same feeling of satisfaction when I went to Spinasse the first time. We headed to Hood River next.

Day 2: Hood River

Our friend’s house had an amazing view of Columbia River and Mt. Adams.

The forecast was for low 90’s so we decided to escape on a hike along a creek/river. We were recommended a 4-mile round-trip hike to the Tamanawas Falls. The hike was rated as moderate and is mainly in a shade and has a long stretch along a creek which we found to be refreshing on a hot day. Final destination was the falls. The only sad things is that there is no very good picnic area near the falls so we had to sit on few awkward stones to have lunch. It took us 2.5 hours to do a round trip.


Once back in Hood River we took a nap and went out see our friend windsurf in the Hood River Waterfront Park.

The park is fairly new and has a nice paved walking trail along the Columbia River and a Pfriem Brewery across the street. And that’s where we went for dinner. Brewery specializes in Belgian-style beers and I ordered a flight to try. Ended up needing help from my companions to finish the sampler. Food was your typical pub grab with the exception of one semi-healthy vegetarian item – bean – quinoa salad. Onion rings and a burger with a glass of beer sounds more attractive to me after a day of hiking, skiing or windsurfing. So, my feelings were not hurt but I opted for a hanger steak and mixed salad greens instead.

Day 3: Seaside

We decide to drive to Seaside, OR to take a walk on a beach before driving back to Seattle. As a Seattleite I cannot live without a cup of good coffee. In Hood River I was getting my caffeine from the 10-speed roastery coffee shop. They also have good breakfast.

The drive from Hood River to Seaside took us about 2.5 hours. We left Hood River in 90+ degree sunny day and arrived to a cloudy below 70 degree Seaside. We stopped for prawns and picked up fresh sturgeon, clams and oysters at Bell Buoy. We headed for a walk along the beach. It was foggy as we started but within an hour skies cleared up and sun broke out from the clouds. After a walk we headed back to Seattle.

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