I hope your Valentine’s Day at your new school was fun. After a busy day that included a visit from an electrician, shopping, and lots of baking, we had a nice evening out at Bread and Ink Cafe down on Hawthorne.
We bundled up, because it is still very cold here, and walked through our lovely neighborhood. I love that people leave their holiday lights up on their porches year round…they always look like there’s a party, and on these long dark evenings, that helps chase the blues away.
Bread and Ink served us wonderful Ciopinno, Salade Nicoise, French fries, and a wonderful local wine, with chocolate and orange cake for dessert. The restaurant was packed for the holiday, but we had good service nonetheless.
I love that our Trouple has celebrated twelve Valentine’s Days, with many more to come. I love my people very much.
Last Friday I got to help Auntie Katie get her basement decorated so she can start using it as an Air Bed and Breakfast. It has nice new paint and furniture, but the walls are bare. So her friends Murray and Lurline, their tiny daughter Mary Helen and I, matted art, hammered nails and made funny faces (that was Mary Helen). We made good progress.
Then, because it was First Friday, we went to visit Auntie Bridgett at the SideStreet Arts Gallery. Bridgett’s art looks so good! I love her collages. Since she was busy hosting the First Friday event, Grandpa Nelson and I went over to Ankeny Tap and Table for dinner. The colder weather means they have their big glass door closed, but it is still friendly and has very tasty food! Their new menu has a beet salad that tastes very indulgent.
This morning, Auntie Bridgett was working at the gallery, so Grandpa and I walked down to Bread and Ink on Hawthorne Street for brunch. Weekend Brunch is a very big thing here in Portland, but there was only a short wait and the food was fabulous. Huckleberry pancakes, Kentucky sausage and fried eggs…all made me miss Great Grandpa Lowell, who cooked this on Sundays for years. Food, conversation, and nostalgia…who could ask for more?
After brunch we walked by a brand new used bookstore, also on Hawthorne. It is called Backstory Books and Yarn and just opened today! It has that delightful smell of used books and is so well organized. I’m sure we will spend many happy hours there.
The rest of today I will be researching Portland history and sewing on a practice quilt.
Yesterday our dear friends George and Mimi Niesen were in town delivering one of her paintings and they stopped by for brunch! We decided to walk, since there are so many wonderful places close by.
Their first choice, called Fried Egg I’m in Love, on Hawthorne at 34th, turned out to be a food truck. I’m sure their food was good, but their eating area right by the busy street was too noisy for conversation. We walked a few blocks east to Bread and Ink, a restaurant that has been here for 32 years!
We had a very tasty brunch of waffles and berries, black bean cakes with mango chutney, potatoes and sausage, and eggs Benedict. Good coffee, good service, and interesting art on the walls made for a very pleasant morning.
We walked back through the neighborhood more slowly, stuffed with breakfast. We walked along Hawthorne seeing all the fun shops and met Ray, the man who owns Classic Collection, where we found Grandpa Nelson’s new summer hat the other day. Ray has a bigger store downtown, but he calls this one “my baby”.
We saw the Tov Bus, a coffee place made in a re-purposed double-decker London Bus. Turning into the quiet neighborhood, there was a sign in a garden explaining that there were important pollinators called mining bees living in their yard, so it didn’t get gardened much.
We passed the ‘cow house’, which has, well, a large plastic cow on the roof. It just sort of sits there, being a cow. Very entertaining!
We imagine it saying things…”Yeah, I’m a cow, what’s it to you?”….”Who took that ladder?”
After George and Mimi went on their way and we worked and had dinner, Auntie Bridgett, Grandpa Nelson and I went for a long walk up to the Grant Park neighborhood. This is where the author of the Ramona books, Beverly Cleary, grew up.
In Grant Park (named for President Grant, who was president from 1868-1877) there are three statues in a fun, splashy fountain. The statues are of Ramona Quimy, Henry Huggins, and Henry’s dog Ribsy. Ramona and Ribsy are actually part of the fountain because their statues help spray the water. Henry is watching from the side. The sculptor, Lee Hunt, captured the fun of playing in the water perfectly.
We walked a long way through the Grant Park neighborhood, seeing the big high school and Beverly Cleary Elementary School, lots of nice houses for sale, and friendly cats.
We were getting tired and thirsty, so we stopped at the Migration Brewery for cider, beer, and pretzels, then finished our walk and collapsed happily at home.
Auntie Bridgett’s mileage meter on her watch said she and I walked six and a half miles in all. No wonder our feet were tired! Another lovely, interesting, exhausting day.