A Sunny Afternoon Out

Dear Liza,

The other day, Grandpa Nelson offered us lunch out at Monster Smash. It is a pleasant mile’s walk away and has yummy burgers and fries.
Belmont Station, the tavern just in front of the food truck, sells good beers and ciders. They also have a bright breezy patio with windows that open all the way up, making for a pleasant airy environment, more eating outside than inside!

The breezy patio at Belmont Station

We enjoyed the yummy burgers and such, and Grandpa Nelson had an English Reveille’s Cider, which is actually made in Astoria, Oregon, just about 90 miles from here.

When we had eaten ourselves silly, we headed down Belmont towards home, and along the way we found a new food truck pod, The Bite on Belmont. Auntie Bridgett found the coffee she was needing from Kind Coffee. It was tasty and the service was very friendly.

We made a quick stop for a six pack of Guinness at the Belmont Market and a to order a book at Belmont Books, and headed for home. We put our feet up and rested up for the Giants ball game later this evening.

I love that we manage to keep each other entertained!


Grandma Judy

What a Day! Part 2

Dear Liza,

After I had rested a bit, we continued my birthday by all working on the Gia Whitlock puzzle. It is so pretty! The colors are amazing and I love that I got to see her process on the SideStreet Arts Art Talk last week.

Then there was a delivery from our local flower shop, Flower Bomb! Grandpa Nelson had ordered a Spring bouquet. It is gorgeous! Hydrangeas, lilies, dahlias, two tiny tulips, even a Love Lies Bleeding. Sad name, gorgeous flower. The unusual color scheme of the bouquet coordinated exactly with the Gia Whitlock puzzle and Michele Maule birthday card, and looked great in our Nicole Cursio vase! It was amazing.

Bunch of flowers….

For dinner, we braved nasty weather and walked to Monster Smash, a great food truck just behind the Belmont Station tavern. We got burgers, fries, some cider and beer from the tavern, and ate in their very noisy, but socially distanced patio. It was weird being with people again, but felt good.

We got home before the storm hit, and got a delivery of an edible fruit arrangement from Auntie Bridgett’s momma Donna. That, with a little cheese, will be lunch tomorrow.

Bunch of fruit

Then, as if the day wasn’t perfect enough, Auntie Katie and Cousins Jasper and Kestrel stopped by, bringing a wonderful ranunculus in an owl planter. It will live on the porch for now because I don’t want the pretty blooms beaten up by our spring winds.

I took these lovely people to see the allotment and we agreed that they should come and help me put seeds in the ground when it gets dry enough.

Bunch of family!

Our dessert was the lovely French creations we had picked up way back at the beginning of the day from the Pix 0 Matic Patisserie. They were delicious, delightful works of art. We ate them slowly and loved every bite. Our better selves knew we should save some for later. Nope. We ate them all up!

Being well fed and completely worn out by affection and good wishes, we curled up on the couch and watched William Powell and Myrna Loy solve crimes in The Thin Man, watched an episode of Foxes Afloat blog, and wafted our way to bed.

The Jane Avril pastry looks just like her poster by Toulouse-Lautrec!

What a great way to turn 65!


Grandma Judy

Searching for Dinner

Dear Liza,

The Ross Island Bridge

First, the exciting news: We finally got to see one of Portland’s drawbridges, the Morrison, actually UP! Of course, we were trying to cross it at the time, so this meant that we waited in traffic for an extra 20 minutes, but it felt very Portland-ish.

This happened the other day while we were  heading to the traffic nightmare that is Portland’s South Waterfront. This part of the city is full of new construction, looming overhead freeways, labyrinthine detours, and part of the OHSU Medical Center. After 30 minutes finding a parking space and getting up to the tenth floor, we were rewarded with wonderful views of the Willamette River and the Ross Island, Tilikum, Marquam, and Hawthorne Bridges.

View of four bridges from the tenth floor

We admired the view, had a short chat with the doctor, scheduled another appointment, and headed down to find our way out of the maze before the Minotaur found us.

“Schoolhouses are the Republican Line of Fortifications” said Horace Mann

By then it was dinner time and we were brain dead and hungry. We headed for Revolution Hall on SE 12th, formerly Washington High School, now repurposed as offices. There is a restaurant called “Martha’s” on the first floor and a bar on the roof. This beautifully designed and preserved school from 1924 is the Alma Mater of Linus Pauling, a famous and controversial scientist, and there are several portraits of him in the foyer.

Portrait of Linus Pauling at Revolution Hall

Again, we hunted for parking and when we finally got in, “Martha’s” didn’t have what we wanted and the other place (which I have never been to but Grandpa Nelson and Auntie Bridgett love) was closed for redecorating.

Heavy sigh. Back to the car, around a newly arrived and hastily parked ambulance, and off again, hungrier than ever.

Auntie Bridgett remembered The Belmont Station on SE Stark. We entered through the cider and beer shop, through the bar, and out the back door to Monk’s Deli, a food truck that sells sandwiches and French fries. By combining everything, we were able to assemble a delicious meal and recharge in the lovely open patio, petting dogs and catching our breath.

Monk’s Deli Food Truck

Monk’s shady, peaceful patio

Watching the light change from blazing afternoon white to mellow evening rose, we arrived home, happy to be out of traffic, fed, and together.


Grandma Judy