Bridgett’s Birthday

Dear Liza,

Yesterday was Sunday. It was also Auntie Bridgett’s birthday, and we spent the whole day doing Auntie Bridgett’s favorite things.

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Sunflowers on Bridgett’s Birthday!

First, we had a small breakfast to get ready for a busy day. Then we opened presents! She got some fancy silverware from her Aunt Chris and Uncle Ken, and Grandpa Nelson and I got her a badminton set! We have such a nice big park, we should have games to play in it. More about that later.

Passing Belmont Street, we noticed that the old murals I had taken pictures of are being painted over and new murals painted in. Here are the beginnings of the new ones.

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New murals on Belmont
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The Tov Bus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we walked through the neighborhood to 32nd Avenue and Hawthorne Street. Awhile back we had seen a red double-decker bus (like they use in London) being used as a coffee shop! It is called Tov Coffee (Tov means ‘good’ in Hebrew), and Bridgett wanted to see inside.

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Inside the bus

Needless to say, the inside is TINY. It is a bus, after all, and also needs room for coffee making machines and dishes and fellows behind the counter. But it was pretty…walls and ceilings painted a nice purple, finely carved wooden everythings, and photos of Egypt. We ordered our coffees and went up the narrow twisty stairs to the top of the bus. A nice roof has been made of pvc pipe and heavy plastic, which keeps out the sun on bright days and the rain on not-so-bright ones. When our coffees were delivered we enjoyed the view of the street and people-watching.

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Chai, Egyptian Coffee and just Coffee

Our weather is getting cooler, feeling very much like fall. Trees are starting to change colors and leaves are crunching underfoot. We walked to a pop-up restaurant called hunnymilk. A pop-up is when a group of cooks and waiters who don’t have a restaurant borrow a restaurant and serve their own food. In this case, hunnymilk, which makes fabulous brunch, borrowed the space and kitchen of La Buca, an Italian restaurant. We had the best biscuits and butter ever, fried french toast, roast potatoes, and pork ribs with garlicky cheese grits. OH MY, was it good. We ate until we were happily stuffed.

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Brunch at hunnymilk

But we still couldn’t finish it all! We will have a day or two of delicious leftovers.

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Five boxes of leftovers!
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Setting drinks on fire

After we rested and digested for a while, we took the badminton set to the park, set it up, and started playing. We were delightfully awful…years of no practice had us running and flailing like windmills. But it was fun, so we kept it up. And by the time we were too tired to move, we had gotten much better. We staggered home for more rest before our final destination of the day. I didn’t get a single picture of the game! We were having so much fun, I forgot!

We got a Lyft ride to Hale Pele (say hall-ay pay-lay) Tiki Bar! This is a tiny place with all sorts of colored lights, tikis and blowfish, skulls and tapa cloth lamps. They serve food, (but we were still stuffed from brunch), and delicious tropical drinks, some of which get set on fire. It was fun watch to lights change, and watch the bartender mix the drinks, and then drink the drinks….

When we had all we could hold, we called Lyft again and got a ride home, and wished Auntie Bridgett a final Happy Birthday!

See you soon,

Grandma Judy

Walking, Walking by the River….

Dear Liza,

Yesterday Auntie Bridgett wanted to get out during the day and write for her comic strip, so we set off to find a new coffee shop. We walked down Burnside past Heart and Grendel’s, and settled in at Ristoretto on Couch for some pastries, chai and coffee.

After an hour of relaxing, reading, writing and listening to some pretty weird music, we headed off again. We walked past some very interesting new buildings, like “The Fair-Haired Dumbbell”, and I realized we were only five blocks from the Willamette River. We had been talking about making time to walk along the river, so we did!

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Fair-Haired Dumbbell

But you simply can’t start a major adventure on just coffee and a hand pie. Wandering down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (we call it MLK) we found the Sheridan Fruit Company. It is SO much more than fruit! They make sausages, cheeses, have a food truck, and a whole grocery store that has been there since 1906! The whole place smells fabulous. We shared the Seafood Creole Special of spicy shrimp, sausage, polenta and veggies and felt properly fortified for our journey.

 

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Sheridan Fruit Co., since 1906!

There is a huge freeway that runs between the east part of Portland and the River,  but with Googlemaps and patience, we followed bridges over freeways and under bridges and found the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. It is named for a woman who was mayor of Portland and in the Oregon government for years, and this wonderful path follows the Willamette River for one and a half miles.

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Vera Katz Statue Photo credit mygola.com

Along this path are water fountains, bubblers, benches, sculpture, trees, and even floating public docks to sit on and even jump into the river from, if you like. A few fellows did, and it looked like fun, but we didn’t…wet and drippy are not a good way to walk around town.

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Auntie Bridgett, me, the Hawthorne Bridge, and the Willamette River

We walked to the south end, just under the Hawthorne Bridge, and then north to the Burnside Bridge, up a long flight of steps, and turned east towards home. It had gotten warm and we were pooped. We walked up Ash Street and realized we had walked six miles! No wonder we were tired!

We sat on the couch, drank lots of water, and both fell asleep. After dinner, when it was cooler, Grandpa Nelson joined us and we…..walked some more! Just through Laurelhurst Park this time, not even a whole mile, but the breeze was cool and dogs and kids were playing in the park. It was worth it.

Love,

Grandma Judy

PS The flamingos are celebrating a birthday AND the eclipse! Check out this picture!

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Flamingo birthday/eclipse party