#33: Attend the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting at Feast Portland

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We live in a town that’s pretty serious about food, but we almost never make it to any of the big events. This year we made a point to attend the Feast Portland Grand Tasting.


We chose this one becauses it was possible, both to attend and actually fully experience. The Feast festival is a three-day affair, but this was at least contained to a single square downtown.


We tasted wine, cider, beer, ice cream, sushi, cheese, snacks, dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and everything else we could find.


We were full and happy after about two hours, so we picked the kids up from school and explained that they would be the only ones eating dinner that night.

Kid-Parent Retreats!

Has it been six months already? Time for another weekend of one-on-one bonding time with kids!

Becky & Will

I found this adorable cabin on Airbnb, and it was just perfect.


Will spent a lot of time in the sun-soaked hammock, reading old issues of Scientific American.


While he worked on getting ahead on his homework, we made our way through the cabin’s record collection. ABBA, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond (Will’s a huge fan now), and many others.


For our Saturday outing, we headed up to the Adventure Park at Mt. Hood Skibowl. First stop: the alpine slide!


He loved the lift ride almost as much as the slide itself. We had unlimited-ride bracelets, so we must have gone down the slides 20 times.


Next stop: mini go karts.


Also on the docket: rubber-band-assisted trampoline! I did this too, and came home with a giant bruise on my arm. Worth it.


There was much rock-climbing. I told him he was cheating by holding on to the top edge of the panel.


So I challenged him to the real thing. He was pretty scared, but then quite proud when he made it to the top.

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This is what greeted us when we got back to the cabin:


Supper and the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; Will and I just finished reading the book together, and this was a great lesson on how movies and books are different. He realized that the book was better, which is huge considering how much he likes anything on a screen.


Sunday morning, we set out for a short hike!

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I hate out-and-back hikes, so in order to make it a loop we took some logging roads, and possibly took a wrong turn. Our 2-mile walk turned into a 6-mile trek. We had lots of time to talk.


Just one more magazine before heading home.


Lucy & Ben

We were the “home team,” so we got started right away by setting up a giant pony-land in Lucy’s room. We set up this elaborate scene having something to do with a surprise party when someone woke up, so I let her keep it out all night.


In the morning, we made breakfast (lower left), and finished our bone-broth project (the rest).

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We alternated playtime with Lucy getting ahead with her homework (it’s really hard to fit it in during the week). She served us tea as we played Flip Out.


…and Ticket to Ride.


At-home retreats with me always include a movie night and slumber party in the theater. Lucy chose Pippi Långstrump, and I chose to drink.

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The next day, Lucy finished her homework (!), so we had some adventures planned. First: snuggle time.


Next: nail polish and ponies.

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Next: swimming! I learned later that this was a bad idea, and her nail polish pretty much just fell off. She wasn’t too broken up about it, though, so I sent her off to ride her bike around the block while I picked up some comestibles at our farmer’s market.


#58: Find a Raw Milk Source

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We found out this year that, while Lucy and Will have an intolerance for most dairy, the symptoms aren’t triggered by unpasteurized milk! We found a farm that could supply us with this liquid gold, but then they went out of business. We needed a new source.

And then our favorite paleo restaurant, the Cultured Caveman, discovered The Abbey Farm, a little place in Molalla that sells raw dairy! Milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, butter – the doors are wide open, and we’re loving it.


Hopefully this item won’t be on next year’s list!

#16: Do 4 Walks from Our Portland Walking Tours Book

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

This is a multi-part challenge, and each walk took part on a different day; in fact, we cover three seasons in these photos!

For our guidebook, we’re using Becky Ohlsen’s Walking Portland, which includes 50 walks around our fair city. It was pretty hard to narrow down which ones to do first.

January: Northwest 21st and 23rd Avenues: Faded Glamour (2 miles)

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Muu-Muu’s, where we warmed our hands with a flaming-hot coffee drink.

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The New Renaissance Bookshop – our guidebook’s advice: “just try to feel grumpy here.”


The Casa del Matador, also known as the Cougar Bar.


3 Monkeys. So much vintage hipsterness.

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Lunch at Escape From New York. This place gave Becky flashbacks to high school.


January (also): Old Town & Chinatown (2 miles)


Graphic poems about the Green Man of Portland. Most confusing.


The Lan Su Chinese Garden.

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Ben’s old stomping ground; Monsoon‘s office is above the Davis Street Tavern.

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Not sure if the sign itself is for lease.


April: Nicolai and Slabtown: Rough & Ready (3 miles)

We began at Schoolhouse Electric, which has all sorts of things we want to have, as well as a Ristretto espresso bar, where they were surprised to find that they were in our book (which was also sitting on their shelf)!


The bear sculpture was in the process of being relocated, but we found it anyway.


We couldn’t help stopping in at Smith to poke around and bring home some loose-leaf.

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We also couldn’t help stopping by Becky’s old stomping ground.

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The Lucky Lab is a must-stop, and they have plenty of things to taste. We did some experimentation with the camera which turned out rather well, which is why you lovely people get lots of photos from here.

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No stroll around this neighborhood is complete without a visit to the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium.

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We also popped in to the Clear Creek Distillery, did some tasting, bought some brandy… and didn’t take any photos.

August: Stark-Belmont: Heart of the Southeast (5 miles)


This long day began (as all great journeys do) with cheese.

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The Horse Brass Pub is, according to our book, “one of Portland’s greatest drinking establishments.” What we can say is that they’ve nailed the feel of a British pub, and that we were happy drinking there.

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The Movie Madness video store doubles as a museum of film memorabilia. Here’s Becky playing the “which one would I least hate to wear” game.


When the inventor of the Gardenburger wanted to build a house, no ordinary house would do. So he plopped this art-deco monstrosity in the middle of a craftsman-style neighborhood. You feel weird just walking past it.


Wunderland. Need I say more? $10 for four person-hours of entertainment is pretty good, people.


We arrived at the glorious Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery just in time for gorgeous golden evening light.

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We stopped at Belmont Station for some more tasting.


…and finished our journey at the Caldera Public House back where we started, and by which time it was dark enough that taking photos wasn’t really a good idea.

To Sum Up

4 walks; 12 miles; all three of Portland’s seasons; 50-ish photos; 1,000 memories. We feel like we know our fair city a lot better now, and we’ll continue working our way through this book.

#3: Ride the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

We borrowed a tandem bike from some friends, and drove over the river to the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail. We needed one car for bikes, and another for people.


The kids loved going on an extended ride. We kept stopping to evaluate whether we should head back or not, and we made it six miles before we collectively decided we were halfway tired, which means we did a 12-mile ride that day!

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We had a lot of fun. Will and Lucy enjoyed riding fast and going places they’d never seen before. We hadn’t rode a tandem in a couple of years, and had a great time re-learning it.

#67: Participate in an Organized 5k Fun-Run

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

NOTE: This post is long, but you’re going to want to get to the end. Trust me.

For our fun run this year, we joined in the Color Run, which is a benefit for the Dream Factory of Oregon. We made sure to dress appropriately.


Here we are at the starting line – notice how everyone’s shirt is clean and white?


The race packet included bibs, shirts, and some temporary tattoos.


There isn’t much narrative value to the running of the race, but I’ll just drop a couple of details here:

  • We started the race together, until the first “burst”. After that we split up, letting the kids set the pace.
  • Will loves to sprint, but he learned his limitations pretty quickly. He’d run flat-out for a hundred yards, then have to walk for 50.
  • Lucy and Becky set a more measured, steady pace. Despite the 70-degrees-and-rising temperature (warmer than we nor’westerners prefer), she blissfully held Becky’s hand for the entire race.

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We met at the finish line, where a helpful stranger captured us in our filthy, colorful glory.


When you finish, you are handed extra packets of colored powder, which the kids promptly threw at each other. At least they waited until we were pointing a camera at them.

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There was a big stage with a DJ, who was spinning dance and techno tracks. A fairly large dance party was happening, and we all wanted to be right in the middle of it.


Lucy’s hair turned orange. It took her four showers to get it all out.


There were lots of sponsor booths at the end of the race too. We made sure to do everything that involved a camera.

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This was a super good time. Walking back to the car, the kids were asking when we could do another one, so look for this on the 2015 list.

#50: Take Care of the Backyard Dirt Pile

This is part of our 100 Things in 2014 challenge. Here’s the full list.

Ever since we had the giant holly tree removed from our backyard almost three years ago, we’ve had a giant pile of dirt just sitting there, getting muddier and weedier, and generally being an albatross. As of right now, it is no more:

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It may not seem like a big thing, but this was seriously impeding our usage of the backyard, and just made it seem janky and dumpy. This is a huge improvement. All the weeds and about half the dirt are gone, and a layer of mulch has been laid down, so it’s ready for new intentional plantings in the spring!

Apologies for not having a “before” picture. We could have sworn we had one, but it turns out you don’t just have photos of the ugly bits of your backyard sitting around.

August Misc Round-Up

Lucy was a stand-in for Sam, Grace, Sen, and Ashton.


Lucy likes “fancy” hair. Becky is willing to experiment.

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Lucy’s class went for a field day at the end of summer! It was super hot.

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They also enrolled in the Multnomah county library’s summer reading program, which meant a trip to the library.


They also visited the World Forestry Center!


While Will was with us at Oaks Park, Grandma Dorothy helped Lucy take all the tangles out of Rainbow Dash’s hair. She also sewed an entire skirt, all by herself!


The Swank grandparents helped the kids make cabbage hats at the Riverfront FamilyFest in Salem.

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The kids both went to swim lessons. 5 days a week. After school. For 4 weeks straight. Exhausting. But they’re sooooo much better swimmers now.


Here’s the skirt Lucy made! She made sure to wear it to Anne’s 96th birthday party.


Will made paper at school.

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His class took a trip to the zoo.

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They also visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden. It wasn’t covered with lilies when we visited.


We’re not sure what he’s using as his medium, but his architecture skills are clearly showing.


Will has officially graduated to the class that spends the entire time in the deep end of the pool!

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Becky helped Jenny celebrate her birthday, by watching Catching Fire in the park.

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We shot a wedding!


It was a pretty busy August. Stay tuned for September!