On down the road we stumbled upon the Washington River Gorge and I took pictures out the window while my parents begged from the back for more wineries. We were on a mission, however and it had been a long day, so instead I made turkey and ham sandwiches on the road, we took a fee pee breaks, and muscled on.
Our first destination was the lovely Best Western right outside of Portland in Cascade Locks. The hotel was wonderful. We each had a lovely view of the river from our rooms and due to a slight snafu at check in, my parents were bumped up to a room with a balcony. Inevitably, their room became the 'party room' as we called it. We planned to have dinner across the river in Stevenson, WA at the Big River Grill. They describe it as a 'high end road house' which is the perfect description as it is cozy, but we were able to order delicious steak and seafood and my dad hit the jackpot with a delicious spicy homemade tortellini special. We sampled the delicious Smoked Sturgeon Spread. A must try!
The next day we woke early and had Portland on our minds. We headed west again and stumbled into my dad's cousin, and Bite of Oregon, a huge taste of Portland Festival! I couldn't believe our luck!
We held back slightly and stopped first at the Japanese, Chinese, and Rose gardens. The gardens were gorgeous and of the three I have to say the rose garden was my favorite and completely free! What can I say, I must be a thrifty flower child! But don't get me wrong they are all worth seeing! It was gorgious day and the roses and gardens were breath taking.
Next stop was the Bite of Oregon and it was a complete blast! We had the opportunity to do a lot of wine tasting, eat Voodoo Donuts (famous Portland donuts!), craft beer from 14 different vendors (we loved the OREgasmic Ale by Rogue), and dance to the music from the DJ. He refused to play I'm on a Boat by The Lonely Island. He actually told me he was ashamed of me, but I told him it was my theme song and danced on down the road.
Dinner was at a fabulous Italian Restaurant called Palio di Portland at Nostrana where the owner-chef Cathy herself, sat us. We shared salad and delicious thin crust pizza using great fresh ingredients, thin and light dough and lots and lots of heat in a wood stove. The pizza was the best I ever tasted and the restaurant was magnificent! I would recommend this spot to anyone. Mom and I were swinging from the trees we were so happy!
It was a marvelous day until we attempted to find our hotel room by the airport. This story is for a whole separate blog entry, however I will say this... when things turned ugly and everyone was all sorts of out of their bubbles and my boyfriend just sat and laughed. When we finally arrived some thirty minutes later we all enjoyed a cocktail in our room together and Scott got to laugh at our family, 'out of bubble' experience.
Portland was great, the food was fabulous, the weather couldn't have been better, and the company was what made the trip fabulous... Next stop.... The Oregon Coast!
Mental Health Travel Tip: When traveling in mixed company.. basically any time you aren't alone. Be as flexible as you possibly can. The magic that comes from spontaneity are usually the special Lagniappes of the trip anyway! Keep a good attitude and forget your watch at home. Time is irrelevant when you're traveling. Just lay back and take a drink of refreshing life!
Stay Tuned for more tips from the Oregon Coast
~ Some "Hot Messes" On a Hot Trip!