Things to do in Portland, Oregon

Wow, Portland! You stole my heart. In short, you could some up our weekend there it would be food, coffee, whiskey, weird encounters straight of of Portlandia scenes, and bikes. Truly, I could even potentially see myself living there one day. So many parts of it were reminiscent of home, but a lot more foilage, which definitely made my soul content.

First off, let's note fall is my favorite season. As our plane was landing, you could see trees for days... all in the midst of their colorful transformation. When I got there leaves were falling, and boy, we just don't get that same feeling in the bay. I knew at that point I was in for a treat.

Jupiter hotel

Through a recommendation Tigran received from a lyft passenger, we booked a room at the Jupiter Hotel. It is a boutique hotel with hipster vibes, and it was right near the heart of downtown PDX. Each room comes equipped with a chalkboard door (front and back) and wall mural of some sort. We didn't get lucky enough to book the Spiderman room, but the corkboard themed walls and ceilings had Portland written all over it. The hotel is also connected to the Doug Fir lounge, a great bar spot to hit up in the area, and had a campfire going every night.

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Clippers v. Trailblazers Game at the MODAcenter

One of the main reasons we went to Portland was to watch this game. I think I've finally found my way to get Tigran and I to travel... find a city that has an NBA team, and book it the same weekend as a Clippers game. Noted. We got great seats for the game. As expected, the teams were a great match. They were neck-and-neck the whole time, and Tigran the LA Clippers fan left happy, which meant it was good for me too.

We got some much needed rest after the long day of traveling and basketball. The next morning we woke up refreshed, and I was eager for adventure.

Downtown PDX Nike Bikes

I don't I think I would have considered using the bike share system in San Francisco, only because I am so comfortable using the muni system and lyft. But we wanted to really wanted to do something different. The bike sharing system in downtown Portland is managed by Nike, and the stations were literally everywhere. For $12 a day, you could catch me ridin' dirty. We took the bikes between bars (yes, safely lol), amongst other places all around the city.

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Powell's City of Books

Of course, we couldn't leave Portland without visiting the well-known Powell's City of Books. I told him to put aside a few hours, because I could be in there all day. I got lost in there for hours, and so did he, no joke.

Romantic Dinner at Portland City Grill

30 stories up in Portland's big pink building, we made reservations for dinner with a breathtaking city skyline view. It was a romantic setting, a much needed way to spend our Friday night after a long day of biking around downtown Portland. The food and whiskey was just as delightful as the view, and I'll post more about my good eats in another post. Yeah, we ate that much.

Outside the restaurant's building, we found more Nike bikes and took them to our next stop, a rooftop bar called Departure.

Departure Restaurant and rooftop bar

Wow, Departure was probably my favorite spot of them all. As soon as you walk in the decor is reminiscent of Tron. Electronic  vibes and spaceship windows and all.  Departure also has a rooftop bar with heaters, which had to be the best part of all. I felt at home when I walked in seeing the decor, and hearing "Reverse Sky Diving" by Hot Natured on the speakers.

We loved it so much, we went back again the next day. 

Portland... This isn't the last you'll see of me. Take my word.

Cooking Classes at Sur La Table

My long time ride or die girls and I had a private cooking class at Sur La Table! Okay, quick confession: by private class I mean an open pizza-making class, and we were the only people registered for that class. So, we lucked out and had the whole kitchen and instructor to ourselves.

Unfortunately, Arielle was sick that morning and was missing in action. :(

Appetizers

Our class was first thing on a Sunday morning, and the shopping center in Walnut Creek was barely opening their doors. When we walked into the kitchen, they offered us (much needed) coffee, and even prepared snacks for us to eat before we got started!

...so no, we did not make the appetizers. We just ate them. :)

blackberries and grapes

blackberries and grapes

proscuitto wrapped peaches with balsamic vinegar

proscuitto wrapped peaches with balsamic vinegar

The Kitchen

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Making Pizza Dough

We started off by making our pizza dough from scratch: mixing all our ingredients together, kneading the dough and then allowing time for it to rise.

Activating the yeast with a little sugar, and stirring until it becames frothy like the top of a beer

Activating the yeast with a little sugar, and stirring until it becames frothy like the top of a beer

Using the kitchenaid to make our pizza dough, pouring the dry ingredients first.

Using the kitchenaid to make our pizza dough, pouring the dry ingredients first.

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Joanna tossing pizza dough like a pro.

Joanna tossing pizza dough like a pro.

Kneading the pizza dough, and then we let it sit to rise.

Kneading the pizza dough, and then we let it sit to rise.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

While our pizza dough was rising, we learned to make our own marinara sauce from scratch as well. We added crushed garlic, added a hint of red wine, seasoned it with thyme, basil and mixed those ingredients with our tomato sauce and creating the perfect saucy base for our pizza!

Getting garlic ready for our marinara sauce from scratch

Getting garlic ready for our marinara sauce from scratch

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Topping it off

There was one step that we didn't get many pictures off. Once our dough was bouncy and had finally risen, we used a rolling pin to flatten what became our pizza crust and set it over the stovetop for a few minutes.

Next, the easiest and most fun part of the entire pizza making process... adding the toppings! We were given two options and could mix and match as we pleased. One option was heirloom tomatoes, proscuitto and garlic. Our second option was fennel, sausage and kalamata olives. 

The trays of topping ingredients were labeled and laid out so nicely for us in small glass bowls.

The trays of topping ingredients were labeled and laid out so nicely for us in small glass bowls.

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The End Result

We placed them in the oven when they finally came out, we were ready to eat! Each of our pizzas came out delicious, and we even got to use our extra ingredients for a second round.

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Overall, we loved the Sur la table experience! It was so different from other things we usually do with one another. Such a fun bonding activity and we plan to take another class together in the future! 

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Weekend Picnics at Dolores Park

Mission Accomplished.

As everything Anjuli does, she gives 110% heart, and this Saturday at Dolores Park was no different. She secretly coordinated a picnic to welcome her boyfriend, Adrian, to the quarter century club.

I got there about an hour and a half before the reveal to help, and both her and Mary were already well on there way having things set up. She really thought through the the smallest details, and it all came together nicely. From the wind tent, to the endless food...from the plaid blankets and picnic trays, all the way down to the fluffy throw pillows.

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When he finally got there, we popped up with a big "SURPRISE!" Adrian's reaction was priceless; definitely caught off guard.

For a 'Fog'ust day, it was all sunny skies. We enjoyed the warm day playing music, making drinks, laying in inflatable couches, and eating food until we couldn't anymore.

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Congratulations to the Michael Phelps of girlfriends, Anjuli, for planning such a fun day at Dolores Park for Adrian, and everyone else in attendance!

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