The next stop along our west coast extravaganza was Portland, Or. We stayed with my husband’s cousin in a suburb outside of Portland proper- Beaverton, which just so happened to be a few miles down the road from the first fabric store on my to-visit list for Portland: Mill End. Yep totally took advantage of the fabric mecca that is in Portland. Seriously, those peeps don’t know how lucky they are! Anywho, I went by Mill End the first night that we were in town and had fun picking out some great knit fabric. I have no access to quality knits in town so I enjoyed seeing a good selection in person. After leaving Mill End, we went down the road to Washington Park and found this amazing rose garden. It was one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen!
Ian’s cousin had taken the day off work to hang out with us so Thursday we decided to head up to see the big mountain- Mt. Hood. This was kinda a big mistake on our parts. See, we had to drive almost 2 hrs to get there and the boys were a bit cranky from our long drive the day before and did not enjoy hanging out in their car seats again! Then we got up to the mountain and Oliver had a huge melt-down at the lodge which ended up being kinda miserable for everyone. Add that to the fact that it was so overcast, you didn’t get much of a view from the ski lodge and we were all a bit bummed to have wasted most of the day in that endeavor. We were going to continue up to see the Columbia Gorge but after realizing it would add another hour to our trip, we just headed back to Portland. My husband did manage to get this one halfway decent picture of the mountain so at least we have something to show for our trip up it!
On the way back to town, I realized that we were going to drive pretty close to Grant Park and decided to had to make a stop there! This park is right down the road from Klickitat Street and has some little figurines as a tribute to Beverly Cleary- Ramona, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy. I was a huge Beverly Cleary fan as a kid so this just thrilled my soul. I didn’t realize that the Ramona books were set in Portland until planning this trip. Of course, then we HAD to go up to Klickitat St and take a picture! The houses were so cute up there too so my husband enjoyed the drive around.
This was definitely the right decision to make as both boys really enjoyed the park area and the little water-play area. One thing we learned about traveling with little kids- if everyone’s getting cranky, have a park stop and let the kiddos run around and play for a bit and the day gets much better!
Friday was the day I was most looking forward to on this trip. I got to meet Kristin from Skirt as Top and Kelly from Cut Cut Sew along with their kiddos. So cool, right? They were so nice to agree to spend the morning with us after I contacted Kristin to let her know we were going to be in town. We met up at Bolt– where I spent way too much time agonizing over my fabric purchases, then we all ate at Bollywood Theatre (so proud of myself for trying Indian food!) for an early lunch and took the kiddos to a nearby park to play while the moms talked. Oliver had so much fun meeting new friends! I love the instant bond little kids can form with perfect strangers. And I really enjoyed meeting up with both ladies (and their sweet kiddos). Both of them were so friendly and just how they appear to be online. If you follow me, you know how many times I have used Kristin’s ideas as inspiration. It was so fun to spend time with her and pick her brain about blog things and such. Funnily enough we both showed up in our Grainline Studio handmades along with our cargo duffles (the duffles were planned but not the tops). Sewing nerds, forever!
After they both had to leave, I went back to Modern Domestic (It’s crazy to me how Portland has two amazing quilt stores just down the road from each other!) and bought as much Cotton + Steel as I could justify. Yeah, I had to use great discipline not to buy it all, y’all. I mean, no sales tax in Portland means I was getting it on sale, right? Here’s most of what I bought while in town…I got a great assortment of varying types of fabrics. I wanted to buy things I can’t get locally back home so I have sweater knits, double cloth, cotton lawn, denim and chambray along with some knits and quilting cottons. I also picked up a few new patterns to try out!
That evening we headed out of town a ways to visit with Ian’s aunt and family. They live on a beautiful farm and the boys loved roaming around and getting thoroughly dirty! I loved sitting on their front porch and looking at the gorgeous view!
The next day (Saturday) we had to head up the coast for the next section of our trip but we hadn’t had quite enough of Portland yet so we headed back to the Alberta arts district in the morning to enjoy Pine State Biscuits (so yum!) and Salt and Straw (again!- and this is officially my fave ice cream joint and I am a connoisseur of ice cream).
Yum, Portland is quite the foodie town and I wished we had had a few more meals we needed to eat down there because there were so many good places I wanted to try! Guess we will just have to go back another time so we can try more food!
One thing we really loved about Portland were how many great parks there were! They still had a lot of old-fashioned playgrounds with metal slides, see-saws, and merry-go-rounds. It was so fun to let the boys play on them. They really enjoyed the playgrounds. And if you’re going to swing, make sure to match your colored pants to your respective swings as pictured below with the boys. 😉 I got a huge kick out of that.