After a really long but pretty drive through the wet and rainy Columbia River Gorge, we arrived safely at the home of friends Mike and Ellen France in Portland, Oregon.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

Ellen is a close friend and sorority sister of mine (SDT) from the U of I.  Her and Mike lived near us in Northern CA for many years before relocating to Oregon.  We each cared for each others oldest child when our youngest was born.  Our kids grew up together until they sadly moved away.  We have stayed in touch through the years and it was wonderful spending time with them.

View from Mike & Ellen's deck overlooking downtown Portland (don't miss Mt St Helen's)

View from Mike & Ellen’s deck overlooking downtown Portland (don’t miss Mount St. Helen’s)

Aware of our exhausting 3 day drive tour through Utah, Idaho and Oregon, our friends prepared a wonderful home cooked dinner featuring “Mike’s” seafood gumbo. Mike (and therefore Ellen) is an owner of West End Bikes in downtown Portland, a really cool bike shop, but we think maybe he should have moved South and opened a restaurant.  It was like being in New Orleans minus Bourbon Street!

Friday we had a personal tour of the Portland area as well as a trip back to the Columbia River Gorge to visit and hike Multnomah Falls. The hike was a good 1.5 miles up 11 switch backs to reach to the top of the falls (600 feet high).  Here are some pictures from the bottom to the top:

Besides the touring, we had a great taco lunch at Por Que No? and a fantastic dinner at a Spanish Tapas place called Ataula’s.  We even met the owner and renowned head chef Jose Chesa, named 2014 Chef of the Year by Portland Monthly Magazine!

Taco lunch at Por Que No?

Paella Ataula (Seafood)

Chef Jose Chesa @ Ataula’s

On Saturday we walked down to Portland’s Farmer’s Market.  Bob found a booth making Huevos Rancheros so we had no choice but to stop for breakfast.  While eating we were treated to a Halloween parade.

Farmer’s Market in downtown Portland

Just shy of peak fall foliage in Portland

Just shy of peak fall foliage in Portland

Huevos Rancheros Farmer's Market Style

Huevos Rancheros Farmer’s Market Style

Breakfast @ Farmer's Market

Breakfast @ Farmer’s Market

Post Huevos, we walked further downtown and spent a good hour (plus) in a very crowded Apple store where we both upgraded to the iPhone 6.  We sure love our new big screen phones.   We returned back to the house just as the rain started and just in time to see the Giants win game 4 of the World Series.

Apple line.....

Apple line…..

Dinner Saturday night was at Bamboo Sushi, the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world.  In keeping with their no waste policy, we completely devoured our sushi rolls.

We enjoyed our time with Mike & Ellen, along with their cats Buddy & Ramona.  Thank you so much for your warm hospitality!

Buddy kept us entertained

Buddy kept us entertained

Ramona was a bit shy

Ramona was a bit shy

Farewell to PDX

Farewell to PDX

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1 Response to PDX

  1. Ellen says:

    Great to see you both! Enjoy the rest of your adventure and come back anytime.

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