Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Books, Food, and Tea

Yesterday, my tolerant husband joined me on a tour of two libraries and a bookstore. We started the morning with a stop at the Multnomah County Central Library, which is a large, lovely library full of many great spaces:
We followed that up with a visit to the library at Portland State University, which has an interesting shape that allows for lots of great study space near windows:
The next stop was Powell's City of Books, well known for being an enormous sprawling bookstore. We poked around for a while, but didn't take any pictures.

Then it was time for lunch. Since Portland has over 600 food trucks, we figured we'd better enjoy at least a few. There's one block with parking in the middle that is lined on all four sides with trucks. We did a loop before making our selections:
Paul's grad school roommate, Nico, lives in Portland and had recommended Nong's Khao Man Gai, which was delicious. We also got pad thai and mango bubble tea from another food truck. All in all, a delicious and filling lunch, which we carried back to our hotel to eat because of the rain:
Nico and his wife had also recommended the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland - both the lovely garden itself (just one city block) and the Teahouse within. Both were quite enjoyable. We managed to time things so that we were enjoying tea during the worst of the afternoon rain. The gardens were beautiful and very peaceful:
Finally, we ended the day with dinner with Nico and family, and Nico's cousin from Belgium, at a restaurant that served Indian street food. Definitely different from the Indian food we've had before. If there's one thing to be said about this trip to Portland, it's that we are definitely eating well! Luckily, we are also doing a lot of walking to balance it out. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Waterfalls in Oregon

After chatting with Paul yesterday about life goals and whatnot, I've decided to revive this blog for our miscellaneous travels. We both really enjoy traveling and thinking about traveling, so it's nice to keep a record of where we've been that we can review when we are stuck in dreary Pittsburgh.

Right now, we are in Oregon. I have a conference that starts Wednesday, so we came out a few days early for some sightseeing. Yesterday, we rented a car (a Subaru Forester - nice car!) and drove to the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area to see some waterfalls. We stopped first at Latourell falls:

We hiked there for a bit - a nice loop trail that went up and over the falls - and enjoyed the moss-covered flora:
It's clear that Portland is very moist. Moss is everywhere, even growing on the barriers in the middle of the highway. I didn't manage to snap a photo of that though - too busy speeding along in the Subaru.

Then we drove on to Wahkeena Falls where we hiked up many switchbacks to the top and then along a trail that took us to Multnomah Falls. It got pretty rainy at points, so we got rather damp. Luckily we had thought to pack our rain jackets. Overall, it was a good few hours of hiking, which is just what I had been hoping to accomplish on this trip. Multnomah is pretty epic - a very tall waterfall:
By the time we reached Multnomah, we were very hungry. We'd only had a muffin and a scone for breakfast, and it was about 4pm. Multnomah is reasonably touristy, so they had food for sale. We had our hearts set on big dinners, so we bought some toasted (read: sugary) pecans and a large mocha coffee to share. Maybe not the best thing to eat on such empty stomachs, but wow, did those taste amazing. Then we drove another half hour to Full Sail Brewing Company for some beer and burgers.

I'm currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and there was nothing I wanted more than a long day's hike followed by a large meal. And I got it. But now I want another. :)