>heehee. *unbelievably bright-eyed and bushy tailed* i can’t remember the last day i woke up at 6:30am on my own! must be the air here, or the subconscious knowledge of my body that i will have plenty of activities to do today. or, at the very least, have time before breakfast to blog my little desperate heart out…

speaking of breakfast, yesterday we were treated to a scrumptious cooked array of pancakes and [soy–hey, we’re in oregon] sausages, with niknak doing his trademark mrs. butterworth thing and i being totally impressed with the morning implementation of an actual electric griddle in the kitchen. an entire appliance devoted solely to making pancakes! ah, luxury in action.

we packed up for the day, and set out east to the columbia river gorge. the plan was to stop by several of the very many scenic trails and waterfalls along the way; the weather was clear and sunny and dry, a downright paradise compared to the oppressive humidity back home. as we started driving along the gorge, i could see that the temperature outside was dropping rapidly, all the way down to 65 degrees! even in the car, the scenery passing by was beautiful, with the majesty of tree-filled mountains and the river by our side. mt. hood, the tallest mountain in oregon, loomed ahead in the distance.

first stop was the ‘women’s forum’, which is an incongruous but probably sponsor-related name to a lookout point in which you can see clear down the river. washington state lies on the left of the water, oregon on the right. ta-da. look at the view! an incredible formation, and the river is just ridiculously blue. [quite refreshing after living so long on the charles…]

next we went up to crown point, which is a cute little round fortressy thing that sits right out on a protruding side of the mountain, and from which you can see the river in its lateral splendor. (women’s forum, which looks out to the east, is more of a ‘vertical’ view.) the air was so fresh, and dare i say even a bit chilly, unbelievable during the heart of august. here’s niknak and i, completely obliterating the beautiful vista with our very large heads, but you can try using your imagination. :) we also witnessed some other non-gorge spectacles, such as the gift shop (i feel immense sorrow for the pimply high-schoolers that work at the register and sell overpriced tchotckes, sullenly windowless in the stuffy basement), and the woman with the most bizarrely slit skirt. sight-seeing at any scope, indeed.

what followed was waterfall after waterfall, little stops right off the main road. the sites and hikes are state-protected and wonderfully maintained. i haven’t been hiking in a while, so i realised along the way that (1) going uphill is awesome for your glutes, as i can very much attest, (2) i should have never have watched the episode of ‘six feet under’ where sarah’s friend tumbles off the side of the cliff, (3) watching the water crash with millions (billions? trillions?) psi really gives you perspective on human control. every waterfall was impressive and tidily tucked behind a few hundred steps into the trees. there are about a gazillion (give or take a few) other waterfalls in the area, but those will have to wait for another day!

afterwards, we drove back into town and stopped by hawthorne street for lunch goodies. it’s a funkyish strip of the city with lots of cute eateries, boutiques, and people. back to the city, and back to 90 degree weather. we walked by a few places, and i was immediately drawn to this place called ‘bar pastiche’, featuring lovely bite-sized tapas and handmade desserts. i would call it more ‘small plates’ rather than tapas, since the wares were more hors d’ouevre-y than spanish, but the selection was irresistible. everything from $1 blue cheese + green apple toastlets to $1.50 mini mousses. delight! niknak and i shared: toast with a perfectly cooked egg in the center hole, covered with black-edged ham and gooey cheese; a toasted square covered with fragrant mushrooms; three delectable green olives stuffed with blue cheese speared decorously on a toothpick; a roasted red pepper filled with delicate tuna salad; a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich with ridiculously fresh dill; finished off with a cinnamon-sugary churro with a tiny pot of luscious, melted bittersweet mexican chocolate. the interior was charming, sporting purple walls, antique mirrors, and test-tubed flowers. it reminded me of a victorian alchemist’s boudoir. if my appetite weren’t so absolutely satisfied, i would have sprung for a scoop of basil ice-cream. nik’s mom was relishing her lavender flavor with candied mandarins in a cone. *sigh* such delight.

later than evening we relaxed a bit, had a ‘take ‘n’ bake’ pizza from papa murphy’s (surprisingly good), and set out to not one, but two yarn stores in the area: the yarn garden, and mabel’s knittery + cafe. not only were they cute and colorful, but open as late as 10pm and with adjoining areas with coffee, ice-cream, pastries, and beer. the yarn garden had a great library of books and patterns, and i fell in love with anna zilboorg’s socks for sandals and clogs. i was initially drawn to the title because of its fashion faux-pas (“why would i ever wear socks with sandals??”), but the socks themselves were *amazing*. elaborate and colorful, definitely decorative in their own right. i didn’t buy it since i thought i might be able to get it cheaper online, but actually it looks like it’s relatively rare in the knitting publishing circle. i also drooled over the latest rowan book 38. hope they cleaned that up alright.

still taking notes in case i am crazy enough to actually open my own business down the line. portland wouldn’t be the worst place to do it, either. :D

today, playing downtown and riding the public transit. did you know that the trolleys running downtown are *free*? crazy but it makes so much more sense. i will take lotsa pix and hopefully see much more cuteness. of course, the weather’s clear, and that already puts me in a festive mood. :)

One Response to “”
  1. Danielle says:

    >Great photo of you two! And I’m drooling after reading about your fab “small plates”.

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