Every summer I go home to Portland for a few weeks to see my family and friends. It is also a great time to eat, shop, and do things that I can’t do while I’m living overseas (this will be my third summer coming home from Venezuela, and fifth return overall). Some things on my list stay invariably the same, while others change, I keep making the list because I want to make sure I don’t forget to do all of the things I really love.
This summer I have to be even more strategic with my time because I will be spending nearly a whole month of it backpacking Europe. So, if you are a family member or friend of mine who happens to be reading this please feel free to invite yourself to any of these activities!
I will be home less than 20 days total, so please let me know if you are free from about 11AM on Monday, June 15th (flight arrives at 10:40AM) through about 9pm (EARLY flight the next day) on the 16th. Then I will be in Portland again from Tuesday, July 14th (flight arrives at 10PM) to Friday, July 31st (flight leaves at 8:45PM).
Dinner is usually the first time I get to see all of my family after about a year away AND… I love food! I asked for lasagna as my first meal last summer but this summer I want my mom to make her amazing ribs! She has this giant crock-pot thing that is specially made for slow roasting ribs and I need some of these ribs in my life! I will even volunteer to make some corn on the cob and mashed potatoes to go with it!
Picnic in a park with my nieces and nephews
I never get to see these kiddos, and they don’t have Facebook (thankfully not!), so I want to hang out with them! I want to bring them cute presents, healthy food, and hang out in one of the many gorgeous Portland parks.
Happy Hour with my Favorite Ladies
There are so many amazing places for happy hour and I’m sure these ladies know the best ones, but I always think of Bartini first. I also loved the tiki bar (Hale Pele) we went to last summer and wouldn’t mind returning there!
Portland Cider House 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd- I was looking at this place for a while and was on the fence, but my lovely friend Caris just suggested that we go there so now I’m sold! I’ve also read that they have 5 – 2oz samples for $7 (perfect since I want to try them all!).
Bushwhacker 1212-D SE Powell Blvd.- Happy hour: 2-4 pm Tuesday and Thursday, $1 off drafts. I love cider!
Church 2600 NE Sandy Blvd Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. $3 wells, $1 off drafts, cheap food, including $5 ribs. I guess I can truthfully tell my grandparents that I went to church while I was in Portland…for the first time in over ten years. hahaha
No this isn’t a gambling night (I actually hate to gamble because I would rather buy a plane ticket than lose a bet), instead it is a Cuban Salsa night held nearly every week! I wish I could spend every Friday at this event year-round. Amazing people, great music, and fabulous dancing, what more could you want (maybe some bottomless mojitos to go with it?!??)!
Visit Oregon Wine Country
I’ve done this with Sophie the past two summers I’ve been home because she loves wine as much as I do…or more since she is willing to pay for a wine club! Anyone else want to visit some vineyards (you have to drive since I don’t have a car!).
Oregon has such natural beauty! I would love to camp near the beach, near hot springs…or in a forest with a river with a nice swimming hole. Ideas?
Go for a Hike
Caris and Sophie are both wonderful hiking buddies. Maybe Piyawan would even come down from Washington for a nice hike. Family members have also shown interest in hiking lately (as opposed to four wheeling). I’m open to locations as long as it is a day trip (time constraints!).
Even though I found a decent sushi place here in Valencia, I still crave the good stuff Portland has to offer. I haven’t been to Bamboo Sushi yet and I hear it has 100% sustainable fish (and a happy hour from 5-6)!
One thing I love to do is to occasionally splurge on a meal. I don’t get to do that when I’m in Venezuela. I don’t think I have ever spent more than $15 dollars for a meal and drinks in Venezuela! So, this summer I want to go with Brie (another fancy food lover) to a nice dinner in Portland. Some places I haven’t gone that I want to try a fancy meal at Le Pigeon or Paley’s Place. I’m sure she has heard of other places to try too.
Brunch at Podnah’s
Last summer I think I went here three times because I love this place so much. It is kinda like Screen Door but without the giant line. I bet their brunch is just as good!
Pick Farm Fresh Food at Sauvie Island
Every summer I like to go with my friends to pick fresh blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and buy farm fresh products on this little oasis about 10 miles north of Portland.
Visit the Portland Zoo
One of my friends recently posted about the new elephant area at the zoo. I haven’t been to the zoo since I led a field trip there with my second graders in Oregon in 2010. It would be cool if I could take my nieces and nephews there!
Other places I want to eat at:
Angel Food and Fun 5135 NE 60th Ave.- I want to try the cochinita pibil ($10).
Love Belizean (2880 SE Division)- I have never had Belizean food before!
http://www.muscadinepdx.com/new-page/ Food similar to Podnah’s but they have BEIGNETS!
EaT: An Oyster Bar 3808 N Williams Ave. I love oysters!
Laurelhurst Market So many things sound good on their menu!
The Country Cat I think my parents would love this place.
Tiffin Asha 836 N Beech St. Indian food in a food cart. Dosas!
What else should I add to my summer wish list?