Saturday, February 21, 2015

Portland Saturday

Following a delicious Swedish breakfast, Jason and I headed to a part of Portland where we heard funky shopping could be found.  

Happily, the rumors were true!  We walked up and down the street, exploring many interesting shops.

I picked up a treat for my parents here along with some tasty chocolates.

At Pistils Nursery, Jason picked out a new cactus friend, with whom I became quite close on the ride home.  Have you ever been charged with keeping a cactus stable on the car floor in front of you for a three hour drive?  It's tricky, especially when its anxious new owner kept leaning over to pat the gravel and rearrange an errant leaf at every stoplight while I nursed my wounded fingers and thighs.

While Jason was deliberating between plants, I looked around the rest of the store.  When I walked out back, I was startled to see movement in one of the bins:

Surprise Chicken!

They had a coop in the back among the "plants for intrepid gardeners," and I made friends with several wandering fowl.

I wondered if it was the most Portland thing I'd see, but then the sign next door suggested otherwise.

As did the store full of lightbulbs we found:

The gallery full of terrible art and feminist postcards:

And my favorite store of the day, Paxton Gate:

How can you not love a taxidermy store that has a  stuffed hyena in vintage goggles next to the cash register?

Or crocheted pig dissections?

Or a variety of eyeballs next to a basket of goat legs?

Their display of "impulse buys" next to the register were also a bit unusual:

Jason spent a while picking out a new butterfly for his house:

While I considered the biology of raccoon penis bones:

And found an idea for an Easter craft for Relief Society:

It is an awesome store.

We were famished by the end, so we drove out to Pok Pok, a place that two different friends of Jason's had both highly recommended:

We waited in line to put our names on the list for a good 40-45 minutes before snagging a seat at the counter and ordering a variety of super-tasty dishes that were worth the wait:

Chicken wings with fish sauce, green papaya salad, pork belly in curry (which was outstanding!), cucumber relish, and mandarin orange drinking vinegar

We discovered that another recommended place was nearby, so after lunch we headed up the block to Salt and Straw for some ice cream and another long line:

The inside of the store, after we waited about 20 minutes outside.
The menu.
After much debate, we narrowed down our selection to four choices from the menu above.  Then, when we arrived at the counter, we discovered that these were their specials and we had, in fact, almost a dozen more flavors to choose from.  Oh, the agony!

We sampled and deliberated, then landed on our four choices:

Cinnamon snickerdoodle, pear with blue cheese, ginger and tamarind chocolate sorbet, and salt ice cream with a carmel ribbon

They were all delicious, but my favorite was, surprisingly,  the pear with blue cheese.  Again, totally worth the wait.

Earlier in the week Rachel shared this outstanding movie review, which I passed along to Jason.  He agreed that we absolutely should see such a gloriously bad movie, so we found an early showing.

It was just as incredibly horrible as the review promised, and we congratulated ourselves on making such an entertaining activity choice inbetween trying to sort out the four different movies that were crammed into this single space soap opera and declaring that I need a lip jewel:

(Jason's idea)

as much as Jason needs to incorporate Eddie Redmayne's whisper-yelling into negotiations:

We wound up the day with dinner at The Picnic House, a restaurant with eclectic decorations and good food near the hotel.

Grilled feta with bread/pita wedges
Mushroom soup and a Caesar-style salad
Creme brulee and raspberry-chocolate macarons for dessert
The check even came tucked between the pages of a vintage collection of short stories.

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