Portland Week 2

Our second week in Portland was highlighted by a visit to another part of the Oregon coast (above), the summer festival in our neighborhood and a visit to another of Portland’s many farmer’s markets.

Our apartment says it’s the gateway to the Alberta Arts District. Gateway apparently means “somewhat close by”. While we are just a block from Alberta Street, we are at least 10 blocks to the artsy shops and restaurants that are the “district”. On the weekend after we arrived, they were having their annual summer festival so we strolled down on Saturday before lunch.

The street was closed for about 15 blocks and in addition to vendor and community booths there were bands and beer gardens at each end. It was a beautiful day so there was a big crowd.

We ended up having lunch at a local burger chain, Big Little Burgers. It was tasty but indeed was little-about the size of a White Castle! LOL

Attend lunch we walked to the end of the festival and back enjoying people watching and the nice day. I wanted to stop at “Salt & Straw” the local-ish gourmet ice cream place. Alas the line was out the door and down the sidewalk so we decided we would wait and do that one weekday.

Portland has a saying “Keep Portland Weird” and we saw lots of folks working towards that. As Mike has put it, being. Organic, Granola-y and Free Range here is a requirement. I think this sign on a shop window about sums it up:

Later in the week we returned to the coast to continue our drive south. This time we started at Cannon Beach and went all the way to Pacific City before heading back to Portland.

We enjoyed driving through the charming village of Cannon Beach and got our feet into the Pacific again.

Our next stop was at the Tillamook Creamery. This is a cooperative owned by local farmer’s that makes a sharp cheddar cheese that we first started buying years ago as we think it’s better than Cracker Barrel at a better price.

The Creamery has a new visitor center than includes a self guided tour where you look down at the operation from a second floor level, a food hall which sells cooked food and ice cream and of course a gift shop where you can purchase products as well as logo items.

We shared a bowl of razor clam chowder, a grilled cheese and a bowl of bacon-beer Mac n cheese for lunch…and I had a cider. All were good but of course the simple grilled cheese was voted best

After lunch we took the tour which ended with a cheese sample buffet!

Of course Tillamook has learned from Disney and the end of the tour the stairs down dump you into the Gift Shop.

After the tour, we took the advice above and shared a “flight” of ice cream. OMG, so so good. We had Oregon Strawberry, Marionberry (fancy hybrid blackberries) Pie, Washington Cherry and Oregon Huckleberry. The strawberry was my favorite as it reminded me of the home made my Mom used to make.

With full (very!) stomachs we headed out to drive further down the coast. There is a loop drive we hoped to take but unfortunately a portion of it was closed so we had to backtrack a bit. But as you can see from this post’s title picture and those below the scenery was just incredible.

At Pacific City we once again parked went to the water and got our feet wet.

We then returned reluctantly to Portland. Spending the day near the water had been great and we really wished we were staying closer to the creamery.. but for our waists it’s a good thing we aren’t!

We also visited the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. This one is in a neighborhood surrounding the old Hollywood Theater and was much more manageable (though no cheaper 😢) than the big one downtown. While all the products were beautiful, we just got some more delicious tomatoes and honey crisp apples to go with the Tillamook cheese we bought.

This market became “our” market and we have visited several times since.

Next up, our day trip to the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood.

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