Around Here: Portland Saturday Market

I’ve now witnessed firsthand that Portland is a different city when the weather cooperates. Similarly to Amsterdam, it seems that the city really comes alive on a nice day; the hipsters are smiling, the kids are skipping and the dogs’ tails (everyone has a dog) are wagging. I’m serious! It sounds hokey/Pleasantville-ish, but it’s true. Everyone emerges from their hermit holes cozy homes & favorite coffeeshops to hang out in the fresh air. It’s kinda nice to think that we all truly appreciate a sunny day; I know it’s something I definitely took for granted growing up in the midwest. (Never again.)

A couple Sundays ago, on a chilly riverfront run, we noticed signs for the Portland Saturday Market that starts up in March. Again, similarly to Amsterdam, markets are where we would spend our weekends, so we wanted to check this one out and see how it compared. Here’s what we saw…

Portland, OR

Typical cheeky, vintage vibe

Portland, OR

The main stage

Portland, OR

This pint-sized performer

Spring

Hey it’s (un)officially spring. Floral hat for Jaro.

Spring

And velvet shoes for me

Portland, OR

Food cart lunch

Portland, OR

Local brew

Portland, OR

The Irish Lager – tasty!

It’s a large market, with vendors selling mostly cheap trinkets and some handmade crafts. There are also so many food carts that it’s impossible to decide what to eat. They have every type of cuisine under the sun. Hawaiian kalua pork? You bet. Lebanese mezza? For sure. But what about Polish pierogis? They have that too! And the location is great – right next to the waterfront park, a grassy space for picnics if you can keep the loose dogs at bay. Overall, the market itself was… average. Doesn’t compare to the beautiful markets in Amsterdam. I would bring visitors there, if only for the food carts. And the people watching is some of the best I’ve seen here.

Just being outside, soaking up the sunshine, was wonderful.

Spring is on its way. 

xxx

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Monday Travel Memory: Dutch Countryside

Happy Monday, kids. Is Monday ever really happy though? It’s not a happy one for me. I’m sick. Again. Just got back from California on Saturday (can’t wait to share that trip with you!), and felt like I was log-rolling into another cold yesterday and it was confirmed this morning.

So. While watching terrible day time tv in bed, I was going through the few photos I have on this computer and came across these beauties. Jaro took them when he was on a boat ride with co-workers and you can clearly tell the higher quality of these photos with our fancy lens. I usually avoid hauling it around (it is extremely heavy), but after looking at these pics, I think I have to.

Doesn’t the Dutch countryside look so peaceful?

Dutch Countryside Dutch Countryside

Dutch Countryside Makes me miss living in Holland. If I ever move back, I want to live in that house.

xxx

 

 

Monday Travel Memory: The Sahara

Happy Monday, ya’ll. How was the weekend? Jaro and I checked out the Portland Seafood & Wine Festival (which was awesome), met a friend for drinks, and tried a new-to-us sports bar for the Superbowl. Wasn’t wow-ed by the game or the commercials, or the bar… but at least we’re getting out.

So. I’m on a sunshine kick these days. I guess that after living in Amsterdam and now Portland, I relish any moment that I can (or did) soak up some Vitamin C. And sometimes, the sun can truly be art, no? Since it’s on my mind so much, thought I’d share one of my favorite images from our trip to the Sahara Desert last winter:

Sahara Desert

I love how the sun is a giant, bright, white ball in a cloudless, blue sky above those truly spectacular dunes. So simple, yet there aren’t enough words to describe it. Pretty sure Jaro and I just stood there, alone, like a coupla idiots, staring at it as it slowly dipped behind the sea of sand. Awe-inspring.

Road trip: The French Lorraine region

I’m so excited to share this trip with you. It’s different from any trip we’ve taken. As you saw from the post yesterday, we just went on a impromptu road trip through Europe. And as you saw, we were very ambitious. In fact, I wish there was a stronger word for ambitious. Oh wait, there is: CRAZY.

Once everything was settled with our decision to move to Sweden, we thought we should seize the day two weeks and just explore wherever we felt like pointing the car. With our tent (yes, a tent!), a pile of travel guides and open minds, we set out from Amsterdam… and immediately hit traffic in Belgium. And it was raining. Hooray.

Our first stop was Luxembourg, where one of my besties studied abroad. Since it was raining and since we were super delayed from the congestion around Brussels, we were there for about 20 minutes. Looked pretty though.

We got back in the car and headed to the Lorraine region of France, southeast of Champagne. We visited Verdun where there is a ton of WWI history, including the largest US military cemetery in Europe. I have a thing about visiting cemeteries. I find them so fascinating.

Next, we headed to Metz, which has a similar feel to Strasbourg, with wide canals and beautiful Parisian architecture. Loved both. So charming and friendly. In Metz, Soupes a’ Soups was perfect. We had a lovely lunch there and I promised our adorable server we’d come back someday. Also, the French countryside wins. It’s the best in the world, I’m convinced. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Ahead: The French D’Alsace Route des Vins.

xxx