2 weekends ago, my sister and I hopped in a car and drove to Portland. It also happened to be Victoria day long weekend which gave us an extra day to linger in Portland and not have to rush back home. The weekend was fulfilling in more ways than one. We were essentially there to watch Rob Bell speak. It wasn’t your typical talk. We actually got to spend the whole day with him. It was sincere, clarifying and we laughed a lot. Tina bought me tickets for his event as a birthday present – such a good gift! We’ve both been trying to KonMari our lives and suddenly birthday presents look different between us. Why haven’t we always lived like this?
Since my sister had a baby, I just don’t see her enough. And even when I do see her, she pretty much gets ignored because I’m slobbering all over my nephew. So, time with her is pure gold.
And Rob Bell was just a sweet bonus. Tina introduced me to his podcast – RobCast over spring break and I have been religiously listening every weekend. And then we read his book: ‘How to be here’ together last month. The writing isn’t magnificent but his view on the world is inspiring and contagious.
Typically, you can’t pay me enough money to climb into a car on a Friday after a long week and drive 8 hours…anywhere! But if you give me a backseat full of snacks and my sister, I’ll cave. We refused to pull over unless it was an emergency and we so we managed to get to Portland before the sun set. We had dinner at Nepo42, which was a 5 minute walk from our AirBnB.
We were hella queazy from stuffing our faces with junk food. So we shared a happy healthy bowl and a Nepo salad. The food was fresh and really well flavoured. The place had a great vibe too. The patio was busy even though it was a bit chilly out. Happy people doing happy things on a Friday night. Good times.
So, our day with Rob started bright and early on Saturday morning. We were still achy from the drive and groggy from the work week. Our host recommended Helser’s on Alberta. The place was busy with families and a lineup of hungry people waiting to be fed. We put our names on the list and waited patiently. Two is a good number – we had a table before we knew it! We ordered a side of scrambled eggs for our tired brains and endless coffee for our heavy eyelids (We stayed up late talking the night before…of course this is after talking for 8 hours straight. I hope we never run outta things to say to each other.) We shared a slice of their pear & havarti pie. The pie was yummy, I mean pear + cheese in an egg custard? Hello. But the biscuit that came with it was close to perfection. Creme fraiche is a game changer too.
Rob Bell’s event was at this place called the Village Ballroom. Get this – its a not-for-profit ballroom (which essentially means that after all basic costs are covered, all the profits go to a charity of your choice.) The ballroom is a beautiful space with hardwood floors and old school charm. They partner with the local pub downstairs called the Oregon Public House, which is the world’s first ever not-for-profit pub. So, when you order your meal (or pint,) you get to pick a charity to which you would like all the profits to go to. WHAT? So awesome, right?
The food was good but their portions sizes were small, but who cares when you’re sharing the wealth. We split their charbroiled lebanese marinated zucchini and their Moroccan polenta plate. Food of my people and polenta – I was a happy girl.
We woke up on Sunday morning feeling ready to take on the world. (Not really.) But time with my sister always puts me back together. It feels like spring cleaning plus weeding…maybe thats a bad analogy. Call it what you want, its GOOD. I feel like she leaves me with a heart full of things that matter and gets rid of all the other crap I fuss over. We drove to Alberta street, which was right around the corner from where we stayed and its a neat little street with lots of good food and music. It’s bustling on Sunday morning with parents corralling babies who probably dragged them outta bed way too early. All the breakfast places had a lineup and we were on a mission to get to Target before we went home. So we grabbed breakfast and liquid fuel from case study coffee – such a neat place. I’d probably live there if I was a student.
These last couple of shots here are by my sister. She makes beautiful things.
Here’s a mural from the neighbourhood we stayed in.
We rented out a room in this little place on AirBnB. Apparently it was featured on Portlandia. It was exactly what you would imagine a home in Portland to look like. The lady that runs the place is a ceramic artist, so its filled with art and colourful thingamabobs.