Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Pacific Northwest (Odds and Ends)

The Pacific Northwest is my family's new home, and while it was very hard to leave California behind, we've come to love our new digs.  This post is an ode to the Pacific Northwest, and it covers territory throughout Washington and Oregon.  All photos conveniently stolen from my Instagram account.

The 3 B's waffle @ The Waffle Window, Portland, OR (the 3 B's being bacon, basil, and brie)

Christopher was a fan of The Waffle Window (and this was from 2015).

Living in southwestern Washington means we're 2 hours from my Orthodox godfather's house in Eugene, OR.

Portland is a foodie destination.  This is the Reggie Deluxe at Pine State Biscuits, often mentioned in lists of best breakfast sandwiches in America.

I'm a beer guy, so Hair of the Dog (and especially their Adam from the Wood) has me satiated.

I'm also a book guy, so Powell's City of Books in Portland also has me covered.

Keep Portland Weird... but keep Vancouver (WA) normal.

Speaking of which, here's Fort Vancouver, WA, with oodles of history.

Pioneer Square Courthouse, Portland, OR, seen from my brother-in-law's office building.

Deschutes Brewery is located in Bend, OR, but this is their taproom in Portland.

Christopher liked wading in the Columbia River at the Hood River Waterfront Park in Hood River, OR (Washington state seen across the river).

Christopher and his grandmother in the tulip fields in Woodland, WA, in spring 2016.

Vancouver, WA, has lots of breweries of its own despite being just across the water from Portland.  This is Old Ivy in downtown.

The I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, seen from the Washington side.

Christopher's first (or second) sandcastle, at Cannon Beach, OR.

The haystacks (300 feet high) at Cannon Beach, OR.

The only drawback (from my perspective) to living just outside of Portland is that there is only one of the Big Four sports represented... but at least that allows me to see the Golden State Warriors occasionally.  Unfortunately this was the only game they lost in their playoff matchup vs. the Portland Trail Blazers in 2016.

Portland, seen from a rooftop bar.

Christopher, out for a ride at our neighborhood park in Vancouver, WA.

This photo proves three things: 1. my brother is a good uncle, 2. we're raising Christopher as a Sharks fan, and 3. Vancouver, WA, has an ice rink.

Mt. Hood, seen from my parents' house in Vancouver, WA.

Christopher having fun playing while we enjoy a festival in St. Paul, OR.

Suzanne, Christopher, and I visited Great Notion Brewing in Portland, before it became a Big Thing.

Lots of the beers of Great Notion: Double Stack, Juice Jr., A Beer Has No Name, Blueberry Muffin, and Stash IPA.  Taken in June, 2016, shortly after permanently relocating.

Christopher getting soaked at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver, WA.

Happy wife and second son, in our house that we'd never, ever be able to own in California.

Christopher in his play room.

Living in southwestern Washington means I'm only 2.5 hours from Seattle, which is nice when there's a big craft beer bottle release at Fremont Brewing.

On the left is The Rusty Nail, which has since become the highest ranked beer in the Pacific Northwest, according to BeerAdvocate.

My (non-Orthodox) godfather Kieth (correct spelling), with Christopher, at his home in SeaTac.

Needs no introduction (hopefully...).

Gloomy weather does allow for spectacular visuals.

The boys, at home.

Southern WA, outside of the Tri Cities (note the Columbia River).

Suzanne outside of Seven Hills Winery in downtown Walla Walla, WA.

Twede's Cafe in North Bend, WA, more famously known as the Double R Diner from the cult TV classic, Twin Peaks.

Damn good pie! (No, seriously - the pie at Twede's was probably the best pie I've had in my life)

Snoqualmie Falls, WA... also famous for being in Twin Peaks.

Spur-of-the-moment road trip to Olympic National Park, WA, with my brother-in-law.

Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, WA

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, WA

Looking across to Vancouver Island, Canada, from the Olympic Peninsula, WA.

Cape Flattery, WA, the northwestern part of the contiguous USA.

Kurt Cobain's childhood home, Aberdeen, WA

Mt. St. Helens, seen from just up the street in my neighborhood of Vancouver, WA.

Pesto beer (no, seriously), at the Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland, OR.

The backside of Mt. Hood, OR.

The Bend headquarters of Deschutes Brewery.

Boneyard Beer, Bend, OR

Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, OR

Tillamook Cheese Factory, Tillamook, OR

Christopher overlooks the production line at Tillamook Cheese.

Christopher = single and ready to mingle at Tillamook Cheese.

Oceanside, OR

Christopher at Oceanside, OR

Christopher at Oceanside, OR

Cape Meares Lighthouse, OR

My new classroom in northern Clark County, WA.

Christopher at home in Vancouver, WA, on his swingset.

Keller Fountain, Portland, OR

Father John Misty performing at Edgefield Amphitheater, Troutdale, OR

Christopher made a friend at our local park.

Voodoo Doughnut is good, but Blue Star (also in Portland) is way better.  This is the James and the Giant Peach donut, in honor of Roald Dahl's birthday.

Mt. Angel, OR, during their yearly Oktoberfest.  Definitely a highlight of the Pacific Northwest calendar.

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, OR

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, OR

It may be hard being a 49ers fan these days, but sometimes it's really fun being a dissident.

A trio of dissidents at the 49ers @ Seahawks game in Seattle, WA.

Mt. Rainier, WA

Christopher at our local pumpkin patch, before Halloween 2016.

Time for another trip to Fremont Brewing, this time for the Coffee Kentucky Dark Star.

The Fremont Troll, Seattle, WA

A glorious sunrise, seen from my driveway in Vancouver, WA.

Mt. St. Helens, seen from my morning commute.

Later in the school year, after our first snowfall in Clark County, WA.

Yet another trip to Fremont Brewing, but one in which I made friends in addition to scoring beer (the "C-Bomb" release in December).

Chris and Zach cuteness, at my parents' house in Vancouver, WA.

Christopher's first snow man (well... actually Daddy's).

Gotta love the provisions at Olympia Provisions, in Portland, OR.

Winter Storm Jupiter dumped 11 inches of snow on my neighborhood in January 2017.  This is my front step, on our first of 4 consecutive housebound days.

Judging from my grill, I'd say we had a wee bit more than 11 inches in a night.

The snow storm allowed for an epic snowball fight with Christopher.  I won.

It also allowed for naturally chilled beer.

Mt. Hood, looming over the Columbia River (seen from the I-205 bridge).

Another Warriors visit to Portland...

But this one had a better (if terrifyingly close) result.

My in-laws are now Pacific Northwest residents, too!

My wife and I went out for my birthday (belatedly, due to Winter Storm Jupiter) at a swank restaurant, Beast, in Portland.

Communal dining, top notch food and wine.  Beast is a winner.

The best burger in town (if not the entire West Coast) = the Farrar's Bistro Burger, Vancouver, WA.

The Gordon House, Silverton, OR, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Inside the Gordon House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Now that Great Notion Brewing in Portland has become a Very Big Thing, we decided to return.  Midnight Fluff on the left, Strawberry Cream IPA in the foreground, and Stacks of Coconut near my wife.  All amazing.

I'd say you should come and join me in the Pacific Northwest, but the one drawback to this area is the natives are understandably opposed to too many of my ilk moving in.  Could be the 49ers / Warriors fandom... or the rising property values and rent (sorry......).

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