A Portland Sort of Birthday

Jessica (left) and I enjoying a view of Portland’s Willamette River

Every year around this time, my birthday happens.

And as it happens, this year I’m spending half of my birthday week in my favorite American city, Portland, Oregon, with my dear friend Jessica. She lives here, which never ceases to delight me. See, I discovered my love for Portland in 2006…but I didn’t discover Jessica until 2009.

On this trip, we’ve so far wandered the Eola-Amity Hills Wine Route in the Willamette Valley (I highly recommend a stop at the Dobbes Family Estate) found some spectacular fall leaves, and enjoyed the meal of the gods: Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings from Pok Pok. Tonight, I’m looking forward to feeling a real chill in the air and breaking out my first sweater of the season.

In the time Jess and I have left this week, we might take a drive to peer out over the Columbia Gorge, amble up to a food cart or two, crack open a bottle of Argyle Pinot Noir, and settle in for a while with our laptops at a French restaurant which features both Kir Royales and free Wi-Fi. We’ll also mull over future Oregon trips, like one to mineral-blue Crater Lake and another to the pink-tinged Strawberry Range.

But most importantly? We’ll be enjoying each other’s company, catching up on stories, listening to some good music, talking back to her meowing cats, and taking a few minutes to notice that autumn is settling in all around us. 

Getting older isn’t so bad when friends are along for the journey.

Off We Drove to Forest Grove

A few weeks back we hit the road to find ourselves some autumn fun in the Pacific Northwest. With the help of our friends, we found it in Forest Grove, Oregon, less than an hour from Portland.

Between huge flocks of birds, a sake tour, wine tasting and a fine mist hanging o’er the hills, I’m sure as heck glad we got off the couch and headed west.

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Portland, Oregon: A (Real Live) Weekend Away

A bit of the bar at Ping in Portland’s Chinatown

Recently spent my (early-October) birthday up in Portland, Oregon, which is just about our favorite city in America.

We stayed with friends, went to a book fair and a radio show taping, toodled around the city, drank wine and stuffed our faces. We wore actual sweaters and jackets to ward off the autumn chill. 

And you know what? It was darn good for the mind, body and soul.

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TWT’s 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets

Photo by Roadsidepictures

Photo by Roadsidepictures

The popular travel blog TripBase has started a tag-you’re-it game across the travel blogosphere.

The goal is to collect an amazing list of across-the-globe travel secrets from as many travel bloggers as humanly possible.  Someday soon, this list will be a Creative Commons roundup that I’ll be sure to share with you!

For now, I’ve been tagged by two of my favorite travel bloggers, Sheila of GoVisitHawaii and Isabelle of Isabelle’s Travel Guide to contribute my own best kept travel secrets.

So, here we go:

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Falling Into the North Willamette Valley

Domaine Serene, in early October

Domaine Serene, in early October

A simple search of the Travels With Two archives will tell you how much we love Portland, Oregon.  But, truly, we also sing the wine country praises of the nearby North Willamette Valley.

Of course, the singing usually comes an hour into tasting pinot noirs…

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