Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guilder: Portland OR

The view from Guilder's second floor

The weather turned this week and fall officially arrived. And of course, on that first cool and overcast day I immediately started to crave something warm and comforting to eat. That’s when I had my “Aha!” moment and remembered Guilder, a relative newcomer to the coffee shops, bakeries and cafes that dot NE Fremont Street in Portland, Oregon.

I’d been to Guilder once before and enjoyed the Scandinavian ambience – a comfortable mix of industrial chic, high ceilings and lots of natural light.

Sweet porridge

I also greatly enjoyed Guilder’s sweet porridge, another reason I returned. According to Mike Nelson, one of Guilder's owners, this Northern European take on oatmeal was inspired by a traditional Danish recipe. It consists of steel-cut and rolled oats, farro, cranberries, cardamom-spiced almonds, plus your choice of milk – another nice touch! The whole thing is topped off with a generous dollop of housemade berry jam. It has a lovely sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor and is actually quite filling. (One bowl left me sated for a solid three hours.)

Guilder part owner Mike Nelson

I’m pretty stoked Guilder is just up the road from me. The cafĂ©’s light and airy feeling, the friendly staff plus the tasty porridge is just what I’ll need to fully embrace the colder and darker days ahead.

2393 NE Fremont St.

Portland, OR 97212

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hammock Heaven: Tygh Valley OR

I’m lucky enough to know some fine people who live in Tygh Valley, Oregon.  Their home sits on a hill with views of the rugged surroundings dotted with maples and sagebrush. It’s constructed from straw bales – which is pretty cool in itself.

When visiting during the warmer months, I always gravitate to the hammock. It hangs between two sturdy trees, and during the afternoon, just the right amount of dappled sunlight filters through. At night you can swing in it and stargaze. It’s also wide – so you can really stretch out. If you tip it just right, you can reach your beer resting on the ground below.

And in these waning days of summer, it’s import to remember the season’s simple pleasures – like a warm breeze, a frosty beer, and a perfectly placed hammock.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Walk on the Wildflower Side: Memaloose OR

A friend suggested we take a walk amongst the wildflowers at Memaloose State Park in Mosier, Oregon, just east of Hood River. So on that sunny day – after a particularly long, harsh and wet winter – we headed into the Columbia River Gorge.

A very helpful and current blog post by hiker and travel writer Paul Gerald (complete with photos and video) helped steer us to the right spot, and pointed out several things worth noting – including where to start and parking suggestions. (Always helpful if you’re hiking someplace for the first time.)

After a healthy frolic amongst the balsamroot and green rolling hills, we returned to the car, crossed the Columbia River via the Hood River Bridge, and topped off our hike with a visit to two excellent Washington State wineries: COR Cellars and Syncline Wine Cellars.

By our second glass of wine in the sun, winter was starting to feel more like a distant memory than a daily reality.

Mission accomplished.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Different Kind of Mocha: Portland OR

Yeah, yeah…I know what you're thinking. Another aerial photo of a cute coffee drink. But you know what? This one is different. This is a Soviet Mocha from Jim and Patty’s, the beloved coffee and pastry shop located in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. What makes it Soviet is that underneath all that whipped cream is a mocha infused with a dollop of sour cream. Delicious!

So just give yourself permission to forego that anemic skinny latte made with 1% (blecch!) and go for it.

Sometimes happiness is elusive, but sometimes it’s as easy as getting a really amazing specialty coffee drink.

Portland, Oregon