Tag Archives: Washington State

Seattle and Portland:: #josephsinseattle #josephsinportlandia

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A family vacation was way overdue for us. When Levi decided to do his summer bike ride from Austin to Anchorage with the Texas 4000 team (see Alaska post here), we thought why not take a family vacation? Seattle and Portland are amazing cities, and our son wanted to check them out for possible cities to consider once he graduates. We’ve always loved Seattle because it is one of America’s original foodie destinations, and of course, home to Sur la Table, the original kitchen/cooks store.

Pikes Place Market is a favorite destination. The thing I love about it is that the locals like it and use it as much as the tourists. The flowers are always my favorite section of Pike’s Market, and this time around, it did not disappoint; the dahlias were in rare form. Absolutely breathtaking.

Pikes Market

Another point of interest was the gum wall. Set into the alley below the entrance to Pike’s Place Market, this gross art installation made purely of used gum, is both mesmerizing and disgusting. Although completely icky, I love this photo of Levi and Alex.


We decided to show the kids our favorite part of NW Washington: the cluster of islands called the San Juan Islands. Plus, we wanted to ride the ferry. We rode out to Whidbey Island, which was a gorgeous ride, and then took the ferry back to Seattle.

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We had breakfast at the London Plane, a gorgeous space, before heading out to Portland for a couple of days. (In my opinion, the space is much better than the food itself; keep in mind the food is hit or miss. This time the croissant we had was amazing, but the yogurt combo was truly weird and bad. However, we all agreed the avocado toast was the best choice).

London Plane

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Portland is a unique city. I really only knew about it because the TV show Portlandia is so funny. If you have not seen it, Portlandia pokes fun at the uber hipsters that reside there. Skits like “Put a Bird on It” and the radical, over pierced bike messenger that cusses at all the pedestrians and cars that get in his way are hilarious.  I also have a warm place in my heart for the ultra feminists and their bookstore, and the politically correct over liberal mayor played by Kyle MacLachlan.

My favorite episode involves a very “locally farm grown” sensitive couple ordering chicken at a farm to table restaurant. They want to know if the chicken they are ordering has a name, and had a happy life that included chicken friends. Too funny.

I have to say that after doing major damage at the enormous “clog” store with a super-sized selection of clogs…I had to chuckle at my own inner hipster… the salesperson could not have been nicer and more of a character right out of the TV show itself.

I think that show might be pretty right on. The people watching was pretty rad while we tasted beer after our delicious meal at Pok Pok. The micro brew selection was off the hook. We tasted a few samples at Imperial Bottle Shop and Taproom.

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All and all, a pretty hip (ster) place no doubt. I loved Portland, even with its specific and quirky lifestyle.

If you’re a looking for a laid back liberal city, this is probably the place for you…and they make a pretty mean doughnut. Voodoo doughnuts was a happening. The donuts were not as impressive as the super cool vibe of the location. We literally went there on the suggestion of Anthony Bourdain, who I think was probably pretty much stoned through the entire Portland episode, so he pretty much LOVED everything he put in his mouth here (pot is legal here, BTW).

Of course we hit the food truck park for lunch, and had various incarnations of the falafel and bubble tea.

If Portland has anything, it has a handle on how to brand a city. What can I say? I am a sucker for branding.

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Lots to discover in the Northwest, especially the people who were lovely, interesting, and very friendly.


xx, Annette

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Photo Credit : Me




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