Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Portland, Oregon

A snapshot of my collection of memorabilia from our Portland adventures, starting with Easter, Powell's books, Stumptown Coffee Downtown(see more pics here), Mother's Bistro and Bar,where we had the famous french toast encrusted in corn flakes.  Oh so good. Habibi Lebonese food for lunch.  We went here while shopping, and had a tremendously delicious meal, very inexpensive, and particularly good.  Turn's out their second location was a block from our hotel, Doc Martens, such a Portland natural.  Random Order Coffeehouse and bakery makes incredible and award winning pies.  It's a coffee house in the true sense of the word.  Vintage clothes shopping, my favorite is Lulu's.  A couple other fun places, with an interesting twist:  Lulu's- upscale vintage clothing, super nice and informed staff(owners) and Kirsty's nickname, Lulu and SaySay- trendy clothing boutique and Sarah's nickname, also a fun shop, with the owner as sales staff.

Stumptown is Portland.  It's so Portland.  Awesome coffee, sassy atmosphere, stripped down, but elegant.  Fancy, yet not pretentious.  Dependable and yet sassy.  That's our hotel across the street.  Everywhere in town sells Stumptown coffee.  It's delicious and a mainstay for grey days.

As much as these are unique bikes, they are typical in Portland.  Utilitarian, yet customized.  Definitely a free spirited and energized vibe.

Crazy.  Not sure what this one is designed for.  Just because?  Note the poster on the ground.  I think it was celebrating the 100th year of the Titanic.
 Really enjoyed the bikes in town.  Here's another special one.  Be line pdx is a zero carbon emission delivery service and advertising all based on these tricycles.  Awesome!  That battery is for a little assist if needed.  What a blast to work for this company.  They've partnered with big and small companies like Whole Foods and Office Max, as well as local bakers and others.  Another fascinating area they are addressing is delivering donated perishable food to food banks and shelters.  Wow.  Talk about making a difference.  It's pretty exciting, and seems like such a natural in Portland.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pizza Orgasmica, San Rafael, CA (and Stinson Beach, CA)

We had a nice hike up the beach today.  That's Bolinas on the other side of the lagoon.  It's a beautiful place here, at Stinson Beach.  We're on the edge of town, at the end of the spit.  So tranquil, yet beautifully exciting.  There are so few people over here, which makes you just want to smile and appreciate how good life is.    How small is it, you ask?  Last night, we walked into town for dinner a little after  8:00pm, to the Sand Dollar restaurant and they had to make a decision whether to stay open for us.  They said yes, happily, and we knew they would.  :-)

I'm trying to learn to use depth of field to get focus at a point and out of focus everywhere else by using a high or large Fstop value.  It's not working.  Apparently, it's easier if there is less light.  Anyways, I'll keep trying.  See any shells in there?
Here's another one where it would have been fun to have these little guys in focus, going to blurry in the ocean.
This is a glimpse of the stunning beauty here, the Bolinas/Stinson lagoon in the foreground, mr pelican overhead, and the marin headlands in the background. 
You might be recognizing Bolinas in the background, and this (guessing) native purple beauty in front.
Purple flowers up close.  Such a vibrant color against the backdrop of the beach colors.  Isn't nature grand?
Here's another bit of mother nature doing her thing.  This is a huge tree, half of it hanging over the lagoon, with roots 'looking' everywhere for a place to dig in.  It does not phase the tree one bit.  He's huge!  And growing straight and strong and tall.  Cool.
All I can say is, the circle of life.  This is what's left of a spotted shark on the beach. Nice looking, even at this point in it's decomposition.  He's about 2 feet long I would say.
Here's the essence of the Stinson artist community.  I love the colors and textures of this sculpture made of found pieces of nature and man's refuse.  In the nest were, I am guessing contributions from the unknown artist and those who wanted to add-on, including rocks that looked like eggs, crab shells and other items.
Kirsty and her dog, Ellie.  Both in their sweet pot, loving life.  Such a happy place.  We are so lucky.

Jib Jab
We're learning. 

We went up to the beach this time, with no food.  No drinks.  No extra clothes.  We did bring sheets and pillows, but that's it, for a three day visit.  Turns out there was a nice bottle of Moet Chandon on ice in the fridge (who left that? we're going to replace it, and thank you, what a great idea and treat).  It was nice to finish it in the morning.  There was also coffee, whew.  It makes everything better.  Less time to get there.  Less time to clean.  Less decisions.  Less is better.

Pizza Orgasmica and Brewing Company in San Rafael, CA
Okay, I would be remiss, not providing details of a super fun lunch I had in San Rafael, in one of my favorite places on the planet (Marin), Pizza Orgaasmica is on Fourth and Lincoln.  Like any good pizza place, but so so so much better.  Yes, they make their own beer.  Yes, they make really nice pizza from great ingredients.  Yes, it's fun inside, couches, brew equipment, and sports on tv, but yes, soccer, and Marin style sports.    Anyways, I had a great spinach, feta, and dried tomato, and a delicious IPA.