Sunday, April 13, 2014

Drink Coffee, Drink Whiskey

This trip, I haven't done enough of either of these two. Hanging out with a mama and four-week-old baby and with Piper and Mali working all the time, my time here has definitely been a little whiskey deprived, but I've made up for it with amazing green tea, flower ogling, chatting with random locals, and eating way too much Pizza and other treats.

While I won't deign to know PDX well enough to offer actual travel advice, having mostly hung out in about twenty block radius in the Southeast part of town, I did thoroughly enjoy a few local spots, enough in fact to visit them multiple times.

One of the awesome things about Portland for us Washingtonates, is that everything is much more affordable and there's no sales tax. I usually try to go to Oregon with an agenda of buying a few specific things I actually need.

My favorite vintage spot was for sure Artifact, a space with an eclectic mix of new, old, handmade and unexpected. Perfectly curated, yet entirely un-curated seeming, it's a really sweet place for a treasure hunt. I found quite a few adorable dresses, some useful household items, and ended up chatting with one of the folks who run it and they expressed interest in selling my jewelry. Expect to see more F&N in your neighborhood Portland readers!

I really couldn't be more thrilled with that development.

Though I spent a lot of time adventuring around on my own, I did have a couple of really sweet guides to the city.

It was so fun to see these two gals, who let me crash at their sweet pad and took me to good places to eat and talk about anything and everything.

It almost made me wish I was in my twenties in a new city again.

I was super impressed by how much focus these guys still have on their interests, their own thing, in spite the pressures of city life, new jobs, new people and surroundings. It'll be really exciting to see them pursue their crafts in a bigger setting.

Drinking tea, watching Piper work with wool, hanging out on the couch was a good antidote to meandering the city, people and flower watching, the overwhelming newness of it all.

I always feel really inspired by new scenery and get tons of ideas from surroundings unlike my own. Often, I go to places without guidebooks, or an agenda, a set schedule, or a list of -must-see things. I like to find sights for myself, to feel like I'm really exploring, not just following a lead, a pre-approved itinerary. Traveling this way sparks your imagination in a different way, and there are no disappointments, no grief over how small something seemed in reality, how lackluster. There's just wonder over all you do get to see.

And now I'm excited to head home to put those ideas into good use...


  1. I totally agree with you Milla! Last summer we found ourselves exploring Paris exactly that way, and we both loved it, though Pierre has been living there for years and I am a visitor: we biked (which in Paris is an adventure in itself...) to a certain place where we needed to do or buy something specific, and then we just improvised according to our inspiration. In this way we discovered lovely calm areas in Montmartre for instance... but most of all, we really "lived" these places AND our day.

    Whereas planning has a way to rob you of your perceptions, particularly since it means you are already thinking of the 'next thing to do' (even if it's an errand, a show or a zen cup of tea) instead of letting yourself drift into the present experience. From what I gather, you are familiar with this process as well ;o)

    Also, how great to be able to enjoy Portland through your eyes! These blossoms in your previous post were wonderful, too.

    Vive les amies! And congratulations for your new ideas and developments :o)

  2. that place looks like a dream! all those clothes - I bet there are some great finds.

  3. Oooh, I'm mightly excited by the sight of that spinning wheel! Does your friend live from her spinning?

  4. I think I've seen pictures of that shop before...looks familiar and TEMPTING. My husband and I have been talking about doing more exploring, just picking a spot on the map. Unplanned adventures are some of the best.

  5. oooh toast is in my neighborhood! I LOVE their chuck norris cookie :) glad you loved your time here- I often believe that I have an unhealthy dependence on this place... 9 years here and I can't imagine straying far!

  6. That is great news about expanding your wares into Portland! I'm totally waiting in anticipation to see what goodies made it into Fireweed and Nettle. I'm sorry I don't comment around much at the moment. My Teacher Aide prac hours and housework and kids stuff and fluff seem to take up a lot of time now. So I barely have smidgens of time to glance at my favourite girls' life tales these days. It goes too fast now. This time thing. It was cross country day today, (that is long distance running at school) my babes came 6th and 7th for their age groups - I get exhausted with nervousness for them (they are not nervous at all of course) And that darling is the best I can come up with for a mini-blog post for now. xoxo

  7. Oh wow, that vintage store looks so great! So glad you enjoyed your time in Portalnd, Milla. Seems like you cherished the experience!