Back in PDX

For two or three years I was visiting Portland (airport code PDX) every couple of months. I liked the city and always had a good time. Part of the reason for this is that I have a surprisingly large number of friends and family with whom I could spend time on my visits.
Of course Angie and I didn’t have enough time to see everyone or do much tourism, but we still had a fantastic three nights, staying with family in the delightful Hawthorne neighborhood in the Southeast area of town. We arrived late on Tuesday afternoon from Tillamook and had to negotiate some significant traffic, including the pain of trying to get onto the Hawthorne Bridge, which is often challenging to negotiate because coming on to it from certain angles requires keeping a sharp eye out for oncoming cyclists who have the right of way.
We managed to book some time with a few people and had a lot of fun with them. I particularly enjoyed getting to know my young cousins Max and Sophie a little better and attending Max’s high school choir concert (outstanding voices), which also enabled us to spend some quality time with cousin Eric, who is often so busy.
Most of the time spent other than visiting people was taken up with checking out several of the stores along Hawthorne Avenue. I know it’s a week before Christmas, but these places were BUSY. Hawthorne is one of the hippest parts of Portland and appears to be a pretty crowded pedestrian area, even during the week. There were several cute stores offering gift-type things, so they were doing some good business.
I’ve eaten at a few restaurants in the area over the years and had a few good meals. On our first morning we ate at a place called Bread & Ink and had a fantastic meal there. I had an egg skillet that was flavorful. I’ve often been disappointed by skillet dishes for breakfast but was not this time.
We also had a few more wonderful meals around town that gave us an opportunity to spend time with loved ones, including a great home-cooked meal with my old friends Richard and Beth. We also had a very good dinner at the Beaverton edition of Mingo and a spectacular lunch at one of my local favorites, Andina, which was only marred by slowish service and cold coffees. Our final meal in town was at Kenny and Zuke’s. This was a decent bagel joint that was improved greatly by the stupendous company as we spent some final quality time with cousin Rebecca. To top the morning off, I managed to find a new (on sale) pair of cycling tights at West End Bikes to compensate for the pair I could not find in our storage unit. (Rebecca joked that there is a coffee house AND a bike shop on pretty much every corner in Portland.)
We returned to the house to finish our packing and headed off toward Federal Way, our destination for the evening on our way to make one more stop in the US and see one more friend and his wife, before crossing the border to spend some time with Angie’s brother and his wife.

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