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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    5K - 23:28

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    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

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    A Look Back.



Adventures In Portland.

Happy Monday!  I have a lot of fun things in store this week – a marathon recap, a baby update, an amazing pasta recipe, and more.  But first you have to indulge me and hear about our trip to Portland this weekend.  Even though we’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for over a year now, we still hadn’t been to Portland.

Casey was originally supposed to be running the Rock N Roll Marathon next Sunday in Seattle.  But a new work assignment meant he was going to have to miss it, which was pretty disappointing given that he’s trained for several months.  Some Googling and planning later, we booked a last minute overnight trip to Vancouver, WA – right outside of Portland – so Casey could run his marathon this weekend. 

We decided to save on hotel costs and just drive up early Saturday morning.  Very early.  The kids slept in the backseat.

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While Casey and I chatted and took in the incredible mountain scenery.  We lucked out with a gorgeous day!

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Three hours later – we arrived!  We drove straight to the expo so that Casey could get registered and ready (online registration had closed). 

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After a long drive, Cullen was very happy to be out of his car seat. 

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We checked out the expo for a bit, and Casey picked up some shot blocks to eat during the race.

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The mile markers were all lined up outside, and ready to be placed out on the streets.  I was really impressed with the organization and professionalism of such a small race!

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They even had Bart Yasso has the master of ceremonies!  We saw him announcing the finishers of the 5K race.  I love Runner’s World!

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Vancouver was a really cute little town, and we had fun walking around and exploring the marathon area.  I was so happy we were able to find Casey an alternative race to run!

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An early morning and a long car trip left us all starving for lunch.  I had solicited some recommendations for best Portland food on Twitter, as well as from Sarah.  It was pretty clear we needed to go to Blossoming Lotus

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We were able to score a private little table outside, which was awesome.  Warm and sunny with a nice breeze made it perfect for dining al fresco, and having Cullen outside is MUCH easier than worrying about him disrupting other people’s meals inside. 

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So happy that Sarah was here to go with us!  She’s been a huge help with Cullen already.  I’m never letting her leave.

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I started with this amazing white rose kombucha.  I hadn’t tried this brand before – they had so many great flavors!

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Our table split an order of the Live Nachos – spiced tomato & walnut chips, zucchini tahini nacho cheese and ground pecan chorizo, topped with red onion, tomato, cilantro, scallion, cashew sour cream, and avocado dressing, served with a lime wedge.  Wow.

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A lot of the menu items had something called soy curls, which I was initially sort of wary of (I don’t like most of the fake meat stuff).  I asked the waiter about it and he explained they were actually less processed than tofu, and free of any chemicals or additives.  You can read more about them here

I ordered the Crispy Thai Wrap – Thai spiced barbecue soy curls, crispy rice sticks, carrots, cucumber, red cabbage, and romaine lettuce, with sweet ginger dressing, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla (with extra avocado).  Ohhhh my word.  The soy curls were absolutely AMAZING.  Hands down the best vegetarian meat-like product I’ve had.  I actually don’t really like things that mimic the tastes and textures of meat, but this was out of this world. 

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Sarah got the Crispy Thai Salad – same thing in salad form. 

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And Casey got the Live Falafel Wrap – walnut & brazil nut falafel, tahini-cilantro pate, cucumber, onion,and tomato, wrapped in collard leaves, and served with cashew sour cream.

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While we ate, Cullen snacked on some dried blueberries and apples.  He is an eating machine!  For every bite I took, he demanded one too.

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After lunch we headed out to explore a bit of Portland.  We were told not to miss the International Rose Test Gardens, and I’m so glad we didn’t!  We saw incredible views of Mt. Hood…

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And wandered through gardens filled with so many beautiful and fragrant roses. 

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I wish my mom could have been there.  She and I worked together in a floral shop for a few years, and flowers have always been a fun bond for us.

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It was gorgeous and sunny and such a nice place to spend the afternoon with my favorite people.

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After the gardens we headed back to the hotel to give Cullen a break from both the car and the heat.  He’s at an age where all he wants to do is crawl and climb, so it’s hard to have him cooped up in car seats and strollers for too long. 

We had hoped to go to Portobello for dinner, but after arriving and hearing there was a 90 minute wait, we had to go with plan B.  We swung through Nicholas Restaurant and ordered a huge bag of takeout.  We headed back to the room to eat and let Cullen get to sleep. 

When we booked our hotel room, we booked a suite specifically so we could sleep separately from Cullen.  It’s really hard to sleep in the same room with him now – every sound and motion startles him, and he always wants to be part of whatever is going on.  We were surprised to get to our room and find that our “suite” wasn’t much of a suite at all.  There was a separate bedroom and living space, but there was no actual door separating the too – just a half wall.  Oops.

So the Pack N Play ended up in the corner by our bed…

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And the three of us huddled behind the half-wall, hiding from Cullen while we ate our dinner.  Luckily we were so busy stuffing ourselves silly, it didn’t matter that we had to talk in a whisper so we didn’t wake him up. 

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This was some of the best Mediterranean food I’ve ever had.  Hummus, baba ganoush, spinach pie, falafel, tahini sauce, mixed salads, endless pita and more.  We ate and ate and ate.

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And then all collapsed into bed to get ready for a very early wakeup call the next morning.  Marathon recap coming up next!

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82 Comments so far
Leave a comment

JL goes Vegan     at 3:30 pm

Oh, girl, SOY CURLS!! I am obsessed with them! I had my first at the Homegrown Smoker’s food truck in Portland – in a “macnocheeto” (vegan mac and cheese and soy curls with BBQ sauce in a big wrap….oh yes, I did recreate them at home!). I order them regularly from Vegan Essentials now. I always have them in my freezer.

Looking forward to the next post on Casey’s race!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

JL – SO amazing!! I can’t believe I didn’t know about such deliciousness! Totally ordering a box now. Can’t wait to cook with them.

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Christina @ Food.Fitness.Fun.     at 3:30 pm

Yum, sounds like you had a delicious trip! I enjoyed both of those restaurants when I was in Portland though Blo Lo was a particular favorite.

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Rebecca     at 3:33 pm

Your crispy thai wrap looks delish! I’m a west coaster too and somehow have never been to Portland either…it’s on my “must go in the next year” list

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Lauren @chigallauren     at 3:34 pm

The food looks amazing!!! I’m glad that if I ever visit Portland, I’ll know exactly where to go!

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Lesley     at 3:39 pm

I ran vancouver marathon yesterday, too! I’m anxious to hear how Casey’s race went–mine, not so well! So happy you enjoyed a sunny day in Portland and ate at 2 very yummy spots. Cheers to the PNW!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Congrats to you for running, even if it wasn’t your best race. The blazing sun didn’t do anyone any favors!

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Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit     at 3:46 pm

Glad that you had fun in my town. Portland always does a good job of treating people nicely. Especially on sunny days.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

It was beautiful!

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Lindsey     at 3:48 pm

Love raw, vegan nachos. I am not sure I can ever eat the regular ones again!
We were in Portland for a night last summer and I am sad we never got to explore more, only made it to VooDoo Donuts.

[Reply]

Ali     at 3:51 pm

Baby update!? Is this a Cullen post or an announcement?? Oh, the suspense! :)

[Reply]

Lizzie Reply:

I am wondering the same thing!! My guess is the latter…

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Kimberly Reply:

Me too…

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Wow – who knew I had started all this speculation? Sorry guys, I meant the baby that I already have. No one new on the way. :) But perhaps I should retire that shirt if several people are thinking I am pregnant!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Sorry to disappoint! Just an update on the baby I already have. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

No announcements. Just a Cullen post. :)

[Reply]

Army Amy*     at 4:15 pm

Good for Casey for rolling with the punches and switching races. That would totally throw me off my game!*

[Reply]

eliza     at 4:36 pm

You and your sister are so cute! I am so happy for you that she could to join you and the family!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks! Me too. :)

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Joanna     at 4:37 pm

Yum! That food looks delicious. And, I love your t-shirt – where is that from? And/or, what does it mean?

[Reply]

C Reply:

It is the logo of this awesome sandwich shop here in Seattle (I think). If you ever visit, check it out: Homegrown in Fremont

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Correct! Thanks C. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

It’s from Homegrown – a sandwich shop here in Seattle!

[Reply]

Emily @ Life on Food     at 4:40 pm

Those photos from the rose garden are gorgeous. I have always wanted to go to Portland. Now I want to go even more.

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Andrea     at 4:41 pm

So happy the weather cooperated with you! The food looks amazing! The flowers looked beautiful. If you want a day trip and you love flowers you should check out the rose garden at Pt. Defiance Park (they have a small zoo too) it’s not as far as Vancouver (just down in Tacoma).I believe they have a test garden as well. We actually got married there (the rose garden not the zoo) lol! :)

[Reply]

Jessica     at 4:58 pm

I LOVE Blossoming Lotus!! So glad you went there — and Nicolas restaurant is definitely one of the best. You did all the perfect Portland things. Glad you came for the best day we’ve had all year :)

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Samantha     at 5:02 pm

Thanks for writing about soy curls. They have shown up at the Wayward and Sidecar and I have been wary of them (also not a big fan of imitation meat). I may be more willing to try them now.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Oh man they were SO GOOD. Do not resist them!

[Reply]

Samantha Reply:

OK. Next time I get out I will have to try them. :)

[Reply]

Katrina (GF Gidget)     at 5:05 pm

I see you stayed at a Marriott. I would know that room layout and bedspread anywhere! (I stay in Marriotts every week)
Amazing foodie finds, too! Next time I am in Portland, I am seeking that cafe out!
Oh… and Cullen is a-freakin-dorable!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Yep, Marriott!

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Christine     at 5:17 pm

I was reading the other comments and was wondering the same things about the baby post (announcement vs Cullen?!)! Hope Casey had a good race. We will be heading to Portland for the Rev3 70.3 Triathlon on July 8 and we are staying in Vancouver as well. I was researching places to eat too… Blossoming Lotus is definitely on the list now.
On a totally separate note, where is your t-shirt from? I love it! (oh just saw someone else asked that too)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Sorry for the hype. Just an update for Cullen. No new babies. :) Shirt is from Homegrown here in Seattle – my favorite sandwich spot.

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Alexandra     at 5:18 pm

where did you and Casey get your sunglassess? Love them!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

They are Ray Bans!

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Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 5:45 pm

Ohhhh my god that food looks amazing!

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Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats     at 5:55 pm

Gosh that Blooming Lotus food looks amazing! My boyfriend and I are actually in the midst of planning a little mini trip to Portland right now and I’d love to go a great vegetarian restaurant! Unfortunately, my boyfriend demands meat. =( I need veg-friendly places!

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Allison     at 6:49 pm

Where do you buy Cullen’s organic baby snacks?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I got them at PCC here in Seattle, but pretty sure Whole Foods sells them as well.

[Reply]

Allison Reply:

Thanks! The closest I get to a whole foods is three hours away :( Guess Ill have to stick to target.

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Jessica     at 7:23 pm

I am SO jealous of your awesome restaurant options! I am in Iowa and vegan here is a dirty word :(
I hear ya on the ‘suite’ thing. We have three daughters and quickly learned with the first that a suite is the way to go.
Those are some great pics of you guys, especially the fourth pic, of Cullen standing up. Can we get a video sometime to see him in action? He is SO cute!!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Sure thing! Later this week. :)

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Ash Bear     at 7:26 pm

I am so glad Casey found a backup! I was in Vancouver this past trip visiting the Macy’s there and the town was adorable! I can’t believe I didn’t know about the rose gardens! That has to be a tourist stop on the next trip out!

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Jasmine @ learning to feed yourself     at 7:27 pm

The Portland area has such great food! And I love when restaurants actually have kombucha on their menu! It’s definitely worth the extra few dollars.

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Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction     at 8:16 pm

Looks like a fun road trip! Cullen get cuter with every post! You look like a very happy little family :)

[Reply]

Ali     at 8:48 pm

ALL the foods looks just incredible!! The soy curls sound so good and Mediterranean food is one of my faves :)

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lindsay     at 8:59 pm

I thought you were in Vancouver, Canada! Looks like it was a great trip :)

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 10:29 pm

I am usually in Portland a few times a year. But I’ve never tried that restaurant. I am actually heading up there in a couple weeks. I may have to try it then!

[Reply]

Red Deception     at 11:23 pm

I had a little giggle when you referred to Vancouver as a “cute little town”. It is a metropolis!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I only really saw the parts that were on the race course. The downtown area seemed quaint – I really liked it! Maybe I am just used to bigger cities these days. Small cities are refreshing!

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Amy S. Reply:

I’ve lived here for about ten years and while it’s grown a lot I’m not sure I’d call it a metropolis, especially compared to Portland and Seattle. I’d definitely consider it a suburb. That being said, Vancouver is much bigger than the little downtown area the marathon was at Sunday.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I thought the downtown area was really nice. Loved the water fountain in Esther Park, and looked like an awesome farmer’s market!!

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Amy S. Reply:

I love Esther Short park! little kids love playing in that fountain, it’s so cute :)

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R Reply:

I wonder if Red Deception means the Vancouver in Canada, as that is definitely a city! Emily’s in the Vancouver in the States..

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Red Deception Reply:

I was referring to the Vancouver in Canada! I didn’t realize that there is a Vancouver in the US. The Vancouver in Canada is massive!

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Amy S. Reply:

What’s funny is Vancouver BC actually gets their name from Vancouver WA! :)

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Michelle@PeachyPalate     at 11:56 pm

I LOVE Vancouver! When I was there last I wasn’t vegan and I’m no dying to go back as they seemingly have some amazing vegan places to eat. The place you went looks incredible!

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Eleah     at 11:57 pm

Townshed is actually a little tea shop here in Portland. Their kumbucha is carried all over the place in the city but I’m not sure if they sell it elsewhere. Next time you’re down here, you should go to the tea shop.. it’s on Alberta (a trendy little street with lots of good food and cute stores.)

[Reply]

Jennyg     at 11:57 pm

Those are 2 of my fave places here in PDX. Did you get the giant pita the size of a man hole cover from Nicholas? Awesome.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

YES! Huuuuuge pitas!

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com }     at 3:26 am

Your blog gives me hope that I will be able to travel regularly still once I have children!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

It is not always easy, but it IS possible. :)

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Anne     at 5:39 am

I think, and I say this nicely, that bloggers overuse the phrase “the best [enter food]“…

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Probably!

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Melissa     at 5:45 am

Portland is one of my absolute favorite cities- second only to Boston, which is where I’m from. If all of my family wasn’t on the East Coast I would definitely consider moving there! Glad you enjoyed it. Just curious- what kind of shoes is Cullen wearing? I can’t keep any kind of shoe on my little guy, and now that he is crawling and trying to stand up I have found that a lot of baby shoes don’t have enough traction on the bottom to keep him from sliding all over the place.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

They are just soft little Nautica shoes my mom bought him. He has fat little feet, and these are the only ones that fit!

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Azka     at 9:38 am

Hi Emily! I’ve been an avid follower of your blog because of the food/fitness perspective but also because Cullen and my baby are the same age and we have had similar adventures in motherhood :) I love your restaurant/food reviews. I know you’re incredibly busy, but we are visiting Seattle/Tacoma this week. Do you have any recommendations for pescetarian dining? And activities with a 7.5 mo old? We’ll be staying downtown. Thank you!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Welcome to Seattle! Not sure about pescatarian dining specifically (since we don’t eat fish), but I have all my favorite restaurants listed on my Seattle page (not all are vegetarian). As far as baby activities go – check our Twirl in Queen Anne (great coffee shop with a giant baby playland), and Mockingbird Books in Greenlake has storytime every day at 11am. Maybe I will see you there! :)

[Reply]

Azka Reply:

Thank you for the tips, Emily! :)

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Janelle     at 10:01 am

Never heard of soy curls… but now I want to try them!!!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

They are AMAZING!

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Stephanie     at 10:33 am

Oh my goodness. I live in Portland, but grew up in Vancouver! I actually ran the half on Sunday (my second half) and loved it.

ps, soy curls are my FAVORITE.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Aww fun that you were running too! What a great race!

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Amber K     at 11:07 am

I love living right outside of Portland, so much good food. I always get the live falafel wrap at Blossoming Lotus. It’s sooo good.

Glad you had a fun trip!

[Reply]

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 12:17 pm

The rose garden is Portland is gorgeous! A must see!

Your food looks insanely good!

[Reply]

Kat     at 1:18 pm

Cullen is getting so big! And i love his little shoes – they look like my ll bean slippers

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 1:42 pm

All that food looks incredible! And Cullen is so stinken cute, omygoodness!

[Reply]

Lisa     at 2:38 pm

Woohoo Portland! Glad you had good weather here and were able to see the rose gardens. That’s where I usually take out of town guests. Washington Park has tons of trails for running and hiking too. And Nicholas has good food. :)

[Reply]

B @ Crags and Veggies     at 3:24 pm

Portland adventures look great. I especially love the family picture in the roses. Beautiful!

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afarmerinthedell.com     at 3:30 pm

I am SOOOO happy you got to explore Portland. I am living and farming on the east coast but am from Portland. So happy you checked out some of my favorite hubs. Nicholas’ is one of my favorite little whole in the walls. Best food! Thanks for reminding me how wonderful the northwest is! I am homesick!

[Reply]

Faith (Gracefulfitness)     at 8:48 am

Yay for Blossoming Lotus! They used to be located in same space as the yoga studio (Yoga Pearl) that I worked at. They would deliver my dinner to the front desk :)It’s been years but I still crave one of their salads! And Nicholas’ is just awesome too. Good work.

[Reply]

Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See     at 11:54 am

Awwwww the picture of Cullen and Sarah is adorbs :)

[Reply]

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