Day 7: The Good (Portland & Sauvie Island)

We started the day with another trip to Cathedral Park, the off-leash area, and the tiny beach on the river there. Tako and I both adore that park. It’s really hard to beat.

Corgi Friend
Tako made a corgi friend named Wicket.

If we move to Portland after all of this is over (a high probability to be honest), then St. Johns is in my top 3 neighborhoods to live in for that park alone. I don’t care that I would have to get a bike and commute up and down a mini-mountain. #worthit

What Do You Mean We're Leaving
What do you mean we’re leaving?

After saying goodbye to the park, we packed up the car and went to Cowabunga to meet Mark and his family.


Tako wasn’t allowed inside the event — 100% would have been trampled — which was a series of tents lined with tables where various restaurants competed for votes on best dish, bloody mary, and ice cream.


There was sweet; there was savory. There was bbq and Thai shrimp and grits. There was even a band who played twangy covers of Top 40 Hits throughout the ages. They did a cover TLC’s “No Scrubs” that I’m not even kidding was mind-blowingly good. I wish I had a clip of that, but I was transfixed by Nong’s bloody mary at the time (see below). I did get a clip of their “Free Fallin'” cover. You can see it in my PortlandHappy story highlights.

Mark kindly hung out with the pooch so that I could go inside, and the kids shuttled all of our favorite dishes out to him.

Before Sunday, I had never met Mark and Ali’s daughters, who are about-to-be-8 and 11, and good grief those girls are awesome. If I was guaranteed kids like those, I’d probably be planning to have them.

(Since this is always a question I get when I make comments like that, to be clear I haven’t ruled children out; I just haven’t ruled them in either.)

I don’t think it’s a secret that Portland has the best food on the planet. I might be the last to learn this? But if you haven’t been to Portland, you probably think I’m exaggerating, and I’m really not. I think I gained 5lbs in the two days I was there.

Because this.


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My favorites:

1) a dish from Nonna Tavern (that they totally described to me, but I was too distracted by how amazing it tasted to hear the words); I am unashamed to admit that I ate two of them.

Favorite Dish Nonna Tavern
I mean, c’mon. What???

2) a bloody mary by the amazing talents of Nong’s Khao Man Gai

Best Bloody Mary
That isn’t even garnish. It’s another MEAL.

3) the strawberry gelato. It was light. It was refreshing. It was simple and perfectly executed. And we ate all of it before I got a picture…whomp whomp. I even let Tako have a taste, it was so good. I know. I’m one of THOSE dog owners.

Tako’s favorite part: every single person who passed the tent where Mark had taken up residence in the heat stopped to pet him. He was in heaven all day.

On the way back to their house after the event, Mark gave Tako and I another mini-tour, this time of the NE side of Portland (because that’s where the event was). Even though it was a thousand degrees outside we still enjoyed the tour.

Tako and I are going to miss that family. *tear* Little do they realize we’ll be back on their doorstep in a few months…

And then it was time to head to Sauvie Island, just north of Portland. In keeping with nothing but good vibes on this post, I’m going to skip ahead to the end of the day, when we were greeted with this at our evening fire.

Evening Companion

Why so gorgeous, Oregon?



Meeting Mark’s daughters, brother & nephew for the first time. I’m a huge fan of everyone related to that man.


Driven: 1126mi

Hiked: 15mi

Written: 3k

Listening to: “Sharp-Dressed Man” ZZ Top

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