Before leaving San Francisco the girls and I went to Berkeley and walked around the botanical garden. It's something of a tradition of ours to visit botanical gardens when we travel (see our 2009 garden visit video in Tuscon). On our last day in SF it was a special treat getting to see our Twitter-friend Irvin Lin for lunch at the Ferry Building. Andy had a book design meeting at Chronicle Books, and we were on the road to Oregon.
|Irvin, me, and Andy using Irvin's cool fish-eye iPhone lens.|
In the afternoon of the 17th we pulled into the adorable town of Ashland, Oregon. We grabbed dinner at the local co-op grocery store, and ate it at out hotel. Ashland is home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The whole town is decorated with Elizabethan English pennants, mosaics, and signs. Even our hotel's hallways were in a Tudor style.
|Kiddos on the road.|
On Saturday we continued our drive north. Now Andy started feeling achey too. We reached Eugene just in time to catch the end of their farmer's market. For a late lunch we got curries from one of the vendors there (I got a fabulous pumpkin curry). Afterwards we walked around for a little shopping. We got Zoe a new book bag, and Andy and I bought screen-printed t-shirts by a local artist. We almost stayed in Eugene for the night, but the kids were feeling better so we drove on to Portland.
Andy's cousin Justin has lived in Portland for two years. He recently moved into a new house that had a guest room for us. As kids Andy and Justin used to spend a lot of time together. Although they lived in different states, they saw each other at their grandparents' for every holiday, and they spent summers together at the family cabin on Lake George. Apart from a quick "hello" at Andy's sister's wedding last October, the two cousins hadn't spent any real time with each other in about 20 years! Justin and his girlfriend Louisa were a treat to be with!
|Back To Eden on Alberta St.|
Portland is fantastic for gluten-free and Paleo foodies. FAN-TASTIC. On Alberta street, just a few blocks from Justin's place, is a devoted gluten-free and vegan bakery. We walked there with Louisa for a Sunday morning breakfast. Andy and I loved their walnut scone, and I also enjoyed the hazelnut latte. We saw hazelnut and chestnut trees growing all over Portland! Coincidentally, we learned all about these filberts from a 1950s social studies book that Andy has been reading to the kids on the car ride (99% of US hazelnuts are grown in Oregon!).
|The Paleo books are upstairs (away from the cookbook section) for some reason.|
Later on Sunday Louisa showed us to Powell's Books. Zoe totally geeked-out when she saw how huge the bookstore is. Andy was pleased to find a T-shirt of an illustrated Bigfoot reading books, and I was excited to see my new book on the shelves! After Powell's we walked to Prasad for some AMAZING smoothies. We ended the day's tour of Portland with impressive views at the hilltop Pittock Mansion.
|Laura Russell, me, and Allison Jones at the Cultured Caveman cart on 41st and Hawthorne.|
On Monday the 21st I met Portland Paleo foodies Laura Russell and Allison Jones for lunch at Dick's Kitchen. For dessert we drove to one of the Cultured Caveman food carts. I felt instantly connected with Laura and Allison, and treasured every moment of our time together.
That evening we drove to meet Andy's friend Ian. These two have been internet friends for about 4 years, but this was the first time they met in person! Ian and Andy are both freelance book designers who met by talking about design and publishing on Twitter.
|Me and Charlotte DuPont|
On Tuesday the 22nd I drove south again for my book signing at the Eugene Barnes & Noble. Before arriving at the bookstore I had dinner at Vanilla Jill's (on Blair Blvd) with Charlotte DuPont. It was so fun to spend time with Charlotte, and the sandwiches on paleo bread were amazing! Afterwards I signed a bunch of books, so if you missed the event you can still drop by the store and get a signed copy.
|Getting dairy-free smoothies at the Sip juice bar on Alberta St. YUM!|
Meanwhile our kids had been feeling worse again. Andy and I even thought about giving up the 3-hour drive to Seattle and canceling my last event. But after a day of giving them my favorite herbal remedy (WishGarden from Boulder!) they were feeling so much better.
|Annie Bloom's Books with our chalk board sign out front.|
Wednesday evening was my Portland book talk and signing. Annie Bloom's Books is an independent bookstore in Portland's super cute Multnomah Village. It was a great turnout with treats donated by Cultured Caveman and organic fair trade chocolate by Equal Exchange. If you missed the event, you can still drop by the store for a signed copy.
|Thank you Portland for coming out!|