First, I was delighted to see the home they rent in Portland's West Hills. It's almost like living in a tree house. The home is two stories in a woodsy setting with a big wrap-around deck. The inside has many angled walls so there is a lot of visual interest. I got to meet their new cat, Isabelle. What a cutie! She put on quite a show playing with the laser pointer.
After the house tour and cat time, we hopped in their car and headed to downtown Portland. Lee has a parking space in the parking garage near his olive oil store, Benessere Olive Oils and Vinegar.
Lee taught me about pure olive oil and had me taste a fresh, pure olive oil sample. I was surprised when it burned the back of my throat. That's how you can tell if olive oil is fresh. The fresh oil has the most benefit. If you buy olive oil, buy in small quantities and use it within three to six months. After that all its inherent good nutrients deteriorate and the oil becomes rancid with a decrease in flavor.
|Olive oils beautifully displayed.|
|You can sample olive oils and vinegars at Benessere.|
|Rick and Lee|
|How to distinguish the best olive oils.|
After some education about olive oil, balsamic vinegar and custom-made catsups, we went on walk-about in downtown Portland. It has been a few years since I've spent time in the Northwest quadrant of the city. There have been many changes, including Jamison Square with its interactive waterfall, new condos, an electric streetcar line, the remaking of an industrial downtown area into The Pearl with trendy lofts, condos, boutiques and many restaurants.
We ended up having dinner on the outside patio at Bridgeport Brewpub. With the good food, excellent brews, warm temperature and a light breeze, it was a great place to have dinner. We took our time sauntering back to the car. Lee and Rick took me to see a number of cool places along the way. Thanks, guys, I had a delightful evening. And, Lee, thank you for dinner. That was very sweet of you.
A brand new, 35-story building is in the early stages in downtown Portland.
|New 35-story building going up in downtown|
|A downtown park...very well utilized.|
|Pioneer Courthouse Square Festival of Flowers|
|Pioneer Courthouse Square - Portland's living room.|
|A one-of-a-kind "City Target" store in downtown.|
|Jamison Square Park|
|Jamison Square Park|
|Hammer & Hand|
|The old Portland Tribune building.|
Travel Bug out.