Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fraternizing with Friends - Fri., May 30

Friday afternoon, I headed into Portland to meet up with our long-time friend, Rick, and his partner, Lee. We wanted to have dinner and catch up on what's new.

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.
Lee gave me a sample of raspberry balsamic vinegar. Wow! It was wonderful. He said they like to put it on ice cream. Another use for flavored balsamic vinegar is to mix it with seltzer water. You can even make mixed alcoholic beverages with the flavored balsamic vinegars. 

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.
Condo balconies
A one-of-a-kind "City Target" store in downtown.
Jamison Square Park

Jamison Square Park
Hammer & Hand
Bob's son, Randall, used to work at Hammer & Hand when he lived in Portland. Hammer & Hand does upscale remodels of historic homes, putting in beautiful woodwork and completing restorations.

The old Portland Tribune building.
How many of you remember elevators like the one pictured below? We rode this to the top floor of the parking garage.

Old-style elevator.
As day wore into evening, we finished our time together. Totally enjoyable visit.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Yep - lots of good stuff to see in downtown Portland! My son got me some of the flavored oils from that same shop for my birthday earlier this year.

    1. That's cool that your son bought you the good olive oil. Small world. I hope we're able to hike together at some point during the Volksmarch Biennial Columbia Gorge Classic weekend!

  2. This is a nice recap of a great evening together. Thanks Susan, it was really good to see you!

    1. The evening exceeded my expectations. Very enjoyable to walk with both of you. Plus, I learned all about pure, extra virgin olive oil. I'll never think of olive oil the same again. Now I need to get the good stuff!

  3. Looks like you are having a fantastic time. How wonderful.


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