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Welby Family On Fleek – Pacific Northwest Fall 2017 – Day 5 Vancouver BC to Seattle to Portland (9/26/17)

October 3, 2017

We took the train back from Vancouver. Not as nice a train as the one on the way up to Vancouver in that it did not have the BarcaLounger seats. Got to experience re-entry to the US – more serious than passing into Canada – I guess Canada is not as border crazed as the US.

Upon arrival to Seattle we picked up a rental car. We were starving, so our first order of business was lunch. Our end destination was a distillery in Woodinville (remarkably called Woodinville Whiskey Company). Al found a eatery on the way : Lot No. 3 in Bellevue. Lot No. 3 had the best bathroom doors I have ever seen. I had fish and chips – good – not greasy – not an easy feat for deep fried food.

Woodinville Whiskey Company was great – I must be getting beered-out as distilleries catch my fancy more than breweries these days. Woodinville’s specialty is bourbon style spirits. We did a tasting and all were great, but their Micro-barreled Rye Whiskey was my favorite. The building was gorgeous. These folks have hit a home run (turns out they really did hit a home run in that they sold the business to Moët Hennessy this past summer).

We then started our journey to Portland. The traffic to get from Woodinville to Portland was brutal – it was 3:30 PM so right at the start of rush hour. We were tangled up until we got past Olympia. Once we got past that it was clear sailing. Evidently this is the new normal.

We got to our Airbnb in Portland’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Again we were starving and so we headed over to an upscale pizza joint: Please Louise. It was a beautiful night and the restaurants open air concept was perfect. We had a couple of pizzas that were delicious. My favorite was their triple pepperoni – three different types of pepperoni. This was high quality pepperoni. We had some beer’s and cocktails too. I had a Gigantic Brewing Solid! Hoppy American Wheat that was very tasty – very citrus flavored – light and refreshing.

We then headed over to Breakside Brewing (Slabtown Location) for a night cap. Great beer, great ambience and one of the finest tag lines I have ever seen: “tastes like vinyl sounds.” The beer I had was What Rough Beast – per their web site:

“Contemporary India Pale Ale brewed with feet firmly planted in the Northwest and a nod to New England. Mosaic and Columbus hops get lots of play here creating a beer that is tropical, fruity, dank, soft, and balanced.”

It was excellent. Highly recommended: olive oil cake for dessert.

My first impressions of Portland are thumbs up. In hindsight Vancouver is too new. I was disappointed by the food and beer in Vancouver also. Seattle was just a pass through, but it clearly has more funk than Vancouver. Just driving into the Nob Hill neighborhood here in Portland – you instantly feel the hipster hippie vibe – which I dig.

Our first Uber driver could have been right out of an episode of Portlandia – he was pretty stuck up and snobby for a driver. His antics included: thinking it was too short of a fare and we should have walked, that the area we were going to was too newly developed and that we should use Lyft vs. Uber. But our second driver was a grand Portland ambassador- welcoming us to the city. He had great English, but clearly an accent. He encouraged me to guess, my gut was Greek, but it did not seem quite right – it had a more Russian sound to it – I should have gone with my gut – as he was Greek. He chuckled and encouraged me to tip generously to make up for the error. I should have known better having grown up around a Greek family. Further proof to trust your gut.

We ended the day back at the Airbnb with a couple of Pilsner bombers from Breakside and we watched the new Lady Gaga special on Netflix. Laura, Al and I had witnessed her tour – so it was fun to see the back story of what it takes to create a new album and a Super Bowl show. One of the best parts was how much Gaga fully appreciated what a big deal playing the Super Bowl would be and how much she knew she had to deliver the goods (which of course she did).

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