Date Spot: Salt & Straw

I’m excited to start a semi-regular series on great date spots in and around Portland. Whether it is a casual first date or a romantic getaway for a 4-year anniversary, the city offers great opportunities to help keep the romance alive or get that flame burning!

For those of you who know me you know that I have a giant sweet tooth, which is why getting dessert is one of my favorite date activities. One of the city’s most unique scoop shops recently opened a store in Northwest Portland between Kearny and 23rd street. This farm-to-cone ice cream shop has attracted pallets across the country including Oprah.com. Although many complain that the line at Salt & Straw is always wrapped around the block it actually makes for a perfect date spot. Kill the wait time with the basic get-to-know-you conversation or play a game of 20 questions to learn something new about your partner. Then get to the counter and be spontaneous and trying an unusual flavor like honey lavender, honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper, coffee bourbon, or pear with blue cheese. Then take your creamy treat and hot date and walk the quaint Northwest streets and bond over the delectableness of your dessert.

Have you ever been on a date to Salt & Straw? Would you recommend it to others?

Photo credits: 1/2/3

 

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Why Hello Fall. You’re my favorite

Hi friends! I apologize for the radio silence over here. I’ve been attempting to soak up every gorgeous minute of summer here in Portland. It has truly been a breathtaking season and I’m a little sad to see it go. However, I must admit, Fall is my favorite. Shh…don’t tell the other seasons. What is it about the crisp air, the changing colors of the leaves, oversized sweaters and pumpkin patches? Pure bliss, I tell ya!

Life has proven to be unpredictable lately and while change isn’t always an easy adjustment, I’ve been making the best of each new adventure. My new motto is “go confidently in the direction of your dreams!” It has served me well. And if our dreams don’t scare us we’re not dreaming big enough, right? Lucky for me, I’m taking a break from all the chaos to enjoy a few quiet days in Orlando with my baby sister for a much belated graduation trip. We are going to Harry Potter World. Enough said. We will be cataloging all our adventures via Instagram. You can find me at @amandaip.

I’ll be back at it soon, I promise. What have you been up to? What’s your favorite fall time activity? I have get a list going soon!

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Wine Tasting {Dobbes Family Estate and Sokol Blosser}

I know what you must be thinking. Amanda, might we have a drinking problem? Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to “Wine Romance” because let’s face it, vino has pretty much been the content filler for this blog all summer long. But fear not, I simply enjoy delicious wines, great company, gorgeous countryside views and road trips. Wine tasting just happens to mesh all my favorite things into one activity. So really, what else is a girl to do??

A few of my lovely girlfriends came down from Seattle to enjoy the wine country we Oregonians are always bragging about! Plus, my sissy surprised my papa for his birthday so she tagged along with us. It was one of those perfect days that made me fall in love with this state again and again.

For those of you who are actually interested in the wine (ha!) I’m going to do a post on all the wineries I’ve visited this summer with information on the tasting room, the wines, the ambiance, etc.for anyone who might be planning a trip out this fall!

When City Meets Country

Well folks…I know what I’m about to say might be a little shocking but I have never attended a rodeo. Well, until now. Oh yes. I popped my county fair/rodeo cherry lat week when I attended the Clackamas County Fair Rodeo.

My company sponsors a lot of county fairs and I’ve never understood the draw. So as part of my research duties I put on my borrowed cowboy hat and boots and headed for the fairgrounds with my two favorite country girls.

I’ll spare you the multitude of embarrassing comments I made during my time at the fairgrounds. Let’s just say I wasn’t quite expecting some of the rodeo events (cough calf roping cough) and the regular fair-goers were less than amused by my mortified expressions. But what was supposed to be a one-hour trip resulted in us closing down the fair! We were quite the naturals and dare I say, I can’t wait to go back!

Inspiring PDXers!

My sweet and old (time not age) friend Erin May has graciously featured me on her blog as an inspiring PDXer! I have loved this feature series on her blog because all the women she has featured are also inspiring to me!

Erin, herself, serves as quite the inspiration in my own life. She has always lived so true to her values, her dreams and herself. It has been a privilege for me to grow up with her and watch her bring her aspirations to life. Not to mention I take full credit for setting her and her longtime beau, and also longtime friend of mine, up together! (Remember that letter I exchanged for you guys during track, Erin and Kyle??) She also happens to be an amazing freelance designer and I’ve used her myself more than once. So do yourself a favor and go check out her delightful blog and call her up if you are ever in need of design services! You won’t be sorry! Thanks again for the feature, Erin!

 

Playing Hooky

Can you believe August is here?! Holy smokes this summer has flown by. I’ve been cracking down on my summer to-do list and checked one more off the list today! My best friend from high school is in town for the week so I decided to play hooky today and spent it getting tan, catching up on girl talk and drinking the northwest’s best vino.

There is something about being reunited with old friends. It half feels like no time has passed and half feels like so much has changed. Conversation and wine never stopped flowing today as we reminisced about the days of our youth and dreamed about the possibilities of our future. We’ve come such a long way since we sat next to each other in orchestra class 13 years ago and I’m so grateful for the influence and role she has played in my life. She has always been my biggest fan, my toughest critique and my constant motivator. I adore her to pieces. Please don’t go back to Cleveland, Gracie!! I’m going through the dozens of photos I took but here is a sneak peek of our day. More to come including details on the wineries (aka possible wedding venues) we visited!