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sculpture park, space needle & homegrown – seattle, wa

Since we stayed in a different part of Seattle for the 2nd part of our stay, we had a lot of new things to explore on our morning walks!

On Friday, we headed straight to the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The park was situated right on the water, in front of Myrtle Edwards Park, which had great running/walking/biking trails and views of the Puget Sound.

The sculptures were scattered throughout the park, some larger than others.  Many of the pieces of art were a little too modern for my tastes, but it was still awesome to be exploring all of this art right in a park!

This enormous sculpture was one of my favorites.

And this, was not really art in my mind…

Tha famous red eagle.

And, a few other highlights.

After the park, we headed on to do more touristy stuff!  We rode to the top of the Space Needle, Seattle’s landmark!

Even though it was a cloudy day and we could not see the mountains in the distance, the views of the city from the Needle were 100% worth the trip up!

We enjoyed the views for a while, then headed back down to hit up Homegrown for lunch!

Homegrown has a few locations in Seattle, we headed to the Fremont location.  We went there when we first got to Seattle and I knew that I had to go back.  They use all local and sustainable ingredients.  Check out the theory from their website:

Our goal at Homegrown is not only to create sandwiches out of sustainable ingredients but also to make sandwich creation sustainable itself.

This goes beyond using fresh, sustainable ingredients in our gourmet sandwiches, salads and soups. Homegrown strives for sustainability as a local business through the green materials we print and serve on, to our rejection of bottled water, to our 100% compostable and recyclable product.

We consider our environmental impact for every ingredient choice, often between two competing theories: eating organic and eating local.

We take the best from both worlds to create our sustainable sandwiches. We like to call this sandwich environmentalism. Enjoy.

They list where their ingredients come from right on the wall!

Their menu is different and they offer a variety of vegetarian options!  But, also offer meat options that my husband was psyched about!  The best of both worlds. 🙂

I ordered The Veggie, which was unbelievable, along with a side of their homemade chips.

The Veggiehummus, avocado, cucumber, sprouts and tomato served cold on toasted french or wholegrain

All of my favorites in one spot!

Check out how fresh those ingredients look.  Mmmm…Homegrown was my favorite sandwich shop, for sure!

After lunch, we headed down the street for a Chocolate Tour!!  More on that to come. 🙂

seattle center & the triple door – seattle, wa

Before heading back to Seattle on Thursday, we made a pit stop at a farm stand to pick up some local Oregon hazelnuts and prunes.

Did you know that over 90% of hazelnuts are grown in Oregon?  I had no idea!  But, once I saw them on every menu, I knew that I have to bring some home.

Back in Seattle, we opted to stay in a different area for this half of our stay – Seattle Center.  After being in the car for 3+ hours, we needed a walk!  So, we walked around the center, which is home of the Space Needle, Monorail and Fountain built for the World’s Fair in 1962 (?).

Walking around Seattle Center reminds me of a carnival!  There are carnival games, like skiball.  There are video games.  There are popcorn carts.

And, there is the Space Needle, which is actually pretty cool!

That night, we headed to The Triple Door for dinner and a concert.  The Triple Door is a fun music venue that serves food from Wild Ginger upstairs, a delicious Seattle restaurant.

The tables are big booths that you can relax in while you eat, drink and watch the concert.

We decided on 3 plates to share – Orange Chicken, Seven Spice Beef and Vegetable Pad Thai.

The show was very fun!  I loved eating dinner while watching a concert.

We jumped on the Monorail to get back to Seattle Center after the show.

We walked back to the hotel with a view of the Space Needle at night!

food carts and breweries – portland, or

On Wednesday, we spent the day in Portland, OR visiting some family and sightseeing!  Compared to Seattle, Portland is a really small city, but still lovely!

We started out by exploring the Pearl District and all of it’s loft’s, cafe’s and boutique’s.  And, stopped by Powell’s bookstore, which takes up an entire city block!

After visiting with some family, we hit up another trendy area – North Mississippi Ave.  This street is lined with shops, cafe’s and food carts!

Food carts are a big part of Portland’s food scene.  They are not like any cart’s I’ve seen, but instead, they serve a bit higher end food.  They were all packed!

I decided on something sweet and hit up The Sugar food cart for a brownie sundae!

They had quite the menu for a food cart.

All of the sweets were handmade and everything else used was local.

After some more exploring and hitting up a local farmer’s market, it was time for Brant’s treat – a brewery tasting at Rouge!

As I mentioned before, Portland is known for their brewpubs, so this was a must-stop on our list. 🙂

We went with a sampler to make sure we tried a variety.

Verdict?  Everything was pretty good!

We hit up Meriwether’s in NW Portland for an early dinner before meeting some family at a swanky wine bar!

They use only local ingredients, many of which are grown in their garden.

We started with a sampler plate – risotto fritters, lamb meatballs, chickpea fries, tomato ricotta toast and gorgonzola stuffed dates.

And, a salad with ingredients solely from their garden.

For my entree, I chose a homemade pasta dish with mushrooms, tomatoes and Parmesan.

Brant went with the crab risotto.

We had a great time exploring Portland!

farm to fork – dundee, or

Farm to Fork has been our favorite dinner while on vacation, so it definitely deserved it’s own post!

Situated in the lobby of the Inn at Red Hills, you would almost never know this gem was here!  Dundee, OR does not have too many restaurants, but the ones that they do have are apparently all very good.

They pride themselves on serving only local and seasonal ingredients.  The menu changes daily in order to accommodate those needs.  Every ingredient that they use comes from very close by.  Some, like the hazelnuts, come from a farm less than .5 miles away!

The decor of the restaurant is very fun.  They have a bar in the back with lower tables surrounding a fire place.  In the main dining area, all of the tables are antiques and are slightly different.  In the front of the restaurant they sell many of the local products that they use, as well as, local jams, dried fruits, nuts, etc.  I love the vibe!

I started our with the seasonal salad.  Simington Farms Mixed Lettuces with House Vinaigrette, Toasted Hazelnuts, Herbed Chevre Crouton.

Brant started with the special salad of the day – Tomato Salad with Homemade Mozzarella.

For my entree, I decided on the pasta when I found out it was homemade pasta!  Tagliatelle with tomatoes, corn, basil and parmigiana cheese.

For dessert, we split the Chocolate Pudding with peanut brittle and the Blueberry-Orange Sorbet with biscotti.

Our dinner was phenomenal!  The food was simple and as fresh as you could get.  Why can’t we have places like this in Boston?!

wine tasting – willamette valley, oregon

On Tuesday morning, we hit the road to drive down to Oregon for a few days.  We split the trip up into 3 parts – Seattle, Portland, Seattle.  It has been working out great so far.  It is so nice to be able to take it easy, but see everything we want to see as well.

We arrived in Dundee, Oregon around noon-time, grabbed a quick lunch at a Mexican restaurant and spent the afternoon wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.  It was wonderful!  The Willamette Valley is known for their Pinot Noir grapes, so we made sure to try the majority of those.

We started at Argyle, right on the main drag in Dundee.

Argyle is known for their sparkling wines, so they offered a tasting that combined everything.

Their sparkling and dessert wines were delicious, but we didn’t love any of the Pinot’s.

After finishing our tasting, we headed up the road to our favorite vineyard – Sokol Blosser.

The views of the vineyards were stunning!

The vineyard was started by a husband and wife team in 1977, who purchased 87 acres for their grapes.  They have different sections that grow different types of grapes and produce a variety of wines.

We really enjoyed their wines, especially the Pinot Noir.

Not only was their wine great, but they add small touches to the bottles that I loved!

Next up on our list was Erath Winery.

The views from this winery were also just gorgeous!  There is so much land out here that the vineyards just go for miles and miles.

Their wines were good, but we still liked Sokol Blosser better.  Just more our style.