Wander: Portland, OR

Last year, our dear friends, Joe, Jill and Luca took a chance on carving out a more creative life for themselves and made a break for Portland, Oregon. They have since settled in a tree house perched among the pines, landed dream animation gigs, found work with interesting clients and Jill completed and staged a rock musical aptly titled DREAM. It more than seems to be working out.

All this, and they’re steps from 30-lush miles of hiking trails that are pine-scented and rich with treasures their son adores, like plump, slimy banana slugs.

We had an ambitious list of things to do during our visit. But lingering over endless cups of coffee in their living room, watching our boys delight in their insta-playmate status and sliding into our familiar places at their dining room table, with wine in hand, as we had so many nights over our years together in Chicago, slowed us down. Which was exactly what we needed. 

We did however, manage to connect with other friends in Portland, sample silky charcuterie at Olympic Provisions and meditate on the turning maples at the Japanese Garden. And headed out on the gaping open road (no traffic snarls, or towering buildings and ‘buy this!’ billboards polluting sight lines) to Cannon Beach.

Dining at Le Pigeon or Bar Avignon and a tour of the World Forestry Museum will have to wait until next trip… as if we needed any more incentive to return.

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