Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tourist In My Own Town

A tradition I have with my Grandma Biggs is on the first day of Christmas break, we go down to Northwest Portland Industrial District and gallivant around the town, looking in shops and people watching. Last year, we went to St. Honore and walked around town, looking in all the neat shops. It was so much fun. This year was just as fun. We went somewhere different this year for brunch and we went shopping afterward. Brittney suggested a neat place called Slappy Cakes. She saw it on TV, and suggested that we go there. So, yesterday, my Grandma, my sister and me all went to Slappy Cakes for brunch. 
Let me explain how Slappy Cakes works. Slappy Cakes is a "make your own pancakes" type of place. They have a griddle on every table, you are given a spatula and you choose your batter, and your fixins, you squeeze your own batter, and you can put your fixins on your pancake so it cooks within the pancake, it's exciting! 
We ordered a buttermilk batter and a sweet potato batter, and for the fixins we ordered bananas, chocolate syrup, and crispy bacon. We were filled up fast, and it kept us full for a long while. It was incredibly busy, but not too long for a wait, it was about 25 minutes for a wait. 
The pancakes were scrumptious. I never thought about doing a sweet potato batter, ever. 

After brunch, we drove down to Northwest Industrial District, and it was busy too. Other people had the same idea as us I guess. We parked a long ways away from 23rd Street, and hiked down the hill to 23rd. Not too bad of a hike. The stores on 23rd Street are so neat. The first store we went into was a recycled, organic clothing store. I didn't really find anything of interest in there. Then we went to an unorganized "antique", more of a second-hand shop than "antique" shop. I can't stand stores like that, where everything is piled up in there, or squeezed. I need organization in a store, a place for everything and everything in it's place, not bags, vases, shoes, and fur coats squeezed in a tiny corner, and you are afraid of moving because your bag might knock some priceless piece over and crash in a million little pieces. I had to get out of that store fast, as soon as I walked in, I wanted to get out. 
We walked through a couple of other stores, and then we arrived at this beautiful, little housewares boutique. An expensive place, but it inspired dreams. I always imagined this is what my "homemaking" board on pinterest represented, cozy, comfy, expensive. 
It is called Manor Fine Wares. 
There were some lovely mixing bowls, and lovely little stamp sets, all purpose stamp pads, and beautiful gauze, cotton baby swaddlers, and a wonderful display of paint, beautiful linens. It was my little slice of housewares heaven. It was beautiful.
Right next door was a fabulous little toy shop full of educational toys. I went to Target recently, looking for little animal figurines to use to make a gift for my little cousins. I saw this thing... this horse and human doll. It was from My Little Pony, and it was a horse girl, a girl with ears like a horse and a tail. And then I saw these "Monster High" dolls... what are we teaching our young girls with these toys? Or Barbies? I don't know about those.
Anyway, this toy shop was nothing like the sad toy aisle at Target. It was filled with educational toys, and toys that spark imagination. It had a whole wall of books, a casing of Schleich animals, and a wall of Playmobile, science toys, and bead kits, and train sets filled the aisles. It was lovely in there. It had no creepy horse girl dolls, it had no barbies, it had little baby dolls and fun dress up clothes, sports equipment, model planes, trains, cars, recycling trucks, and garbage trucks that you could pick up the little toy garbage cans and dump trash into the truck. I spent a good chunk of time in there. 
There was this one toy that intrigued me though, and since I am in Anatomy & Physiology, it was a great toy to teach young children about the body. I also found Sophie La Giraffe and wooden blocks. 
After we left the toy store, we walked down the street to Lush Handmade Cosmetics. Right on the sidewalk, were these salt blocks. A stack of salt, you can use them to bake on, serve on, cut on, it's crazy. Just a chunk of salt. 
They were kind of neat.

I love Lush Handmade Cosmetics. I went into this store last year, and fell in love with the products. I bought a face mask there today, and it's called Cosmetic Warrior. I used it last night, and I love it! I will do a blog review on the products a little more. The awesome sales girl grabbed me some samples that I wanted to try of some of their other products that I am considering. For the products being handmade, they really aren't that expensive. I love that the products are all natural and some are even vegan. 
We hiked up to the car after Lush, and drove to Zupan's Market. I love health food stores, but Zupan's wasn't as impressive as Whole Foods or New Seasons. It was so expensive, more expensive than New Seasons. 
They had a Peet's Coffee & Tea shop in there, and so I ordered a dark chocolate mocha freddo (blended frap), and it was delicious! At Zupan's, they had a little refrigerator of Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee, and the bottle was the cutest, I had to buy some cold brew. I love cold brew coffee. I had the Stumptown coffee this morning, oh yum! 
I am a tourist in my own town, Portland is a vast, tightly packed town, with little hole in the wall places to check out and a lot of things to see. I love it here. 
Yesterday was a great day, and I am excited to keep this tradition going. Even when I move to Florida for college next year, I will come back for Christmas and go on outings with my Grandma Biggs and my sister. 
I never want to give that up. It's so special to me. 

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