More Fun Things To See and Do In Portland

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Hopefully by now you read my post about my first day visiting popular places in Portland, Oregon. Could my Day Two top it? Yep, yep, yep. Long time friends S and her sister B, who were tour guides for my stay in the Rose City (S has lived in Portland for 35+ years and B is from Brooklyn), put together another agenda of fun things to see and do in Portland.

I left the Inn at Northrup Station, where I was staying (arranged by Travel Portland Tourism*), and hopped on the Portland Streetcar for a ride downtown. Having already traveled by Streetcar the day before, I was starting to feel like a local. I knew how to navigate departure and arrival times on the PDX Total Transit app.

The Best-Ever Farmers Market
Our guide Damon from the previous day’s Walking Tours of Portland had mentioned that there are 42 farmers markets in Portland. One of the largest markets is the Portland State University (PSU) Farmers Market at South Park Blocks between SW College & Montgomery Streets. The market is open year round on Saturday from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.

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PSU Farmers Market is held year round on Saturdays in downtown Portland.

How great was this market? It was SO GREAT! One of the best farmers markets I’ve ever experienced.

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Flower bouquets were a spectrum of many colors.

Portland’s soil is fertile from all the rainy weather, making it a wonderful place to grow fruits and vegetables and flowers. I was in awe of the abundance of unique produce — cranberry beans, red gold nectarines, long beans, bitter melon, artichoke flowers. Oregon is also known for its luscious berries, local honeys, and hazelnuts.

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Unique varieties of vegetables like Cranberry Beans are sold at the PSU Farmers Market.

I bought packages of Sun Gold Farm’s “Ruby Red” and “Shaman’s Blue” Heirloom Popping Corn to bring home to my kids. According to Sun Gold Farm, their popcorn requires no extra flavoring to bring out the subtle nuttiness and sweetness of the real popcorn. Continue reading

A Glorious Day Exploring Popular Places In Portland

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50I promised I would tell you more about my trip to Portland, Oregon and I’m staying true to my word. If you read my previous post about the 10 reasons you need to visit hip and cool Portland, you know how much I loved my recent visit. As I share my first day exploring below, I think you’ll see why this city is so great.

I met up with two longtime friends, S, who has lived in Portland for 35+ years, and her sister B, from Brooklyn, who was visiting while I was there. They are both big foodies, so our plans for Day 1 included sampling several Portland specialities — coffee, chocolate, donuts, and eating street food from a food cart.

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Longtime friends B (pictured left) and S (pictured right) were my fellow adventurers in Portland.

Navigating My Way To Downtown Portland
Since I knew we would be doing a lot of eating, I skipped breakfast at the Inn at Northrup Station Hotel where I was staying, grabbed a city map and free pass for the Portland Streetcar from the front desk, and made my way to the North South line to take the Streetcar into downtown. It was a 20 minute ride from the Northwest part of town. (If you are visiting download the PDX Total Transit app for all your transportation needs.)

Portland Streetcars; Portland, Oregon; alternative transportation

Portland Streetcars are a convenient form of transportation in the city.

The team from Travel Portland Tourism* had arranged for me to have a Walking Tour Of Portland, which is an educational way to learn about the historic sites and culture of the city. S and B joined me for the two hour tour and enjoyed it as well.

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There is so much artwork all over the downtown.

Time To Eat The Donuts
Having walked for two hours around the city, the three of us were ready to go scouting on our own. “Where would you like to go now?” S asked. “I think it’s time to eat the donuts,” I replied. Portland is known for its gourmet donuts. Blue Star Donuts didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the scoop on these donuts: “Our donuts are made from a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to make and is made by hand every day; we start with a high quality bread flour, add cage-free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, and then fold in a European-style butter.”

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Portland people love to eat donuts.

How good are these donuts? We tried Blueberry Bourbon and Orange Olive Oil. They were so good, so good, so good.
Continue reading

10 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Hip and Cool Portland

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Having arrived in Portland following three wonderful days in The Tualatin Valley (Oregon’s wine country), I knew I was going to love this city from the minute I stepped into the artsy Inn at Northrup Station Hotel in the Northwest part of town. The team from Travel Portland Tourism* had secured my complimentary accommodations and provided a list of activities to see and do in Portland during my two day stay.

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The Portland Symphony sign is a landmark.

My research on Portland indicated that it is a hip and cool city, but after a Best of Portland Walking Tour, I was more convinced than ever why The New York Times Travel included Portland as one of its “52 Places to Go In 2017.”

Inn at Northrup Station Hotel; Portland, Oregon

The Inn at Northrup Station Hotel is a great place to stay in Northwest Portland.

If you’ve never been, or haven’t been back in a while, I’m going to give you 10 reasons why I recommend you visit this authentic city. The reasons are based on all that I learned from our tour guide Damon, who spent two hours walking and talking with us about what makes Portland so great. In upcoming posts, I’ll share more specifics. For now, hear me out: Continue reading

A Beautiful Cycling Adventure on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail

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It was my last day in The Tualatin Valley of Oregon, courtesy of The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA),* and I was looking forward to a cycling adventure on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is one of Oregon’s Regional Trails and runs 21 miles through open glades of green, pine-scented forests and babbling streams.

 

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The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is 21 miles.

Breakfast At The Trailhead Cafe
“We’re having breakfast at the Trailhead Café,” Jackie, a member of the WCVA team, said. “It’s a perfect place for fueling up before a ride or relaxing after one.” It was a short drive from my lodging at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. We met Ariel, her colleague, who would be my riding companion.

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We stopped for breakfast at the Trailhead Cafe before going cycling.

The Trailhead Café is a cute eatery near the trail. It specializes in made-to-order wraps, salads and panninis for lunch and boasts a selection of pastries, eggs and coffees for breakfast. My egg sandwich was quite yummy.  Continue reading

Exploring The Great Outdoors In The Tualatin Valley

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Do you know where the Tualatin Valley is located? I bet you don’t, but you should. It’s right outside of Portland’s backyard. That’s Portland, Oregon. And it’s one of the most beautiful places to vacation in the USA if you like the great outdoors. I had a chance to visit this month, courtesy of The Washington County Visitors Association, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.*

As I get older, I like to be outdoors during my life after 50. Maybe it’s because I spent so much time indoors during my 30+ years working in a corporate environment. Now that I have more flexibility it’s great to have time to travel and explore new places. Much of my recent travel has been international, so it was nice to explore the USA, especially the Northwest.

The Tualatin Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon, boomer travel, post 50 travel

My plan included three days in the Tualatin Valley, about 30 – 40 minutes outside the city, and two days in Portland. It was a perfect mix of country and city living. Plus, despite all I had heard about rainy Oregon (and sadly the forest fires), we had sunny and warm weather the entire week.

The Tualatin Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon, boomer travel, post 50 travel

DID I SAY I LOVED BOTH THE TUALATIN VALLEY AND PORTLAND ? DID I SAY I WANT TO GO BACK?

Yes, Yes, Yes! And you will too.

Welcome To The Tualatin Valley
“It is our pleasure to welcome you to our version of paradise, the Tualatin Valley. Ours is a destination filled with vineyards and wineries, u-pick farms, golf course, shops, main streets, festivals, restaurants and a variety of lodging options, and much of what makes Oregon a must-visit location,” says the tourism brochure.

Between my arrival on Tuesday and departure for Portland on Thursday, Washington County Tourism team members Sylke, Jackie and Ariel made sure I sampled a bit of almost everything (except golf since I’m not a golfer). Continue reading

It’s Nice To Be Recognized As A Boomer Blogger

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When I started blogging 10 years ago, I never thought much about where it would lead or what type of opportunities it would bring. I just wanted to capture my feelings as I approached my milestone 50th birthday. As many of you know, losing my husband two weeks shy of my 50th, broke my heart and turned my world upside down. (You can find my original blog at A Baby Boomer Woman’s Countdown to 50.)

In 2008, I decided to start this blog that you are reading today. It was a way to share all the changes I was going through at the time during my life after 50 — selling my house, emptying out my nest, meeting a new man, leaving my full-time career, pursuing my yoga teacher training, and traveling the world. During the past 10 years I reinvented myself and I continue to do so as my life evolves.

Judy Freedman, Judi Freedman

Now that I’m a few months away from 60, I like the new me. I’m also proud of the recent recognition that my blog and my writing has received. It has helped me open new doors that I never thought possible.

The blogosphere, including the boomer blogosphere, has become much more crowded in the past decade. Yet, I have never wavered from my values. I treat my readers with integrity and respect, the same way I want to be treated.

Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs
“I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog A Boomers Life After 50 has been selected by our panelists as one of the Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs on the web,” said Anuj, the founder of Feedspot, in his email to me earlier this month. “I personally give you a high-five. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 75 Baby Boomer Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!” Note: My blog is #36 on the list.

75 Best Boomer Blogs

Feedspot curates blogs on the worldwide web. It was rewarding to see that they included my blog among other noteworthy boomer bloggers. I know many of the bloggers on the list and would like to congratulate their work as well. Be sure to check out all the boomer blogs.

Contributor to GettingOnTravel
Another way to be recognized in the blogosphere is to be accepted as a contributor to other blogs and websites. For example, I am a contributor to healthywomen.org, which features many of my blog posts, and to The Huffington Post. My writing has appeared on other midlife blogs, such as My Itchy Travel Feet and Midlife Boulevard.

This month, I became a contributing writer for GettingOnTravel, A Fresh Take On Luxury For Travellers Over 50. GettingOnTravel, was co-founded by two award-winning travel writers Irene S. Levine and Janice Mucalov. As the website says “GettingOnTravel is a premier online magazine for eye-opening explorations by seasoned travelers who are also great writers. Our awesome team of talented travel writers and bloggers are some of the best out there, writing especially for you!”

Getting On Travel; boomer travel; luxury travel for over 50

GettingOnTravel showcases information for travellers over 50 — including stories about cruises, food and wine, hotels and spas, adventure, books and gear, and more travel resources. They host fun giveaways too. Continue reading