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    Family Friendly Lunch- Featuring Little Bay Root Honey 6/9/2018

    Family Friendly Lunch- Featuring Little Bay Root Honey 6/9/2018

    The sun is shining and it’s a perfect day for a sweet lunch together. A little something for everyone. Four courses celebrating this amazing local honey and even a simpler kids menu for the little's. Sweet and savory and sweet again! Fun for the whole family.
    When I find a local maker of something I love it’s only natural to share it! This local company creates a lot of amazing things and you can see what I mean and meet them at this fantastic lunch!
    Little Bay Root will also be offering this special local honey for $10 per jar!

    Event Info:
    When: Saturday June 9th
    Time: 12pm-2pm
    Place: Inner Southeast, Portland
    Price: $30


    About Chef Shannon Feltus

    If I'm not in the kitchen you can probably find me in the garden. As a grow-your-own-adventure type cook I am always creating recipes from what I harvest. I am definitely a culinary horticulturist (a food nerd). I was educated the old fashioned way and by that I mean my Gram taught me the basics while loading me up on good hearty recipes from her secret stash. I pull from these more often than not and tweak them as needed to create magic of my own. My heritage is filled with home grown American recipes but I also have a deep admiration for the foods I’ve enjoyed traveling abroad. I am lucky to have spent time in Paris and Tokyo among other adventures and the flavors I fell in love with along the way have stayed with my cooking tool kit. My food ranges from crisp clean and light to rich full bodied comfort food. I work with local farmers I am proud to call friends to bring you the best each season has to offer. I especially like to introduce a familiar ingredient in new and different ways. It keeps traditional recipes exciting.

    I got brave and competed on Food Networks Cooks Vs Cons and then came a monthly segment locally on KGW Portland Today. I thoroughly enjoy food television and I have my sights set on Chopped next!

    Food is my love language and the most universal in my opinion. I am always excited to meet others that feel the same.

    Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden | Portland Oregon

    Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden | Portland Oregon

    I've heard about this place for some time now, but since an acquaintance mentioned planning his wedding here, I knew it was something worth seeing. I'm not familiar with this part of the city at all, so we actually did one of the "Walk There" walks and started at Eastmoreland Park and then onto the Gardens themselves.

    The gardens is enchanting the way that it's all in a sort of canyon, and the noise of any traffic or any clues that you are still in the middle of the city are drowned out by it's location and it's three waterfalls.

    This Garden, is every bit as beautiful as our famed Portland Japanese Garden. Bring a camera, a loved one, even your dog is allowed. Share it with friends. Here's some of our photos and below is information about the garden.

    Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
    One of the world’s finest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in an idyllic woodland setting, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a unique seven-acre garden containing an outstanding collection of rare species and hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and other lesser known ericaceous plants, as well as many companion plants and unusual trees.

    This internationally recognized garden is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. March through June, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom, the garden is spectacular. A spring-fed lake surrounds much of the garden, attracting countless waterfowl to nest and feed in this natural habitat. In fall and winter, trees and shrubs add their own color and interesting structure.

    Visitors stroll by three waterfalls via two picturesque bridges and wander down shaded paths to Crystal Springs Lake. Feeding grain to the ducks, marveling at the reach of the fountain spray, exploring the garden, and watching the sun set over Portland’s West Hills are favorite pastimes. Long regarded as a photographer’s dream, this tranquil setting makes it easy to forget that downtown Portland is only minutes away.

    Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden was jointly established in 1950 by Portland Parks & Recreation and the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Volunteers from the Rhododendron Society, Master Gardeners, and other experts care for the plants and maintain the garden year-round.

    For Birdwatchers
    94 species of birds are seen in the garden, among them the Great Blue Heron, Townsend’s Warbler, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Chestnut-Back Chickadee, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, and the American Coot.

    Garden Hours
    April 1-September 30: 6:00am-10:00pm
    October 1-March 31: 6:00am-6:00pm

    Entrance Fees
    • Admission is free to all from the day after Labor Day through the month of February.
    • A $3 admission fee is charged between 10:00am-6:00pm, Thursday through Monday, March through Labor Day.
    • Admission is free for children under 12 and Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.

    Annual Events
    The Early Show and Plant Sale are held on the first Saturday in April. The Early Show is a judged showing of choice specimens of early blooming rhododendrons and azaleas.

    The Mother’s Day Rhododendron Show and Plant Sale are held on Mother’s Day weekend when the rhododendrons and azaleas in the garden are at the peak of their glorious color. This is a judged showing with awards offered by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. An exceptional selection of plants are on sale, as well as books, and free cultivating information, including pruning, is available.

    Information courtesy PortlandOnline.

    L. L. Stub Stewart State Park | Oregon

    L. L. Stub Stewart State Park | Oregon

    Just 31 miles west of Portland, L. L. Stub Stewart State Park offers camping, picnicking, hiking and biking. If you like trails, this is the park for you. Explore more than 20 miles of trails. Bring your horse or bicycle and spend hours exploring the far reaches of the park. A quiet spot to yourself? Relaxing is easy in the 1,673 acres of lush rolling hills, forest and deep canyons. Here's some of our photos from a recent trip for my birthday!

    Dogs. Yes. On leash, of the largest off leash areas of any state park with views of the coast range that are simply uneatable.

    Camping. Quadruple yes.
    • Car camping (better in loop "Dairy Creek Camp West").
    • Hike in camping sites are amazingly secluded and away from the car campers. The hike is a graded road and there are carts you can borrow to help you transport your things. A group fire ring is used for all hike in campers.
    • RV camping with horses? Hares Canyon Horse Camp is your destination there.
    • Camp in a cabin? Yes. The Mountain Dale Cabin Village sits on the hilltop with some amazing views.

    Bikes. Oh boy, yes. Bikes are everywhere in the park, and that's because Stubb Stewart sits at the 10 mile mark of one of the most scenic bike trails in the area; the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. This, I'm convinced, is a huge reason people like this park. A never-too-hard ten mile ride and you're in the quaint town of Vernonia, grabbing a pastry or microbrew before your head back. Easily done in a day by most.

    Hikes. Indeed. The Hilltop Day-use Area with its views of the Coast Range is perfect for a family gathering. Two trailheads, one at the north end and the other to the south, are gateways to hours of exploring. Get a trail guide here.

    Golf. Not really, but Yes! An 18-hole disc golf course is open east of the Hilltop Day-use Area, near the Hooktender Horseshoe Trail. Bring your own discs and score cards. Campers also can play a 3-hole course near the campground amphitheater.

    Wildflowers. Where we were there in late June, there were 3 colors of foxglove and at least 3 colors of lupine everywhere.

    Did you know the phrase "Happy Camper" originated in Oregon? Well, that's what we've heard...I guess that's why it's one of our favorites!


    Free Tees!

    Free Tees!
    "I set up a 10 foot table and arrange the tees by style and size. People line up, and wait patiently to select their tee. Some of these people haven't had a new item of clothing in their possession for years. To have a clean, new tee with tags on it...unheard of. Tears roll down their faces as they realize what I'm doing...and in turn, I end up teary all day as I am filled with their joy and gratitude".

    Read more

    Belknap Hot Springs

    Belknap Hot Springs

    We recently took a weekend birthday trip to Belknap Hot Springs. We usually like to camp, but we had already winterized our little trailer, so we got a lodge room and brought our little 4-footed friend, Rogen along for the ride.

    The reviews on the lodge and service were not so great, so we arrived with somewhat low expectations. When we pulled up, we saw huge timber beams at the front of the lodge and wood carvings of bears on the benches outside, where people were taking selfies. People were having fun, so thumbs up already. We checked in, with great, friendly service (contrary to reviews), and headed to the room. The room had a lot of potential with a huge stone fireplace on the back wall. It was not wood burning, but instead filled with a small electric heater. Its cord couldn't reach any outlets though. The bed was comfy, and the bathroom was doable, but if you're a clean-freak, like me, you'll find things to activate your OCD. It's no Hilton, just be warned. It's a spa lodge room straight from the 80's.

    Because there is also a campground here, and there's not really any food close-by, we will surely opt to camp here next time (oh yes, we're going back). Bringing our own food and accommodations. The campground was fantastic looking, with some great sites. It is perched up on a hill behind the lodge and also houses many cabins (that seem to have better reviews). The upper tier has another, smaller hot pool, access to the McKenzie River trail, fields for play and a Japanese garden to explore. It would have been the perfect trip if we had the trailer. That said, it was still pretty magical. Read on.

    This place is beyond-words beautiful. The grounds are so expansive and there are so many trails that it's really easy to get lost, even within the campground. We crossed the bridge to explore some of these upon arrival. We came across many hike-in campsites that were so secluded that I'm sure you'd never even know anyone else was out there next to you...even with the leaves off the trees.

    There's a secret garden, which, oddly and awesomely, they tout, but don't tell you where it is, or show it on the map. With the light getting low, we headed past the camp sites and found grassy fields in the middle of no-where, and trials that split upon split upon split. It was getting darker and we weren't too sure of where we were, so we started to head back. We ran into a huge cement turret overlooking a stream, seemingly for no reason. Then I saw a cement wall, all covered with ivy and moss, and I screamed "Hang on!". I ran past the wall to reveal the beauty of the secret garden. It's so huge, you'd wonder how we (or anyone) missed it. It's truly secret, so I only shared a couple photos.

    Okay, so the room was meh, but the pools are what we are here for, right? Well, the pools are magical. There are two pools. One pool is at the main lodge and the other is up the hill with the trailer sites and cabins. The lower pool is larger. We never made it up to the upper pool, but the lower pool was perfect for us. During the day, steam rose up and the rain came down, keeping us the perfect temperature. In the evening, the pool lights change color and create a really dreamy atmosphere with all the steam rising in it's varying colors. It's a bit more mellow past 8pm or so, as the kids have gone to bed, and the day users are mostly back on the road. Adults had beverages. I asked about that, because the literature stated "no alcoholic beverages at the pool", but the front desk said it's a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing. So red-cup it! Don't bring glass, so much stone, and bare feet.

    There are quite a few trailheads around Belknap Hot Springs if you're up for some activity. The trailhead for the Blue Pool hike is just a couple of miles away, as is Tamolitch Falls. We see a lot of waterfalls being so close to the Columbia River Gorge, so, we opted for the Blue Pool. I've always wanted to see this. Check! Easy hike along the river with a little bit of scrambling over lava flows and some puddles. Like 200 feet of elevation gain. There were people running the trail, as well as mountain biking and hiking. We hit a great sunny afternoon and the view was worth it. You can hike down below, but once again, we were running low on light, so we turned around.

    Hope this helps you get more familiar with just one more of Oregon's wonders. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer!