Odds and Ends, I’m off to Europe, SoCal to Canada Road Trip, WWeek Summer Guide

On Monday my wife and I depart to Belgium for our quick but still going to be great vacation to Belgium and France.  We used frequent flyer miles and hotel points to book this trip.  If you are interested in how we did it and seeing how much money we saved check out this old post.

For those of you who like road trips and are interested in an I-5 road trip Julie over at Girl on the Move compiled a good list of to do’s for people trekking up to BC on I-5.

Willamette Week released their 2014 summer guide this week.  I’m a big fan of the local guides that Willamette Week publishes throughout the year so make sure to check it out before your trip this summer.

Lastly, with our departure on Monday the blog will be quiet for the next couple of weeks. When I return I will post some pictures and my thoughts on our trip.  I’ve used frequent flyer miles in the past to fly domestically, but never internationally, let alone in First/Business Class.  We are your classic budget travelers so staying at a place like the Park Hyatt Vendome will be a new experience for us, definitely out of our norm.  I am a firm believer in trying new things, so we will see how it goes.

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Bamboo Sushi: My New Favorite Sushi Restaurant

I love sushi, but I do have one problem with it.  I eat a ton of it!  As a result when searching for sushi restaurants I usually look for places that offer good value.  I’ve often told people that I am not a sushi connoisseur.  That while I know the difference between bad sushi and good sushi, I cannot tell the difference between good sushi and even better sushi.  Well, apparently, I just had to go the right place.  Bamboo Sushi is freaking good and better than my go to sushi place, Sansai.

The menu at Bamboo is pretty diverse with many things I have never tried before. Naturally that meant I needed to try some of them, such as the quail egg shooters.

Bamboo Sushi Qual Eggs

They quail eggs were actually pretty tasty (although you good easily swallow them without tasting them) I chewed mine a little to taste it and they were good.  It was mostly yolk but had good flavor and because the size was small the texture of a raw egg is not too bothersome.

For dinner we ordered salmon sashimi, arctic surf clam nigiri, tuna nigiri, philly rolls, soft shell crab rolls, and cocktails.

Bamboo Sushi

Unfortunately, missing in the picture above is the surf clam nigiri.  I was so excited to try it, I ate it, then realized I meant to take a picture, oops.  The sushi was outstanding.  The tuna nigiri was our favorite.  We liked it so much we ordered a second serving. The tuna was melt in your mouth delicate and there was a very light seasoning that made the fish perfect.

Bamboo Sushi Rolls

The rolls were also very delicious.  I particularly enjoyed the soft shell crab roll.  The soft shell crab roll had the perfect combination of flavor and that soft shell crunch.  The philly roll was also very good.  I would have preferred a tad more salmon in it, nonetheless it was still good.

I really can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed Bamboo Sushi. Bamboo Sushi is now at the top of my list of favorite Sushi restaurants.  I highly recommend Bamboo Sushi.

The other great thing about Bamboo Sushi on NW 23rd is that Bamboo is right next to Salt and Straw.  Salt and Straw deserves a post on its own right, so I will just leave you with this.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Bamboo Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Fleet Week 2014 Starts Wednesday

To be honest, I am not a huge fan of the Rose Festival which started over memorial weekend.  That is why there wasn’t a post announcing the start of the festival last weekend.  The Rose Festival is essentially a carnival on the waterfront and a series of parades.  I have a hard time getting excited about that stuff.

Fleet Week is also a part of the Rose Festival but my attitude about Fleet Week is different. I like Fleet Week.  I like seeing all those ships docked along the river and touring them can be fun and informative.

Last year Fleet Week was a bit of a let down because the Navy cancelled their participation thanks to sequestration.  This year, however, the Navy returns which is good news.

One of my favorite activities, and if I didn’t have to work I would be doing this with the kids, is going to Cathedral Park and watching the ships sail in.

USS Ingraham

The Navy and the other ships generally do not announce their arrival schedule so timing this can be tricky.  However, there is a great website that makes this possible, Marine Traffic.  Ships will arrive between June 4th and 5th.  With this website you can search for ships by name and it will show you the ship’s last location.  I will also use Marine Traffic to watch ships on the Columbia river in real time as they sail into Portland.  Another helpful website is the Ship Report.  The Ship Report lists ships that are inbound and outbound from Astoria, which is the point of entry on the Columbia River.

Between these two website you can get a general idea of when the ships will be sailing past Cathedral Park.  Cathedral Park is in North Portland under the St. Johns Bridge.  The easiest way to get there is to take I-5 north, take the Rosa Parks exit west and stay on Rosa Parks.  Rosa Parks eventually turns into N. Willamette and N. Willamette will take you right under the bridge.  Pretty simple.  The park is one of my favorite’s in Portland.

Here is a list of ships that will be docked along the waterfront during Fleet Week.

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