Friday, October 14, 2011

Salem, OR

So I'm not traveling anymore... I mean, not constantly. I rented a house, I got a job... pretty settled! I started my job on Monday and so far I really like it. The people there are really nice, I'm looking forward to getting to know them better and being able to joke around a little more at work :) That's how I like it!

I may have planted some roots but I am already thinking about trips to take, beyond driving to the beach, Portland, mountains and Eugene. All within 2 hours from where I live now! It's a pretty sweet location. This weekend is the film festival and a friend of mine from Portland is supposed to come down Saturday and help me paint (a couple shades of blue, medium in the living room and light in the kitchen). It's only the 5th day on the job tomorrow and I already get to go to the job site... an old warehouse, 2 blocks West of the office, that is being converted (via adding 4 storeys) to a 100 unit apartment complex. I've been working on the demolition plans and today started tweaking the floor plans and elevations. It's fun :) I like autocad. I've also been to a young architects gathering at an office on the other side of the creek from my office, as well as had free lunch at a lunch-n-learn today.

Yesterday I went to Broadway Coffeehouse, in a building that it turns out my office (or some people in my office) had hands in designing. It was a really big open space, felt a little lukewarm. The space is big and open, and the chai I had was delicious, but it could use more rugs and little "living room" type areas. Then drove all around town with my new friend trying to find JoAnn Fabrics. Third time was the charm and we found JoAnn fabrics, hooray! It's freaking HUGE! It was like 7:45pm and I hadn't eaten dinner yet so we went in, I got my white felt for my Halloween costume and a couple sewing patterns. I need to sort out my sewing pile and get started on some projects. I have to dress nice at this office (ie. no jeans) so I'd like to have some dresses to wear. So far I've been complimented on cute shoes everyday (2 different pairs). I bought several V-neck tees and have a few pairs of dress pants... with V-neck sweaters... My clothing isn't that interesting yet... but I'm excited to start sewing stuff! It'll be great!!

Right now I'm working on that Halloween costume. I'm planning to drive up to Vancouver BC for a Halloween/birthday party so I figured I'd actually step up and make a costume! I've never given Halloween this much thought before :) I'll post pictures when I'm done... don't want to spoil the surprise :)

It's nice having a kitchen but I miss my pots and pans and well stocked spice cabinet... I have a lot of setting up to do yet. I'm really looking forward to when my aunt and uncle get here with my stuff. They are going to drive across the country in my mom's car with a trailer filled with a bunch of my stuff. So awesome! I thought I was going to have to wait until May. This means I will soon have my stand mixer... watch out office waistlines :P

Thursday, September 29, 2011

So long dusty trail....

I just got the job in Salem, OR! So I'm moving to Salem! I'm super excited! Yay PNW! I'll miss you road, but now I can save money (and vacation days) to travel further :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leaving Portland for a bit

On Friday I heard that it's down to me and one other person for the job in Salem that I'm really really, REALLY excited about. So I emailed all my references to give them a heads up to expect phone calls at the beginning of this week and I should hear from Salem on Wednesday to tell the the decision or to let me know if they are still waiting to hear back from references.

In the meantime...
I'm heading to Springfield, OR today to hang out with my brother and his wife and their kitties for the next 7 to 10 days. I'll be doing a green smoothie cleanse! Nothing but fresh fruits and veggies, purred beyond recognition. Yum! Starting a new journey that's more about health and fitness. I definitely binged on amazing Portland food this weekend. It was delicious.

This is what you get for about $70 of beer in Oregon... delicious and craft beer... and lots of it, yum! (kitten is extra :P)

Friday I was in Springfield, I went to the farmer's market and had some awesome blueberry ice cream. Then my brother told both his wife and their roommate to get beer... so we had a lot of beer. We drank a bunch and played Dance Central on the Xbox 360... that was fun!

Awesome Mojito at The Observatory in NE Portland
Saturday afternoon I headed to The Observatory with my friend Laura and a few of her friends. I had an awesome mojito with strawberries and cucumber infused liquor, and lime, muddled with mint. It was fresh and tasty. Then we went to Roscoe's to have a beer and played some pool. There was a place across the street called "Portland Tub & Tan"... where you can rent hot tubs by the hour. That just sounds dirty.

The Boiler Room Bar at the Kennedy School
Sunday I ended up wandering Portland with my step sister. We went to McMennimans Kennedy School. I'd never been but had been wanting to go for several years. So we went there for lunch and wandered around. It is soooo cool! Multiple bars and restaurants and rental spaces and even a soaking pool all in a decommisoned elementary school. It's also set up kind of like a museum with display cases and information about the school. Then we wandered down NE Alberta which is the new "arts district", randomly ran into Laura!

Berry Cobler at Papa Hyden in NW Portland
I had plans to meet a friend for Indian food at Swagat in NW Portland so we went there... omg, the food was SO good. After dinner (which we split, smart) we went to Papa Hyden for dessert. Jeebus, that was amazing, and hard to choose from their 2 page spread of amazing desserts (including gluten free options!). Highly recommended for dessert! Then my step sis drove me back to Beaverton and now I'm up, packed and heading out.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some assorted photos from the road

Beautiful Sunset on Olympic Peninsula coast

Glacier National park

St. Mary's looking at Glacier National Park

Montana field, approaching the mountains... moment of happiness happened here

Chantarelle mushrooms harvested on Olympic Peninsula... made me love mushrooms!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Riding around Portland or Loving Portland

Yesterday I finally made it to Portland, yay! I left the house around 11, with my bike on the back of my car, drove to the Willow Creek MAX stop. It took me about an hour to get downtown, I got out at the PGE Park stop (now called something else...) in NW Portland and immediately rode down to the water front (I beat the MAX, following it's same path which is always nice!) I had plans to stop but was enjoying riding too much that I rode down to the waterfront, North along the waterfront, across this bridge (picture below) with a bike/pedestrian path that is at the same level as the waterfront trail, then South along the river on the East side to I think Hawthorne bridge. After that loop I felt good about stopping and I went to the Alder and 10th food carts.

The food carts, which I failed to take pictures of (oops) were awesome. Too many options, it was hard to choose! I also wasn't too hungry because I'd eaten breakfast just before leaving Brooklyn. I ended up being a little boring and getting a panini. $5 for a sandwich and a soda! Awesome deal! I only ate half the sandwich then I sat by the Teachers Fountain at Yamhill and Park, sketching my surroundings and doodling. I think I sat there about an hour, soaking in the Vitamin D. I wasn't going to finish the other half of the sandwich so I decided I'd give it to a homeless person. This being Portland it didn't take long to see someone, so I stopped about 2 blocks from where I was, offered her the other half of my sandwich and went on my way.

From there I rode up to NW and sat at Bridgeport Brewpub and had a beer on the deck in the shade (where it got a little chilly) and doodled some more and people watched. It was quite pleasant. From here I rode my bike way out there to Upshur to check out Canvas Art, bar and Bistro. I got there and wasn't too hungry and peaked in, thinking I might move on. I saw that they sold some art supplies and remembered that I haven't been able to find my pencil sharpener. I went in and asked the lady behind the counter if she sold them, she lent me hers from behind the counter then came back a second later and said I could have it. I thought, aw that's nice, I might as well check out the menu and see if there is anything that sounds good for a snack. It was almost 5pm, happy hour! I saw an option "pint & paint". I was intrigued and asked about it. What it is: a pint of beer on tap and a little kit of paints and a palette and some brushes and you can paint on the white butcher paper they have there! I was sold. If I had someone to take on a date, we would go here :)

After painting and slowly sipping my beer, I decided to head back to the center of town... and get donuts! On Saturday when I went to Saturday Market my friend Laura and I walked by Voodoo Doughnuts but the line was like halfway down the block and didn't seem to be moving very quickly! So as I was riding I realized I was approaching and when I got to Voodoo the line was only to the door rather than out the door! I swooped up on my bike, locked up and waited... for a while to get my donut on. I went for the Voodoo and the fruit loop one (I don't remember what it's called).

This is where it's nice to have someone you are traveling with, you can each get something and split it. When traveling solo... you either eat all the things or spend more money for less food.

I loved the Voodoo. I am not normally into filled donuts but this one had raspberry filling that was like jam... it was so good and looked so fitting when half eaten! The fruit loop one was really good, I wanted to eat the whole thing but physically couldn't. It was sooo yummy. I'm totally going back here... in like a month! I ended up eating about half of each because this was, afterall, my appetizer for dinner!

After Voodoo I headed to the East Side to meet my friend for Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba. I love Ethipoian food and I was really excited. I kind of knew where I was going so I didn't stop to check my map until I got across and I was on the right street and it looked like I should be there really soon. Suddenly I was way the hell up North and I still have no idea where I took a wrong turn. You can see on the map below that really long stretch of riding north... yeah. I don't know what that was about. It was pretty quick and easy to ride that far out of the way (which is a nice hint to the size of Portland).

In total, I rode about 17 miles around Portland, mainly in the West side. I'll go in again to wander the East side next time... and try some new food carts (and try to be more hungry/adventurous)!

Here is our meal at Queen of Sheba, we went with the vegetarian combo where we each picked 2 dishes. I find Ethiopian food to be so filling that I don't miss meat (not that I'm a huge meat eater anyway). It was tasty, I especially like the potatoes... mmm.

My new Oregon Love logo I just made, based on the green Oregon bumpersticker (and tattoo):

Oh man, looking at those donuts is making me really want another one.
Side note, I'm thinking about doing a green smoothie cleanse starting next week. For at least 10 days... I will keep you, lovely readers, in the know about that and how it goes when I do it. I also still have to get back to the beach house. So much to do eh?!