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?!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chillin', planning for exploring Portland this week

Hanging out in Beaverton with the cats, today was a rainy crafty day (mostly painting and a bit of drawing). Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be nice so I'm researching places to eat in Portland. If you weren't aware, Portland is a foodie town. I plan to eat well. The issue I'm having now is deciding on a place to go! I've written up a list of things I'd like to check out, so tomorrow when I'm wandering on bicycle I have some options!

Fine Dining:
Veritable Quandry
Natural Selection

Mid range dining:
Apizza Scholls (whole pies)
Laurelhurst Market
Clyde Commons

Cheap Eats:
Le Bistro Montage (been once before, had alligator)
The Canvas Art Bar & Bistro
Portland Food Carts ("pods" all over the place)
Pok Pok Whiskey Soda Lounge

The Bye and Bye - (my friend Laura's favorite place, I've been a few times and want to go back!)

Papa Hadyn
Pix Patisserie
Voodoo Donuts
Alder Pastry & Dessert

Activities/ things to check out:
Chinese Garden
The Kennedy School (A McMenamins cinema/pub)
The Mission (another McMenamins cinema/pub)
Pittock mansion
Washington Park
Rose Test Garden
Brewvana - brewery tours (out of my budget though at $60)
Museum of Contemporary Craft
The Hat Museum (too steep, $15 and a reservation)

Oneonta George
Ainsworth State Park
Sauvie Island Farms
Columbia River
Hoyt Arboretum

Things I'd like to draw:
The Bridges
Beaverton Library
Saturday Market - sketching people

And now suddenly it's 1am... I need to go to sleep!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I forgot to mention that I had a phone interview last Tuesday with a company in Salem, Oregon. I then had an interview in-person in the same firm on my way back to Portland. I think it went pretty well and I really want the job. It would be a great next step for my career, Salem is pretty central to all things in OR I would like to have access to (Portland, the beach, my brother, the mountains). I mailed hand written thank you cards on Monday, and they said they would be making a decision in the next two weeks.

Assuming they can read my beautiful tiny block letters; I think they should be well received. I even made my own thank you cards that match my resume letter head and references letterhead!

There was a stack of old yearbooks, which was nice to flip through, we also watched our senior video... I think it made some people nostalgic... it made me happy that high school is over :P

My high school reunion was Saturday the 10th. It started out a little awkward, people I haven't seen in 10 years, people I hadn't even seen in high school, people who I'm friends with on facebook but don't actually know what they are up to and people who I know what they have been up to because of Facebook but that doesn't mean we're friends or anything.

Facebook has a strange effect on reunions I gotta say. I think I had the most fun catching up with people who I haven't seen since (who aren't on facebook) and catching up with people who I kind of knew before and am friends with on Facebook but don't see much of their updates. Part of the excitement of a reunion is the mystery (for me, where it was not about "connecting with old friends" cause I didn't really hang out with anyone outside of high school except for a couple people who I knew weren't going to be there) or seeing what people have been up to since school. The mystery is less veiled with Facebook around. I'm glad I went, I hope you will go to yours despite Facebook!

My dad and step-mom are heading to my step brother's wedding this weekend so I'll be staying at the house in Beaverton to watch the cats (best cats in the world, Xena and Xerxes). After that I will either be moving to Salem to start my new job (fingers crossed!) or staying in Portland trying to find some kind of income. Maybe the fabric store that I contacted back in July will still be open to hiring me, then I can at least stop spending all my money and have some income while I keep looking for other work and moonlight doing some of my own projects... and taking a Project Management Certificate series of courses at Portland State University I found a couple days ago.

No shortage of options, I'm pretty much waiting now. Meanwhile I started going to the Bally's gym near my dad's house, getting going running again because my brother, sister-in-law and I are signing up for a 5K in October, then a 10K in the Spring (and maybe I'll try for a half marathon next fall?). Plus all my friends here are employed so in the daytime I have to keep myself occupied... I just gessoed an old canvas, so we'll see what I start to paint. I'm looking forward to this weekend, I'm going to go to Saturday Market! I'm thinking about riding Minty Fresh to the MAX then riding around Portland. Tonight I'm meeting a high school buddy for German food... beer und sausage und mustard mmmm!

Lincoln City

Not that exciting... we were there to paint the beach house but the weather kept being misty, despite heat warnings... Crazy coastal weather. So we spent a couple days hanging out, doing tiny bits of prep work then going shopping at the outlets and playing Bananagrams and Rummikub. Then Charlotte (and her friend Sarah) had to go back to work so it was just me and my unemployed brother there to do the work. We prepped in a day then painted the next day. The most exiting aspects are that we used a sprayer... I never want to paint a house exterior by brush again!

Sneakers might have been a better choice as now my sandals have all sorts of bright green on them... which doesn't match a thing I own. Except my AmeriCorps sweatshirt which is covered in a rainbow of paint (yay Murals!)

Here's at the end of day one, one of us sprayed and the other followed with a brush (to get in the vertical seams of the clapboard siding) and a roller to smooth out the sprayed on paint.

Here's how we left it. My window prep did a pretty good job and once cleaned up a little the windows look crisp next to the brightest paint in the neighborhood. Then there's the front door. It only got one coat of paint, so it's going to be more solid when I go back down in a few weeks and give them another coat. This is by far the brightest house in the neighborhood... I wouldn't be surprised if it's the brightest one in Lincoln City... seriously.

So I drove my brother and myself over to Springfield, stayed there one night then I headed up to Beaverton so I could go to my high school reunion on Saturday!

(North) Vancouver BC

After Port Townsend I took Spencer to SeaTac airport then drove up to Vancouver BC. I was again given the 5th degree when crossing the border because I have a car full of my life, a USB on my keys with my resume on it (he asked!). I went up to visit my friends from church camp, luckily Aimee was off for the summer from her work in schools, and Scott was off because he didn't start his job for another week. I came up on Friday so I'd also be able to hang out with Kalan who works during the week.

I wish I could remember the name of this lake we went to... but this is what it looks like around Vancouver... fucking beautiful.

I did a bunch of Canadian things, we went to De Detuch for Dutch style pancakes (ok, that's that not Canadian... but it was delicious!), went to a beautiful lake just outside of North Vancouver, wandered Granville Island, got gelato at La Casa Gelato, went to my first hockey game, and tried my hand at 5-in bowling.

La Casa Gelato, my brother's awesome suggestion, is just East of the Vancouver Chinatown. They have so many flavors it's hard to choose. I ended up going to Billberry (on top... still no idea what it is but it was so yumm!) and a chocolate creme de menthe gelato. They were both delicious. I also tried a balsalmic gelato... this was less successful. Really, I couldn't eat the whole tiny spoonful. One lick, then tossed it. The basil gelato, however, was quite tasty but seemed more like a small taste during a 7 course chef's table dinner kind of thing.

On Tuesday my buddy Scott was free all day so he and Aimee and I had "Tourist Tuesday"! Scott kept commenting on how much more touristy Aimee was, but that's because she kept taking pictures :) We started with breakfast in Deep Cove then went on a hike to a great view

If I was feeling like being on my computer more I'd combine those images... but use your imagination

We also went to Granville Island which I don't have many pictures of but we wandered the market, I got a whole bunch of cherries and Scott got raspberries... all of which were delicious (omg I love berries! That's been one of the best things about being back in the PNW). We also did a little shopping, I got some shoes, went to Scott's yacht club for drinks and a sick view:

Have I mentioned how beautiful it is in Vancouver?

Then we needed a break before we went out longer so we went by Scott's place to chill for a bit and catch the sunset. We then met up with Kalan and Duke in Gastown (downtown) Vancvouer for drinks. Scott told me about a giant Jenga but there was some event going on in the bar so we didn't get to do that.

Tourist Tuesday was awesome :) I'd been to Vancouver a few times before but usually just for a weekend and never with friends with cars who could show me around! I would love to go back for another long visit.

Now the order of events is a little hazy, I realize it wasn't that long ago but hey, we did a lot! Kalan had his last hockey game of the season so we went to that and Duke happened to be there too. Kalan's team won and I'm not gonna say it's because we were there but I'm not gonna say it wasn't because we weren't there... :)

I also went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge with Erika, Aimee and Denise. So I'm not that comfortable with heights... all these ladies I was with were walking without holding on and shaking the bridge and looking over the edge holy jeebus that made me nervous! We also did the treetop adventure (looks a bit like the Ewok village out of Star Wars) and the Cliff Walk. If you ever plan to go I highly recommend going with a BC resident. It was not cheap (even with my "student" discount) but BC residents can get a year long membership for the same as one admission ticket, and they can bring a guest who gets 10% (or was it 15%?) off, even a student admission! So that saved me about $5 right there. I decided it would be worth it once, next time I go we'll visit Lynn Canyon- has a suspension bridge too and is free, but it's not as high or long. Although, with my discomfort with heights maybe that's not such a big deal!

I'd been wanting to paint since I was driving through North Dakota and Montana so Aimee and I decided to have a craft day in which we painted. I painted this chicken (the image I got out of an article in National Geographic back at church camp that I highly recommend reading).

We went 5-pin glow bowling. The website said they were open until 10, we got there at 8:45 and they were closing at 9! Yikes! But we got in one game (and he let us stay until about 9:10). Five-pin bowling is strange... the ball is small and the pins are spaced out pretty well so that it is hard to knock over more pins just by hitting one pin. The scoring system was bizarre too... I didn't understand it (but I think Aimee won legit-ly :P)

When I left Canada I passed a warning sign by the border "You are about to enter a high medical cost area, proceed with caution" or something like that... then I headed to our beach house in Lincoln City, OR. I was in Beaverton around 5:30 so I called up my dad and invited myself for dinner. After dinner I continued the 2 more hours to meet my brother and his wife at the beach. That was a long day of driving! (For those of you on the East Coast... it's about 3 hours from Vancouver BC to Seattle and another 3.5 hours from Seattle to Portland, then from Portland to Lincoln City is about 2 hours).