All posts tagged: vacation

chocolate library.

A store that sells chocolates and salts. Hm, ok! I’m into it! At The Meadow there is a wall of chocolate, stacks and stacks of salt rocks, and, if you’re lucky, some sample bowls filled with treats. On our visit, we tried a popcorn with the Meadow’s black truffle salt ~ yowza! And Savage, a new-to-me brand of chips locally made in Portland. Delightful! If you tell me I can climb the ladder you better not be joking because I will do it! Imagine having your own chocolate library like this! I grabbed a few locally made bars that I chose based on wrapper/packaging. Yes, I judge chocolate by the cover, but also if it’s quality made and preferably 72% cacao. Also, yes, I am a self-professed chocolate snob. What are some of your favorite artisanal chocolates or chocolate shops? Share please!

good food days.

The post you’ve all been waiting for. ūüėČ This was my third visit to Portland, and Hubby’s first. It was fun to explore new food destinations with him, and to revisit a favorite. All the food from our tasty travels coming at ya. FRIDAY: Taco City, Hillsdale / one of each taco, please. and guacamole. Not my favorite taco stand, but it’s fun to experience pod food while in Portland. SATURDAY: Seastar Bakery, Alberta Arts District / sweet dill-pickled beets, oven-fried egg, and cypress grove goat cheese on seedy nutty rye toast / cilantro-jalape√Īo white bean daal with pickled red onion, radish-mint salad on rosemary cornbread Easily my favorite meal on this trip. Fresh, unsuspecting flavor combinations! I am inspired to play more in the kitchen. Prasad, Pearl District / chipotle chili bowl with brown rice, chipotle black bean chili, avocado, green chili sauce, and jalape√Īo cashew cheeze / hot smokey tempeh / tabor bowl with quinoa, slow roasted tomatoes, kale, green chili sauce One of my favorites that I got hooked on during my first visit to …

chai this; chai that.

When in Portland, try all the chai! First up: Seastar Bakery‘s Golden Chai with hazelnut milk, an herbal tisane made with turmeric, ginger, chamomile, citrus, and honey. This was unlike any¬†beverage I’ve ever had. The citrus surprisingly worked really well in the tisane and the turmeric was not overpowering. It was by far my favorite beverage on this trip, and quite possibly from any bakery/cafe I’ve visited. Next up, Prasad‘s dirty chai with coconut mylk, a housemade masala chai blend with a shot of cold-press coffee, sweetened with honey. It was a little sour and a little sweet, but mostly had warm notes from the spices. To wrap up the day, we stopped at Tea Chai Te for…even more tea! Hers and his: Velvet milk oolong with hemp milk and almond milk tea with soy milk and mango popping boba. A lovely afternoon tea break. The next day, we started our morning with¬†Pip’s Original Doughnuts. They serve their chai by the glass and by the flight. Whaaaat? I’m not a fan of beer flights, and …

stumptown.

For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless. We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance¬†and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices. After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.) But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique …

bend!

Hubs and I went on a road trip to Portland, Oregon for our one year wedding anniversary. 1500 miles round trip! On the drive north we stopped in Bend, Oregon for an overnight stay at the Mill Inn. We had a little room issue upon arrival, but once things got sorted out we ended up in the San Francisco themed room – we felt right at home. The next morning we woke up to the smell of bacon and coffee… I want to throw breakfast parties like this! And have a tea station! His and Hers anniversary breakfast: frittatas, BACON, sausage, potatoes, greens, fruits, juice… Oh, and then we had waffles! You guys!!! The Mill Inn has the best waffles I’ve ever had – a light crispy, crunchy outside with a fluffy, moist middle. I might want to go back to Bend just for waffles. They make them to order and you can order one whole, one half, or one fourth! I don’t even like cherry things (love cherries, dislike cherry things) but the sauce …

nearcation: san francisco.

Nearcation: San Francisco edition, because this is totally going to be a thing now. My God-sister and her hubs surprised us with a hotel gift card to spend a night on the town. We packed a backpack, jumped on BART, and played local tourist for 24 hours. We stayed at the Sir Francis Drake near Union Square where you are welcomed by a red-suited doorman and a swanky lobby bar. We were given a room with a view… We hardly come out to this area of San Francisco so we kept our adventures to any place we could get to by foot or by cable car. We had an afternoon meal at a hole in the wall Filipino street food restaurant. Then to a free craft event at Madewell with Jenny Lemons where we ran into my crafty friend Tally Sue. En route back to the hotel, we picked up boba from Boba Guys (insert Instagram worthy photo below) and veggie pizza from Uncle Vito’s. TV and chill, y’all. The next day we woke up …

temple time.

On a recent trip home we visited the Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. The architecture and details in design made it feel like we went on a day trip to China. The temple has been around since 1988, but I only recently learned about it from my Mom who also recently learned about it from a friend. The temple is place of worship but also a place of calm and rejuvenation. It caters to visitors РAll the statues and buildings had information cards, and there were many lists with proper temple behavior to follow, e.g. No pictures are allowed inside the temples. There are gardens, classrooms, and a cafeteria that serves vegetarian cuisine. I enjoyed exploring the grounds and tossing coins into the garden for prosperity. After our visit, my Mom shared some photos with friends. They thought we were on vacation, too. Where do you day trip? Share below. 

solvang, super fast.

Hubby hadn’t ever been to Solvang so we took a detour on the way back home from Santa Barbara. It was burning hot the day we visited and our NorCal-acclimated skins were crying (I hear this stuff is called sweat ūüėČ ) so we only stayed for a short while. We explored the Main Street and side alley ways.¬†Of course I found the bead store, a vintage gift shop, and a DIY studio and market place. I also found Santa Barbara cold brew coffee, an iconic Solvang photo opp for Hubs, and a windmill. I’d say it was a successful quick trip!¬†Solvang much? Share your favorite Danish village finds below!

cabrillo boulevard.

Lucky me, there’s an Arts and Crafts show every Sunday in Santa Barbara!¬†It’s half art and half craft and all fun. Plus, it was a gorgeous day for a walk down Cabrillo Boulevard. The market is easily walkable, and depending how intrigued you are in the goods for sale, you can probably stroll the whole street in an hour or so. There were paintings, photographic works, … …glass art, wood pieces, … …jewelry and other wearables… Some of my favorite finds included these¬†mini kaleidoscope necklaces. The kaleidoscope charms are functional; I’d never seen kaleidoscopes so tiny until I saw these. My niece scored a turtle necklace (currently her favorite creature). And my nephew got a yo-yo lesson from this fascinating yo-yo guy. Until next time Santa Barbara! Santa Barbara much? Share you favorite SB spots below!¬†

minimoon adventures: glen alpine falls.

More minimoon adventures in Tahoe! There was so much to see, and even though we had vacationed here before, we still discovered new sites on this trip. On our last day, we wanted to check out¬†Fallen Leaf Lake. We drove through miles of forest, but couldn’t find the public park/beach area. The lake was surrounded with homes and lots of “Private Parking” signs. We found out later that you have to park somewhat far and walk over. Perhaps we can try this on our next visit. In any case, we got to enjoy the view of Fallen Leaf Lake from the car. ūüėČ And¬†because we kept on driving, we stumbled upon¬†Glen Alpine Falls which was even more exciting!¬†Again, springtime means snowmelt¬†which means waterfalls! Glen Alpine is big, loud, and gorgeous! The homes nearby must have some great soundproofing. There were beautiful rocks and trees, too. It was a great place to just sit and enjoy the view. Have you stumbled upon a great view lately? Share your discoveries below!