Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hey Oh, Portland!

Thus far, it's been a year of adventures and I think my personal hashtag #nonormaldays has really taken root. That's why it was fairly easy to agree to a spontaneous weekend meet-up in Portland with a sweet pal from college. The trip came up very suddenly and just 24 hours before departure, I hit up everyone for food recs + city tips for our short weekend stay. By Saturday midday, Alex + I reconnected at the airport, checked into our room at the Ace Hotel and began to eat and shop and wander our way through Portland.

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ABOVE: When in Portland, you should try to live like the locals and drink lots of coffee.
(Or cheat and order a cup of tea.)
BELOW: Visiting Portland? Grab a sando and craft beer from Lardo. Nom nom nom.

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My next recommendation—grab yourself a car and get out of town! Multnomah Falls is only a short drive away and boasts a cool, wet hike and pretty impressive waterfall.

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The hike to the top of Multnomah Falls is only about a mile or two. It's a bit steep for Texans, but you'll manage with some huffing and puffing. But following that, be sure to check out the hiking loops nearby. Top of the list: Oneonta Gorge. If you're going during the spring or early summer, be sure to don water shoes of some sort and clothes you mind getting soaked. Then wade your way through the gorge, allowing the water to come over your hips and reaching toward your shoulders, and make your way to Oneonta Falls. We made an attempt, but the cool water temps and the number of tech gadgets on our persons was a bit discouraging.

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BELOW: When visiting any new city, you should definitely commit to the following mission: Find the best ice cream shop in town. We were recommended Salt + Straw and yes, this is the best. I'll wait in ANY line for this ice cream shop. Bonus: They WANT you to try ALL the flavors. Dear Bluebell Creamery, you've got some steep competition.

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ABOVE + BELOW: City wandering leads to minor attractions like the Portland International Rose Test Garden. Follow your feet + follow your nose. Pack your weekend with millions of things to see, but also stop and smell the flowers. Okay... enough cliches.

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Overall, Portland was a dream. Comparable to Austin + San Francisco in many ways, but less crowded and more undiscovered. Other highlights of the weekend included: finding a great boutique near NW 23rd Ave, sipping on prime cocktails at Clyde Common (after oysters + drinks at Pepé le Moko), getting lost in the stacks of Powell Books, and enjoying one of the top 10 best meals at Thai restaurant Pok Pok.

In conclusion, everyone should visit Portland.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The New York Experience

A few weeks back, I went to New York on a work trip and wow. I got the chance to eat my way through the city, enjoy happy hour each evening, cross a few physical + metaphorical bridges and run into friends from college past. I loved New York. Do I want to move here? I pondered the thought, but I still feel right in SF. BUT—I see the appeal of life in NYC. And I want to come back. I know I will be back. And when that time comes, I know it will be another period of all play, all work and little sleep.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Boardwalk Summer Vibes

Nothing sobers an enthusiastic spirit quicker than failed plans. With bags packed and a timeline in place, you are counting down the days until the weekend, the hours until the end of the final workday and the steps until you arrive at home and begin the great commission – the departure from the city and onto those now idealistic plans.

But when plans fall through... it's sobering, it calls your unhealthy expectation levels into question, and you're left with a bag packed for no destination. You can dwell in this space and allow for your spirit to steadily fade, hope flickering like a weak candle. OR... you use the cancellation as motivation, and you pivot prior expectations, prior enthusiasm toward a new destination. One in which you control more variables and therefore, control more of your destiny.

Basically, you turn a failed trip up to Tahoe into a magical, mystical exploration of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk + public beach. You stock up on snacks at the beachy drugstore, you bask in the sun and talk of life and relationships. You go on a search for Tecate and then more secret beaches, but you mostly find fruit roadside stands and a railroad track to nowhere and a nude beach cove before returning to the public seaside. It's no matter because you have already abandoned one set of plans, and this new day allows for all the whimsy.

This is exactly what happened when Kendra + I took to Santa Cruz and talked of dreams and being creatives. The sun embraced us, and we got quite sunburnt.

From March 26th

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