Oregon Trip: Bend

Next destination: Bend, OR

  • Sleep: This was our first airbnb.com experience, staying with a very nice family in a modest home that was walking distance to the best parts of town... it's a great deal, and I plan to book more on airbnb for future travels!
  • Dinner: Deschutes Brewery (duh). Every single beer in my flight was delicious. I ordered the mac 'n cheese which was to DIE for, and totally worth the feeling that I was sleeping with a brick in my stomach all night.
  • Nightcap: We hung out with one of Brent's friends from Arizona, who was born and raised in Bend so he showed us around McMenamins - a hotel/pub/restaurant/movie theater that used to be an old Catholic school... pretty sure this place was haunted, and totally freaking awesome. 
  • Bike ride: Day 2 took us on a long (well, for me it was long) bike ride to a tiny neighboring town called Tumalo.  Surprising: I made it on the bike ride and actually enjoyed it despite the abuse to my crotch region.  Not surprising: I made friends with two dogs where we stopped for lunch, and I really didn't want to leave them.
  • Fun foodie moments:
    • Brent ordered a Pumpkin Spice Cubano at a little coffee shop in town, immediately declared it was "Autumn in a cup", and made us go back for another the next day.  
    • Our airbnb host recommended Sparrow Bakery on the outskirts of town for their Ocean Roll, which is like the best, most wonderfully flaky croissant roll peppered with sugar and cardamom in the center.  AMAZINGNESS - this is on my list to try making at home this winter.
    • One afternoon we were waking up from a nap at the house before we left for dinner, and I heard an unmistakable sound that I have not heard in YEARS... an ice cream truck.  Obviously, I got an ice cream sandwich.
    • Raganelli's Pizza is pretty much the only spot to eat in Tumalo, and it was a delicious pit-stop on our bike ride. And what a small world - the owner of the place is from Santa Cruz (well, specifically Aptos), but it's always fun to find a Santa Cruz neighbor while away from home!  
  • My all-time, hands down, favorite moment: Brent getting a hair cut on our way out of town. There was a very friendly barbershop in Bend that serves beer while you get your mane tamed, so I convinced Brent it was the universe telling him it was time to cut the coif.  And it was glorious!  I spent the rest of the trip staring and sneaking pictures of him. 
  • Overall: I loved Bend even more than I loved Ashland.  The Old Bend neighborhood around Drake Park along the Deschutes River is an absolute dream.  It sounds like during the summer this park gets jam-packed with fun outdoor events, concerts, festivals, etc. I am dying to go back again to see Bend in the summer and float down that river.

Apologies that most of these photos are grainy - I spent a lot of the time camera-less in Bend, so most of these are taken with our cell phones...

Oregon Road Trip - iPhone snaps

I am back from a week road-tripping around Oregon, and am reminded there is no better feeling than being excited to get home... that's how I know I live in my happy place.   

I loved Oregon - it is full of friendly people, has great food & craft beer, and has some of the most gorgeous green, lush views I have ever seen. I will admit - I wasn't the biggest fan of Portland (aside from having the most AMAZING Indian food EVER), but the rest of the trip didn't disappoint.  I don't think I went a day without seeing a river or waterfall or some beautiful vista of the like.  Specifically, the Columbia Gorge area absolutely blew me away - I have never seen anything quite so majestic as the view driving along the wide river expanse separating Oregon from Washington. 

I would go again in a heartbeat - there were so many little places that felt perfect to me. Between funky details like old hand-painted signs in small towns, antique silverware at brunch spots, the neighborhoods of historic homes, and a close connection with nature and outdoor living, I felt right at home.

Until I get around to editing my video and camera photos, my iPhone snapshots will have to do for now...