Portland, Oregon: Also, 100th Post!

Portland, Oregon: Also, 100th Post!

As stated in my April goals post, in the last week of April I flew to Portland, OR, to visit the boyfriend on his days off. It was his birthday present to me (my birthday is the 22nd.). It was a wonderful trip, though my second flight there was a less than ideal.

Honestly I had forgotten all about that flight until now. As usual, the night before my travel day, I could not sleep for excitement. I had been at work for eight hours that day, and my flight was just before six in the morning, but I couldn’t sleep. It always happens, so I don’t know why I’m always surprised and frustrated. I was in an aisle seat, which I hate, but can deal with, as flights are only a few hours long and the aisle won’t kill me. But the man in the middle seat was a manspreader, and also snored disgustingly the entire flight, so I couldn’t sleep at all. It was physically painful. Another thing was that the man in the window seat had closed the blind and fallen asleep. He stayed asleep the entire flight, and I missed the bird’s eye view of Mount Hood. But I lived.

I forgot all that as I got in the car with my driver, who made my morning much better. The weather was gorgeous, and it was projected to continue my entire trip. At the hotel and famished, I ordered food and waited for Ben to show. He did, and I saw him first. He joined me, and we shared my flatbread and discovered that he hates figs.

We went upstairs to nap, then walked to a coffee shop, where we sat and talked and drank before walking to Powell’s. DSC_0334Powell’s was a labyrinth of books, some new, some used. I bought the new book composed of a collection of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s inspirational tweets, a used copy of one of my new very-favorite books, The Sun Is Also A Star, and a copy of a book I had begun in another bookstore but never bought, Bittersweet, by the author of one of my other favorites, June. DSC_0341We had a snack at a pizza place catty-corner from Powell’s (Sizzle Pie) and decided to go to the Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden.

The Portland Japanese Garden was stunning! I couldn’t help laughing aloud sometimes because I could not contain my joy. It was a perfect storm; I love to be outside, to travel, in nice weather, with my love. We climbed up many flights of stairs set in the side of a steep hill, which had some pretty plants along it as well. It was the perfect time of year to visit, and the perfect time of day: golden hour. There was even a vista where we could see Mount Hood, finally. The International Rose Test Garden was much less impressive, as the roses are not yet even budding, but still delightful.

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We dined at Kell’s Irish Pub. I had a barley risotto with pesto and butternut squash, which was delicious. Dessert was at a Salt and Straw.

The next day, we picked up a rental car and some Voodoo Doughnuts for our ninety-minute car ride to Cannon Beach.

Upon our arrival, we drove the Pacific Coast Highway for a short time, then walked on the beach for awhile. I found a shark tooth.

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We walked through some stores, and lunched at a pub on the main street. I got some candy at a candy store, and we headed back to Portland, where we dined outside at a German place called Prost. My flight was a redeye that night, and I arrived at Reagan National before noon the next day.

Thank you, love. It was my best birthday yet.us japanese garden

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Monthly Goals for April

Monthly Goals for April

Hello! It appears another month has begun, and you know what that means. It’s time for the monthly goals for April!

I don’t know that this is a goal, per se, because the tickets are already bought, but I’m going to Portland, OR the last weekend in April to visit the boyfriend! I’m so excited; I’ve never been further west than Houston, and that only happened last Christmas. I love traveling, exploring new places, and learning new things. If you have any recommendations of things to do, see, eat, or drink in Portland, please leave a comment down below!

In the last week of March I lost four pounds. I don’t know if that was because I’d been bedridden from a bout of bronchitis where I didn’t eat very much, but I’m happy about it and proud of it. I’d like to lose two pounds a week this month. I’ve been eating like crap in the recent past, and I’ve been noticing the difference in how I feel. It isn’t worth it, and I have to remember that.

I want to look at my phone less, pay more attention, listen better, and read more paper books. My phone and laptop are crutches I use to escape being social, and I need to realize that not only do people like me, they want to hear what I have to say. I like to be listened and paid attention to, so I’d like to do the same for the other people in my life.

These are a few of my April goals. Hopefully I meet them. If not, I’ll try not to beat myself up about it. Happy spring!

Oh the Places to Go! (Part I)

Oh the Places to Go! (Part I)

I’ve always loved the idea of traveling. As stated in a previous post, I love to learn, and I believe travel is an excellent way to learn about oneself and others, and our similarities and differences. Thanks to the boyfriend’s job, it is likely that I will do a lot of traveling in the next few years, a possibility for which I am immensely grateful. I’ve compiled a list of a few of the places I want to go. Buckle your seat belts, we’re going around the world!

New Zealand

I want to go to New Zealand because it seems like a place to have adventures. There’s ziplining, hiking, and the set from The Lord of the Rings series. (I’ve read the first book and half of the second, but I got bored after the Fellowship got separated. I’ll pick it up again. I’ll probably reread the first book again, quite honestly, to see if I like it better – not that I didn’t like it in the first place, because I did. Also, Ben wants me to watch the movies with him, and given that I refuse to watch a movie based on a book without first reading the book, I can’t watch the second or third movies because I haven’t read that far.)

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town looks so beautiful. There’s so much there – beaches, mountains, and history, not to mention nearby safaris and Victoria Falls. The architecture in Cape Town is very European, which I find interesting, though I know why it is that way. I’d love to learn more about Africa in general, and I think Cape Town is a good place to start.

Marrakech, Morocco

I can safely blame Casablanca for this. I know it wasn’t actually filmed in Casablanca, but the area looks so different from anything I know that I would love to go. Plus, Morocco is so close to Europe, it would be easy (and hopefully cheap!) to hop across the Mediterranean and continue the journey from Europe to North Africa.

Prague, Czech Republic

Something about Prague has always interested me. I have never been to Eastern Europe, and I think Prague is an excellent way to introduce me to it. It helps that the boyfriend has always wanted to go, as well.

Munich, Germany

I’ve always wanted to go to Germany. I’m a fairytale junkie (I have two beautiful old storybooks, both gifts), and as so many of the stories I love emerged from Germany, I’d love to see the country the authors had in mind when writing them. It would be like being in a fairytale, I think.

Innsbruck, Austria

When my father graduated college, he took a European tour. He sings the praises of Austria, especially Innsbruck. He always says it looks like a storybook, a fairytale. I’ve seen the Alps, and I’d like to see them again. Seeing the Alps as the backdrop to a charming city like Innsbruck is quite attractive to me.

Rio de Janiero, Brazil

I know Rio is very dangerous in certain places, but I still want to go. I had a friend in college who was from Rio and invited me to visit, and though we don’t talk much anymore, I’m still interested in Rio. I want to see that massive Jesus. Maybe I’d explore the rainforest a little, too, though it terrifies me – there’s so many things in there that want to kill you, like in the Outback of Australia.

Part II coming soon! Where have you always wanted to travel? Where have you traveled in the past? What was your favorite thing about that trip? I’d love to hear all about it -comment below!