Friday, September 28, 2012

west coast livin'.


Happy Friday, y'all!!

I hope your weekend is full of college football and whimsical adventure...but mostly just college football. #gonoles. 

Fondly from Portland, 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

joy the baker podcast.

If delicious recipes and pretty pictures of food is something that makes your heart flutter, you should check out joy the baker and shutterbean. These ladies know what's what. They also happen to be hilarious. Someone must have told them that a time or two because they started recording a podcast about a year ago and have been making ears happy ever since. Every Thursday they come out with a fresh one. I will warn you that they are slightly ridiculous and really funny. So be careful if you think that putting in those little white ear buds is making you incognito. For example, listening to them on public transportation is an excellent idea -- except it's the worst idea ever. You will be laughing out. loud. and people will be staring.

Fondly from Portland, 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

garden of greatness.

Why hello there, 

Have you ever gone somewhere really awesome and the whole time you are thinking of how on earth you are going to explain this to your friends so that it sounds as awesome as it actually is? This was one of those moments. And at the risk of my description not doing it justice, I think you should all just take my word for it and come visit me in Portland. 

An old Poor Farm built in 1911 is now home to McMenamins or as I like to say, a playground for adults. "On the grounds, you will find an array of diversions. Enjoy fine-dining restaurant, classic pub, numerous small bars and a summertime grill. Take a turn about one of the two par-3 golf courses. Schedule a massage, manicure and much more at Ruby’s Spa. Wander about the extensive gardens (glass of wine or pint of ale in hand), visit the onsite glass-blower and potter, have a look at extensive artwork on walls, pipes and more, watch a recent-run movie in the theater, or listen to live music." ...that's all, right? I know. 

We spent a few hours wandering around the grounds after having dinner in the pub but spent most of our time in the gardens. The smells of this beautiful place were sweet and fresh.  I couldn't get over the beautiful sunflowers growing everywhere not to mention just about every fruit and vegetable you could think of. 

I'm not sure if it was the realization that a place like this actually exists or the combination of being there during the golden hour and catching a little glimpse of a wedding taking place but I left feeling like I had just been somewhere kind of magical.

Fondly from Portland, 

Monday, September 24, 2012

amateur foodie.

Happy Monday Friends, 

foodie - noun
a person having an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of good food. 

I do not claim to have an extremely refined palate but I do love to participate in the consumption of excellent food and Portland has some pretty incredible options in that department. And by some, I mean a ton. It's actually quite overwhelming for someone who has a bit of trouble making quick decisions. Thankfully, one nice thing about being in a new place is that people will recommend places for you to try. The other thing is bad restaurants don't really survive here because they have such excellent competition. From what I've heard, people come from all over to taste what Portland has to offer and I'm starting to understand why. 

Fondly from Portland, 

Below are a few of my favorites thus far:

Staccato Gelato - banana chocolate sundae 
Screen Door - a southern style pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and sweet potato fries 
Three Friends - vegan pumpkin spice delivered (I know, I know)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

wahkeena falls.

Hey friends, 

Stop number two on the sight seeing tour of Oregon last weekend was this gorgeous waterfall named Wahkeena. Which oddly enough reminds me of Kelly Ripa's son...don't judge me. Daytime television is awesome. Anyway, this two hundred and forty two foot waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately (for you) I don't think my pictures do it justice. The force of the water falling from the cliff is so powerful that you only have to stand there for a few seconds before you literally have to catch your breath. It was so pretty, in fact, that I almost didn't want to take pictures. I just wanted to stand there and admire how truly beautiful the world is. 

Fondly from Portland, 

In order to keep it as a memory forever, I did snap a few little photos: 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the columbia river gorge.

Hi friends, 

Hope you had a great weekend! It was a beautiful weekend full of new adventures here on the west coast! 

On Saturday, a new friend in Portland took me to see some of the prettiest things Oregon has to offer. The Columbia River Gorge(ous) was our first stop on this beautiful fall morning. The east coast doesn't offer much in the realm of mountains and hiking so imagine my surprise and wonder as I got out of the car to see this beautiful picture. 

The whole time we were up there I was imaging what it must have been like for Lewis and Clark. Just attempting to fathom the sheer delight of rolling up to something this beautiful for the very. first. time. Good golly. Amazing.  

Fondly from Portland, 

Take a gander at this splendid slice of creation: 

...kind of makes you want to come visit me in Oregon, doesn't it? :) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

minute to win it.

Oh Portland.
I started this three thousand mile journey on Saturday in Orlando international airport. It was followed by a pit stop in Chicago, a connecting flight in Kansas City and finally an arrival in Portland, Oregon. 
For quite some time now, there has been a little explorer living inside me who wants so badly to see new things and go new places.  I saw a quote recently that said “I’m in love with places I’ve never been and people I’ve never met.” That is exactly how I feel most days. The couple weeks I had leading up to this trip were spent dreaming about the unknown, wondering what the people would be like, wondering what my eyes would see and wondering how on earth I had found myself on the brink of this great journey. People’s excitement and words of encouragement was another confirmation for me that this was going to be an awesome experience.
An adventure could also be classified as an undertaking and to be quite honest, that is what it has been so far. When you allow your mind to dream a little bit, (ok, a lot) the anticipation of the unknown can become so thrilling and exciting that it is hard to remember the practical side of your emotions. You forget what real emotions might look like when you arrive in the biggest city you’ve ever been to, filled with people you’ve never met, and places you’ve never seen…without a car.
Let me tell you that I find the airport to be one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever been. One of the things it is really good at (besides getting people from A to B) is reminding you that you are just one story. ONE! There were almost two hundred people alone on my plane from KS to OR. Two hundred stories that didn’t look anything like mine. A realization like that can leave you feeling quite desolate. I made a choice though to get off the plane armed with the confidence that the Lord, who has so faithfully seen me through every step of this process, was surely not going to leave me at the airport. Even if I was only one story.
In an attempt to not bore you with an emotional saga, I will leave this first post here: Portland is different and that doesn't make it bad, it just means it might take a little longer for it to feel comfortable. A roller coaster of expected and unexpected emotions has flooded me and I’ve absolutely considered jumping back on the plane and coming home. Sometimes  deciding to stay here even another minute is extremely difficult. Particularly when the chain fell off a bike I've never ridden before in the middle of a busy intersection. (You can laugh, it's kind of funny.) Sometimes, however, it’s a little easier, like when a girl that was a perfect stranger a few days ago thought to take me to one of Portland’s few southern restaurants so I would feel more at home. So friends, what I’ve come to realize in the past couple of days is that every minute I decide to stick it out is another minute I’m deciding to lean on the Rock that is sure and steadfast, that has gone before me and is not surprised by emotions, the Rock that is higher than I. It doesn't make it easy but it sure is hopeful.
Ps. I promise not every post will be this long and full of emotion. Scouts honor. One day I might just talk about how bizarre it is that there is a pet palace in the mall that will custom fit your personality to an animal so you can have the most optimal family pet. Truly, that is real.

Fondly from Portland, 
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