Well, I’m back in the states now! My recent trip to Colombia was so much fun and I am so wishing it was warmer here in Ohio. This past week a couple of friends and I decided to travel to Colombia. We loved Colombia and the time we spent there was amazing!
I’ve always been an East coast girl and, up until about a month ago, a lover of all things fall and winter. After a week in San Diego, Cali… I can no officially say seasons are not my thing. 70 degrees in March is too nice to try to convince myself that a desire for snow is greater than 70 degrees all year round. We loved our time here and visiting a friend I haven’t seen in a year makes even more sweet. If you get the chance to visit San Diego a must see is La Jolla which is filled with wildlife. Another spot to visit is Balboa park. All the photos here are of Balboa park, a beautiful spot with great sights and lots of interesting people watching.
This past month was my first time to the West Coast and although I’m a die hard Ohio girl I have to confess that the landscape of the Pacific Northwest is unbeatable. Our first stop on the map was the good ole city of Portland, OR. My preconceived vision of what portland would be was beards, hipsters, and trees, and I was pretty much right. Its both weird, depressing, and successful all in one square mile… If you are traveling to Portland be prepared to get outside your comfort zone and experience Stumptown while meeting some of the nicest people around. Don’t be afraid to try new things and
If you want to be out in the fresh air, I highly recommend the International Rose Test Garden where there are over 550 species of roses! It’s like walking through a dream and is surrounded by acres of park to hike and explore. Get a self guided tour brochure from the gift shop and explore the gardens, or attend one of the many events held at the amphitheater throughout the year.
For shopping, I spent the day going to many of the small businesses around portland. Some I highlight in this post, The Meadow, a bitters, chocolate, and spice shop on NW 23rd St. Get perfect unique gifts for friends and loved ones and try samples of their bitters and chocolates. I loved my time there and though its a small shop, I could have spent all day sampling and discovering the thousands of ways to use salt.
They also have a location in New York City, so if you’re on the East coast there is no missing out on all this store has to offer.
Another great reason to go to Portland- Coffee. Though not as famous as the city of Seattle for its coffee, it too sells delicious varieties of the much coveted beverage. My husband loves Stumptown coffee which is a local coffee shop in downtown Portland. Sample their nitro coffee or get my personal favorite, a cafe Mocha.
Some other places to try in Portland. First stop, Voodoo Doughnuts. Yes, they only accept cash and there are usually long lines but it is totally worth the wait! Try their Old Bastard which
combines chocolate and peanut butter frosting and oreo crumbs) or their Maple Bacon donut (which is self explanatory and delicious) or even something as wild as their fruit loop donut! Their menu is intense, so when in doubt ask the workers for their suggestions.
It’s the perfect way to start the day! Next, try one of the many breweries in Portland or head to Tasty and Alder for a tapas style meal to share with friends along with a good beer.
If you get the chance, try to get out to Hood Forest National Park and spend the day hiking. We took one day to go out there and I wish we could have had more time! It’s so beautiful and totally worth seeing. I’ll share about our trip to Hood National Park in my next travel blog post, but for now enjoy the pictures of the city and feel free to comment with the fun places you’ve been to in Portland! Never stop exploring!
Over the weekend my husband and I took a trip to my in-law who recently moved to the Virginian Eastern Shore. Basically untouched by much of the modern world, the Eastern Shore of Virginia still holds the simple charm of days long gone. A skinny peninsula off the atlantic coast, it’s scattered with beautiful farmlands, forests, and coastline ripe with wildlife. The drive down is peaceful with the occasional traffic signal and towns consisting of a couple of run down houses and farm stands. If you get the chance and need a quick caffeine stop, head to Rise- Up Coffee in Easton, VA. Organic, small batch coffee roasters Rise-Up coffee company is way better than your Starbucks and its local! My In-laws introduced us to this place, and its delicious.
We took some time to explore the coast on a misty Saturday morning at the Savage Neck Dunes located at the southwest end of the peninsula. A nature sanctuary, the dunes are home to many of the coastal birds and the tiger beetle, an endangered species nearly wiped out by the build up of the northern coastline. Its a beautiful coastline and unlike many of the beaches today, its relatively untouched. Inland, the nature preserve is quiet and home to Custis Pond, a three acre body of water filled with many kinds frogs and turtles. With lots of trails through the thick, relatively young forest make it the perfect place to hike.
Next Stop: Chincoteague Island
Another popular stop on the Eastern Shore is the ever famous Chincoteague Island. Chincoteague has captured the imagination of Americans for generations and few places like it still exist. Now a national park, you can explore this horse inhabited coastline for an affordable eight dollar day pass, hiking or biking trails and seeing ponies along the way. A life goal of my husband and I is to visit as many National parks as possible and to commemorate each visit we started collecting patches from each park. Collecting things from trips are a good way to remember where you’ve been and to encourage you to keep going. One thing I know for sure is that the Virginian Eastern shore is quickly becoming one of our favorite places. It’s beauty is un-parralled and every time a go there its always different. It has so much history that I didn’t even know about and tons of cool wildlife. If you have a weekend and you live close the Eastern Shore, take advantage of it and travel down to hike its natural wonders and explore its rich history.