Ayma and I in a Portland photobooth.
This summer, instead of making a big trek across the country to NYC, I decided to make my very first trip to Portland, Oregon. As a hip, young resident of Canada’s Southwest, it’s kind of miraculous that I had never been to Portland before. But with the introduction of the cheapest busline ever, and a ton of vacation time to burn before starting a new job, there were really no excuses left.
So I booked a place to stay, grabbed a bestie, and hit the road.
I’m not quite sure what this post is about in regard to my trip. We did not have any miraculous encounters; I did not really go shopping; we did not see any shows. What we did do was drink a whole lot and eat more vegan ‘junk food’ than I have ever eaten in my entire life. ‘Chicken’ and waffles? Check. Biscuits and gravy? Check. Whiskey bbq sauce delicious mess of a meat-like sammich? Check.
On the not so vegan side, I also ate the most fucking amazingly delicious icecream that I have ever had in my entire life. If you ever have a chance to pop into the Salt and Straw, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GO! I couldn’t decide on one single flavour, and so got a Chevre with Marionberry Habanero Jam and whatever the chef’s special or whatchamacalit was that day. It was heaven. Also, if you buy a scoop of whatever the feature special flavour is, they will donate a dollar to Planned Parenthood. How can you say no to that? I ate this icecream immediately after ordering a huge, amazing and decadent brunch at the Vita Cafe, and after all of this food I felt as though I might go into an insane food coma while at the same time, having a stomach explosion and also dying.
On the non-food side of things, we also made a day trip to Cannon Beach. Though Google Maps let me know that the drive there would be about an hour and a half, in actuality, it took us upwards of three hours. I’m not sure how, as we were going slightly over the speed limit the entire way, but there you have it.
I had heard a lot about Cannon Beach and how wonderful it was, and so was super eager to head there. Ayma was less eager, and after three hours of driving and a car rental that was about twice as much as we had expected, I was really worried that it would be a disappointment. Very thankfully, it was not. Cannon Beach is not so much a ‘let’s lay here in the sun all day’, as ‘dear lord, this place is beautiful and wild’ kind of beach. The sand is white and soft, the water is deathly cold and choppy, the sky is overcast and stretches out for miles above an unbroken sea that is only disturbed by Haystack Rock. Looking away from the water and towards the town, it is also exactly how I picture ever single stereotype of a New England beach town that rich families go to to vacation all summer. Low sloping sand banks dotted with wild native grasses, leading the way up to large porched houses decorated with grey wooden shingles and white trim.
Anyways… you get the idea.
We walked the beach for a while, before getting all touristy and renting one of the recumbent beach bikes available at several shops. Holy moly. I would never have guessed in a million years that these things would be so fun. I am going to say that renting one of these was probably one of the best things that I have ever spent 15 dollars on in my life. Yes, they look kind of stupid. Yes, the locals probably think that they are a nuisance. But cycling for kilometers down the shores of a sandy, beach with cold sea air blowing at your back is just… well, it’s just lovely.
On top of our beach bike experience, we also happened upon a tiny cafe, with some rather quirky staff, which happened to serve some vegan and gluten-free fair (apparently this is just the norm in oregon?)
… I’m not sure how this turned into a post about Cannon Beach…
Anyways… the rest of the trip was a blur of cheap bourbon, delicious things to eat, and walking around all day in the hot Portland sun.
I can’t wait to return for a longer trip, with my bike in tow to eat more delicious foods, drink more delicious drinks, and hopefully sing more karaoke than my little heart can handle.