Friday, May 14, 2010

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

The first commandment of blogging, they say, is “Ye shall blog often.” Also somewhere on that stone tablet is “Ye shall not whine about being too busy to blog.” But what can I say? Life happens. Sometimes a lot of it. So while we’re out experiencing it, we neglect to pontificate about it here on The Internets. Forgive me, for I have sinned.
But while I was “life-ing” instead of blogging, some interesting things happened. One was a fabulous trip to Oregon. I joined John’s family for a whirlwind tour of Portland, Eugene and the beautiful Pacific Northwestern coast.

I came back from my trip to Oregon with 2 realizations:
1. East Coast folks are RUDE.
2. There is no bad food in Oregon.
Oregonians are lovely people. In stores, in hotels, in restaurants – nothing but genuine interest in how your day is going. At first I wasn’t sure whether it was refreshing or quite frankly, terrifying, but by the time I landed at Logan Airport at the end of my trip, I realized that there’s no need to be as horrible as we are here on the East Coast. How was your day?? Are you kidding me? Eff you. Get out of the way!

And the food. The food was wonderful. Stay with me after the jump.

Our first official meal of the trip was in the Driftwood Room at the Hotel DeLuxe, where we stayed in Portland. It was late, we were tired and hungry, and not expecting much from the hotel’s offering. But bar menus are ubiquitous in Portland, and our bleary-eyed midnight meal was a nice surprise. The Hotel DeLuxe has a very “old Hollywood” feel, and when we walked into the Driftwood Room, we fully expected Don Draper to be smoking cigarettes and drinking martinis in the corner. The Driftwood’s bar menu was half price – and delicious. We went to bed sated and happy to be there.

The next morning we set off to explore Portland by foot before John’s family arrived. We started at the Byways Café, where we amused ourselves trying to find some Rhode Island memorabilia amidst their busy 50 states décor. Our breakfasts were simple, fresh and divine. John has a pretty specific jones when it comes to breakfast: hash and a bagel. Our waiter explained that they didn’t have bagels because they make all their baked goods on premises and didn’t have the equipment for bagels. But he promised that their old fashioned biscuit would not disappoint. Coupled with the hearty, cheesy hash, unlike any hash we’d ever seen, he was right.

My breakfast was a winner too, including thick-cut French toast and giant bacon.

With full bellies, we wandered the shops in the Pearl district, including Powell’s Books – the be all and end all of bookstores. John was in awe of the wall of signatures from science fiction and fantasy writers, including his own personal Jesus, Neil Gaiman. Meanwhile, I busied myself in Powell’s EIGHT AISLES of cookbooks and food writing.

But since there’s nothing worse than someone giving you the minute by minute run-down of their vacation, I’ll drop the narrative and share the photos:

The best and worst part about vacation is that you have to come back. But there's plenty more meals to be had, so stay tuned.

No comments: