Tag Archives: portland

Portland, Astoria, and the Oregon Coast

Whenever I travel north I check the weather and try and pack accordingly. Somehow I always end up with sandals and sundresses and have to borrow clothes from everyone I know. Lucky for me, I know a lot of people in Oregon that can both lend me clothes and somehow put up with all my whining. The same people drive me around the city and the countryside, build forts for me to relax in, and lounge around spas with me.  It’s no wonder why it’s hard to come home. I planned my trip to Oregon by way of New York thinking that surely ten days would be enough time. It never is. My first food stop, as usual, was the flavor spot for a dutch taco, for those uninitiated that breakfast sausage and maple cream folded into a perfect waffle.


Also as usual we finished the waffle and immediately wanted another one because they are so damn delicious but instead we headed over to pick up another friend for our trip to the Oregon Coast. Leesha wasn’t quite ready yet so Hannah and I waited for a nearby bar to open and came in with the other Tuesday morning regulars.

the open sign as a lie AT FIRST

After the beautiful drive and seeing the sights of the coast in the laziest way possible we made it to the Ft. George Brewery in Astoria for some much needed drinking. It was, after all, really cold out.

The best part about drinking at a brewery is you can just say, “one of each please” and you can try it all. “One of each” actually became a theme later in the week with food as well. After drinking we wandered around Astoria a little more.

The shops all closed at 5 so we really had no choice but to head to another bar, this time on the docks where I could keep my eyes peeled on the water searching for whales. When a sea creature finally did breach I yelled “a walrus” but later learned that Oregon is not in the actual arctic and it was indeed a sea lion.

Since I was sharing pics on Instagram I kept getting tips on other places to go and we got to see the goonies house.
And while we were up there we could hear the barking of more sea lions below and I soon found myself breaking onto private property with two random little girls to come and take this shot.

It was amazing.

The next day, I spent a long time laying in bed looking at the weather outside, too scared to get out of bed. Watching Joanna’s Instagramming made me want to check out Junior’s cafe and my friend Claire picked me up and we went..

We had an awesome sassy waitress and I definitely enjoyed the Vegan potatoes with vegetables and tofu sauce. And toast with marionberry jam. I love that every single place in Portland has homemade jam and secret aardvark sauce. Also, I learned that all servers in the state of Oregon are happy to tell you what is vegan and gluten free. Even if you don’t ask, they intuit that you are omitting dairy products and suddenly say, “hey that bread has milk products in it”. Here you can’t even ask about bread at places like Whole Foods without getting the ole “girl you be crazy” eyes.

After filling up on an excessive amount of food and coffee Claire and I headed to the Loyly spa for some much needed heat and lounging about. It was here that I decided I needed to open an inexpensive lounging spa in Austin, but what would be the hot weather equivalent of a good steam? A fancy walk in freezer? Super cold cucumber misters? I have to figure the details out, I can promise there will be hammocks and a swim-up bar. Loyly was lovely, vegan friendly and, I think 15 dollars to hang out in the steam room, the dry sauna, the showers, and the lounging area. Masks and massages were extra. I was able to raise my core temperature enough to make it through the day.

Later that night my Vida Vegan week unofficially started when I met Jojo, Randi, and Mandi at Portobello where we ate pretty much everything on the entire menu.

Everything was amazing, I love their gnocchi 

But the potato pizza might have been my favorite. Or the beet tartare. Or the salted caramel sundae with homemade coconut whip and toasted pine nuts. It’s hard to say.

So that’s my pre-con fun, stay tuned and be amazed by all the things I ate in the following days. I still can’t believe it.

Camp Swisher and another trip to Portland OR

My multiple trips to Portland have gotten almost ridiculous. People say things to me like “Oh I forget that you don’t live here” and “Will you be back for…?” and “You missed Star Trek in the Park?”. I never get tired of the Northwest though, my friends, the trees, the rain and the sausage stuffed waffles, the chicken fried tempeh, and of course the donuts. Oh, I ate so many donuts. 

I tried some places I’ve never been to before. I absolutely loved the Kung Pao Tofu and the Braised Spicy Ginger Eggplant at Lucky Strike and will go back next time to try more. Their tofu custard had these lovely little roasted soy nuts but otherwise was a total bust. Down the street I also got to try the El Beardo Scramble at Jam on Hawthorne. I had never been there before and I loved it. God those hashbrowns, the red pepper sauce, and the homeade JAM! The best part was the service, I think I had the most vegan friendly server in my history of being vegan. She just asked every question you could ever fathom. It made me so happy. She even let me add olives. And gave me a vegan english muffin with earth balance. It was breakfast bliss. 

I tried a little cart called Sonny Bowl downtown and had such a Portland ibowl: rice, barbecued soy curls, yams, kale with tahini sauce, and chow mein noodles. I wish I could go back in time clean up the sauce on the side of that bowl though. It’s just not worth photoshopping. Then I’d get to eat it again too, blogging makes me so hungry you guys.

 

While downtown I got to see all kinds of different art and I finally got to go to Ground Kontrol. They had a Star Trek TNG pinball game!!! We were so excited to play but the game just wanted to steal our money. The guy came to fix it and then he got so sucked in we didn’t even get a chance to have at it. We just watched him for a while and then went to find another one! I felt like a little kid. 

Another place that I finally got to check out was the Sweet Hereafter, a super styley vegan bar is southeast. I loved my pretzels with noochy sauce. They made me want to try everything on the food side of the menu. On the other side, I was a not a fan of the gigantic cocktail which feels weird to even type! What the hell? It just wasn’t mixed right, maybe if I’d been drinking all day it would have been better but that’s not much of a recommendation, tasty cocktails if you are wasted!  I’m sure it was a fluke.

 

After spending the weekend freezing my Texas ass off on the coast all I wanted for my last day was to get back to town, soak in warm water at the Kennedy school and get some delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. This time I tried Got Pho on Sandy blvd and it was tasty enough to completely satisfy my craving. The broth wasn’t anything special but once I got all the toppings and condiments mixed in I was slurping like crazy. The best part was the fried garlic and roasted peanuts for a topping. And also the totally compostable coconut water. The perfect spot for the hungover. 

And why was I hungover you may ask? Well the truth is I didn’t just go to Portland to stuff myself silly but actually went to see two of my most favorite people in the universe tie the knot during a camping wedding on the coast. I’d never been to the Oregon coast before and it was stunning, it almost looked like Hawaii.

A much colder version of Hawaii. My friends spared no expense and paid such attention to detail that we were totally overwhelmed with love all weekend. After taking a boat to the island campsite we all got flashlights, and Camp Swisher T-Shirts and souvenir pint glasses and walked through the sand to get to our cabins before the first of many meals. 
It was summer camp to the point that Friday night we had a talent show so Dan & I worked on our Biz Markie megamix for the first part of the evening which ended up going over really well. There were toasts and songs and s’mores and they even had sweet and sara marshmallows which I’d never had before but now will get every time I go camping. The next day the ceremony was right on the beach and it was just perfect. Then we went for more drinking and toasting and of course it was super vegan friendly because even though I was the only vegan there my friends are the shit. Plus look at them!!! They are the cutest.

I might have over did it on the wine just a tad. I was not a late night super star this time but I just had the best time. I was all set to move back to the northwest and open a vegan breakfast taco stand. Then we landed in Austin and I felt that sultry September air embrace me and I knew I could never leave forever. But I’ll think about you Portland every day. I love you all and your doughnuts.

 

Mt. Hood

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I had the most beautiful flight to Portland, it was amazing. Then I landed here and went directly to bonfires with singing & fireworks. And I got to wear a hoodie for the first time in months. Happy happy happy to be in the Pacific Northwest.

Portland: Hungry Tiger Too

I have officially been writing about all the great food that I ate in Portland for longer than I was there! I promise I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled program soon.  It has been a summer of travel posts. Hungry Tiger Too was one of my most favorites because although I have been hearing about fried tofu and waffles for a long time I have never gotten to try it until this trip. It was better than my wildest dreams; truly as if an angel from the southern part of heaven came down and delivered it to this strange quasi bar in Portland. The crusty crispy outside of the tofu was perfectly seasoned and flavored and topped with maple syrup and bottomed with a perfect wafflle it was truly a glorius gluttenous meal, especially when you consider that this was second breakfast and along side a full serving biscuits and gravy.and a Tofuffalo SaladLucky for me I was sharing with more wonderful friends and didn’t have to eat all of this myself! Although I ate more than my share of tofu, sorry ladies! I couldn’t stop!

 

 

 

Portland: Mee Sen Thai

One thing I love about Portland is that everything is really cute. In the places I have lived my favorite Thai restaurants are usually hole-in-the-wall shacky-type places with sometimes questionable service. In Portland they certainly have that style of restaurant but then they also have super adorable Thai places like Mee Sen which is, what, shabby chic? Do people even say that anymore? There must be a better descriptor! The point is, I couldn’t get over how cute everything was.  I loved the reused whisky bottle with tin cups they brought for water .Really, the whole reason we picked this place was because they have delightful tamarind sours and after a girly day of hanging out at the community spa it seemed like the perfect finish. We decided to order several courses to share because Portland is all about communal experiences. We started with the fried tofu, which was just like your favorite hippy: crunchy on the outside and a little soft in the middle.

Before we knew what was happening our Tofu Larb came out just as our dry soup was put on the table. It was an onslaught of tofu!The Tom Yum (dry) was my favorite part of the meal since I am a sucker for peanuts, noodles, and fried things in general. We also got the Pad See Eww, which is always a favorite of mine and was perfectly acceptable here. I love a wide noodle. Actually I learned Mee Sen means “Have Noodle” but it also means “have a connection/good friends” so we were happy to mee sen at Mee Sen, a delightful meal shared with two of my favorite ladies.

 

 

 

Portland: Aladdin’s Cafe

One of my favorite parts about visiting big cities is eating food from cultures that are underrepresented in Austin. On this trip to Portland I was really excited to go back to Al Amir and have their magnificent eggplant and vegan baklava again, but alas it wasn’t to be. Luckily the city is packed with Lebanese restaurants and my loving and wonderful hosts Hannah and Ryan picked up take out from Aladdin’s Cafe for us to enjoy at home.

We decided to share all of the vegetarian appetizers so we had a tray full of the usual Falafel, Homous, Baba Ghanouj, Grape Leaves, and even got some extra pita as well. Everything aside from the underbaked pita bread was top notch. I thought the homous was deliciously smooth and creamy, and as always I wanted more falafel. We also tried the deep fried vegetables, which had cauliflower and carrots and then two dishes I had never had before. The Mehumara, described on the menu as “a blend of walnuts, toasted bread, garlic, onions, pomegranate, jalapeno and extra virgin olive oil.” It was not quite what I expected, a little bit sweet and sour, but I think it was my favorite part of the meal. We also had the Foul Mudamas which were fava beans cooked with garlic and onions and perhaps something smoky too, it had a very unique flavor.

We were unable to eat everything but we gave it our best shot! Actually that could describe my entire trip to Portland.

 

Portland: The Homegrown Smoker

It baffles my mind every time I think about the fact that Portland has a vegan barbecue trailer and we, in Austin Texas, do not. It makes me want to quit my job and buy a giant smoker. We all know that that is not going to happen, I am staying in the AC, not tending to a fire all day. So someone please open one, I promise I’ll go every day.

And if you do open one it is probably a good idea to do a barbecued soy curl mac and cheese wrap. I often have these two items on the same plate but never before have I had them in wrap form! Trailers are great!

They also had coconut battered deep fried oreos, Fu’fish Po’ Boys and all sorts of other barbecued madness. Last year I went and got STFU puppies. Clearly, the folks behind the Homegrown Smoker are creative geniuses and it is time someone in Austin ripped them off.

Portland: The Flavor Sport

Someone told me this morning that they have never been to Portland but had heard it was like Austin 20 years ago. I said it is more like what I hope Austin will be… like….in 20 years! First of all the mass transit is fantastic if you can walk and you don’t have to worry about crazy people trying to murder you with their cars. It is also just so much easier to be vegan. It is super easy to be vegan in Austin, don’t get me wrong, but in Portland you go to place and say, yeah I’d like that vegan and there are no questions or eye rolls. People just say “would you prefer soy or rice milk?” I had so much food and such a great time that I am going to do multiple posts, which is something I rarely do on travel but it has to happen. A lot was crammed into those 5 days.

Perhaps my most exciting cramming was done as a recommendation from my friend Panda Cookie (who btw makes the cutest monsters and crafty things you have ever seen) who told me to check out the Flavor Spot where I could get waffle wraps. Even though I have a cast on my leg I decided to go for it, be brave and take the bus to the spot.

It was closed.

I should know better with trailers to always call ahead.

It became my number one quest of Vida Vegan con to get to that trailer when it was open, and get there I did. First, I feel like I should mention that the flavor spot only has one vegan option out of like 10 options all together and it didn’t phase me one bit because I knew, immediately, that even if I lived next door to this magnificent trailer I would never get anything else ever again.

I wonder what Dutch people or Mexican people would think of what they call a dutch taco? I can’t imagine an American that would think anything besides YES !!! Breakfast sausage and a non drippy maple spread ensconced in a waffle wrapping would have made me purr if I was a kitten. The portion was generous and though I immediately wanted to eat ten more in about five minutes I never wanted to eat again. That was it. Done eating forever. Waffle taco. Please open one in Austin.

The only thing I will do different next time (besides call ahead and check the hours!) is bring my own coffee because theirs was sub-par and they didn’t have any vegan creamer. But really, if you ever wanted to find something that you could share with the Homer Simpson in your life and still be vegan this is probably the place to go. Well, actually now I can name several, stay tuned!

 

I’m glad I don’t live in Portland

because I would gain 900 pounds. I think maybe people stay so trim there by biking everywhere. In Austin you can easily enough eat fatty foods but a huge majority of places are pro vegetable like all the raw places, casa de luz, conscious cravings, and counter culture.  In Portland you can eat ridiculously decadent food with delicious beers every place you go. It is hard to resist. I have been on an official brown rice and greens diet since I got home. It was so fun though, I came up to the Northwest for my dear friends’ wedding  where I had maybe the best food of the entire trip. They had an entire Lebanese spread from Al Amir with the creamiest baba ganoush, the most delightful roasted cauliflowers, and the most flavorful tomato eggplant dish I have ever had. I couldn’t stop talking about it all week. No pictures but the whole thing is burned into my mind. Maybe the best part was that they make the baklava with orange blossom water instead of honey. My god. I have been eating baklava all my life made by real legitimate grandmas and this was the best.

After drinking and eating way to much at the wedding I ordered one of the silliest breakfasts ever at Gravy. First I had a delicious bloody mary and told everyone about the wonders of the bloody I had in Milwaukee at the comet cafe so maybe I was a bit under the influence when I decided instead of a tofu scramble I would get a hash brown scramble because I have never one before. I was entranced by the idea of a multiple olive and potato scramble since they had several different kinds. Then I added Spinach thinking that would turn the whole meal into practically I diet dish. What can I say it was a ridiculous move since I was hungry like an hour later since the only nutrition was in the cocktail. It was like something I would make at home after coming in the middle of the night.

Later we went to Sauvie Island to hang out on the beach for a while. The best part about this was that my friend had just rescued a chihuahua named Coco a few days earlier so we were able to bring her on her first outing to the beach.

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Now I really want a chihuahua, she was so freaking cute and an extreme cuddler like our beagles. But unlike the beagles she didn’t spend the entire time trying to check out every single thing on the beach.

I was so hungry by the time we went to Hungry Tiger Too that night that I was in a total hunger panic. This is something you never want to experience for yourself by the way. It really isn’t any fun for anybody and I apologize for yelling at my extremely slow moving friends. When we finally got there I first ordered the fried butternut squash wontons. They came topped with a decadent coconut sauce that was really good but very desserty for the beginning of the meal. They were so crispy though that I fell in love and finally started to calm down. Mmm. happy. I also ordered the BBQ sandwich with some tater tots. The tots were glorious, just what the doctor ordered. When the dish came out I considered removing some of the tots to make sure I didn’t eat the whole thing but I laughed to myself and thought “of course I won’t eat all those tots, that is more tots than I could possibly ever eat at one sitting. I’m sure you can guess what I am going to say next. I ate them all. It was like I had died and gone to tot heaven. The BBQ tempeh was pretty good but the sauce, like all the sauces I had in Portland, was too sweet. The menu at Hungry Tiger Too is what I wish the Alamo Drafthouse would do here. There were so many vegan options and even 1.25 corndogs.

The next day started with a trip to the vegan mini mall for breakfast, supplies, Soy Curls, and white chocolate chips. And I got a new wallet. This is why I don’t have money for my school books! I got a bagel at Sweet Pea and though it was good but it just brought back memories of the fantasticness that is the Bagelry in Santa Cruz. It is crazy to think I will probably will never have a bagel that perfect again. It is like something out of a dream. Honestly, I have had dreams about olives before and now that is how I remember the whole thing…fleeting and wonderful. I do love Sweet Pea. The best part is that some of my friends in Portland don’t do gluten so it is the perfect place to go to. I bought a peanut butter chocolate brownie for later from there as well and it was just amazing. After that we drove up to Mt. Hood National Forrest to go to Bagby hot springs. The northwest is just so magical.

When you walk into the forest there it is really easy to imagine that anything can happen maybe you will meet some Ents or Smurfs or find a giant wooden tub with endless hot water pouring into it. Afterwards we headed back home to Mississippi Pizza for some gluten-free vegan pizza and karaoke. The pizza was pretty good. I think we had artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and olives which is probably my all time favorite combination. The best part of the Portland dining scene is that every table has a nooch shaker. This is something that Austin totally lacks. Why does it always have to be bring your own Nutritional Yeast? Don’t places care about how wonderful it is? Even Dinger won’t eat his food without some yellow vegan pixie dust sprinkled on top. When I saw they were doing Karaoke I really wanted to sing but then I quickly learned that I was totally out of my league because nearly everyone who went up was awesome.

The next day we were headed to a Thai place but got confused and ended up going to the new rawish place Prasad, where Blossoming Lotus used to be. It was a very healthy and beautiful meal. I had the dragon bowl which had rice, a bunch of different seaweeds, pinto beans, steamed kale, avocado and lemon tahini sauce. If I ate like that every day I would probably finally develop my latent vegan superpowers. Later I went to a friend’s BBQ and totally brought my own food which in retrospect was kind of rude but I just had such a desire to try everything in Portland since the last summer I didn’t get to try everything I wanted to. Now I realize I can never try everything. It is hard enough to try everything here! I had a pretty uninspired combo from Papa G’s but I would definitely give it another shot because you gotta love a vegan cafeteria that has pictures of farm animals all over the place. Plus it is the most organic place in Portland! I think my problem was I kept getting barbecue everywhere and I have a taste for Texas barbecue and nothing else will do.

The next day we went to our Alama mater, the Evergreen State College for a visit and I was dying to go to Vic’s Pizza because they make both a vegan white sauce or yellow nooch sauce. It was fabulous! Have I mentioned my love of nutritional yeast and olives? It is kind of a theme. I think Vic’s was the first place I ever got black, green, and Kalamata olive on one pizza. Magic! I was reacquainted with my deep love for Olympia and considered moving there for most of the duration of my trip. I got to see some of my favorite people in the world  and talk a lot of shit about a great many topics. In the end I didn’t want to leave which is how it always was in Oly. Late nights, soft lighting, good conversation, and walking home. Although, I didn’t actually walk home since we went back to Portland that night.

The next day I still had tons of places that I wanted to go and it was my last day but we hit everything important. The day started with a trip to the Homegrown Smoker for, yes, more barbecue. This time tempeh and sausage. The sausage was really good. The mac and cheese was okay but the STFU puppies were out of the world! Fried dough! I wish I was eating some right now. Portland has an insane amount of food carts. Like hundreds and hundred of food carts. They are often all in a big line which reminds me of the state fair. A glorious vegan state fair. Although, truthfully, not everything is vegan. They have plenty of Thai food too! After eating way too much food (and I promise this time I did not eat it all) We headed to the Arboretum.

First we went through the slow meandering path of the garden of solace.

Then we went on, what turned out to be a grueling hike. Only because once I said “are we almost there yet” I learned we were not headed back in a loop but instead forward so there were still hours to go. I was so dehydrated from my week of drinking that I thought I would never make it back. In fact, when we later went to a bar called The Nest I got water instead of a Laura Palmer, and what other time am I going to have the option of drinking a Laura Palmer and play Ping Pong at the same place?  It was exhausting having so much fun. I think I also had a milkshake that day at Sip which was maybe the best milkshake I ever had because they were out of their regular ice cream and I was forced to substitute coconut bliss, something I would never normally do because their was a surcharge but ended up being totally worth it. I had the creamsicle and I watched her freshly squeeze the oranges for the shake and was in totally bliss drinking it. I also got a muffin from Back to Eden bakery that day which I loved.

For dinner I got to go to Portobello Vegan Trattoria which I had wanted to try the whole trip. It is such a nice place, definitely if you are going on a trip to PDX do not miss your chance to go here. It is a really cozy restaurant with reclaimed wood walls and soft light. We ordered a bunch of everything and shared family style which is my favorite way to go. We started with the Beet Tartare which I think was our favorite of the evening. Cashew cheese and beets and a crunchy baguette was just done delightfully.

We also tried to Polenta Cakes with sweet and sour eggplant and tomato topping. I loved this dish but I think it needed more eggplant because it was a little overwhelmed by the tomato sauce. I love polenta so much which was also under the big portabello mushroom we tried.

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It was seasoned with rosemary and served with braised greens and certainly could have been a meal on its own quite easily. I think the picture makes it kind of look like a space ship.

Next we had the gnocchi that also had peppers, squash, and more tomato sauce. I think it would have been better with some olives but that is probably because I love olives.

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We also got the pizza on the gluten free crust and it was definitely the best gluten free crust I have had! They just made it perfect. I asked for more cashew cheese instead of daiya and was very pleased with the result.

Without a doubt the best pizza of the trip. After all of that we tried the tirimisu for dessert and though it reminded us more of cheesecake than tiramisu it was still fantastic. Now I am starting to have a total food panic because it all looks so good.  I was totally overwhelmed with food as were my friends by the time it was all over.

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It was sad to go home but I’ll be back! And I was honestly stoked to be back in the heat. And to see the dogs. I would love to roadtrip up there some summer.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone OR a trip to the Pacific Northwest

I used to live in Olympia Washington. Then I thought about moving to Portland along with a lot of my friends.  Then I did other stuff instead. So now Portland is like the path not taken and I spend the whole time thinking about that. I wonder if I had moved to Portland if I still would have become vegan? Would I still live with beagles? Would I be famous for having sexual relations with the president? Would I have become a world class figure skater? We’ll never know. It was really exciting to see all of my friends. I went to Olympia and ate at Le Voyer. I couldn’t believe how everything there seemed to be exactly the same.  It was as close to time traveling as I will ever get since the only thing that felt different was me.  I laughed out loud when it started raining. It is a special kind of rain in Olympia that I can’t describe.  My friend Jen and I drove through the mountains to the Gorge at George Washington.We campedand we built a fort and we saw a really good band.
Then we raced across Washington so some asshole named Thor could refuse me passage on a train and we drove back to Portland. We got doughnutsmine was so cute!

I stayed with my friend Hannah

and my friends came up from Idahoand we decided to make sandwiches. A lot of sandwiches.then we went to a park and ate the sandwiches

nate loved his sandwich so much he couldn’t believe it. ryan also loves sandwiches but could still conversate while eating

Steve’s sandwich tried to kill him

Hannah destroyed her sandwichLook at the muscles Nate used to attack his sandwichAfter that some people got in the raging riverOthers hung out looking manlyand then there was RyanI invited Kevin and Carrie to go with us to the sandwich picnic but they couldn’t come because Carrie is a celiac and can’t eat sandwiches. I felt really bad because I kept saying the word sandwiches over and over again not realizing that I was probably terrorizing her. Like if someone kept asking me to go to a hog roast and when I declined they kept mentioning different ways they were gonna cook the pig. They still let me stay at there house and play with their psychotically adorable kittiesand they took me to Blossoming Lotus where I finally got to try soy curls. Hey Wheatsville, get your act together and get some motherforkin soy curls they are delicious, nutritious, cheap, and gluten free.I bought some later in on in the week at Food Fight in the vegan strip mall. I bought a lot of food that day and then I couldn’t walk home because I was too full. That was after I stayed with Claire and Jason who took me to a bar because they know I enjoy drinking.We also went to the Bay leaf restaurant because we do enjoy eating. I ate lots of stuff there that was good and all their garnishes looked like little critters. The mango tofu was the best.and Claire and Jason got the tea which was outstanding!I think I had biscuits and gravy three times on the trip, that is something you can’t get here unless you make it yourself. Overall I mostly cooked with friends at home instead of going out. It was fun because their kitchens were approximately 40 degrees cooler than mine and it is really neat to cook on  a stove that doesn’t slope. And we got to go to a lot of grocery stores and I got to see Sharif dance in the store to “What a FeelinI love you Pacific Northwest! I love your trees and your rivers, your spring enhanced dance floors, your efficient public transportation, your people, your smurf like society, and your vegan bars and vegan breakfast spots. I’ll be back after I get warmed up.