Friday, March 26, 2010

the oregon tale

Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Very famous. Very cool. 

For Spring Break 2010, Nathan and I flew to Oregon. Our goals were thus: 1. Spend time with Kealy, her daughter Phoenix, and as many West coast friends as possible, 2. Visit the University of Oregon in case of the slim chance that they might accept me as an MFA student, and 3. Eat as much delicious vegan food as humanly possible. On all accounts, we succeeded. We had possibly the Best Time Ever on our trip, and instead of regaling you with every detail I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves. The full experience can be found on my Flickr account: the abridged version is below. Enjoy!

When we flew into Portland, we were picked up by our old friend Lee, who allowed us to drag him all over the city, visiting places I had heard and read about, such as Powell's Used Books and Voodoo Doughnuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is another famous spot in Portland, known for it's unique bawdy treats (cock and balls donut, anyone?) as well as it's many vegan choices. The above photo features their voodoo doll doughnut, which is filled with jelly and has a pretzel sticking out of it's chest. The doughnut is usually black, but as it was St. Patrick's day, they were serving voodoo leprechauns. Delish! 

After a day and a half in Portland, where we enjoyed the company of Lee, Christy and their adorable two year old, Zack, we were picked up by Kelly (another friend from Nacogdoches) and driven to Eugene, home to Kealy and her daughter Phoenix, who just happened to be ourmain reason for visiting. We spent the next four and a half days receiving a first class tour of Eugene, which included biking, hiking, used book stores, the best Goodwill in the world, outdoor sports stores, and of course tons and tons of food. Culinary tourism never tasted so good!

On our second day, we hiked up to the top of Spencer's Butte. It was a beautiful day and the view was breathtaking. We posed for many silly photos, which included yoga poses, pretending to push one another off the cliff, and a staged recreation of a photo that Kealy took of her and Phoenix a while back (that would be the last photo of Nathan and I - adorable!). 

Perhaps the best meal we had on our trip was at Morning Glory Cafe (no relation to my favorite yoga studio!). Kealy had talked up the vegan biscuits and gravy, and with good reason. I could have eaten that meal three times a day for the rest of my life. We all cleaned our plates and it was then that I realized heaven does, in fact, exist, and it is, in fact, edible. 

And speaking of food, we might as well get this out of the way. 

More donuts, divine cupcakes, Sweet Life Bakery, the Pizza Research Institute, lentil Dahl, and the afore-devoured biscuits and gravy. Now I know why people in Eugene hike, bike and walk everywhere. Because everywhere they go, the best food in the world is there to greet them. Nom. 

At the end of our trip, we decided to travel to Kealy's father's cabin. This was not any ordinary cabin. It was a five hour drive through the mountains of East Oregon, and then a mile and a half hike up the snow covered Dixie mountain, which was probably the funniest hike I've ever been on. (Picture four adults hiking in three feet of snow and falling down every two feet.) By the time we made it to the cabin, we were tired, wet and our abs ached from laughing so hard. Kealy and Nathan made a fire in the wood burning stove and we surveyed the tiny cabin. 

No electricity, no running water, no cell phone service, no heat. The cabin was built by miners during the gold rush and hadn't changed much since then. We spent the next two days cooking on the wood burning stove, playing card games by candle light, and drinking wine and beer that we kept cold in the snow outside. I can't tell you how amazing and special the cabin was, and how the disconnect from Civilized Life was the perfect way to end a perfect vacation. 

Thank you to everyone who helped make our vacation the best ever, especially Kealy and Phoenix. I'm so lucky to have friends as kind, caring and generous as yourselves!