Hope you are all enjoying your week. Has it been sunny where you are at? Seattle has been rather lovely recently. The temperatures are going up and the sun is shining brightly! I am in love with this time of year. Everything is green and filled with life. Regardless of where I am at, I see how locals are getting outside and soaking in the Vitamin D, getting ready for the toasty summer that’s just around the corner. I hope you’re doing the same!
My sister and I travelled to Bend, OR last week. I have never spent an extended period of time in Oregon, until then. I flew to Portland once for work. We spent three days in the city, covering about a five block radius with food, drinks, the hotel, and the convention center. As I am sure a few of you know, the Portland convention center is not “downtown Portland”. It is on the other side of the river, in what seems to be a much quieter side of the city. That is how I pictured Portland. Sadly, I was incorrect.
I found it very difficult to maneuver through downtown Portland. I was shocked at how many one ways line the streets of downtown. When I wanted to get to one side, I would have to drive one block further to head in the correct direction. Finally after a lot of driving in circles, my sister and I finally found a parking spot. All I wanted to do was stop by Powell’s City of Books (that itty-bitty bookstore that covers an entire block) and Blue Star Donuts (which one of my friends had recommended we go to). As we walked up the streets to Powell’s, I noticed how CLEAN Portland is. After coming from a city like Seattle, I was quite impressed. I did not see any trash on the sidewalks, there were individuals walking around cleaning up any messes left in the park, and even the streets looked like they were swept daily. High-five Portland! Thanks for keeping your city so clean!
My sister and I made our two stops. I was very overwhelmed in both shops (book and donut options), but walked out purchasing two books by my newest favorite author, Liane Moriarty, and a half dozen donuts from Blue Star Donuts. SUCCESS! Unfortunately, my sister and I got lost on the way back to the car. When I am in a new place, I try to remember the cross streets that I have parked my car on. This time, I remembered one street but not the other. We managed to make our way to the one street I remembered, and proceeded to walk up and down and up and down, until FINALLY (after 20 or so minutes of aimlessly walking) we found my car (which was mostly spotted because of the two bikes on top). All I had wished for that entire time was my Dad or Jonny there, knowing that they would remember what miscellaneous side street we had parked on.
Alright…this post is not on Portland, but I figured a little sidetracking never hurts anyone.
On to Bend:
The drive was BEAUTIFUL! Unfortunately, I shared the beautiful drive with myself and my Spotify playlists. My sister had worked the night before and slept nearly the entire drive to Bend. Nevertheless, I like to drive…it’s kind of a control thing. I enjoyed driving into Olympia, WA where the first thing I saw was the gorgeous architecture of the capital building. We drove past Salem, OR, which was so green and lush, and seemed like a nice city with a load of interesting history to learn. I enjoyed all of the bridges that we crossed (I really love driving across bridges). We took a windy road in, that took us through the small town of Sisters. As we we were coming up to the end of the pass (my sister was awake by now), we stopped to pause and admire the biggest rainbow I had ever seen! It was incredible! (see featured image) We soon made it to Bend. After driving for the previous week and a half in the big city, it was nice to fall back into the normal rhythm of Bozeman-style driving.
Bend is lovely. I have been told that it is very similar to Bozeman. I get it…but I would disagree. I can understand where individuals would make the comparison of both having mountains that surround. But, Bozeman has multiple mountain ranges, Bend has multiple enormous, snow covered peaks surrounding it. Bend transitions from a pine-filled forest, to a high desert climate. As much as I would love the desert (red dirt, sage brush, incredible rock climbing, warm weather), I prefer to live in the mountainous region that Bozeman is situated in. There are some pluses to Bend though. Bend has a river running right through the city! This opens up opportunities to paddleboarders, booze cruises, kayakers, and a place to come to on a scorching hot day. Bend also has a ridiculous amount of breweries. My sister and I had the opportunity to visit a few, but that barely scratched the surface of tasty beverage choices that Bend had to offer.
Bend also gave us a series of fun adventures that ranged from biking around the Deschutes River, to crawling down into the cool darkness of the Lava River Cave. It was fun to finally go on a trip with my sister, as well. We have always travelled with our family, but this time we made our own schedule. This meant sleeping in until 8:30 in the morning, sipping on coffee, sharing a Blue Star Donut, and reading our books, until we were ready to begin our day. We drank a lot of good beer, delicious cocktails, pizza, grilled cheese, and had conversations only sisters can have. I also found out that my sister is the spitting image of Siri when it comes to directions. I don’t know how many of you use Apple’s map app that automatically downloads on your phone. It is the worst…use Google Maps. Siri has this awesome way of telling you to make a right hand turn on such-and-such street, right when you are passing it. Google Maps tells you when you are at least two blocks or so away, that way you are prepared and can brake in time. Siri on the other hand will tell you to “make a u-turn” or “rerouting”. My sister is VERY good at that. When I went to Hawaii last summer, I somehow managed to be the one guiding us through Kauai most of the time. Soon enough, the nickname “Miss-guided” stuck. I will be the first to say that I am not very good with directions…my sister may be worse, at least with her timing. She earned the nickname “Miss-guided #2” this past week. All good though…we only rerouted ourselves a select few times.
Bend was very fun. I thought I would fall in love with it and be ready to pack my bags and move to Oregon’s version of Bozeman. I am not. I am still very happy living in Seattle! Bend will always be there to visit. Next time, I plan to bring my mountain bike and explore the local trails! Anyone interested?!
Our route home was just as beautiful. We followed the interstate past a snowy, beautiful Mount Hood and through some green tree tunnels. My only complaint was the hour long traffic from Olympia to Tacoma. I learned my lesson to not make that drive on a Sunday afternoon. Sarah also decided to sleep through all of that (cannot blame the night shift nurse), so I learned how to be patient and explore the depths of Spotify’s music options.
I only have two questions for the locals of Oregon:
- WHY is it the “Beaver State”?! What a poor decision.
- WHY the heck are there so many Dairy Queen’s?! I saw one at nearly all of the exits that offered some type of food.
Thanks for reading, friends! I am beginning one of my jobs this week so please send some happy thoughts and prayers this direction, if you think about it. It’s nerve-racking beginning a new job (that I hope leads to a future career within the industry), but I am excited and anxious to see where life takes me.
Talk to you soon.