From PHX to PDX, With Love

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I just got home from a week-long trip with two of my besties, but my mind isn’t ready to be back yet. The morning after the final day of my summer internship, we packed up Kaylie’s car and drove 12 hours up to Berkeley. Amazingly, we packed San Francisco into one day before taking on another 10 hours in the car and arriving at Kaylie’s sweet new home in Portland.

It was such a happy week, and there’s really too much to pack into a single post. So here are some of my personal highlights.

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1. Eating so much delicious food. Of course, we had to get Voodoo Doughnuts, but the real star of the donut show was Blue Star Donuts. I also had the best ice cream of my life at Salt & Straw. We celebrated our final day by getting brunch at my favorite restaurant: Screen Door. Just look at that tower of sweet potato waffles and chicken. I think I need to go on a vegetarian cleanse after all of that.

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2. Playing vintage arcade games at Musée Mécanique. Domenico and I visited this arcade when we were in San Francisco in May, and it’s definitely my favorite part of Fisherman’s Wharf.

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3. Going to lovely vintage and craft shops. There are just two many to name. Nearly every block, we were ducking into a new boutique or antique store or yarn shop. I brought far too much of it home with me.

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4. Enjoying the beauty and perfect quirkiness of Portland. Of course, Oregon is gorgeous and green, especially to an Arizona girl like me. We got to really enjoy the outdoors on a 6-mile hike around Multnomah Falls. The city itself is so unique, too. Just look at those bricks – they’re coated in glitter. Where else but Portland would you see that?

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5. Sitting in parks with my cute friends. One of these parks was the Rose Gardens, where we ate a picnic of bread, goat cheese, berries, and cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market. We also spent one evening at a little lake where we sat on a pier, ate leftover Vietnamese food, talked, took pictures, and went for an impromptu swim. Later, we all decided that simple evening was our favorite part of the trip.

Dreaming of Portland(ia)

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In exactly one week I’ll be frantically packing for a week-long roadtrip/girls’ vacation. I’ll probably be stressing about not being prepared and starving – because hey, I just got home from my last day of my summer internship and who has time to cook dinner? But it will all be okay, because I’ll be on my way to Portland. And along the way, I get to stop in San Francisco for the day. And I’ll be with some of my favorite people.

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I haven’t been to my favorite city in more than two years (all photos are a throwback to that last lovely trip), and I’ve definitely been missing it. I also spent a good part of the day watching Portlandia clips and putting birds all over my boss’s desk, because he’s in the rainy city too.

But in 10 days, I’ll be surrounded by green. Enjoying cooler weather. Helping Kaylie set up her cute new house. Visiting lovely shops and bookstores. Eating incredible food like this.

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And this. And so many other, new foodie spots to try. (I’m particularly excited about this one.)

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So in conclusion …

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California Road Trip: Days 7 & 8

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Ate breakfast at Mama’s, line included.

Said goodbye to San Francisco and drove for six hours to Santa Monica.

Stretched our legs at the beach before sunset.

Walked around downtown and grabbed dinner at The Misfit Bar.

Fell asleep before we could even drink the wine we’d been carrying around the whole trip.

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Our seventh day was pretty much all spent in the car, speeding along the I-5 to get to our final destination in Santa Monica. We were able to get the much anticipated breakfast at Mama’s before we left San Francisco. It was certainly good, but doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite restaurant: Screen Door in Portland, or even my local brunch favorite Vovomeena.

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The sun was an hour away from setting by the time we pulled into Santa Monica, so we jumped out of the car and walked to the beach. Also, look how cute our little hotel is. We slept just a block from the ocean and within walking distance of so much good food. We chose Misfit for dinner (one of the best of the trip) and ordered sunchokes (yep, from a type of sunflower), bacon wrapped dates, and a fried chicken sandwich that rivals Phoenix’s Welcome Diner.

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Ate a perfect apple rosemary tart from Cora’s on our own little patio.

Spent the morning relaxing at the beach.

Walked around the Santa Monica Pier and rode the ferris wheel.

Ate a taco at Casa Martin.

Drove home with a load of sand in the car.

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The next morning we lazed around on the beach and pier. I even ventured out into the water up to my waist before a wave pushed me right onto my rear and soaked me. Of course, when you have sand in your dress, you just have to eat a taco, so we grabbed one before making the long drive back to Phoenix. Luckily, I got to come home to my sweet dog and my parents’ newly adopted one, who I had to visit right away, of course.