Travel | Last of Portland!

You can’t leave Portland without checking out the food carts! It’s so common now with all the Off the Grid events, but Portland was one of those places that was big on the food cart scene early on. I had to walk around a few times before deciding on a gyro. I love Mediterranean food. Nothing is quite as delicious as the first gyro I had in Athens! Portland Food Carts Gyros

I went back to Stumptown Coffee, but not the one in the Ace Hotel… the other one by Voodoo Doughnuts (which had an insane line and I was SICK of doughnuts by now– I don’t exactly like doughnuts, you see). What I loved about this Stumptown was that it was bigger and had far more seating. They also had an industrial interior with black and white art prints hanging. Triple win in terms of design style for me! Stumptown Coffee Portland Oregon

With my coffee in hand, I set out back to California.

Stumptown Coffee Portland Oregon

Heading Home Shasta

Can’t wait to visit again! Next time, I want to hit up Crater Lake and some waterfalls! 🙂

Travel | Portland, Oregon Part II

The next day, I went back to Pearl District and adventured a few streets down to the Alphabet District. It wasn’t as hip as Pearl, but had its share of good food and little boutiques.

Will Leather Goods welcomed me in, so I took their invitation. Once I was in their store, I was offered a iced latte on the house– so hospitable! I wandered to the back of the store, there was an area for lounging where I found some chalkboards and bowls of chalk! I’m a hand letterer– how could I resist???
Will Leather Alphabet District Portland Oregon Chalk Hand LetteringWill Leather Alphabet District Portland Oregon Chalk Hand Lettering
Will Leather Alphabet District Portland Oregon Chalk Hand Lettering

After finishing that piece for Will Leather, I sauntered down the street to the infamous Salt & Straw for some ice cream. I enjoyed the balsamic strawberry with cracked black pepper and the chocolate chip chocolate. I always love the tartness of the balsamic strawberry paired with richness of dark chocolate.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Portland Oregon

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Portland Oregon

Lastly, I found myself a Blue Star Doughnut shop across the street! I’ve read a lot about this doughnut shop and although I donut normally eat doughnuts, I got THREE! Creme Brulee, Key Lime Filled Powdered, and Cocoa Nib Cream Filled. My favorite was the Cocoa Nib! 🙂

Blue Star Doughnuts Portland Oregon

Travel | Portland, Oregon!

From Seattle, I drove south to Beaverton, Oregon. I rented a room in a house through Airbnb. Usually, I rent my own apartment, but this time I wanted to save some money, so I rented a room instead. The place in Oregon was lovely, only 10 minutes away from downtown Portland’s hip Pearl District, where I spent most of my time!

The first night, I was tired as ever from driving, so I went out for some ramen and chicken karaage. Kukai must be a chain because I saw one around the corner from Trove in Seattle as well. Both Seattle and Portland were COLD in the early morning and once the sun set, so hot ramen fit the bill perfectly.

After dinner, I drove to Washington Square Mall to walk off my dinner. Then I went back home, showered, and PASSED OUT. Kukai Ramen & Izakaya Beaverton OregonKukai Ramen & Izakaya Beaverton Oregon

Day 2 | Exploring Pearl District |
I spent my first full day in Portland in the Pearl District area after sleeping in. (That was so glorious!!!) I had an amazing burger at Tilt and lemme tell you this: I do not even like burgers. This is the burger that has changed my mind about burgers! There is a fried egg in the burger. The beer battered fries were something else.. heavenly. HEAVENLY.Tilt Burger Pearl District Portland OregonTilt Burger Pearl District Portland Oregon

After that burger, I took a very long walk and explored the Pearl District by combing every street. One of my favorite things about the Pearl District is their little boutiques filled with indie wares and items. They take time to decorate their stores and the interiors are so adorable and reflective of their brand and companies. It’s AMAZING and I wish all stores did this!

This store was Chasing the Moon, which was right across from the food carts! Of course, I saw some white chalk pencils and had to leave a little lettering…Chasing the Moon typography lettering

Do you see my little finished lettering project in the next picture? Hehehe. 🙂 Chasing the Moon Portland Oregon Pearl District

I am OBSESSED with this display. The triangle is my favorite shape, so I was immediately drawn to this grand structure in the middle of the store.Chasing the Moon Portland Oregon Pearl District

Another noteworthy store I found was Canoe. It wasn’t until AFTER I took pictures in the store that I saw signs stating no photography allowed. WHOOPS. Everything about CANOE was sexy, no lie. It’s functional items that are well made and designed well. CANOE Portland Oregon Pearl District

Wishing this is what my future living room looks like, though 10x smaller… because I hate dusting.CANOE Portland Oregon Pearl District

After a whole day of walking (and buying nothing…), I stopped by Stumptown Coffee for an afternoon pick me up.Stumptown Portland Oregon Ace HotelLatte Stumptown Portland Oregon Ace Hotel

Taking a breaking and doing 2 of my favorite things to slow down: sip coffee and people watch! Latte Stumptown Portland Oregon Ace Hotel

The lettering and design on Stumptown’s latte cups are perfection. The way everything fits and the script is SO DAMN SEXY. Stumptown Portland Oregon Ace Hotel

More of Portland tomorrow!

Travel | Last of Seattle, Washington

On the last morning in Seattle, I went up to another location for a view of the Space Needle and Seattle skyline. The weather that day wasn’t as great as the previous days and reflected what I always think when I think of Seattle: gloomy and cold.

If you drive up to Volunteer Park, there is an observatory in the middle of the park. Climb up and you are rewarded with this view from the top. The Asian Art Museum is also in this park, so if you wanted to stop and enjoy a museum day, this is an excellent place to stop! There’s something for everyone!

Volunteer Park Observatory Seattle

After I went to Trove, a restaurant with Korean flavors, but the BEST part is it also has a walk up parfait truck! I got the strawberry mochi parfait. Trove Korean Parfaits SeattleTrove Korean Parfaits SeattleTrove Korean Parfaits Seattle 3Trove Korean Parfaits Seattle 4

Next post? PORTLAND!


Travel | The Perfect Park for A Seattle Skyline & Sunset + More Food!

Top Pot Doughnuts: Just a few streets down from Pike’s Public Market is Downtown Seattle and this infamous doughnut shop. Top Pot Doughnuts Seattle Washington Queen Anne

This ceiling to floor bookshelf is a dream!Top Pot Doughnuts Seattle Washington Queen AnneTop Pot Doughnuts Seattle Washington Queen Anne

Free coffee for National Coffee Day in Seattle! Enjoyed with a Bavarian creme and raspberry filled powdered doughnut! Top Pot Doughnuts Seattle Washington Queen Anne

Like I said last post, when you explore, you tend you find places tours and tourists won’t go to. Kerry Park is one of these places. You could go up to the Space Needle or pay to go on the Sky Deck of the Columbia Building, or you could visit Kerry Park, a short drive from the City Center. I went up at dusk and watched the sun set over the Puget Sound with Mt. Rainier in the background. Breathtaking.

Kerry Park Seattle Skyline ViewKerry Park Seattle Skyline ViewKerry Park Seattle Skyline ViewKerry Park Seattle Skyline View

After, I went to Via Tribunali to have some Neapolitan pizza. I chose the prosciutto, arugula, with Grana parmesan shavings. It was delicious. The crust was amazing (and I don’t usually ever eat the crust!). Closest thing I’ve had to pizza from Italy!  Via Tribunali Pizza Lower Queen Anne Seattle

After dinner, I treated myself to ice cream from Molly Moon. I found out about Molly Moon because I stumbled upon her book at the library! I tried the balsamic strawberry and Stumptown coffee. Very smooth and not too sweet!Molly Moon Ice Cream Stumptown Lower Queen Anne SeattleMolly Moon Ice Cream Lower Queen Anne Seattle

Travel | Pikes Place, Seattle, WA

I passed up the Bainbridge Island Ferry and spent a day thoroughly exploring Pike’s Place and the City Center. I lived at an AirBnB in East Magnolia, which was only a 10-15 minute drive from Pikes and Queen Anne district. I highly suggest for you to take public bus because it’s only $2.50 with free transfers within a certain number of hours. Sure beats having to pay $$$$$ for parking! Bus took 25 minutes, but I got to see a lot more of the town without having to focus on driving!

Public Market Wide

One thing about having an explorer’s mentality is anything goes. It’s not an itinerary; it’s finding the little nooks and crannies and the secret places that other tourists won’t see. You can only find these places by exploring or befriending a local… so if you actually read this far, let me tell you a secret to an alternative, yet equally beautiful view of Pike’s Place: grab coffee at Storyville Coffee! Right across from the center of the market on the top floor, you will be rewarded with this grand view of Bainbridge and 2 secret Rachel the Pigs!

Secret Rachel the Pigs

You also get this aerial view of the colorful umbrellas lining the market. Great for people watching as everyone is hustling and bustling.

Storyville Coffee View

Another view from the large windows at Storyville Coffee!

Storyville Coffee View

HAHAH. This is I mean.. what happens in real life when you are at tourist highlight spots..First Starbucks Seattle Pikes Place

Alright, let’s get to food: Piroshky Piroshky got very high ratings for this beef and cheddar pirozhki, but it really wasn’t my thing. Others seem to LOVE it! Piroshky Piroshky Seattle Pikes PlacePiroshky Piroshky Seattle Pikes Place

Pike’s Place Chowder: smoothest New England clam chowder I’ve ever had! A friend tried the crab roll and the verdict was that it was not worth it, unfortunately. IMG_0707 IMG_0703

Stopped at Le Panier for a pain au chocolat, as they are well known for their fresh breads and pastries! I have never in my life experienced a fluffier and flakier croissant as this one right here. I’m going to dream about this for a while.Le Panier Pain au chocolat Chocolate Croissant

Grateful for the clear day because I was able to see Mt. Ranier! There was a ton of construction going on in Seattle, but one thing that I liked was that in the hills, you could park either direction on the streets!!! I think it’s because their hills are so steep and narrow that U-turning would be straight dangerous.

One thing I won’t miss are the cobblestone roads on the hills. BUMPETY BUMPETY BUMP.Mount Ranier

Levitating at the Gum AlleyIMG_0944

Places to Eat/Drink:
Piroshky Piroshky
Le Panier
Pikes Place Chowder
Seattle Coffee Works
Storyville Coffee

Places to Go:
Pikes Place Public Market
Rachel the Pig
Gum Alley

More later!

Travel | Seattle, Washington: Part I

You know what I’m not going to ever do again? A road trip to Seattle. 13 hours was a literal pain in the arse. It was way too difficult to sit for so long and my driving leg was killing me!! Thankfully, I brought my foam roller and baseball for some myofascil release. (On a tangent, foam rolling and baseball MFR has changed my life since starting to do it daily 1.5 years ago! I’ll save that for another post.)

Let’s go to pictures! Do not let the brightness of this picture fool you. It was 75 degress and FREEZING there. I was already wearing dryfit thermals, a sweater, a down vest, a giant blanket scarf… but not pictured is my giant peacoat.

Pike's Public Market Center Seattle

Honey at Pikes Place Market Seattle
Flower bouquets were as cheap as $5… FIVE DOLLARS! That alone made me almost start looking for an apartment. I love having fresh flowers in my home (but usually only if I buy them; it’s one of the things I do to love myself! :D)
Pikes Place Market Seattle Peppers at Pikes Place Market Seattle

Please note how they described the brussels sprouts. 😀Sosio's Market Pikes Place SeattlePike UP! Seattle Pikes Place

Stay tuned for Part II of my Seattle Trip! 🙂