Oregon Part 1: Driving the Coast

SAMSUNG CSCI’ve decided to break up my photos from Oregon into three posts, since I have too many photos for one, and the trip was kind of broken into three sections. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have cousins that live in Oregon and I hadn’t visited in 10 years so I figured it would be great to go see everyone again and see some places I hadn’t been to on the first trip, including Portland! I arrived in Portland very late on Saturday night (well 11pm, but it my internal clock was still set to East Coast time) and pretty much went to bed right away so we could all be well rested for the next day. That morning we went to breakfast at Pine State Biscuits. It was unreal. They had almost anything on a biscuit – from eggs and jam, to pulled pork, to fried chicken with pickles, and biscuits and gravy. At the ordering window I could watch the bakers roll out and cut fresh biscuits. I was drooling before we even ordered so I ended up getting a biscuit with an egg and fried chicken, and some honey butter. It was so delicious and I definitely recommend going if you’ll be in the area. After exploring Portland some more, we went to Blue Star Donuts, which was also yummy and had crazy flavors. I got an original and my cousin Natalie got a Lime Curd donut. We also bought some to go.

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After a morning in Portland we started on our road trip to Cannon Beach, which is on the northern part of the Oregon coast. The ride was beautiful, with curvy roads edged by tall pine trees. Cannon Beach was stunning. The beach was so big and I couldn’t believe how soft the sand was. East coast sand is definitely not the same. We walked towards Haystack rock, which is the big one right off shore that everyone was taking pictures of, and then just lounged around for a couple hours. Later that evening we continued driving down the coast, through Tillamook, which is “cow town” or Oregon and known for dairy production. We passed by a ton of cheese factories (!!) and I bought some Tillamook yogurt for to get a small sampling. Tillamook literally smelled like cows though, so I am glad we didn’t stay there too long.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCThat evening we camped near Pacific City. Our “camp site” was pretty hilarious though and was basically a gravel parking lot right next to a road with some grass for tents. My cousins were furious about the mis-advertising, but it was okay for just one night at made for some funny photos. Also it was right next to a pretty farm that had great sunrise action in the morning.ย The next day we drove a few minutes to Cape Kiwanda, home of more giant cliffs and the tallest sand dune I’ve ever seen. We climbed the dune. I barely made it to the top and then had a moment of panic at the top when I looked down and realized how high up we were. It was not comforting to say the least! Even more embarrassing, many small children were racing up the dune with no apparent issue, and I even saw a man hike up with a newborn baby strapped to his back and then stand right at the tip of a cliff! I had to hike down an alternate, longer but less steep path on the way down, haha. While I was up there though, I did appreciate how majestic the coastline was. It is amazing that sand, cliffs, rocks, and green mountains all meet at the edge of the country!ย 

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On the last leg of our coast journey, we drove down to Newport, Oregon which is a small fishing town. There were docks full of massive sea lions (not seals, because apparently they are smaller) and they were SO loud and kept fighting and knocking each other off the docks. We found out that it was all males (of course LOL) barking disruptively because the females were further South watching the sea lion pups.

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July Instagram Recap

I can’t believe it’s already August! I keep telling myself that summer doesn’t really end until September 21st, so it can seem a bit longer. In case you missed it on Instagram, here is a recap of my pictures from July that I didn’t feature on the blog.

July Instagram

 

Starting from top left:

1. Even though I work in the financial district, I haven’t done much exploring! The other week I finally made it down to Delmonico’s, one of the oldest steakhouses in NYC. What an iconic building.

2. Awesome brunch my friend Caroline and I had at Walter’s in Fort Greene. I had shakshuka and she had an omelette.

3. My sister Molly looking pretty on the beach in Cape Cod. ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Ollie is a dog that I dog-sit on occasion. He is the cutest and snorts a lot!

5. Molly again, paddle boarding in Cape Cod. This was the first time she tried it and was killing it!

6. A typical scene from Brooklyn Heights. One day I dream of living in a brownstone like this one…

7. Overlooking Cahoon Hollow Beach in Cape Cod.

8. Last week I ventured out to Jersey City with some friends for an author event. We went to see Megan Kimble, author of Unprocessed, speak at Word Jersey City. She is awesome and I can’t wait to read the book! A bonus was going to Porta Pizza, which was delicious.

Follow me on Instagram here!

 

Coney Island

And yet another item is crossed off my summer bucket list! Last Friday I went to Coney Island with my friend, Kate who was visiting from out of town. It was a very interestingย experience to say the least. Immediately I was shocked at how huge it was. I had thought that Coney Island was just a couple rides and a beach, but the rides were endless. It was also so packed in the amusement park area, but really empty in an area that was full of semi-outdoor arcades. The rides also seemed really expensive! Isn’t an amusement park ride supposed to be like $2.00? I hate amusement parks so I guess I’m not up to speed on the typical prices. We did check out the two iconic rides though – the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel and they were kind of cool! It’s crazy how old they each are, yet they are still fully functioning.

Afterwards we went to the original Nathan’s hot dog stand and I got a fried chicken sandwich (don’t worry, Kate got a hot dog). We walked along the boardwalk, looking over the beach and it was kind of nice with the breeze, although I don’t think I could ever imagine going to the beach there because it was so crowded. There is also this area right on the beach that’s sort of like a jungle gym, but there are grown shirtless men all around working out. They were doing pull-ups, and other exercises on the equipment. Apparently it’s called Muscle Beach, which I thought was hilarious. I’m so glad I finally made it out to Coney Island – I can’t say that I’ll be back frequently, but it was awesome experiencingย a corner of the city that I never see.

Going off the Grid in Cape Cod

I am already drained from this week and I was on vacation for half of it! That seems to happen though when you miss the first half of week at work. Despite my exhaustion, it was wonderful being able to spend some quality time with my family (minus my brother, sadly) this weekend in Cape Cod. I’ve been going to Cape Cod every summer since I can remember, so it holds a special place in my heart. My parents and I woke up early Friday morning for the three and a half hour drive. My sister would be joining us later in the weekend.

About twenty minutes in I realized that I’d forgotten my phone at home! I freaked out but just asked my sister to bring it with her instead. It ended up being kind of a blessing. Living in a world where we’re all so connected and constantly fiddling with our smart phones, it’s easy to forget that we canย manage without them. It was peaceful being able to enjoy the small things for the first couple days, like exploring the beach, reading, smelling the hydrangeas, and doing a lot of baking (I’ll be sharing a lot of new recipes soon!)

The long weekend in Cape Cod was perfect because we were able to do all of our traditions including eating a ton of fresh seafood, making the drive to Welfleet to go to Cahoon Hollow Beach (the most majestic in my opinion), laughing a lot, swimming in the bay and pond, and lighting a lot of sparklers (apparently I am terrible at drawing hearts). We also were able to try new things like paddle-boarding. My dad hilariously fell off a few times and the whole beach died laughing. We also checked out the Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis which was delicious. Did you know that there are two styles of lobster rolls? A cold lobster roll with mayo is Maine style and a warm roll with butter and spices is called Connecticut style. I had no idea! Anyways, my sister and I split a Maine style lobster roll and it was delicious and massive! I have to say that my favorite part was waking up early each morning and going on a long run with my dad. He’s a runner so he motivated me to keep going and I was able to start each day feeling refreshed and spending some quality time with my dad.

Fourth of July Weekend

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Even though I only had a three day weekend it felt so much longer and was some much needed time off. On Friday morning, Pat and I drove down to my friend’s beach house in Old Saybrook, CT. It was gorgeous! I couldn’t get enough of the beach-weathered exteriors and the beautiful hydrangeas. My friend is moving to Boston this weekend after living in Europe for a year, and even though we won’t be in the same city, it’s wonderful having her back.ย After making a couple more stops in Old Lyme and Niantic, we made our way to Rhode Island for some much needed beach time.

I’m exciting to be heading to Cape Cod this weekend with my family for a real vacation – five days! Cape Cod is so special to me – I grew up spending most of my summers there so I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family. Now that we’re all doing our own thing it’s hard to get everyone together. I’ll be mainly offline (another thing I am looking forward to) but will be occasionally posting on Instagram. Have a great weekend!

Block Island

Last Friday I took my first vacation day of the summer (finally!) and Pat and I went to Rhode Island and took a day trip to Block Island. I have to say that we truly outdid ourselves and had a weekend of amazing food, starting with a spontaneous brunch at Noah’s in Stonington, CT. I went to college in New London, CT which is about fifteen minutes away from Stonington Borough, a tiny fishing town right on the coast with beautiful colonial houses and tiny streets. Noah’s brings back a ton of memories for me – from dinners and drinks with all my college friends and their families, and my graduation brunch. The buttermilk pancakes aren’t better anywhere else.

When we got to Charlestown, RI we hit the beach for a few hours which was much needed. I feel like the past couple times I’ve been to the beach this summer it’s rained, but it was so beautiful! After the beach we drove through Misquamicut looking for seafood. At the beach seafood is a must and some of the best places are the super casual, no frills places right on the water. We found Two Little Fish and had amazing lobster roles, fries and slaw. Pat and I both like hot lobster rolls with butter instead of the cold-mayo ones, so we’re always looking for places that serve those.

On Saturday we woke up early for the ferry to Block Island. I can’t believe I hadn’t been to Block Island until last weekend! It was so easy to get there and I loved how being on the island made me feel removed from the rest of the world. Everyone was biking or walking, and there weren’t too many cars. We set off straight to Mohegan Bluffs, which I had heard were sweeping cliffs with amazing views. What I read was right – the views were amazing. Pat and I walked down what felt like hundreds of stairs to get to the beach at the bottom of the cliffs. At the bottom the stairs ended and it was just a steep rocky path that was SO scary! It took me like 30 minutes to get down and Pat had to help me. So embarrassing. Also, all these tiny children were just running up and down the path like it was no big deal! After being at the beach we went back up the stairs and down another barely visible path that opened up right onto the edge of a cliff. It was so crazy! We sat at the edge of the cliff on a rock and ate lunch – probably one of the best views of the day. Block Island also has a bunch of farms so we stopped at one on the way back and it was full of the most random animals – like camels, tortoises, emus, a kangaroo, lemurs, and these donkeys that had zebra stripes on their legs. It was really odd.

We capped off the weekend on Sunday by going back to the Matunuck Oyster Bar and splitting a massive seafood sampler that had oysters, clams, and shrimp. Oh yeah, and I had a Bloody Mary that included an oyster. The past weekend made me realize that it’s important to explore what’s around me in New England! Even through I grew up in New England I feel like there’s so much I still haven’t seen.