We are en route to Bend, Oregon and are at this moment surrounded by lush greenery, towering over the our car. Every so often there is a clearing to our left and I can see “Lookout Point Lake” as well as the dreamy Cascades capped in snow. Sun streams through the pockets between trees and mix with patches of fog to send out a radiance of color and light. This is the Oregon I imagined.
We flew from Boston to Portland just over a week ago. The catalyst for this trip (though we have always talked about coming here) was a class I had signed up for. As I mentioned in 2020 Vision, I pivoted my career and started a coaching business! Though I’ve already started my business, I am also taking a class online to earn further credentials. The program offers two opportunities to attend class in person and this immediately drew me. So, long story short, I decided last fall to take the class, to make a trip to Portland, and to make a trip out of it with James and visiting friends!
Ok… background now covered, let’s get to the good stuff.
We were in Portland from January 9th to January 15th and we didn’t leave Alberta Arts District (and we also didn’t want to!). Class hours were 8am - 4:30pm each day, and we filled the time around it doing a bit of exploration and cooking in our Air Bnb. While I was in class all day, James was working some crazy magic creating a website for my business. I am so so so excited to share this with you… soon! The class itself was beyond expectations. There were about 25 students in attendance, most in person and some online. We had a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and plan for the future. Have you ever entered a room, joined a team, or been with a group of people and suddenly thought, “Yes. These, these are my people.” ? That’s how it felt on the first day of the program. I am so grateful that all my hours of research and interviewing paid off and led to this class and to this group of people. I am also to grateful that James was in town with me, because I was so nice to decompress, walk, cook, and talk through new inspirations around class time.
Even though I was booked most of the day, I did have an opportunity to explore Alberta Arts District. Sharing some favorites below:
For a good sweat:
Forge Hot Yoga — They offer bikrum, hot pilates, and hot yoga. I opted for the hot yoga and attended a 6am class, which honestly wasn’t bad since it was a 5 minute walk from our apartment.
If I time had allowed, I would also have checked out The People’s Yoga
For coffee: Case Study Coffee — A big hit among my fellow classmates and James & I went twice while we were there. Recommend you try one of their homemade flavors, a latte, or the cold brew. Proud Mary Cafe — For a Aussie-style coffee and they also serve up some delicious eats and have things like Marmite with sourdough.
For a wine experience: Look no further than Les Caves, a wine cave right off NE Alberta St. They have local wines and unique wines from around the world. I opted for a local wine but definitely eyed the Slovenian one. I enjoyed the rustic feel and novel seating — there was a two-seater couch in a cutout part of the cave, so you had to physically boost yourself into the cave to get to your seat. Probably recommended that if you sit there, you stick to a single glass!
For local goods: Alberta Coop — pricey but a wide selection and it feels good to purchase some groceries here versus spending all your money at the Whole Foods down the street. Blendily — Ok, this place is amazing. They make skincare products in house and even grow their own flowers/herbs that go into the products. James and I were in this shop for a long while, sipping “vitality tea” that the women behind the counter brewed for us. We each bought a few things from this store to take with us.
For eats: Bye and Bye — We went out for a meal the first and last day and we went to the same spot. But hey, it’s vegan, it’s delicious, and it’s inexpensive with happy hour food deals 5pm - 7pm.
After class ended on the 15th, we hopped on a bus bound for Eugene! We have been staying with two of James’ friends from college (who we hope to feature in a future Meet the Host) in their forest-surrounded home just south of Eugene. So far we’ve had a ton of fun, not only because Rich and Maryne are excellent hosts, but also because their two-year-old son has given us a lot to laugh about. Fondly referred to (and self proclaimed) as “Ocho” because he is the eighth in a strong line of “Richard Henry”s, he quickly mystified us into doing all of his bidding. We read books with him, share our oats, and jump on his mini trampoline. His energy levels are pretty outrageous and make me think I need to bulk up my endurance training! Ocho, Rich, and Maryne are joining us in Bend and are currently leading the caravan.
Speaking of the drive… that scene I pained earlier is no more. James is doing a stellar job driving us over a mountain pass, patched with a wintry mix of snow, slush, and ice. The towering trees are covered in snow. The sky is an endless sheet of white. I’ve heard Bend offers more snow and also more sun than the consistent rain that’s graced us this far, and I’m looking forward to seeing if that’s the case! Signing off from the road!