Daydreaming about… San Sebastian, Spain

Yep. Again.

Those of you that have been following along for awhile know I have shared my excitement about this destination before, but now that my trip is approaching, I’m starting to freak out! Can’t wait to visit my little sister in this literal slice of paradise. Even though I’m visiting during their rainy season, I’m so looking forward to exploring the Basque region. Rain or shine, don’t matter NONE. It’s going to be a blast.

Much of my enjoyment during my travels revolves around food and this trip will be no different. I can’t wait to visit some of the places I’ve heard about, like Bar Zeruko and El Quinto Pino (below). Need to try the local pinxtos (I was already warned not to call them tapas) and of course, as much sangria as I can stomach.

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain

And now, some links…

Hey Nike, can I do this next?

40 maps to help you understand the world (12! 17?!).

My friends and I are being vegan for a month (a day is child’s play).

The cutest tiny house on Sauvie Island right outside of Portland.

Tried this place recently and loved it! Trying to eat more whole foods.

This diary of a Whole Foods visit is hilarious and true.

Have a great weekend.

xxx

(images via Pinterest)

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Daydreaming about… Maine

Today I’ve got Maine on my mind. Can you guess why? Yep, we’re flying coast to coast because we’ve got another wedding coming up (our friends pick good places to get hitched!). I’m so ready for some lobster-crackin’, wine-sippin’, pier-loungin’, good old-fashioned FUN with some dear pals. It will be my first trip to Maine and I have a strange feeling that I’m going to love it. The log cabin is booked and my plaid shirts are standing by. These pics are also helping me get in the mood…

Maine-spiration Maine-spiration Maine-spiration

The pier, the porch, the adirondacks… It all paints this scene of pleasant, breezy summertime. Hopefully, that’s what our trip will be all about. And watching our friends get hitched, of course. 

We’ll be spending time in Portland, deep in the woods and along the salty coast. Maybe a little ambitious, but hey. We’re flying coast to coast here. Gotta take full advantage.

And now for some links…

These maps showing how Americans say the same thing differently is fascinating.

Untranslatable words from around the world. Another good one is gezelligheid from the Dutch. It means cozy and warm time spent with loved ones.

I probably need to do this brewery tour if I consider myself a resident of Portland.

Also on the to-do list: Befriend Jack Johnson and snag a seat at his next dinner party.

Speaking of food, the chefs that did our insanely creative, one-of-a-kind rehearsal dinner combining foods of our heritage (i.e. barbacoa pork perogi and jalepeño-infused borscht) have a top-rated restaurant now, Fat Rice. I’m so happy for them.

Ending with a somber note- Did you watch this? You should. Basic premise: Don’t text and drive. Ever.

xxx

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Daydreaming about… Oregon wine country

Hi friends. I’m enjoying a fantastic visit from my father this week. We’ve already done so much (new!) stuff around Oregon that I’ll be sharing soon. This weekend will consist of some house updating (this will be an ongoing battle for awhile), but also gluttonous (and well-deserved) meals and beverages around the city. Looking forward.

Today, I’m pining for a visit out to wine country here in my very own state. We have yet to visit any wineries (though we have tried our fair amount of the local varieties), and I’m eager to learn more about the ones around here. After seeing the grandeur of Napa Valley, quiet elegance of Sonoma, and enchanting Alsace region in France, I’m looking forward to discovering some low key and comfortable vineyards where the attitude is totally relaxed and a short drive away! The wineries around the Columbia River Gorge are just lovely… Columbia River Gorge Wineries

This blog post looks super helpful. Isn’t it gorgeous out there? I can’t wait for the warm dry summer months to leisurely explore it. I love seeing those vines heavy with grapes. Makes my eyelids heavy just thinking about it. I think I just need some wine and R&R after how busy we’ve been getting the house set up. Last night was a painting session that went well into morning.

Have a great weekend everybody! Here are some fun links I found this week:

Did you see this? What an amazing, unique way to capture your travels. If only we had a theme…

The world’s most colorful cities, according to someone with credibility. Disappointingly, I’ve only been to 3… so far.

A useful resource for making friends in a new city. I’m happy to report I’m off to a wonderful start.

I love the smart graphics in this Mad Men modernization.

PSA: Clean your computer. Right now.

xxx

Daydreaming about… Ireland

As we head into St. Patrick’s Day weekend (do you celebrate?) I can’t help but think about Irish countryside. Call me cliché. I was lucky enough to visit Ireland in 2011 by myself (!) and it was such thrill to travel there alone. It is SO green. Those lush, vibrant pastures were so peaceful, especially when dotted with grazing sheep. If I were to travel there again, I would spend more time on the western coast and explore the southern coast as well.

IrelandOkay, so that first image was heavily edited. Here are two of mine from my solo trip: IrelandIrelandNothing can convey the freshness of the air in western Ireland. It drifts in from the Atlantic and is salty and clean. I need to experience that again.

Seriously, do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? We normally don’t, but we are excited to get together with some friends this weekend to listen to bagpipers, eat corned beef and cabbage, and have one a couple beers. Being festive is fun.

In other news, I thought it might be fun to share some links that I come across during the week. Not sure if this will be a theme, but I will share when I think it’s worthy:

Which Americans have passports (and more so which ones don’t) is very telling.

Refinery 29 just did a sweet round up of Portland hotspots.

I need to throw a wine and cheese party immediately. Housewarming, perhaps?

Actually, I like the idea of a cheap beer taste test too. Funny!

This man is inspiring, especially since I have been pining for my stuff. It makes me realize how irrational I can be. (link via my favorite, Cup of Jo)

Have a great weekend, friends.

xxx

Daydreaming about… Provence

Here’s the thing, people. I’m not much of a color person normally. My wardrobe is laughably neutral, as are my interior design choices. I’m okay with that. (I mean, black is a color. So is white.) However, one ENORMOUS exception is my love of spring and all the beautiful colors that abound in nature because of it.

As we spring forward this weekend, I’ll be daydreaming about strolling through the lavender fields in Provence, with a big, floppy hat and a lovely, white dress. We never made it there while we lived in Europe, but I so crave a chance to see (and smell) it in the glorious spring air.

Provence, France

Lavender

Isn’t that shade of purple heavenly? Maybe to quench my thirst (get it?!) for this experience, I’ll just make this lavender lemonade. What a gorgeous beverage!

Lavender Lemonade

Happy weekend, everyone. We are joining a group run tomorrow morning, might check out some new parts of Portland, and maybe even sneak out to the coast on Sunday. Biding our time until we move into our house!

xxx

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Daydreaming about… Our New House

heart balloons

Happiest of Fridays, friends. I have some wonderful news and in a rare twist, it’s not about travel. Yesterday, Jaro and I became homeowners. For the first time. I’m so proud of us. It has been a scary, stressful, exciting experience and, in the end, we couldn’t be happier about how it has turned out. After a few months of uncertainty and every type of “wrinkle” and “hiccup”, which were all totally out of our control, it is a tremendous relief to know that this little house is ours.  We can get in there in 30 days. The final countdown is on. 

There’s a lot of places in the world I want to see. But right now, there’s no where else I’d rather go than… home.

xxx

P.S. You can read more about our househunting here and here.

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Daydreaming about… Big Sur

Happy Friday, cats. My post earlier today was totally impromptu; it spilled out of my brain since I’ve been alone this week. Also, I felt all out of whack that I didn’t write one yesterday. So bonus, today you get two. Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

As I woke up to another dreary gray day in Portland, I so desperately wanted a warm, sunny getaway. Since we’re closing on a house later this month, I can’t exactly justify a trip to Mexico. But god, I was ready to cry say whatever house and book myself a ticket to somewhere warm. I still might do it.

BUT. Doesn’t a road trip through Big Sur sound like the way to go? It’s a breath-taking stretch of California coastline that I just want to devour. With my eyes. I mean, just take in this picture:

Big Sur, CA

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Doesn’t that look heavenly? So wild and beautiful. That also describes my hair on a good day. Speaking of appearance, obviously I’d wear this road trip worthy outfit:

Girl at the beach

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And I’d just love my sun-soaked life. California dreamin’ indeed. In related news, the sun is now out. Need to scramble outside quick.

Have a charmed weekend, friends.

xxx

P.S. That first image’s blog source cites Big Sur as a romantic getaway. Valentine’s Day is a mere two weeks away, if you know what I’m saying. I’ll casually suggest that this hotel looks splurge worthy.

Daydreaming about… Columbia River Gorge

As we adjust to our Pacific Northwest “home”, I can’t stop thinking about getting out into the beautiful wilderness surrounding Portland. The Columbia River Gorge is only a hour’s drive away from the city and it’s THIS gorge-ous. Get it? (I mean, I had to.) What a magical escape.

Oregon

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We could canoe?

Canoe

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and wrap ourselves up in our beautiful Pendleton blankets for a very practical photo like this? (we have this one and this one and can’t wait to use them)

Pendleton

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I mean, why not, we’re in love. And then we’ll munch on our homemade granola? (looking at this recipe to try first) And do all that other outdoorsy stuff. I’m so ready to embrace the lifestyle out here. Just need to find a house first. C’mon house!

Enjoy your weekend, kids.

xxx

Daydreaming about… Bouldering?

It’s Friday, yaaay, and the start of a long weekend. I had a GREAT birthday yesterday. Jaro took me out for a beautiful dinner at Bluehour, which is yet another way that Portland is winning me over. Jaro won me over years ago. 😉 Birthdays take on a new life when you are far away from family & friends, don’t they? I am so much more conscious of the people that make an effort to reach out and remind me that that care. Even though I was alone most of the day yesterday, I wasn’t really alone. The calls, emails, and even facebook messages were such a comfort.

In other news, Jaro spontaneously (and secretly- that little sneak!) signed us up for bouldering classes last week. I’m so nervous. But also really, really excited. It will be fun to learn something new and adventurous together. Who knows, maybe I’ll even love it? It looks so intense!

Bouldering

I hope you have a great weekend. We are going to keep on keepin’ on with the house hunt, we’re pretty much on lockdown in Portland until we find a house. I’ll share some updates on that next week.

xxx

P.S. This site looks like it will be helpful about bouldering in Oregon.

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Daydreaming about… Kiruna

As we prepare to move to Stockholm with winter rolling in (it’s already at freezing point!), I can’t help but pine for a little weekend away to Northern Sweden. Kiruna, to be exact. This tiny, icy village looks like the perfect place to stare up at the Northern Lights…Kiruna, Sweden

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Kiruna, Sweden

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The famous Icehotel is there too. Not sure I’m brave enough to sleep in an ice cave. It might be worth it since a Bond movie was filmed there and I have a weird obsession with 007.

I hope you have a nice weekend lined up. It’s our last weekend in Amsterdam (living here anyway, I’m sure we’ll be back soon for a visit). This week has already been great – with meals at Spang Makandra, Balthazar’s Keuken and Bazar and drinks at Suzy Wong’s. We’re cooking at home tonight (since we won’t get to for awhile!) and trying Nomad’s tomorrow. We heard amazing things from friends.

xxx

P.S. You can see my write up of those other restaurants (and many more) here.