Portland, travel, wine country
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Home Sweet Home – How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I’m finally home from my summer vacation and as awesome as it was, I am always reminded that there is no place like home.  I saw some amazing things; consumed a great many calories; tasted lots of beer and wine; walked everywhere! Uphill–both ways!  It was incredible and now that I’m home, I feel refreshed, excited about life and re-energized.  Although I run the risk of sounding like a beginning-of-the-school-year essay, here is a taste of what happened over the past 10 days:

I started my vacation in Santa Barbara, California.  The weather topped out at a cool 70 degrees and the sun didn’t come out until the afternoon.  I had a chance to walk along the ocean and feel the salt air on my face.

We headed up to wine country and tasted so much wine that my head spun!


I didn’t drink all of these, I promise!

Then we flew to Portland, Oregon where the bulk of the vacation was spent.  I started almost every morning with a latte, and every single one had a pretty pattern on top!

I ventured to Portland’s Japanese Gardens and saw landscapes so magical they seemed to come straight from a fairy tale.

Portland Japanese Gardens
I also learned that I could make a bona-fide hobby out of staring at fish.  If there was a koi pond (and I stumbled across many on this trip) then you could find me sitting and staring at the fish for a while.  It is addicting and so peaceful that I’ve already requested a koi pond from the Man of the House!  
  

Koi pond at the Japanese Gardens
Koi pond in the middle of town!
I hiked with friends to Silver Falls and was stunned at the amount of natural beauty that surrounded me.

And lest you think that I had forgotten about eating amazing food, rest assured that there wasn’t a calorie left uneaten (or un-drank for that matter).  I dipped a toe into Portland’s microbrew culture and learned that while I haven’t quite developed a palate for the hoppy IPAs (India Pale Ale), I really loved the sour beers that we sampled at Cascade Brewing.  They had a tart, vinegary, fruity flavor, not unlike wine.  
Sour Beers!
Tasting Room at Commons Brewery
Then, there was the fresh, local produce!  The Portland Farmer’s Market is my wonderland.  Held every  Saturday from March through December, it is by far, the best Farmer’s Market I’ve ever been to.  Everywhere I looked there were fresh vegetables, meats, dairy, farm fresh eggs, mushrooms, artisan cheese and bread!  As a matter of fact, the header photo for this blog was taken at the Farmer’s Market last year.  I really wished I could have brought these tomatoes home with me!
Look at these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes!

I never knew bell peppers came in PURPLE!
So many mushrooms!

 And then there were the food stalls!  It’s almost too much to absorb in just one day!

As much fun as I had, I didn’t realize how much I missed home until I walked in the door.  Our cats were happy to see us–really they were! The flowers out back were in bloom again, which was an unexpected thrill and it even looks like we might get some late-arriving cucumbers in the garden!  My retinas will have to get re-accustomed to the bright, bright desert sun after having been in filtered sunlight all week, but it’s all good!  Can’t wait to get back in the kitchen!

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This entry was posted in: Portland, travel, wine country

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Hello and thank you for visiting my blog, Salty Sweet Life! My name is Tracey and nothing makes me happier than cooking for my friends and family. Food is my passion, whether I'm trying out a new restaurant, delving into a cookbook or mixing up a cocktail.

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