So, remember that one time, not too long ago, that I went to Portland for the International Food Bloggers Conference? No? Need some photos to jar your memory?
My trip to Portland can be summed in two words: TO SHORT. I fell head over heels in love with the hipster city as soon as my foot hit the pavement and I was able to walk around. You hear all these things about this eccentric Northwest town (re: Portlandia) so you form these stereotypes on what kind of people live there (hippies and pot smokers), what the landscape is like (hilly) and what the food is like (crunchy and vegan). So, when you finally go and experience it, you’re slapped in the face with reality.
Surprisingly, not everyone who lives there is a hippie or hipster. In fact, I probably see more of those here in DC than I did there. The terrain is pretty accurate. But what the stereotypes fail to mention is HOW STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL the temperature is. It was 70 with a breeze. I was in HEAVEN.
And you know what? They do have crunchy, vegan food there but they also have TONS of bacon, doughnuts and deep fried fat there too. Plus, beer? Duh. Oh and the best coffee you’ll ever have (outside of Seattle, I’m sure). Which, trust me, you don’t want to miss.
They also don’t tell you how incredibly gorgeous the city is, nestled between a lush river and gorgeous forest. Or how everyone is SO NICE. Like smile on the street, offer to take your picture without a smirk, give you REAL directions kind of nice. As a girl from a city that’s moving SO fast, having someone, you know, show any sort of human decency is refreshing. As for the conference? It was such an incredible experience. I’ve never been to a food conference to base my comparison on, but I thought it was amazing. So many informative sessions, a GREAT chance to network with brands and meet other bloggers and not to mention, pretty great food.
Besides finally meeting some blog friends I’ve had for over a year, my favorite part was the tour we took of Bob’s Red Mill. Cassie planned the whole thing and it was awesome. We got to see where all the BRM magic happens behind the scenes. Oh, and you know, MEET BOB. I’ll be posting about that on Friday though, but here’s a sneak peek 🙂
I guess (according to local Portland peeps) that restaurant is one of the best in the city. Well, yeah, the food? Amazing. Plus we got to eat with the wine maker (the owner of Biggio Hamina) in Washington. His wine (mainly the pinot noir) was INCREDIBLE. Another really memorable experience was the Wildwood dinner. The dinner was fun b/c we had the coolest table there, I’m sure of it 🙂 Plus, it was great to just relax, drink wine and laugh after the hustle and bustle of the conference sessions. I’m so lucky to have met such amazing ladies, like Cassie, Heidi and Marisa as well as reconnect with my darling Sheri (we partied together in Vegas) and the dinner was a great chance for us all to connect!
Portland, you stole my heart. But don’t worry. I’ll be back and we’ll have much more time to fall back in love. I promise. Don’t forget about me, though, and fall in love with some other bright eyed and bushy tailed tourist okay?