Weekend Trip: Florence

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Florence, Oregon that is– the land of sand. Dunes, lakes and beachfronts which I had yet to explore. Stayed at the Lighthouse Inn, which was tucked away in the heart of downtown Florence. A quick walk away was the main hub of restaurants and boutiques. Dinner at the Waterfront Depot Restaurant was amazing, by far the steak/seafood to beat here in Oregon. Day 2 was off to an early start, breakfast at Nature’s Corner Cafe & Market which was also wonderful. They had a delicious heart smart menu, as well as vegetarian/gluten/dairy free options. I will say the biscuits and gravy (on jalepeno/cheddar biscuit) was AMAZING. From there it was a short drive to Honeyman State Park, going up dunes, jumping off dunes, hiking mounds and mounds of vertically untouched sands. Drove further down to hike around Lagoon Lake, Waxmyrtyle Lake and Beach. Probably the highlight of the whole trip was the beach, with no one around, soft white sand for miles, seashells to collect and sun it felt like a real vacation. Lastly, a stop at Darlingtonian State Park was necessary– However, the plants were not quite in season, thus no flowers or bug eating action but still quite cool to see (check back mid May). After that it was time to head north in the general direction, and after a pitstop in Eugene (checked out Deluxe) it was time to go back home.

Check out the crazy video montage of my time there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct3dwC3Ggmg

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Portland Biz

First up: Anzen (little Japanese market). Stepped in to grab a bite to hold me over yet they didn’t seem to have anything sushi or Japonaise like. Ended up with a turkey sandwich :-X Then across the street of course is the Portland Convention Center which we went to for the trade show! No pics allowed, but here are some anyways.

dd

 

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Few hours there then we were off to lunch at Yen Ha (Vietnamese cuisine). We attempted to go many Mondays ago and arrived to early, when they were still closed. This time we got what we came for: Fried taro cubes, Salt & Pepper Calamari, and #36 which he was surprised that I knew to order that because it is “the best thing on the menu”. A spicy beef noodle dish, consisting of blood cubes and bone and veggies. They were all new to me and I came away loving the taro/calamari preparations! Being from Hawaii the Taro was familiar, just never had it served like Poutine.

Hong’s Inc (Equip & Supplies), it felt more like a freezer and we had to run around to stay warm. Also, made a new friend (Gryce/Bryce/Rice?!?!) the family dog/Hong’s should-be mascot!

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Vietnamese grocery store #1 for last minute random supplies. Then Hong Phat  (Newer Vietnamese grocery store #2) for a few snacks.

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Avocado Bubble Tea, Sop Som slushy and Pandem waffle with coconut inside (again more first timers)!! Didn’t care for the avocado… but the rest were quite tasty.

Annnnnnnd finally, spent a couple hours at Nordstrom Rack. Typical experience there, no need to elaborate. Productive day to say the least, can’t wait to do it again!

 

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Tanjō-bi

February always seems to end so abruptly … and THEN

it’s my b-day! 

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Tried Ethiopian food and it was definitely an experience. The plate that the waiter brought out was huge… I felt like it took up 2/3 of the table.  Half of the plate was a vegetable sampler, and the other half beef, with one fish sample, and lettuce/queso in the middle. Nine heaps of steaming spicy (<—-no need for me to add anything) goodness. The fun part was eating with your hands (which I enjoy anyways)  and ripping the starch (a thicker airy crepe like substance) and scooping up chunks of beef in berbere sauce! It did not take long before I was feeling stuffed although we’d hardly made a dent in the food. Before boxing up the rest, he asked if we wanted to take it home (duh- enthusiastic YES) and told me to look up fir fir. The basic idea that I got was taking all of the contents of the leftovers mixing and reheating it (in a nonstick pan). Genius! After returning with the chocolate cake, our awesome waiter made a joke about getting the staff to sing to me. As soon as I was relieved that was not going to happen

he

started

singing.

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HAH. And the restaurant joined in. Thanks Mister. Wonderful experience made worth it with great service. Next time I’ve got to try the Honey Wine.. they had sold out the previous night, and I had decided to try some on a whim, being denied just made me want it that much more!

The last pic is of the fir fir I made today, just as instructed. It tasted amazing and not at all like something from the previous night that had been refrigerated. I added my own veggies and crushed thai chili pepper for even more heat– was definitely satisfying.

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