Tuesday, July 8, 2014


A few weeks ago I drove up to Oregon with Lauren's family for her brother, Kevin's graduation from Oregon State. We spent several days in Portland before heading back down to Corvallis for the ceremony. I mean, come on, Portland is the vegan capital of America, we just had to!

We went to my favorite restaurant in the world, twice! Both times, I ordered the chicken ranch burger with sweet potato fries from Native Foods Cafe. So, so good!

We also tried a new-to-us restaurant, Veggie Grill, all vegan as well! I got the grillin' chickin' burger minus the avocado (what is it with me and chicken burgers?), with chili. My meal was good, but what I really enjoyed was the sample of chocolate pudding they handed out. Ahhh, I want to swim in that chocolate pudding! They're opening up a Veggie Grill in Walnut Creek soon, which isn't super far from Sacramento, so that's exciting.

Craving donuts one morning, we had to try Blue Star Donuts. Their vegan donut was so good, probably the best vegan donut I've ever had, but there was only one vegan flavor. I really did like their blueberry vegan version, but I wish they had other vegan options as well.

Since we weren't full after our single donut, we stopped for brunch at Paradox Cafe. So many vegan options! I ordered the country comfort with tempeh, sauteed veggies, breakfast potatoes, and a biscuit with gravy. My meal was okay, but I really liked Lauren's order of french toast!

Because Dan wasn't with us on our last Oregon trip, we had to take him to the iconic Slappy Cakes for breakfast one morning. I'm thrilled they offer vegan pancake batter and even more amused that you get to cook your own pancakes at your table, whatever shapes/characters you desire. The wait for a table is pretty long, but you have to go here at least once, just for the experience.

After all of the food we consumed, we needed to get out and find some activities to do. Being the avid knitter Lauren is, we hit up two yarn stores where I scoured the shops looking to buy yarn from local dyers. At For Yarn's Sake, I bought Knitted Wit's sport weight yarn in "Hot Cocoa" and size 3 Cubics circular needles, and from Twisted I purchased Blissful Knits' sock yarn in "Platinum". Both are excellent yarn shops with friendly employees! I must say, these are my favorite needles I've knit with so far.

Since we were bored and in the mood to relax yet get out of our hotel room, we decided to see a movie, and I got to choose which one. I'm pretty certain that I'll never be allowed to select a movie again, as everyone was in tears throughout "The Fault in Our Stars". But, it was a good movie and an even better book.

Leti and I were also interested in hiking/running tails, and so we forced Lauren and Dan into it as well. Leti found the Tryon State Park and we set off there. I was expecting large hills and rocky terrain, like I'm used to running in the Sacramento area. The Tryon Trail we chose to walk however, happened to be mainly flat, which I'm sure Lauren was happy about. Despite its lack of mountainous terrain, this nature area was so green and beautiful, and it was nice to do some sort of physical activity.

After our Portland escapade, we made the one and a half hour drive back down to Corvallis for Kevin's graduation.