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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

How To Be a Responsible Local Tourist

In this time when we aren't traveling, Eric and I have been trying to find ways to explore our city while still staying safe. In addition to watching streaming concerts and comedy shows, we've been trying to get out and about to get some fresh air and out of the house. 

One of the things we enjoy doing is going to different food trucks, and that brings us within a lot of different murals around Portland. Our buildings are covered in amazing creations from local artists, and I love it. 

The old Sunshine Dairy building is no longer in operation, but the entire building is covered in cool art of all different genres. I'm partial to this piece of advice: Life is full of distractions. Pay attention to what's really important. 

Someone also did a great portrait of a cow to commemorate what the building used to be and the animals responsible for the awesome milk they produced.

Here are some other pieces I've come across lately while driving around. We have a great love of individualism, the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, and the nickname The City of Roses.

Every few months we hit up the Pix Patisserie Pix-O-Matic. At the beginning of the pandemic, Pix put a dessert vending machine outside of their door as a way to bring in money for their restaurant when it couldn't be open to the public. It brought in revenue and gave folks the safest possible way to indulge in some sweet treats when they need it most. After several months, the Pix-O-Matic was so successful that Pix added a second machine.

During normal times, we've visited Pix for their afternoon tea service, which is brilliantly displayed and equally delicious. You know you're there by the vineyard grapes outside and the giant bull on the roof. At the start of the pandemic they gave him a mask and now they've added huge google eyes and it makes me so happy to see.

Back to the Pix-O-Matic machines. In April, when there was a run on toilet paper, you could get a roll of TP, a disposable mask, and a pair of latex gloves for $5. There were also RBG socks and Rick Astley buttons, among other things, like local handmade goods. You can choose from any of the desserts made at Pix, champagne glasses (you can order champagne and wine for pick-up at the restaurant), fancy sardines, caviar, and marinated olives. Sometimes we all just need a little something exotic or indulgent. 

Not only are there two machines with a huge variety of goodies, there's also dance music, a disco ball, and now they've added a selfie camera. 

Each time we visit, we try something new. Eric picked up their Opera Cake. 

I was looking for something a little less sweet and chose the Tiki Tiki. It turned out to be a little tropical vacation in a take-out box. That little drink umbrella was included. The Tiki Tiki had mango and coconut and a sponge cake base. 

Before leaving, we decided to try out their new camera. I didn't realize I chose the boomerang option on my first try, so you get our second video that I had posted on my Instagram story when we got home. Sorry it's so washed out. It decided to be super sunny right then. 

I love this cool little bright spot in Portland. There's always someone at the Pix-O-Matic, looking for something to make their life more exciting. Usually we have to wait a few minutes before they are done (standing on the sidewalk by the street to be considerate and properly social distanced), then we take out turn (there's a handy menu between the machines to show you what the dessert options are and what's in them) to choose desserts and any other things we might want, take a couple pictures, dance a little, and then we head out for someone else to browse. 

You might have something exciting like this in your city. Ask friends and family if they know of anything cool. We share things we've discovered each week in our Sunday Zoom brunches. We also use that to suggest our new favorite shows or music or podcasts. It's nice to see people's faces and chat with friends. I highly recommend setting up friend meets via Zoom or Discord. It's a wonderful way to feel connected. 

What cool things are you doing in your city to make quarantine more fun?

Saturday, November 28, 2020

8 Must-Do Road Trips

After almost a year of no travel, I've finally booked a vacation rental for a short road trip for February. We'll be traveling in our small pod (me, Eric, my mom, and the dog) for my mom's birthday, getting take-out and making our own food, then we'll take a few drives around the area, and hang out in the hot tub and around the fire pit. This got me thinking about socially-conscious road trips you could be taking. Here are 8 of the best ones:


I hope everyone's having a safe and healthy Thanksgiving weekend. Before we know it, we'll be planning trips again and going to places we've been craving, with a few changes to the way we do it. Enjoy this time of bonding with your family, and spend some time talking about your next adventure and travel dreams. If you want to see how to road trip safely, you can see my post here.

Where are you hoping to travel when the world opens up again? I'm looking forward to going to Iceland. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

6 Ways To Ensure Your Road Trip Doesn’t End Up Caked In Negativity

Road trips can be very fun and very rewarding experiences where everything is in the right place. The idea of hopping into a personal vehicle and setting off down the road for a few days or a few weeks can be quite dull for some, but the freedom and the adventure excite many people on the planet. Whether you’re looking to head into entirely new areas or you just fancy a girls’ weekend away some time, a road trip can be the exact thing you need. 


If you don’t set things up properly, though, then you could have a pretty underwhelming trip on your hands. Usually, it doesn’t really need too much thought as overthinking will come in, and it will be a complicated little trip. When you have a simple plan and no complications, that’s when you have a good time. There will need to be a little bit of assembling and planning, however. Here are a few things you’ll probably have to do in order to have a successful trip with very few negatives: 

Choose The Right People To Accompany You

This is a really important point and a fundamental one, so we’ll start off with it. You can have all the intricate plans and figure out the most desirable location, but if you have the wrong people alongside you, then it can ruin the entire journey and vacation. If you prefer to travel alone, then this particular point shouldn’t bother you at all, of course. Many vacations have been destroyed by people who choose to bring toxic individuals. At the end of the day, it’s all about the social side of things and the experiences you share, so make sure you’re bringing someone who will be positive and happy with you. This can be a difficult choice at times because you may not want to offend anyone, but your happiness is paramount when all is said and done. 

Make Sure The Vehicle Is In Good Condition

You need to ensure that you’re not travelling in a death machine or in something that will break down halfway through the trip. The way to do this is to take it in to a mechanic and let them sort through it all. If there’s anyone who will be able to fix any problems or reassure you that there’s little to worry about, it’s them. A few things may cost a fee to sort out, but the fee would be worth it in order to get the trip confirmed. 

Make A Plan For Every Part Of The Trip

Planning, for some, is very boring. They’ll just want to hop into the car and go. You need to have a plan in order to make sure everything goes swimmingly, though. You also need to prepare for any potential eventualities – including negative ones. You should check out seasoned car accident lawyers just in case you end up in any kind of fracas. You should also make sure that everyone has what they need in order to enjoy the trip. When you have a roadmap that tells you where to go – it’s very helpful. When you have a roadmap for more than just the road, though, that’s even better. 

Stay Positive Throughout

When you approach something like a vacation – or, more specifically, a road trip – with a negative attitude, then everything that happens will be negative. You’ll pick faults in absolutely everything that goes on, and you won’t look back on it with too much fondness. That’s why you need to adopt a positive mindset when you head out. If you do this, then everything will be much better. This infectious mentality will also spread across the group, and you’ll all have a laugh.

Know Where You’re Going!

This is obvious, but it’s something that should be mentioned. A lot of people wing it and hope that they’ll be able to get there using their navigation technology. While it’s usually reliable, there will likely be hiccups sooner or later. Study the maps and figure out alternative routes just in case you run into a few issues along the way. 

Capture All The Memories On Film  

It’s nice to have memories stashed in your mind. Sometimes, taking photos cheapens an experience because you want the value to remain in your head. With that said, you should still capture a few things so that you can look back on certain days and reminisce. Even if you had a pretty torrid few days, you’d be able to bring them up every now and again and laugh at them. Photographs have the ability to give you a different perspective on this. It’s also great to keep people up to speed on social media – if you have the likes of Facebook and Instagram, of course. 

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