You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘coffee’ tag.

2015/01/img_1456.jpg

This is one of my secret guilty pleasures. I like to spend time alone at my local cafe/coffee shop. When I say “guilty pleasure” I know I make it sound like I’m hiding some illicit activity, but sitting in the coffee shop is not even the slightest bit naughty. In fact, it may even sound vanilla &/or mundane. Hey! This is MY pleasure, guilty or not. I call this a “guilty pleasure” because I do in fact feel slightly naughty/guilty for taking this time out of my day to sneak out of the house (I work from home) for a few short hours.

There is a big box coffee shop a few streets down from my house. A few times a week, I like to bring my noise-canceling headphones, my mobile phone (a.k.a. Alphonse), & my iPad (a.k.a. Richard) & just sit in a corner sipping my coffee drink & eat a pastry while listening to music &/or surf the Internet. Yeah, sure. I can do the exact same thing at home. I can brew my own pot of fresh coffee. I can sit in front of a larger computer & even surf the Internet in my slippers & house clothes. However, the coffee shop provides an escape, leaving the confines of an overly familiar place.

When I’m sitting in the coffee shop I feel like I’ve actually “gone out” even though I’m not that far away from home. I get the feeling as though I’m out of the house. I also like the feeling of being around an ever-changing environment full of strangers without having to interact with any of them. I love the smell of coffee & warm pastries, the dull buzzing sounds of machines, conversation, & cars passing through the bustling parking lot. From time-to-time a random stranger will approach me & ask a question or offer an unsolicited piece of advice (usually I get these advice from much older gentlemen), but mostly I am ignored. I don’t mind. I like being cocooned in my tiny little bubble, nestled in my “usual spot”, sipping my now lukewarm caffeinated beverage.

If the seats weren’t so uncomfortable, I could probably while away a couple of hours here at this coffee shop. I usually spend only 1 hour (at most 2 hours) here, then I pack up my belongings & head home to finish my work & chores. (I must say that I am extremely fortunate to be able to work from home.) Spending this private time at the coffee shop brings a little piece of relaxation in my daily routine of working at my desk job, doing household chores, & care taking for my shattered-and-put-back-together family. Then, when I get home I am refreshed & ready to get back to work. I don’t do this every day, just once or twice a week. It is my little escape.

Well, it’s time for me to go home. My time is up. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

PDX is magic

As promised, here is the blog post about my recent vacation to Portland, Oregon. (I am typing this while I am snacking on my Glico「サラパスタ -トマトサラダ」’Sala Pasta’ tomato salad flavored cocktail crackers.)

  • DATES: August 1-5, 2014
  • CITY: SFO to PDX
  • HOTEL: Residence Inn by Marriott, Pearl District
  • ROOM: #415
  • TRANSPORTATION: Public Transit (We mostly did not rent a car.)

Almost every time we travel together, my travel buddy & I try to stay at a Marriott (or Marriott-affiliated) hotel.  My buddy is a gold-status rewards card member at Marriott, so we are usually able to get free nights at our hotel with all of the points we save up.  On this trip, we were able to score one free night of stay.  That’s surely a nice way to start off our vacation.  We didn’t check-in to our hotel until around 11:30 at night, & we were starving from a lack of dinner.  Most of the nearby restaurants & bars were already closed (& had no idea there was a 24hr Subway deli just 1 block down the street from us), so we ended up eating 2 crappy Lean Cuisine microwave dinners from the hotel snack shop.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next morning we woke up, bright & semi-early, ready to take on PDX by foot.  Yes, we were brave foolish enough to trek the fair city of Portland just by walking, & it was the best decision we ever made.  It really forced us to look at the city in ways we never could if we were merely gazing out of a car window.  Sure, we can travel farther by car, but everything we wanted to see & do was within reach from our hotel by public transportation.

We took the bus & street car/tram only once during our entire trip; the rest of the time we walked.  Only on our second-to-last day did we actually cave in & rent a car.  We were planning on exploring East Portland & knew we couldn’t cross the bridge & explore that part of town in one day alone, so we rented a car for one & a half days.  We had originally planned on using the car rental service Car2Go, but had no way of signing up + retrieving our membership card within the duration of our stay, so we rented a car the traditional way through Dollar Rental.  For those who don’t know what Car2Go is, the easiest way to describe it is like a hybrid between a car share & a car rental.  Check out their website for a video & the complete rundown of how this all works (They might be in a city near you!).  Car2Go only uses Smart ForTwo cars, which I can understand because Car2Go is owned by Daimler AG, which is the parent of Mercedes-Benz, which is the parent of Smart.

Our Car2Go membership card arrived in the post after we came back from PDX.

Our Car2Go membership card arrived in the post after we came back from PDX.

Just as I had predicted (& planned), my travel buddy & I mostly ate, drank & spent time at the parks.  I was hoping to go shopping (possibly for some Danner &/or Pendleton goods straight from the source), but the most shopping we did was for coffee beans.  We also bought 2 coffee mugs, one from Barista Fine Roasting & one from Heart Coffee Roasters, to match our exisiting Stumptown Coffee mugs.  We visited a different coffee roaster everyday & definitely got our caffeine fix, but we didn’t visit as many beer breweries as we had originally planned.  However, we did indulge in quite a bit of beer during our PDX stay.

Places we visted for coffee:

  • Sisters Coffee Company
  • BARISTA: Fine Coffee Purveyors
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters
  • Sterling Coffee Roasters
  • Heart Coffee Roasters
  • Ristretto Coffee Roasters

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Places we visited for beer:

  • The Mash Tun Brewpub
  • Pints Brewing
  • Hair of the Dog Brewing Company
  • Deschutes Brewery

 

Eating in Portland is a very exciting experience, especially for foodies & food lovers.  No matter where you turn, there will be at least 5 restaurants within 1 city block at all times.  Trust me when I say YOU WILL NOT GO HUNGRY IN PDX. I could not believe how many restaurants, breweries, cafes & coffee roasters I passed by; I felt as though there were more eateries, roasters & breweries than there were retail shops & each place offered a different variety of food or drink.  The popular trend in PDX: locally sourced, made-from-scratch & farm-to-table ingredients.  We’ve got the same foodie trend happening here in San Francisco, but PDX really took it to another level making the food feel really homey & comforting…not upscale hipster & uppity like in SF.  Even if it’s craft, or small batch, or hand-made, in PDX the food feels like small hometown cooking & the cocktails are anything but pretentious.

Places we visited for food:

  • Clyde Common
  • Piattino
  • Grassa
  • Salt N’ Straw Ice Creamery
  • Boxer Ramen
  • Ruby Jewel Scoops
  • Lardo
  • Le Pigeon
  • Lovejoy Bakery
  • Blue Star Donut & Coffee

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Places we visited for alcohol:

  • Clyde Common
  • Kask
  • Pepe Le Moko
  • Living Room Theater
  • The Heathman Restaurant & Bar
  • Multnomah Whiskey Library

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, we didn’t just hang around the downtown city areas & stuffed ourselves silly.  We also, as I had planned, visited many of PDX’s illustrious parks.  I didn’t just want to sit around & drink coffee/beer all day.  I wanted to do as the locals do & just chill at the park on a hot day, & boy were the days H-O-T!!! We hung out around a few of the smaller parks, but spent a majority of time at the Lan Su Chinese GardenInternational Rose Test Garden, & Japanese Garden (& took the most photos there).  The Japanese GardenInternational Rose Test Garden were a bit far from our hotel, so we walked to Providence Park Stadium (home of the Portland Timbers MLS team), & took the free bus to the gardens.  On the way back, we took the bus back to Providence Park Stadium, & from there, slowly walked back to our hotel’s neighborhood.

Parks we visited:

  • North Park Blocks
  • Japanese Gardens
  • International Rose Test Garden
  • District Park
  • Tanner Springs Park
  • Jamison Square Park
  • The Fields Neighborhood Park
  • South Park Blocks

INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

JAPANESE GARDENS

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

LAN SU CHINESE GARDEN

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Today’s song of the day:
“Hot Tonight” by Tokyo Police Club
hot tonight

20140723-143433-52473980.jpg

I’m excited to get away for a few days. I don’t really live such a fast-paced, hectic life, but it still is good to take a step away from the everyday things & take some time to breathe & relax. It not only recharges one’s body, but it also gives one a moment away from the same ho-hum repetitive schedule. Next week, I will be jetting off to Portland, Oregon. It’s not quite an exotic locale, but I’ve been wanting to visit Portland for a long time, to really take some time to explore the city.

Of course, the popular IFC TV show Portlandia has increased my interest in visiting the city, but it’s by no means the main reason I want to go there. I’ve driven through this city a few times on my way to Seattle & Canada. I’ve even stayed overnight once, but I’ve never actually seen this city for myself. I am very excited that I will get the chance to do so, next week.

There are three main things I must check off my To-Do list while I’m in Portland.

1. Drink plenty of coffee
Although Srumptown & Sterling are my favorite coffee roasters, there are plenty of other coffee roasters to try. I’d say that over Seattle, Portland is the true city of coffee.

2. Drink plenty of craft beer
I’ve been watching Esquire TV‘s shows Best Bars In America & Brew Dogs, & those two shows really opened my eyes to craft beers. Portland’s got tons of local craft breweries that I can’t wait to check out.

3. Drink plenty of whisk(e)y
I am making my way to Multnomah Whisky Library. I am not leaving until I’ve had my fair share of fine whisky. Did I ever mention that I’m a pretty big whisky drinker? Oh, well…now that cat has left the bag…

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar

December 2022
S M T W T F S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Enter your email address to follow this blog & receive notifications.

Join 231 other followers

Member of The Internet Defense League

%d bloggers like this: