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Adventures for All

Category Archives: Travel

Planes, trains, automobiles, ships, bicycles and more.

Overlooked Oregon – Places Beyond the Hype

DSCF0631Tell someone you’re going to Portland, and you’ll get two reactions:

“Ugh, why are you going there?” This is usually people from cities like Chicago or New York who can’t fathom that there’s actually cool stuff in other places.

“Powell’s! VooDoo Donuts! Rogue Brewery!” All great, but … all plummeting toward cliché status.

Get some super-rich drinking chocolate at Cacao.

Get some super-rich drinking chocolate at Cacao.

I made my second visit to Portland in July, and I want to share some things you probably don’t hear about outside the Rose City. This is my OverlookedOregon list.

Living Room Theaters
I rarely go to a movie theater. Most of the movies are absolutely awful. Well, at the big-time megaplex-style of theater, anyway. Portland’s Living Room Theaters is an exception. About 30 seats per theater, all of them comfy. Movies with real character and dialogue and craft. You can get real food and drink with your movie. And a ticket is all of $10. Go see a movie here when you visit Portland.

 

Overlooked Oregon

Load up at Lardo when it’s sandwich time.

Cacao
If you watch the Portlandia series, you’ll probably never hear the word “cacao” quite the same again. In this case, though, it’s not a kinky couple’s safe word: It’s a small place that specializes in drinking chocolate and other forms of chocolate. Careful – the drinking chocolate is extremely rich. In retrospect, I should’ve gone for the smaller size and come back later for a second. Tackling 5 ounces of drinking chocolate at one shot can be a tall order. Still, delicious and worth a stop.

Lardo Sandwiches
I can’t shut up about this place, nor stop wishing Phoenix had something that comes even remotely close. But, as Jules from Pulp Fiction said, we ain’t got the same ballpark, league or even sport here. We went twice. We ordered four different sandwiches. And don’t even ask me to try telling you which was best … but the Cubano and pork meatball Banh Mi were particularly memorable. Oh, and Lardo has craft beer on tap.

Fort George Brewery
I’m cheating a bit here. Fort George Brewery is a few hours away on the coast in Astoria. Of course, that should be part of your trip anyway if you’re a proper retro-hipster pop-culture samurai who wants to see the filming location of The Goonies. Fort George Brewery is a cool-looking two-story building … but look for the annex next door, where you’ll find the Tasting Room. You can still get food, but the atmosphere is more cozy and personable (the bartender was particularly cool). They have hard-hitting oak-aged beers, which I absolutely loved. But if you want an unusual standout, try the Spruce Budd Ale. It’s made entirely with spruce tips rather than hops. It packs a ton of flavor for a beer with less the 6 percent ABV. Atmosphere, food and great beer make it a must-visit place on my Overlooked Oregon list.

Oregon Blimp Hangar Ranks Among Coolest Aviation Museums

It never fails to amaze me how many aviation museums I can stumble across. My latest one is the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon. To be honest, I didn’t even plan to stop. I’ve seen more aviation museums than I can remember. And the Tillamook Air Museum doesn’t exactly have a huge collection. My plansContinue Reading

Quick Guide to Easy Icelandic Words

My ears love the Icelandic language. My tongue, though, hates it. Just about every attempt at saying a few bits (aside from “takk fyrir,” the phrase for “thank you”) earned me a few chuckles. I still had fun trying, and I think it’s good for any traveler to try learning a few words – noContinue Reading

Where to Beat the Summer Heat in Arizona

If you live in Arizona, there’s a good chance the summer heat has its oppressive boot squished against your neck. And you want to know how and where to beat the summer heat in Arizona, someway, somehow. I have some tips for all of you who are afraid of getting heatstroke on the way out toContinue Reading

Six Things to Know About Curitiba, Brazil

The World Cup put Curitiba on the rest of the world’s radar. Many of us just think of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo – for better or worse. I went into Curitiba with few expectations – I didn’t really have enough information to form any. And the blogosphere let me down. It seems evenContinue Reading

Dysentery Dangers and Poop Puns A-plenty

According to the Dysentery Dangers infographic, I should’ve had explosive diarrhea on at least two continents. I should’ve had the squirts in South Korea. A colon blow in Costa Rica. A bowel bomb in Belize. A … well, I can’t think of any sort of euphemism for a power dump that starts with a JContinue Reading

Dog Poops On a Flight, Causes Unscheduled Landing: Analysis

A dog poops on a flight and causes an unscheduled landing … and the most-amusing aviation story in a good, long while. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of  the Philly.com story about US Airways Flight 598 bound for Philadelphia from Los Angeles. All copy in italics comes from Philly.com. Everything else is my commentary. AContinue Reading

What Makes Phoenix Better Than Tucson?

People from Phoenix love to shit all over Tucson by saying things like “It’s dirty” and “the roads are terrible.” (Disclaimer: I am an Arizona State University graduate. But I also have little regard for silly-ass tribalism. I also like Tucson more and more with every visit.) While those who bash Tucson run their mouths,Continue Reading

Titan Missile Museum Tour Taps Cold War Memories

The Titan Missile Museum tour is perfect those of us who have forgotten – and for those of us who never knew – the Cold War. Some of us (not me!) will recall the “is this the end?” tension of the Cuban Missile Crisis. People my age will think back to Regan-era rhetoric, the StarContinue Reading

All Nippon Airways Asks “Is Japan Cool?”

Really, All Nippon Airways doesn’t need a website to answer the question “Is Japan Cool?”. The company knows the answer: yes to the fourth power, Japan is cool. So what’s the deal here? Well, it’s to find out what’s absolutely the coolest of the cool about Japan. It asks readers “Is Japan Cool?” by ratingContinue Reading