On a Bend-er: Beer, Spirits, and Coffee in Bend, Oregon

cycle pub bend

Bend, Oregon may not be on your radar, but if you're a beer lover, spirit drinker or coffee aficionado it should be. In just a quick 48 hours, I had sipped three local beers, tasted locally made vodka and gin, and learned the art of coffee cupping. For those of us who like to drink, Bend may just as well be called the sipping capital of the world.

Tasting New Orleans: Cochon Butcher

boudin cochon butcher new orleans

New Orleans' culinary tradition is legendary. Spicy, flavorful and slightly intoxicating, just like the city itself. One man who carries on this culinary tradition is Donald Link, who just recently won a James Beard award for his restaurant, Cochon. Blending traditional New Orleanian fare with a modern culinary trends, Link has created new and exciting ways for the uninitiated and initiated, alike, to discover Cajun cuisine. On our recent trip to New Orleans, we headed straight to Cochon, but then turned to corner to discover its little brother, Butcher, tucked just down the street. A relaxed informal lunch spot, Butcher focuses on charcuterie and provided us a peek into what's new in New Orleans cuisine.

Artsmart Roundtable: Jaume Plensa's Outdoor Sculpture

jaume plensa overflow sculpture new orleans

I didn't go out in search of Jaume Plensa's sculpture, but instead it kept finding me. In my travels lately, I keep bumping into the work of the Spanish sculptor. In New Orleans, I became enthralled by this work made of a lattice of letters in the sculpture park at the New Orleans Museum of Art. A month later, I was confronting with him again. This time walking along Sunset Beach in Vancouver, BC as he called to me from the hillside.

jaume plensa we vancouver

By the time I got home I couldn't get this sculptor out of my head. Why did he keep showing up everywhere I went? Who is he?

Tasting Vancouver: Granville Island Public Market

granville island public market sign

Markets are my favorite place to explore when I travel. The sights, the sounds and the smells; it can be intoxicating. On Granville Island on Vancouver, BC, the Public Market is a feast for your senses.

Granville Island, a former industrial island just south of downtown Vancouver, is a bit of an oasis in the middle of the city. You could drive or take the bus over, but we opted to take a long, appetite-building morning walk from our apartment rental and then hopped on the aquabus to get across the water.

granville island aquabus vancouver

Forget The Guidebook : Boston

We think the web is full of great "travel guides," created by people who live and love the places we visit. Before you shell out a dime on a mass-produced book, check out these great blogs and websites before your next trip to Boston, and get a taste of the city as locals see it.
Boston skyline at night
Image: mituldesai.

No matter where you travel, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Where do you eat, what will you do when you get there, what's worth seeing in the short amount of time you have? Finding good resources takes a lot of time and effort, which might lead you to opt for a pre-packaged guidebook to save yourself a headache. To save you from suffering through a mediocre travesty of a guidebook, I've found some great blogs and resources for everyone looking to enjoy the great city of Boston, all made by locals, no less. Keep reading to discover some great resources for your next trip to Beantown.

Weekend Escapes: Iron Springs Resort in Copalis Beach, Washington

Iron Springs Resort Sunset

What does it mean to go to the beach? As you move across the globe a trip to the beach can conjure up many types of memories. Deserted ones in Hawaii, boardwalks and caloric snacks on Coney Island, Caribbean resorts with rum drinks just steps from the ocean, and well groomed Italian beaches where you pay for your own cordoned off section to bronze.

Regardless of their incarnation, my favorite beach experiences, however, are those where the context remains. Where my experience feels just as similar as those who have come years before to get away, to hear the ocean, smell the salt air, and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them. In the Pacific Northwest, I recently discovered Iron Springs Resort, a place that allows you to experience a trip to the coast in the way it has been done for decades. Where you can retreat into nature and enjoy the relaxed Pacific Northwest spirit.

Travellious Test Labs: WhatchyaGot Bag

whatchyagot bag

The WhatchyaGot bag suits its name perfectly. Regardless of what you've got, there's a spot for it in this bag designed by Julie Gallegos. As she watched her father battle cancer, she saw a need that traditional bags did not meet. As Julie designed a bag to hold his medications, vitamins and other personal supplies, all while keeping them organized, she realized that she had stumbled upon something. She's decided to share this act of love with the world and the WhatchyaGot bag was born. Keep on reading to see what I thought about the bag.