On The Run: An Oregon-California Road Trip

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike, and all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggles that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck

A friend and I spontaneously decided to visit Portland, Oregon, over Thanksgiving break because neither of us had ever been, so why not? We bought last minute tickets to fly up on Friday, and decided to drive back down that Sunday.

Just like any trip, no matter how well planned, there are always things you cannot control. Although beautiful, Portland turned out to be freezing, and pretty wet: we got rain, snow, and hail. I assume all three were necessary, just for good measure. However, despite not being dressed appropriately for the cold (which goes to show that we’ve become California brats in a few short months, since we saw the 30ºF/-1ºC  forecast, looked at our winter coats, laughed, and thought “Who needs them, right?” WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Thank God for Black Friday and 50% off at Gap!), we still had a great time.

The drive back down was both amazing and tough. We got to see all of the Oregon coast, which is stunningly beautiful, yet missed out on the Cali coast due to a lack of daylight — By 5pm, it looked like it was midnight outside, with no street lamps to help. We also got stuck in an extreme downpour, which deserves its own special mention, since it’s rained only about 5 times in the 10 months we’ve been in San Francisco. In any case, the 16 hour drive is well worth it if you can afford the extra day of driving and can therefore split it into two parts, or if you can wait until the summer to do it.

Before the trip, I decided I wanted to document it in a different way. Words are pretty, but so are photos, and since photography is one of my bigger hobbies, I wanted to create my first photo-journal type of post.

Both Flora and I had a great time snapping these, and we hope you enjoy them as well :)

Note: You can click on the photos in the mosaics to make them bigger.

Day 1 – Friday: Arrival and Holy Crap Why Is It So Cold?!

Amanecer SFSunrise on our way to SFO.

There was a clear winner in Portland — Rain: 10,000. Belén: 0. I lost that umbrella, RIP. But rain aside, THAT HUGE LEAF!

Pizza PyramidGlad we’ve all got our priorities straight.

Powell’s Books, one of the largest independent new and used bookstores. Also known as my first happy place of the trip. Found a small tribute to my favorite author, Gabriel García Márquez, and the gem I bought: Hermann Hesse’s fairytales. Also, those mugs say “I like big books and I cannot lie.” YES. 

Dark Hot ChocolateMy second happy place: Cacao. We warmed up with some much needed hot dark chocolate. 

SmoochesWhile shopping, we found this adorable sign, and I couldn’t resist!

I took this as we ate, but we counted the final amount of sushi plates: 18. And it only cost us $27 total. Amazeballs. 

Day 2 – Saturday: It’s Even Colder Today, So Let’s Eat Our Feelings

Our second day started off with the ridiculous, albeit delicious, Voodoo donuts. So much sweetness. A must if you visit PDX.

Lunch was at Tasty N Alder, and all the recommendations we got for it were on point. The food was incredible, and our waitress, Chelsea, was the coolest girl we met in Portland.

DSC_0084At one point, we found a photo booth, and we got way too excited for it. It turned out to be out of order, so in retaliation, we took a selfie in the photo booth’s mirror. 

And yes, for those of you wondering, I did take photos of the actual city #easilydistractedbyfoodandprettythings 

On the left is the duck dish I had that night at Andina, a Peruvian restaurant that absolutely killed it. Afterwards, we met up with a friend for drinks and she brought us real peacock feathers as a gift. Her mom’s boyfriend’s family owns a peacock farm, because who wouldn’t? 

Day 3 – Sunday: Road Trip!

There are no words to describe the beauty of the Oregon coast. Simply click on the images to enlarge them and try to envision it for yourself.

There was definitely a stop made for a caramel apple and a mid-road-trip selfie.

Oregon SunsetAnd this glorious sunset happened. I may or may not have snapped this while driving, but I couldn’t help it; it left me speechless. God is good.

Finally, after 8 hours of driving, we made it to Cali and had one of those OMG-I’M-STANDING-IN-TWO-STATES-AT-THE-SAME-TIME moments. From there, we only had about 8 more rainy hours to go!

It was absolutely worth it. I’ll leave you with our Beyoncé and JayZ-inspired trip theme:

Flo and B on the RunFlo & B – On the Run

 All photos by: Belén Alemán & Flora Capaldi

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