If you don’t know by now, my family and I have once again flown East for summer… very East. This is our fourth trip to the USA and the first one that won’t feature attendance at an edu event. We will be spending time with some of our favourite edu peeps though, as we traverse the continent from LA to NY.
The first leg of the trip is always tiring but rarely unpleasant. We fly Air New Zealand because I’m an uneasy flier. AirNZ have a great safety record, but more importantly they’re really friendly and look after us. Unfortunately flying to the US with them inevitably means a stop over in Auckland. This time our stop over was for 5 hours! There’s not a great deal to do in Auckland airport for that long, however they do provide super comfortable chairs and lounges in an open, flexible space which is pleasant. Lee and I managed to organise the chapters of our PBL books, grab some ZZZZs and then indulge in edamame and Japanese beer. Can’t complain, really.
The flight from Auckland to LA was good too. Great big plane, awesome service – food was tasty for vegetarian plane food – and I managed to half watch a couple of films. I also read half of The Fault in Our Stars, a super easy read thanks to Green’s powerful characterisation. Actually, that reminds me that I listened to four chapters of A Users Guide to the News by Alain deBotton on the other flight. Such an awesome book. I will be buying it as soon as I find a hard copy!
Arriving in LA, we discovered that an armed gunman had been ‘sighted’ in the army barracks two blocks away from our hotel. Welcome to LA, huh? Despite that we still headed down the road and found the most amazing food at Roobios – the original fish taco restaurant! Amazing! If you’re ever in the US, look up Roobios. Their food puts Baja Fresh to shame, and that’s saying something cos we really love Baja Fresh fish tacos! We also found a Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Lee nearly died of excitement because he loves the YouTube vid where the guy reviews their double cheeseburgers – DAYUM! After stuffing ourselves with tacos, we managed to buy and eat some fries from Five Guys Burgers and Fries, just so we could get a ‘ghetto grocery bag’, lol!
Early the next morning we were back on a plane, this time a Delta flight from LAX to Portland. I love Delta – they are really friendly and the service is great! They give you a drink and a snack and you don’t have to pay for a blanket – a lot better service than Virgin America where everything costs something, even the headphones! The flight was rad – tiny plane but that didn’t bother me for two reasons:
1. The view is awesome. We saw snow capped mountains!
2. I was reading the second half of The Fault in Our Stars. I confess, there were tears!
Portland is awesome. Seriously. We’re pretty confident that this is THE city we could easy live in. Our first meal was at the Elephant Delicatessen – the most amazing world of food you can imagine and so cheap! I was actually overwhelmed by the selections and all the different counters, lol. We settled on soup and pizza. It was great to have a range of vegetarian options to choose from! We then walked down Burnside Rd to Powell’s City of Books and ended up lost in there for two hours. If you’ve ever been, you’ll know how easy that is to do! The map of the store helped a lot – we spent $171 and have much heavier luggage thanks to the many books we purchased. Well worth it! Next stop was the Doc Martens store where Keenan got his first ever pair – a big deal for our family, a milestone really! Did I mention how cheap Docs are here? Finally we headed to Deschutes Brewery for some delicious craft beer and cider. So Portland!
That night we were treated to dinner with the lovely Suzie Boss and her husband. She made us delicious vegetarian lasagne and a stunning three tiered strawberry and cream sponge cake – our boys were stoked! She also took us to see the beautiful roses at Washington Park. I wish we’d had more time to discover all of Portland’s secret spots!
Right now we are sitting on the Cascades train heading to Seattle. Well, we’re not heading anywhere right now because the train is stopped due to track work – fun times! Still, it won’t be long and our journey will be back on track, so to speak, haha!