April 16, 2015

Hair Update

This is sort of a different post, and is more for me to look back on months and years from now when I think it's a good idea to dye my hair blue/green again.

Dear future me, please do not do this to your hair ever again.

If you remember, I dyed my hair a few months ago. A month and a half ago. Something like that.

While I didn't hate it at first, as the color faded, I ended up wanting to cut all of my hair off. As someone who's never dyed their hair a funky color (aside from a really bad dye job in the sixth grade and purple highlights in high school), I did not realize that blues and reds do not fade well. More importantly, green does not fade well. Ever.

Green was not the color that I wanted, but it was the color that I ended up with. And the fading process has been absolutely horrid. Pairing it with the fact that I colored my hair at home myself, it was just. Bad.

Photos make the hair look a lot nicer than it is in person (which is saying a lot, because the hair in the photos isn't all that awesome to begin with).

It's now streaky with patches of brassy yellow from my original ombre, deep green, and five thousand shades of chartreuse. What kills me is that I really liked my hair before I dyed it -- it was a nice color and aside from the fact that it turned very brassy as the dye faded, I really liked it.

Moral of the story: do not dye your hair green. Do not try to dye your hair blue at home unless your hair is platinum blonde. More importantly, do not dye your hair green.

Also, a fun fact -- I was told by a hair colorist that green does not always lift from the hair. So. That's great to know.

Anyway I am on the hunt for a colorist in LA who doesn't charge an arm and a leg to color correct my hair. While I am so, so tempted to go for what I originally wanted (lavender), I'm not sure I'm willing to go through the pain and money of doing this process again. So. If you know anyone in the LA area, please let me know!

Alright friends. Thanks for feeling my pain with me. See you all next week.

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April 13, 2015

Four hours in Portland

Portland is a city that I've always wanted to visit. Everything I've ever heard about it beckoned me closer, from its culture to the abundance of amazing hikes not too far from the city. While my sister and I weren't planning on getting down and dirty, I was more than excited to see what the hype was all about.

We arrived sometime between lunch and dinner, and made the big debate between sandwiches and biscuits. Given the fact that the sandwich place was about to close, we took it as a sign from above and headed on over to Pine State Biscuits.

We ordered a corn dog (andouille sausage encased in cornbread with honey mustard), loaded fries (copious amounts of cheese and what tasted like cream of mushroom), and what they all the Reggie Deluxe (a biscuit sandwich of fried chicken, bacon, and cheese topped with their gravy...topped with an egg).

I want to say that this place is great for a stop and that you should definitely go. People love this place and it's rated really highly on Yelp. But..I can't confidently say that this place is worth the trip. The prices are great, but the food itself was underwhelming. Most importantly, the biscuit wasn't as great as we had anticipated. It wasn't flaky, buttery, or anything that you associate with an American biscuit.

It felt kind of stale and dense.

The corn dog was just okay, and the fries were a little too creamy.

Despite all of that, I will say that we may have gone on an off day or during an off time. Or maybe my expectations were misplaced -- I expected biscuits to be spectacular, and I had really high hopes for something amazing.

(My hair is a complete wreck, and I am in the process of finding a place in LA to get it redone without paying an arm and a leg -- I need the green out!)

Our next stop in Portland was Powell's Books. Otherwise nicknamed as the City of Books, Powell's is lauded as being one of the greatest bookstores. It boasts an impressive size, taking up an entire city block and being several stories high.

In my head, I imagined Powell's to be somewhat like Strand in New York. I have very fond memories of Strand and spending afternoons browsing through the stacks, looking at books both old and new dispersed amongst the shelves. I used to go in and walk out an hour later with three books, ready to head up to Central Park for a read on the lawn.

Powell's is not so much like Strand.

It's much cleaner, in a way that resembles a university library more than a bookstore. The floors are split up by theme, and are separated by a large staircase.

There are also props. Lots of weird little knick knacks in between aisles for your perusal.

It was an interesting stop, but it was nothing what I expected it to be like. It was a little too neat. A little too clean.

The city of books looked more like a suburban town, everything uniform and in order. Though I can't deny how massive the place was. There is something about being in a place that is stuffed to the brim with books.

It's the tailored, clean, orderly version of New York's wild Strand. And each has its own merits.

Though with quite a bit of time on our hands, my sister and I debated on what we should do next. We headed over to the gardens, only to find that none of the flowers were yet in bloom. Other than going on a hike, we were running out of things to do. I'd run through all of the suggestions I had received from friends, and wasn't in the mood for going out for a beer or more food.

After a little search on Instagram, I found some amazing photos taken from the Pittock Mansion viewpoint. We thought, why not?

While the mansion was already closed for tours, we were still allowed to walk around the grounds and admire the views of Portland from above.

I call this my sister's pretend sorority photo.

Downtown Portland in all its glory!

If you look off into the distance, you can see Mt. Hood -- or what looks like a weird cloud cluster. I had no idea it was so large and in charge.

While the view was supposed to be beautiful at night, we weren't willing to wait around a few hours for the sunset.

We climbed back into our car and waved goodbye to Portland, making our way back down to Eugene in record time.

Something about my trip in Portland made me think that I was missing something -- that there was a hidden part of it that I had not yet tapped into. Maybe you need an insider to be your guide for the day. Maybe all there really is to do is hike. Or maybe it's a lot nicer when the flowers are in bloom.

Either way, it's not a place that I'm in a rush to get back to. The hikes, however, I am putting among my top things to do next time I'm in Oregon. Multnomah Falls, I'm coming for you!

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April 9, 2015

Tillamook and Cannon Beach

My last day in Oregon was the only one that we actually planned for. My sister and I decided that we wanted to rent a car and make our way to Portland, as I had never been. On the way, we wanted to make a couple of stops: Tillamook (if you know me but at all, you know that my love for cheese is out of control) and Cannon Beach.

First stop? Cheese.

We took a quick tour of the upstairs area, which overlooks the actual factory. You can see big metal containers where magic happens, and people inspecting cheese blocks to make sure that they are ready for me to consume. Or consumption in general, whatever.

It honestly took about a total of sixty seconds to look at everything we wanted to look at, so we went back downstairs to get to the tasting and the eating.

My face says it all -- cheese! Blocks of six different types of cheese are placed in a line with toothpicks for you to pick up a block or two. On our first round, we got one of each: squeaky cheese (otherwise known as cheese curds and something that I discovered I do not like), medium cheddar, a couple that I don't quite remember, aged white cheddar, and a jalapeno number that packed a kick.

The favorite? Without a doubt, the aged white cheddar. I went back for seconds and ended up with two toothpicks packed with cheese.

No shame to my game.

But just getting cheese wasn't enough. Who could get full off of tiny little blocks, right?

We debated between getting a grilled cheese and ice cream -- but given the fact that it was eleven in the morning and neither of us were up for sweets, we opted for the grilled cheese with tomato soup.

The grilled cheese is made with two types of cheese, melted together to create this ooey gooey deliciousness.

But...I have to admit.

I wasn't that big of a fan.

Personally, I thought that it was really underwhelming for it to be a dairy factory. Particularly, the cheese wasn't that gooey and it needed a slab of good ol' butter to crack up the level of tasty to oh-my-goodness-my-life-is-complete.

Somewhat full (and majorly needing to get back on the road), we drove off up the coast to get to Cannon Beach.

Which happened to be one of the highlights of my entire Oregon trip. Wedged between the ocean and the mountains that ride up the Oregon coast, this place is beautiful.

We encountered these strange little things that we couldn't identify. Initially, we thought they were rocks -- and we were horrified when they made a chorus of crunching sounds when we walked over them. I made a mental note to look them up and found out that they're called velella velella. Otherwise known as by-the-wind sailors.

They're like jellyfish! I think. To be honest, I didn't really read the Wikipedia page.

But there were a ton of them!

Something that has always captivated me about the Oregon coast is that there are so many rock formations jutting out from the water. Because the tide was far out, we were able to almost walk right up to the rocks along the beach.

One of them is famously known as Haystack Rock, and when the tide is in it shows up as a little island. It's home to seabirds and has a little cave that I was itching to explore.

You can't show me a cave and ask me not to climb into it!

Given the fact that it was so windy and cold, though, I decided going into the water and risking getting into trouble to climb the stack wasn't worth it. So we kept going until we finally made our way here, where we were met with a huge crowd of visitors looking at the tide pools.

Every single part of me still wants to go back when the weather is warmer and find my way into the cave. Who knows what could be in there? It might have absolutely nothing but untouched rock and crashing waves, but I want to find out.


Anyway, we got to the tide pools and were again disappointed. This is the extent to which we were able to see anything. We didn't really see the sea life that we had anticipated -- no starfish as advertised on Instagram, no hermit crabs, nothing. Except for these things.

Though for just having walked forty-five minutes, it was a bit of a let-down.

Cannon Beach is totally worth the trip, if only for Haystack Rock. It's so beautiful and looks majestic both in the distance and close up. The birds circling and flying from point to point make you a little nervous (you never know when one is going to poo on you), but it's so calming.

When the tide is out, it's even more amazing. I've never seen a beach look so deep and clean. Isolated, despite there being so many other people there. That's something special about Oregon.

Tillamook on the other hand..maybe not so much worth a visit unless it's on the way somewhere.

But! From here, we ran back to the car to make our way to Portland in good time. It wasn't the trip that I was expecting, but it was still an experience! But that for next time.

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