Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On why I CAN'T EVEN.

I've been trying to wrap up my post about Puerto Vallarta for about a week now, and I just can't do it yet. I suppose that is the discipline that writers must build-to write even when it doesn't feel natural. I'd so much rather write about things on my mind so I can pour and process everything out into palatable words, because that's how my thoughts start to make sense. Journals and diaries are probably better for this stuff, but typing is faster and I love the sound of my keyboard going 'click click click'...

I'm going to be 27 in a few weeks, 15 days to be exact. I'm pretty sure I cried the afternoon I turned 26, not because I was officially in my late 20's but because I had just moved back to Portland and wasn't where I wanted to be in life. A year later, I've done pretty well for myself career wise, become a blondie, backpacked South America and trekked Macchu Picchu, found a paddling team, created a beautiful home for myself, traveled a bunch, fostered new friendships, paid off a huge chunk of student loans, living a very blessed life and I'm still single. Roll your eyes all you want at this constantly revisited rant of mine, it's my blog so I'll write what I want :D

Being single is not a disease, but I still hate it. I HATE dating-I hate the drama, I hate the games, I hate the pride and the hurt and the guessing and the waiting. Whenever I'm happily single-always when I'm the MOST happily single-it'll attract a random dude and he'll fuck everything up. I've learned how to close doors and bounce back more swiftly than ever by now (practice, my dear) but I can't stop this cycle and frankly, I'm too old for this now. And it still hurts every time. I literally can't even. All I want is to be in a kind, fun, loving and secure relationship with someone I respect and adore, and someone who treats me how I deserve to me treated (text me back, don't be late and buy me flowers-ridiculous expectations I've been told recently. Is there a middle finger emoji? Can someone make one please?) I would still love to fall in love.

A few weeks ago I taught a workshop for my company on Online Dating 101. Specifically, how to work Tinder. It was a roaring success (so I've been told) but a part of me was whispering inside, "so you'll meet someone in person and maybe you'll like each other...and THEN what?" During Q&A, someone in the class asked how online dating has worked out for me and I had to confess-I've gone on many awesome dates but I've never MET anyone. At least none that I remember anyway-no fireworks, no one I had to tell mom about right away, no one I wanted to make breakfast for (going out for brunch tastes better anyway). Online dating is exciting at first, and then it gets repetitive and depressing. It's definitely worth a shot, I just haven't lucked out yet.

Some of my girlfriends have vowed to be single for a period of their lives, so they can focus on their careers and schooling. Rachelle, Rose, Erica, I see you and I wish I could be you. You guys are my heroines. I did that senior year of university already, and involuntarily did it this past year and it was great, so can I please have a boyfriend now? Wait-I'll be 27 soon.

I guess it's time to confess: Boys, step aside. I'm looking for husband material this year. Is there an app for that?


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

So I ran off to Canada last weekend.

If you live in Portland and want a PLAYcation, Vancouver BC (oh, Canada!) is where it’s at. My friend Andrew and I decided to drive up there on a whim last weekend to celebrate a three-day weekend and it was AWESOME.

I learned a thing or two about Canadians while we were up there, which was refreshing since the last time I was on their soil was in middle school (?). By the way, it’s been agreed upon that Canada is the most boring vacation your family can do as a road trip during childhood. I almost didn’t want to go based on my memories of being dragged through every Chinatown by my parents, and having to get out of the car and get photos taken next to every horse drawn carriage. My friend had the same traumatic experience, but then we figured, if Portland got so much better after we turned 21 (or got fake IDs), how bad could Canada be?  

The first thing I learned was that Crown Royal at the duty-free store next to the border patrol is really, really cheap. All the liquor is, but you can only bring back one liter to the States. 

Second, I was reassured that Canadians really are the friendliest people! I guess this doesn’t say much because I usually just adore everyone (except for pretentious East Coast men) You can get a passport stamp at the border if you ask reallllly nicely and smile! J We stayed at an adorable Airbnb in the West End (their version of Nob Hill or NW Portland) and our host was this sweet, down to earth, artsy blonde chick whom I instantly developed a girl crush on.

Third, Easter is a big deal. I think Good Friday is an actual holiday that people get off work, and a lot of the shops and restaurants were closed due to it. Oh well. Also, tea is a big deal. I’m assuming it’s from the British influence? GAH I must not have paid enough attention at the museum, I’ll get to that later.

Fourth, I’ve never seen so many restaurants in my life. Food is everywhere, and every street is packed with incredibly diverse cuisines, from Malaysian to seafood tapas. Vancouver locals are definitely foodies.

I made a list of things to do and places to dine and drink at during our drive up, curated from generous recommendations from friends and Google.  We had two-ish full days and checked just about everything off our list (got shit DONE!), but it would have been great to stay and relax/shop for an extra day.


Exploring Granville Public Market. If Pike Place Market in Seattle was in Canada instead, this would be it. Isn't it funny how if you’ve been to a lot of places, after a while everywhere you go reminds you of somewhere you’ve already been? It’s comforting and annoying at the same time to me. Lots of fresh meats, pastas and delis serving gourmet local pastries, pies, etc. It’s under the bridge along a pretty waterfront as well!

Gastown. This is a downtown, gritty bar district, which makes it glorious and also essential for any decent city. Although most of the shops were closed for the holiday, each bar was just a stone’s throw away from each other and packed. We popped into a few for drinks, and then hit up a highly recommended Japanese izakaya for dinner.

GUU. OMG. Is it bad that I lived in Asia for four years and I’m tempted to crown this place the best izakaya I’ve ever had?? I was beyond impressed with the quality and flavors of our meal, everything was perfection. I’m no foodie, but the fried chicken was breaded masterfully and so tender, the yakiudon was seasoned JUST right…best meal of our trip hand’s down. If you’re in Vancouver, GO EAT AT GUU.

Keepin’ it classy in Yaletown. They say Yaletown is for yuppies, so I guess it was like Portland’s Pearl District..only there were a LOT of well dressed, drunk middle-aged folks on dates. That's just what I observed. Anyways, when a bartender at a swanky bar insists that you check out another swanky bar down the street, you should go. That’s how we discovered George Lounge, a plush, sexy joint playing 80’s music and packed with 40-year-old divorced housewives in 5 inch heels. No, I really loved it. Their cocktails were excellent (I’m a cocktail snob now, don’t you know?) and I was thrilled that mine came in a Chinese take-out box. Probably my favorite cocktail ever!

Taking the ferry to Victoria, the capital and one of the oldest cities of British Columbia. I like taking ferries, I take them whenever I can because I’ve never been disappointed by the views. It was too windy to sit outside, but I could have stared out those windows for hours. Oh wait, I did. I’m too lazy to think of adjectives so here’s a photo. Protip: If you’re only here for a day, no need to bring your car (which will cost you $100+ CAD to drive on to the ferry each way). Double decker buses #72 and #70 picks people up right outside the terminal and brings you straight to downtown for $5 CAD round trip. You can buy bus passes in the gift shop on the ferry, you’re welcome.

Stumbling into the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria. Totally unplanned, but I saw this on the map and we decided to throw down the $16 CAD to check it out. THE MOST AMAZING MUSEUM I HAVE EVER BEEN TO. I’ll admit I usually don’t beeline to museums so I haven’t been to many, but I’ve still been to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and this was way better. It’s better than OMSI too. I walked through movie-set like exhibits learning about the colonization of British Colombia to now, it was just so done. Maybe I’ve just gotten older, but this was the highlight of Victoria for me, and it would have been such a shame if everyone missed it!

Oh last thing I learned about Canadians- they adore Portland. J

And tomorrow, off to Mexico I go!