BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

I Went to Portland and All I Got Was This Crappy Tattoo

48 Comments

Kidding, of course… It’s actually a kick-ass tattoo! You’ll have to just take my word for it right now, as it has just entered the flaky/scabby stage of healing and wouldn’t make for the nicest photo. But I’m getting ahead of myself here- Obviously, there was much, much more to my trip than a stop at the vegan tattoo parlor, Scapegoat.

After a rough night of travel and only a handful of hours to sleep, I found myself being dragged out of my stiff hotel bed to start preparing for the book signing at Herbivore. Fueled by excitement and nerves, I soldiered on, seeing what cookies could be salvaged after their turbulent plane ride, and frosting them to the finished whoopie pies.

40 came out of my original 50, and almost all of the muffins survived fairly well, so I just crossed my fingers and hoped that I would have food for everyone that wanted a bite.

Pulling up to the famed vegan strip mall was truly surreal. Everything inside each store, and at least a good number of the people were completely cruelty-free. I don’t think it’s sunken in yet, even after experiencing it and returning home! Tempted as I was to poke about all day, duty called, and I got to meet a few wonderful people at Herbivore instead. Thank you to everyone who came out and got a book or took a sample! This was the first time I got to meet anyone who might have known my blog and made it a point to come see me. You guys are the best – especially those of you who then met me at the tea house later to chat – you make me want to move to Portland so we can hang out more!

Unable to resist the temptation of multiple u-picks scattered throughout the fertile state, the second day was dedicated to investigating the ample supply of ripe berries. Before this day, I had never tasted a strawberry quite so sweet, juicy, or flavorful, and now I don’t know how I can suffer through the standard supermarket berries again! The raspberries too were huge and incredibly flavorful.

Even the fields smell sweet, the scent of natural sugars wafting through the air and permeating the atmosphere. I swear, if you could bottle this stuff, you would have the most effective antidepressant on the market; I don’t think anyone could leave those fields without a smile on their faces.

The blueberries weren’t quite ready, but they were still lovely all the same. I had actually never seen blueberries on the bush before!

Come Tuesday, I still didn’t know what recipe(s) I wanted to demo with Julie… Which was something of a problem, considering that everyone was ready to start shooting right then! I’ll admit it- I totally crumbled and my nerves got the best of me. Julie was so wonderful though, noodling about with me in her kitchen just to calm me down again and chatting about foodie things that few others might understand or care about. No thanks would suffice; I couldn’t be more grateful for her patience and kindness. Leaving without filming one second of that day, she still somehow convinced me that I wasn’t a total failure.

Lucky for you guys, I came back the next day and bit the bullet. We even got through two recipes! Those should be up on the Everyday Dish soon enough, so I’ll make another post to alert you about that.

With all of the hard work done, I took Thursday for myself and got my tattoo. A little quicky that took a mere 30 minutes, it was such a joy to actually watch my artist, Henry, at work. Although my first tattoo took a total of 15 hours, I never got to watch a minute of it, since it was all on my back! For anyone who just can’t contain their curiosity, I’ll give you a little hint about what it looks like….

Now just keep your pants on until I can heal and photograph the real thing!

Unable to do much with a fresh tattoo biting into my wrist, we spent much of the remaining time browsing through farmers markets and cute little shops, each one inspiring and interesting to no end.

The rose garden was also a lovely little break from reality-

Our last full day was on independence day, so instead of trying to see things that were probably closed for the holiday, we ventured out into the “wild” and did some hiking around the falls. Packing a picnic and feasting upon hummus, veggies, and watermelon right next to the roaring water plunging off a steep cliff, it seemed as close to the “all American celebration” as I could come.

And Portland? I have to hand it to you: Those 4th of July fireworks were some of the best I have ever seen. Never before have I been so close to the action that ash has fallen on my face and in my hair! Truly incredible and unforgettable.

Thank you to everyone who made this an amazing vacation and showed that there is perhaps a place that I don’t stick out like a sore thumb. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like such a freak due to my appearance or eating choices. That, in and of itself, is more than I could ever ask for.

Trust me, I have many more pictures and stories, but I’ve babbled on for long enough as it is. You can find more photos on my Flickr page!

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

48 thoughts on “I Went to Portland and All I Got Was This Crappy Tattoo

  1. It sounds like your trip was amazing! And the tattoo image is super cute! Do you have any pictures of you back work? I’m always interested to see what people have (as I’m slightly addicted to tattoos myself…I’m three down thus far…) Your post makes me want to go to Portland post haste!

  2. Wow – beautiful photos – sounds like you had a well-deserved amazing trip! I’ve been dreaming of visiting Portland after repeatedly hearing how veg-friendly it is…someday soon, I hope! Cute tattoo :) …I’ve been wanting to get one with ages but I’m allergic to pain!

  3. Sounds like you had an awesome trip. :) And you took lots of great photos!

  4. AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS!!! As always :0)

    Hannah, that tattoo image looks wonderful!! Although I must admit, I’m still awestruck by the one that’s on your back – such a work of art.

    Whoopie Pies!!! We have a joke about those baked goods around here – remind me to tell you about it ;0)

  5. Sounds like a fun trip!

    Congrats on the new ink. Hope it doesn’t itch too bad as it heals (that’s the worst!) and can’t wait to see it.

  6. Thanks for all the great photos today, Hannah! I’ve never been to Portland, although I’ve always wanted to go. After reading about your trip, I just want to go more!

  7. Those fruits and flowers are just gorgeous. Glad you had such a good trip! And looking forward to the Everyday Dish episodes.

  8. Great pics! All that fruit and those veggies… sounds like your trip was fun! Can’t wait to see the Dish episodes!

  9. .. and photos.. and sounds are great.. thanks

  10. I don’t have a tatoo yet, but I’ve always wanted one. Can’t wait to see a pic!

    Great pictures! Makes me miss the great NW so much!

  11. Ahh I would be so scared if the ash fell on my hair hehe I would think I would catch on fire. But all the berries and fresh veggie look fantastic! Especially the purple cauliflower =] I’m so excited to see your tattoo and the Everyday Dish episodes!

  12. beautiful photos- I’m going to portland for vacation at the end of the month- where were those falls- they were beautiful!

    glad you had a great time!

  13. I’m so glad that you came to visit and that we got to spend time together! As a result, we started a knitting group that will be meeting at the teahouse every Thursday!

    I went to the farmer’s market Saturday and got such lovely produce and some Tayberries – a cross between blackberry and raspberry. So yummy.

    Wasn’t it beautiful looking at the river from near the falls! I love that area.

  14. Delighted to hear that my beloved Pacific Northwest treated you well. Only place better than Portland is Seattle ;-). Thanks for the lovely trip down memory lane. Can’t wait to see the tatoo and hear of record sales of your cookbook!

  15. Wow- what an amazing trip! I can’t wait to see your new tattoo and if it’s like your hint, than it will be adorable!

    I’ll be awaiting your segments on Everyday Dish and I can’t wait to see what you decided to make.

  16. Sounds like a wonderful vacation!! Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos :)

  17. I doubt your trip could have been anything but great, glad to hear it went well! There is nothing quite like berries straight off the plant.

  18. Such gorgeous fruits and veggies! When are you coming to NYC for a book signing?

  19. I’m glad your trip was so great, I wish I could have gone and supported! you make Portland sound like paradise… it probably is, though, isn’t it? :p

  20. Oh, it sounds like it was so much fun. Thanks for sharing all the pictures, it’s very nice to see….. and all those yummy looking fruits and vegetables are making me hungry. Please share the tattoo when it’s healed as well, I’d love to see it!

  21. that’s so cool!! Congratulations on the tattoo and the book signing!
    Ever since I read the article in the NYT about the foodie scene in Portland, I’ve been dying to go. Your photos are stunning (as usual) and have only fueled my eagerness to go visit this culinary retreat!!

  22. so glad you loved portland! i just moved here myself… well almost a year ago… it’s so vegan friendly/proud it’s ridiculous.

    i wasn’t able to make it out to meet you this time around, so come back to visit us soon!

  23. It all looks lovely!

    Grats on the tat. ^-^ They are addictive.

    Fresh fruit picked by your own hands always tastes the best. I can remember snagging a few ripe blueberries off my grandmothers large blueberry bush and savoring the bites. And watermelon by the falls sounds like a perfect holiday retreat.

    Glad you had a blast!

  24. Isn’t Portland awesome?! I’m about to write about my trip. Julie is the coolest too! I was also nervous & she put me at ease.
    The whoopie pies sure look good & I’m glad they made it! I can’t wait to see the tattoo!

  25. Yes Portland, as well as the Seattle area where I live is very accepting of the Vegan lifestyle.
    Farmers market looks great.

  26. What a beautiful market! And the picks are fantastic, I love how everything looks through your camera’s eye.

    Best,

    Ainhoa

  27. I am so glad you had fun! Your adventure make me want to go to Portland! :D
    I can’t wait to see your tattoo!
    Your pictures are wonderful, as always!

    I wish I could have been there! :>

    LOVE.
    sydney

  28. Looks like you had a wonderful time :)

  29. Looks like a great trip, Hannah. You and Julie are famous! Wish I could have been there to meet you. Portland is what I think heaven must be like. *Sigh*

    Can’t wait to see the tattoo!

  30. I share the obsession with berries and fresh picking..it really is quite a high. The photography is, of course, stunning. You have really inspired me to visit Portland!

  31. I would love to visit Portland at some point in my life…it sounds like you had a great time. I love your blog!

  32. What stunning photos! I’ve got cauliflower envy now.

  33. Yay! I am glad you had fun here; I enjoyed meeting you and eating those whoopie pies! I wish I could have had tea with you and the others, but sigh…I was at work. You really did manage to cover a ton of Portland in the short time you were here!

  34. as always, your photos are beauuuuuuuuuutiful! sounds like you had a stellar time in porland! and what is this vegan strip mall?! it sounds glorious! i wish we had that in rva. jealousface.

    i can’t wait to get the recipes on Everyday Dish (i would have been nervous, too!) and i can’t wait to see the awesome tattoo as well!

    excitedface!

  35. Sounds like a great trip – I have always wanted to go to Portland, and now I want to go even more! It is like a paradise for foodies!

  36. Hannah,
    Thank you for coming to our little store! We appreciate you spending time with us.
    I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t post any photos of yourself….
    I’ll email you a great one I have. I know some people want to see that kind of picture. :)

  37. Your trip sounds like it was a lot of fun. Portland is so vegan friendly. I too sometimes want to pack my bags and move there. Your photos of the berries are lovely. I know just the scent you’re talking about and had to chuckle at the thought of bottling it to combat depression!

  38. Your photos are such a wonderful tonic this cold and wet morning.

  39. Hannah! good morning dear! if your tattoo looks like that sweet rabbit foru sure it’s a fantastic tattoo :-D
    thanks for the photos they are really stunning!
    have a nice day
    Silvia

  40. These photos are gorgeous–especially the berries! I’m excited to see your tattoo!

  41. what a fun, beautiful and delicious trip for you!
    i can’t wait to see your new tattoo, hannah.
    yay!

  42. Purple vegetables!

    Can’t wait to see tattoo photos!

  43. It was so nice for me and Claire to meet you at Sweetpea & the tea house, Hannah! Thanks for signing our copy of your book. FYI, now Claire is inspired not only to continue baking, but to knit animals like you do. She already started on a mouse. I’m glad you had a fun visit. Your pictures are gorgeous!

  44. Looks like portland really does have everything one could ever ask of anywhere – i already imagined it to be the mecca of great food, but combine that with the fantastic scenery, berry fields, and farmers markets… sounds like a great place
    But were you inspired to set up shop there, and join the veggie catering revolution?

  45. Sounds like such a wonderful trip Hannah!! I so wish I could have come out to Portland to meet you! I can’t wait to see your tattoo. I have been mulling over getting a second one and right now I reall really want one. Isn’t Portland an awesome city? So glad you got the chance to enjoy it

    Oh, and I’ll be in Boston this weekend! Not sure how close you are, but I was planning on going by Wheeler’s for some ice cream and maybe Grasshopper for lunch on my way down to the cape. Let me know if you want to meet up!

  46. Oh, I wish MA was that vegan friendly. I hate being treated like a freak! Thanks for the wonderful pics. I would love to visit Portland.
    T

  47. MAN! I can’t believe you were here in my town and I missed it! I feel like a freak here because I’m NOT vegan. LOL! BUT, I love your cookbook and your crochet patterns and adore reading your blog. Hope you make it back sometime soon.

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