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!