Brian and Julia

Union & Pine Wedding//Fottbridge to the Feast

There are a lot of things I could say about Brian and Julia but selfishly, my favorite fact about them is that they met at the Little Red Bike Cafe. Julia was our cashier and Brian was a regular customer and the two of them fell in love. There’s a lot more to their story than that, but suffice to say that whenever I’m feeling down about the existence of lack thereof of our cafe that once was, all it takes is for me to think about these two and know without a shadow of a doubt, that cafe was meant to be. With certainty we can say it changed the lives of the people around us and E. Dohrmann and I are so proud of that fact. Yesterday we were fortunate enough to be invited to Brian and Julia’s wedding. It was surreal and beyond meaningful to be a part of their special day. On a side note, these are the two people who will be renting our house while we’re on our pilgrimage in southern California. I can’t think of a better pair for the job. Congratulations Brian and Julia. Thank you for everything. We wish you a lifetime of love, joy, and fulfillment.

Union & Pine Wedding//Footbridge to the Feast

One Last Round

Pickleback_Woodsman_Tavern//Footbridge to the Feast

Well, Folks. My stint at The Woodsman Tavern has come to close…but not without one last round of Picklebacks*.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my Woodsman Family. What a year and a half we’ve had together! Thank you to the one and only Carly Laws for your fearless leadership and anchoring grace. Thank you Jason Barwikowski for your companionship and confidence. Thank you Evan Zimmerman for teaching me that respect is earned and for demanding nothing less than 100% every damn time. Thank you Duane Sorenson for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something so special. To the rest of the crew: It’s been a pleasure working alongside you. I will miss so much about being part of this family and the space we created. Be good to one another. Remember to take care of the people who come into our house. Take pride in what you do and always remember to lift each other up. I will always be proud of what we accomplished together.

*For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a “pickleback” is, I’m so sorry you have yet to encounter these magical shots yet—but also delighted that I have the honor of enlightenig you! A pickleback is a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle brine. Sounds disgusting, right? WRONG! I’m kind of a pickle hater (I’m working on it!) and even I love these. You see, the pickle juice neutralizes both the taste of the whiskey and the burn of the alcohol. They go down quick and easy…sometimes a little too quick and easy. This drink was the “unofficial official” cocktail of the Woodsman crew, especially at the close of long night. While I bet all picklebacks are good, ours is GREAT because we use Powers Irish Whiskey (which actually tastes great on its own) and we get our pickle juice from the one and only Kingdom of Brine, Picklopolis. Try making your own at home or better yet, stop in at The Woodsman Tavern and try one of ours.

IMG_2655

I was having one of those days. Or nights to be exact. When there was miscommunication, hurt feelings, and then silence. Those nights are the worst and often make me turn to my kitchen, aka my therapist. I was seeking comfort but also knew I didn’t want to sabotage an otherwise pretty healthy day of eating, only to feel guilty about it later. Guilt was about the last thing I needed. Therefore my therapist prescribed this: a banana milkshake. Well, it’s a nearly vegan banana milkshake sans ice cream but you could’ve fooled me. It did the trick either way. Hopefully it’ll brighten your day (or night) when you need it most.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 frozen bananas cuts in half
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (optional)*
  • 2 Tbs. Almond Butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 5 ice cubes

Blend baby, blend. Milkshake glass and bendy red straw are also optional.

*the yogurt is optional and if omitted turns this into a vegan delight. Personally, I love the tang and richness that it added.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put into words what this trip meant to me. Looking back at these photos I cannot believe I was able to take a trip like with my Dad. As an adolescent I often felt estranged from him for one reason or another. It wasn’t until I was in my 20′s that we seemed to find common ground based on our mutual love of travel and exploration. I dislike the phrase “a trip of a lifetime” because I believe a person can and should have several of those. But I will say that this trip was unforgettable, incredibly sacred, and one my greatest adventures to date. Many thanks to my Dad and Felice who let me take the reins on this one. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the arrival of my 30th year on this planet. I look forward to the adventures that surely lie ahead.

IMG_0513

Penguins at Boulders Beach

IMG_0557

Gorgeous presentation at Martin Senekal’s booth at the The Old Biscuit Mill

IMG_0603

The pizzas were to die for at the Simply Italian Pizza booth at The Old Biscuit Mill

IMG_9984

Butternut and tomato gnocchi, buffalo mozzarella, tomato jam, spring relish at La Motte Estate

IMG_9995

Rose custard filled doughnut with toffee and guava ice cream at La Motte Estate

IMG_0338

View of Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak

IMG_0310 2

The Twelve Apostles

IMG_0174

Signal Hill

IMG_0166

View from the cable car going up to Table Mountain

IMG_0062

Breakfast at the Cape Royale Hotel

IMG_9866View of the Franschhoek Wine Valley from La Petite Ferme

IMG_9874

My traveling companions taking it all in

When my dad first proposed the idea of taking me to South Africa for my 30th birthday he had one condition: “I don’t want to have to plan any of it.”

WHAT? How could I resist?

My dad clued me in on the budget and gave me free reign creating an unforgettable 16 day itinerary for our family. In order to do so it was important for me to keep my travel companions in mind. (Sadly, E. Dohrmann had to sit this one out due to a work conflict.) A brief overview: My dad and step-mom are a social, outgoing and fairly active couple in their mid sixties. My dad’s perfect vacation normally involves Disneyland, a cruise ship, and noise cancelling headphones. Felice is a dance teacher who cares deeply for the preforming arts and culture in general. Her ideal vacation normally includes: attending a performance of some kind and a day at the spa. They both love to cook, drink red wine and look to traveling as a way of connecting with the world. It was important for me to create an itinerary that included fun, sun, adventure, culture, good food and enough creature comforts that this trip would feel unique and exciting without being too scary or out of the box.

First let’s get one thing straight: There’s no easy way to get South Africa from Portland, OR. It’s as simple as that. It took multiple flights, 31 hours, and several laps around the plane before we arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. And don’t forget about the impromptu airport yoga that happened between layovers (important to keep the blood flowing!), and the constant shuffle of Bob Marley, Paul Simon, the Talking Heads and Nina Simone on the iPod. The first ten days of our trip went something like this: Jo’burg>Victoria Falls>Durban>Hluhluwe. It was a crazy amount of traveling to do in such a short amount of time but I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, how often do you have the opportunity to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, dip your toes in the Indian Ocean, and take in a 6 day safari tour?

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE ( but are not limited to):

01. Hunting and finding the most beautiful seashells alongside the local fishermen in Durban
02. “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh my!” We supplemented elephants for bears and cheetahs for tigers on this trip but “Oh My” is right! I didn’t realize how emotional I’d become being so close to these beautiful beasts. I was simultaneously freaked, elated, nervous and incredibly humbled (and tearing up more often than not!)
03. A visit to a local Zulu Village and neighboring elementary school outside of Hluhluwe
04. Watching adventure junkies putting in rafts just below the towering Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls
05. Drinking cocktails at sunset, also known as a “sundowner” in these parts
06. Sunsets in general. With or without booze. Absolutely brilliant, full, and breathtaking.

IMG_8793Jo’Burg Airport

IMG_8908Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
(I could get used to this!)

IMG_8895(photo by Dad)

IMG_9030
Victoria Falls

IMG_9057Durban Sunrise

IMG_9065Durban Boardwalk

IMG_9061(photo by Felice)

IMG_9479

IMG_9411
Zulu Ancestor’s Hut

IMG_9410Zulu School

IMG_9406  IMG_9454Lion Pride

IMG_9498

IMG_9109 One of many breathtaking sunsets

Stay tuned for PART II: Capetown and the Winelands