Last week I was in Portland Oregon for 5 days. My sister was playing at a music festival in Portland over the weekend so my Dad and I decided to tag along & turn it into a family road-trip. I know what you’re thinking, “Two family road trips in one month Simone?! Are you insane?!” Truth be told, this road trip was a lot of fun and I kind of fell in love with the city of Portland and it’s denizens who seem to spend all their days eating & drinking delicious things, riding bikes and looking ridiculously healthy while doing all of it.
One of the things I love most about being part of the blogging community is that you automatically have this network of really cool people that you can hang out with wherever you go (going to events like Bloggers in Sin City where you meet bloggers from all over obviously helps with this.) When I told fellow #BiSC Alum Doni that I was going to be in Portland for a few days she invited me to join her on a Wine Bus Tour of Portland. As soon as I read the words “wine” and “bus” together, my response was “Yes please!”
Last weekend Portland was host to the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference. Thanks to some of Doni‘s handy connections, last Thursday we were able to tag along on a “Wines of Chile Portland Bus Tour” that took us around Portland on a red double decker bus to some of the city’s finest dining spots where we sampled delicious food and Chilean wine. It was a fun afternoon full of hanging out with cool bloggers, yummy eats & delicious wine. OMG, SO MUCH WINE (I can’t emphasize this point enough.)
Doni and I met the group at the hotel and hopped on our ride for the afternoon:
One of the nice things about blogger events is that you never have to feel guilty about being on your phone:
Our first stop was Andina, a delicious Peruvian restaurant where we sampled two different Chilean wines - Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc and Cono Sur Pinot Noir and ate what I consider my perfect meal – grilled fresh octopus with chimichurri sauce & caper majado de papa (so, so delicious) – before getting back on the bus to head to our next stop.
(More wine & photos after the jump)
Our trusty red bus: barreling down the streets of the Pearl District while carrying a bunch of tipsy bloggers to their next destination:
The gorgeous Doni on the bus:
Our second stop was Clyde Common where we also drank and ate very well. Food included things like seared figs and duck bacon (shown below), lamb pate, and brisket. Also very, very delicious.
Bloggers all have their “niche.” As I explained to everyone, a lot of my stories either begin or end with copious amounts of wine (and are sometimes written with the help of wine), I am not a wine blogger. It was cool to hang out with some bloggers that belong to a completely different niche than my own. There was no shortage of interesting dinner table conversation or wine (par for the course with wine blogger events) I think the photo below is where Ryan is telling us:
“I have never blogged sober”
When asked what it’s like when sex & relationship bloggers get together, I explained “things usually just get really inappropriate really fast” In the photo below I’m pretty sure I’m explaining to Doni about that time I hung out with a bunch of sex & relationship bloggers and somehow ended up at an amateur strip-show-slash-erotic-poetry-reading hosted by a guy who refers to himself as “the naked cowboy” (it’s as bad as you’re picturing it.) Luckily Doni looks more amused than traumatized.
A gratuitous “I’m bad-ass celebrity” shot. (“Why yes, all my afternoons involve getting shuttled around town to restaurants and drinking pink wine on a double decker bus!”)
Food-trucks are a big deal in Portland so we finished our afternoon at Cartopia a local collection of food-trucks that includes Perierra Creperie, Potato Champion and Whiffies Pies. We sampled the food and paired it with more Chilean wines.
Ryan, doing what looks like some very serious wine tasting over a plate of PB & J fries:
Me & my giant gluten free crepe (love all the gluten free options in Portland!)
If this blog has taught you anything, it’s that no personal experience of mine is complete without an element of what I like to call “urban weirdness.” Hence, the random crackhead/hobo who insisted on photo-bombing our group photo. You know it had to happen.
You can find the rest of the photos from the event on the Wines of Chile Facebook Page.
What I learned from this experience:
1. Bloggers, regardless of their respective niche, are some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet.Whether they’re blogging about food, wine or sex toys, being amongst other bloggers means hanging out with people who just get it.
2. What talking about wine sounds like to my untrained ears: shdushdushdus BARRELS dhfjhjhysgfysgdhs TANNENS jsadhsujhdushjs SYRAH sjhsdgshgdhshdjhsjdhjs PINOT NOIR sdghsgdhsghdgshgdsh CORK shdghsgdhgshdgfgsd. And this is while I’m still reasonably sober.
3. When it comes to handling their liquor, Wine Bloggers > This blogger. Because of points (2) and (3) I could never be a wine blogger. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH WINE INVOLVED.
4. Just because the wine bus stops rolling, doesn’t mean the party is anywhere close to ending. After our wine bus tour we continued on to the hotel for a wine tasting party and of course more wine. OMG. SO. MUCH. WINE.
5. When you put together a group of wine bloggers and personal/relationship bloggers you get a deadly mix of excessive alcohol and rampant inappropriate conversations. In other words, total mayhem.
6. Because of points (3), (4) and (5), it’s likely that I’ll never drink again or be allowed to return to a Portland strip bar called Sassy’s. That’s all I’ll say about that.
7. Drinking a vodka and cranberry after all that wine doesn’t help you sober up. Who knew?
8. When the wine bus stops rolling, luckily so does the professional photographer. Given how the evening progressed, this is a very, very good thing.
Now that I’m back in Canada and more or less recovered from an epic (but so worth it) wine hang-over, I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule.
What have you guys been up to?!