I usually spend a few minutes flipping through pictures on my iPhone for my Things that Make Me Happy posts, and the month of April has left me with a feeling of gratefulness. April was fantastic! So here are 10 things that make me happy…
1. Maui! Maui! Maui! I finally managed to get back to lovely Hawaii. Even though it’s so cheap to get to Hawaii from the west coast, my first trip was in 2007, when I went to Oahu for 5 days, so I was excited to visit another island. I’ve only ever heard amazing things about Maui, well other than the prices. After months of dreary Portland, I was more than ready for 10 days of sunshine — especially when I realized, upon arrival at Kahului, that I had forgotten what warm air feels like. Snorkeling, swimming, laying out, driving around the island, hiking, finding an “infinity” pool to swim in while hiking, stand up paddleboarding, Foodspotting up a storm from amazing restaurants… le sigh… I think I need to winter in Maui next year. Hawaii $795.43
2. Oregon Coast Essa drove us home from the coast a few weeks ago. No Zipcars were harmed in this photo.
3. Airbnb So I tested out the Airbnb waters while I was on vacation — both offering my place up as a host and trying as a traveler. How’d it go? Hosting turned out great! I had 2 guests and my place was filled 8 of the 10 days I was on vacation. The best part? It paid for 1/2 my trip! I’ll definitely be renting out my space whenever I go on vacation now. <3 Airbnb! The bad news? After finding a lovely[looking] Airbnb place in hippy-tastic Paia, we decided to go with the flow and pay when we arrived instead of booking on Airbnb. And turns out this place is riddled with Cane spiders (Google it, I’ll wait). Ewwwww, right? So after returning “home” after one of my favorite days — driving the Hana Highway — the spiders descended upon the house. I’m being only slightly dramatic… after a killing spree of 6 cane spiders, and several bloodcurdling screams by one BFF, we all decided it was time to go elsewhere. Yes, I get that they’re harmless, but I’m not thinking about the harmful part, when I find a 5 inch spider in my bed. Unfortunately since we didn’t book through Airbnb or pay by credit card, we have no recourse to post a negative review on Airbnb, which is upsetting. Onward! Airbnb
4. Bike date to Fenouil Let’s talk about my bike more! I went on my very first bike date in March, and I’ve decided biking is the best way to go on a date. The plan was to double date at Fenouil, and we just happened to catch it on their last weekend. As I mentioned in my last new restaurants post, I just discovered Fenouil, and their fabulous happy hour in March, so I’m sad to see it closed! Anyway, since I was meeting everyone there, I rode along Waterfront Park, and under the Steel Bridge, before happening upon the most lovely bike ride going the opposite direction. I forgot it was Portland’s bi-annual Tweed Ride and was tempted to turn around and go a-riding with them, especially with their waves and calls of “Come with us!” Needless to say I was the last to arrive at Fenouil. BFF and I had the cheese tart and cheese plate and well… everything on the menu with cheese, while the guys had burgers and pot au feu. After dinner, handsome boyfriend (yes, still trying to decide what to refer to him as on my blog) and I rode through the Pearl district, up Waterfront Park and stopped to take pictures of the cherry blossoms and my new bike and the river and then rode over the Steel bridge to the East side. Riding my bike reminds me how much I love my city. Fenouil $12ish
5. Hanami! After thinking the cherry blossoms would never arrive, they finally came! I enjoyed seeing them in pockets of downtown, Waterfront park, visiting the Japanese Gardens, and happening upon the surprise hidden streets covered on both sides with cherry trees… where you ride down the street and say “oooooh! so pretty!” the entire time. $free!
6. Star Noodle in Maui I fell in love with a restaurant while in Maui. Hello Vietnamese crepe! And the pad thai, and the malasadas… Brilliant. We loved this place so much that we came back for lunch a few days later. Star Noodle $20-ish
7. Biking around the Willamette Hey let’s talk about biking again! A couple weekends ago, we biked down the Eastbank Esplanade to Sellwood, had gelato at Staccato Gelato in Sellwood, rode over the Sellwood Bridge, along the river and back to downtown. Almost a complete circle, and such a nice day for a ride. Staccato Gelato $3.50
8. Make it Pop @ Ace Hotel Cleaners Handsome boyfriend took me to the PDX Pop Now! benefit at the Ace Hotel. Good music and tasty food — asparagus soup and amazing deviled eggs from Beast (how many deviled eggs I ate = a secret!), ice cream from Fifty Licks, and cupcakes from somewhere. Yes, the music was good too. PDX Pop Now! $35
9. Portland Cheers to Belgium Beers After a morning of lazing around at the Farmer’s Market (tasty macaron alert!), we headed over to the Portland Cheers to Belgium Beers Festival. I’m fairly certain 95% of the people there arrived by bike. Thankfully, they allowed bike parking in the fenced in area, and we were able to find a spot to lock our bikes together by the row of Honey Buckets :) Anyway, I’m not the biggest Belgium Beer fan, but it was fun trying different ones (and I’m a little more tolerant of Belgian beer now — I found a few less sweet ones, but I’m still firmly rooted in the IPA camp). It’s always fun to spend a day in the sunshine with friends! PCTBB $15
10. Red flats & skinny jeans Loving my new Seychelles coral red flats and H&M dark skinny jeans. I went shopping for the first time in ages. Lie. Shopping occurred sometime in January or February, but it’s been too cold to wear them, so I’m finally getting to enjoy those red flats I found at Nordstrom Rack. Rack $25