Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Voodoo Doughnut - Portland, Oregon

I had only a few things on the must do list for my drive up the West Coast with the Dining Companion's hermana. Voodoo Doughnut in Portland Oregon was one of them. After all, how could we be in Portland and not visit Voodoo Doughnut? It's doughnuts and Voodoo. I know right?

Lining up for doughnuts
As we expected there was a line but we only waited about 10 minutes before we headed inside...

So many choices!

Racks of doughnuts and stacks of iconic pink boxes waiting to be filled

Time to get serious and pick out some doughnuts.

Bacon Maple Bars

Cap'n Crunch, check. Oreos, check.

Classic Voodoo Doll doughnut

We ended up with a dozen wacky and delicious doughnuts. Our very own pink box of happiness. 

If you're traveling to Portland put Voodoo Doughnut on your must do list. They're open 24 hours a day so whenever you hit town the doughnuts are waiting. Go get some!

I only wish there was one near me.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Olive Pit - Corning, California

As the Dining Companion's hermana and I were traveling up the California coast we passed a couple of billboards for the Olive Pit. Tempting us with the promise of olive tastings, there was no way either one of us could resist a stop.
What we found when we arrived was a cute store all about olives and olive related products. Oh, and wine too.

The store features an olive bar. There you can taste a large variety of olives, olive oils and vinegars.

Photo from the Olive Pit website
We wandered around trying to see everything at once. There was a lot to see.

Everything from the expected...

...to the hey look at this

to the what the hell?

The only thing that stopped me from buying everything in the store right then was the flight I still had to make a few days later. Good thing for me the Olive Pit ships. There are prepared gift boxes in the store for purchase that can be mailed out. (You can also fill a gift box with your own selection of products.) Also, from their website you can place orders online. We didn't leave completely empty handed. A few snacks for the road may have made it back to the car.

All that walking around looking at food was hungry work. Good thing for us there was a cafe right on the premises. As the clock struck lunchtime we made a beeline for the counter.
Photo from Olive Pit website
Looking over the menu one thing caught our eye; the lunch menu featured a Muffuletta sandwich. Which may seem an odd choice seeing as how we're nowhere near the city that put that sandwich on the map. However, one of the main components of a muffuletta besides a variety of coldcuts is a delicious olive salad. The one on the menu at the Olive Pit is made with their own version of that salad and it was delicious.
Muffuletta Sandwich
A random billboard along the highway or even a recommendation from the hotel clerk can lead to unexpected finds. The nice thing about taking a road trip is that you can stop at interesting places you happen upon along the way. The Olive Pit proved to be a fun stop and well worth the time.

After enjoying lunch and armed with snacks for the road we headed back to the car. Happy that we took the time to stop and looking forward to where the road would take us next.

Happy travels!  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hearst Castle - San Simeon, California

Recently the Dining Companion's hermana and I took a drive along the West Coast from California to Washington. One of the first stops on our tour up the coast was Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. Hearst Castle was build by William Randolph Hearst on land that his family owned. As a child and young adult he spent time camping on the land but as he got older Hearst decided that he no longer wished to sleep in a tent. Having decided that, he went on to build a cottage on the land so he no longer needed to camp. Hearst Castle is that cottage.

We parked the car and made our way to the ticket window and got in line for our tour. The first part of the tour is a 15 minute bus ride along a winding road that makes it way up to the house. Along the way a guide gives a history of the grounds and the surrounding area. Part of the land is a working ranch.

If you look closely you'll notice not just cattle but zebras as well

Another tour bus making its way up the mountain

As the bus makes its way towards the top you catch glimpses of the house.
The "castle" really is amazing.


A grand entrance
We took the Grand Rooms Tour. The highlights included the Assembly Room, Refectory, Billiard Room, Theater, Gardens, Neptune Pool and Roman Pool.

The tapestries hanging in the house are hundreds of years old
Ornately carved ceilings brought from Europe


The dining table is all set for a casual meal at the cottage

As lovely as the interior is the grounds are even more spectacular.

The last area we toured was the pool. The pool room as well as the whole pool are covered with intricate mosaic tile designs.

The history of Hearst Castle is interesting. If you're traveling in the area it would be worth it to make time for a tour. We both enjoyed the tour but the road was calling. Time to see where it would take us next.

Happy travels!