Voodoo Doughnuts – Portland, OR

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Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

After checking into our hotel last week on our mini spring break trip to Portland, we noticed our hotel was only about 1/2 mile from Voodoo Doughnuts. So the next morning we got up at the crack of dawn {5:20 am} and walked over to get some doughnuts, and let me tell you, Bob, it was totally worth it.

Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

Voodoo Doughnuts is a world famous, privately owned, doughnut and coffee shop.  The feature tons of eclectic flavors, including their now famous Bacon-Maple bar.  They’ve now expanded with a Voodoo Doughnuts Too and Voodoo Doughnuts Tres {I think I might have even read about another one in Denver}, but we stuck with the original.

Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

The owners, Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon {which reminds me, I totally want to have a moniker associated with my name} are quirky to say the least, and it totally shows in their doughnuts and their shop.

Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

They have cereal topped doughnuts, voodoo doll shaped doughnuts, and of course, every traditional doughnut you can imagine {I feel like Bubba on Forest Gump:  fried shrimp, bbq’d shrimp…}.  They decided on a whim that they wanted to open a doughnut shop, went to California to study under “master” doughnutiers {that’s not a real word…until now}, and then came back to rock their own doughnut shop.

Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

Here’s the thing, you HAVE to check this place out if you are ever in the area.  It’s super iconic, yes, but let’s face it:  every morning should start with a fresh pastry. :)

Here’s to big thighs and a happy belly,

~Mavis

Voodoo Doughnuts
22 SW 3rd Avenue
Portland, OR

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

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Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

We decided to take the long way home from Portland and stopped the Tillamook Cheese Factory and Farmhouse Cafe.  Since we were there, we took the tour of the factory.  It’s a self-guided tour, complete with cheese samples.

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

Holy buckets, fresh cheese is sooo amazing, plus who doesn’t love a good squeaky cheese?

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

Tillamook is a farmer owned dairy co-op {about 100 farmers total}.  The cows all call Tillamook, Oregon home–and the company swears that the rainy valley means better grass for the cows.  Apparently, Tillamook is home to more cows than people.

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

In 1909, several small dairy farmers banded together and began making Tillamook cheese.  It’s grown over the years, but the co-op idea that is supposed to promote high quality has stayed the same.

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

The farmers try to ensure that everything is fresh–milk arrives at the factory within 1 hour of leaving the farm and it is turned into cheese within 24 hours of arriving at the factory.

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe

After the tour, we stopped into the cafe for lunch.  It featured tons of Tillamook goodness {cheese sandwiches, anyone?}.   The site also has a creamery where you can sample Tillamook Ice Creams {some of the flavors I had never seen in the stores}.  Yum!

It was totally worth taking the long way home. ;)

Do you have a favorite Tillamook cheese? I think my new favorite is the extra sharp white cheddar.

~ Mavis

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe
4175 Highway 101 North
Tillamook, OR 97141

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The Goonies House – Astoria, OR

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The Goonies House - Astoria, OR

On the way back home from our trip to Portland, we drove through Astoria, Oregon to check out the house from the movie Goonies. I used to quote Goonies all of the time as a kid {and I admit, quite a bit as an adult}, so when I found out it was released in 1985–almost 30 years ago, I felt old.  Really old.

the goonies house astoria oregon

You can’t go in the house, it’s a private residence, but you can walk up the driveway and see it.  Make sure to look left, because next door is Data’s house {Remember?  He used to zip-line over to Mikey’s}.  It looks pretty much exactly like it did in the movie…all those years ago.  Ah, nostalgia has a funny way of making you feel dated.

Astoria is a really neat town, so if you really want to make a day of it, check out all the different filming locations {including the Lighthouse Cafe}.

If you ever do stop to see it, like any true fan would, I dare you to shuffle truffle up the driveway. ;)

If you could visit the site of any movie location, what would it be?

Personally, I’d love to see the house from The Notebook,  Baby Boom, or Father of the Bride.

~Mavis

 

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I Found My Lost Gardening Book at Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon

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Powells Bookstore

A gazillion years ago when the HH and I were first married, my sister in law gave me a gardening book. The Book of Outdoor Gardening by Smith and Hawken. It was the first garden book I ever owned. Practically everyday for over a year, I would pour over the book, learning everything from how to grow vegetables to daydreaming about visiting all the fancy gardens in the front of the book {Monticello was one of them!}. And then one day, several years ago, I lost the book. And since the book was out of print, I was out of luck.

Powells Bookstore

So when I had heard that no trip to Portland would be complete without a stop at Powell’s Bookstore, The Girl and I decided to put the destination at the top of our list {to find my book}.  While Powell’s is a chain of bookstores, the headquarters {or Mecca, rather} is in downtown Portland.  It. Is. Massive.  And according to The Girl, it’s her new favorite store {mine is still Amazon}. ;)  I’ll admit, the used and rare books selections were pretty cool, though.

Powells Bookstore

For those of you who don’t know, Powell’s was started in 1971 by Walter Powell.  Walter’s son, Michael, had opened up a bookstore in Chicago {selling used, rare, and academic books}.  Walter worked for him one summer and enjoyed it so much, he decided to open up his own bookstore.  In 1979, Michael lost his lease in Chicago and joined his father out in Portland.  They quickly amassed a HUGE selection of used books, by buying pretty much every title that came through the door.

Powell’s decided eventually to bring in new books as well.  They mix the books, used and new, co-mingling on the same shelf, so as to attract any kind of customer.  I don’t know about you, but if I am looking for a title and used is available, I am ALL over it.

With several floors of books, it’s pretty easy to grab a tea/coffee, slump down into a big over-sized chair and stay awhile. But I was on a mission and had no time for tea and over-sized chairs. No siree Bob.

Powells used Bookstore

After 20 minutes of searching, I finally found my book. I totally squealed when I spotted it and couldn’t handover the $6.50 for it fast enough. How cool is that?

Pretty darn cool if you ask me. :)

Have you ever lost a good book? If so, try Powell’s used book section online. Who knows, you might just get lucky.

~Mavis

Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Cafe

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Bobs Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Cafe

This past weekend The Girl and I decided to take a quick road trip to Portland, Oregon. One of the places we decided stop in and check out along the way was Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store.  The store features pretty much EVERY Bob’s Red Mill product–even the hard to find ones.  It doesn’t hurt that you can smell freshly baked goodness throughout the entire store either. ;)

Bobs Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Cafe

You can also take a tour of the manufacturing facility and check out the whole stone grinding process.

Their claim to fame is that they still use traditional quartz millstones to grind their grains at cooler temperatures.  It is supposed to protect the nutritional value of the grains.  They are also leaders in the gluten free game.  They dedicate separate packaging and equipment just to ensure that their products are safe.

bobs red mill picture

Bob’s Red Mill got its start in the mid 60′s when Bob Moore, the founder, read a book about stone-grinding techniques.  He originally started out in California, but when he and his wife decided to retire to Oregon and he stumbled upon a mill for sale and Bob’s Red Mill as we know it was born.  He’s been totally committed to preserving that idea of providing healthy trust-worthy products and doing the right thing by people.

Bobs Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Cafe

In fact, on his 81st birthday, instead of retiring and selling the company, he announced that he was leaving the company to his employees.  He split the shares and now they all have an invested interest in the company.  Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Bobs Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Cafe

We stopped off at the cafe {because let’s face it, it’s the right thing to do} and the food was great. So if you are ever in the area {it’s only about 10 minutes from Portland}, you should totally stop in.

~Mavis

Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store
5000 SE International Way
Milwaukie, OR 97222
{503} 607-6455

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Travelling Abroad – Tips and Tricks

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Travelling Abroad  Tips and Tricks
I recently got an email from Beth on Facebook asking me to give her any travel tips that I’ve picked up over the years when travelling out of the country.  Her daughter is about to head to London, Paris, and Rome for school–how cool is that?  She wrote:
Hey, Mavis! Glad you are having such a good time on your trip and sharing it with us. Would you consider (when you get back and have time) sharing with us newbies a little advice about traveling overseas? Things like the best things to pack and what to pack in; what is allowed on airlines; where to exchange money; best place to keep valuables; etc, etc……. May daughter is going on an European trip and we don’t have a clue what to expect…help!
packing light
I thought rather than email just her back, I would post my tips, so that all of you could chime in on things you’ve picked up from travelling abroad and maybe, just maybe, my own tips will help you out if you are headed overseas.
  1. First off, pack light.  Unless you are going to a third world country, anything out of the ordinary you need, you can purchase.  Packing light will leave room for souvenirs, save you money checking your bag, and make it a heck of a lot easier schlepping your stuff from place to place.
  2. I always bring $100 USD {in 20′s}, just to have in case of an emergency.
  3. I get my local currency from the ATM machine at the airport.  I typically get around $500 USD.  If I need more, I just find an ATM machine while we are in town.  The exchange rate from an ATM is generally the lowest available and the minimal ATM fee {$3-$5} is totally worth it and a BIG time saver.
  4. When my daughter and I travel we each bring 1 carry piece of luggage {with soft sides} and either a backpack or laptop bag each.always wear a money belt rick steves
  5. I ALWAYS wear a money belt.  I feel waaaay more secure carrying around so much cash when no one knows that I am actually carrying it, and it frees up my hands to take awesome pictures and shove my face with pastries.
  6. In the money belt, I only carry my passport, driver’s license, ATM card, and 2 credit cards {in case one is lost or stolen}.
  7. Download FREE apps on your smart phone, like Key Ring to store any other cards you might need {i.e. health insurance cards}.
  8. Don’t use traveler’s check they are a pain and a lot of stores actually will not take them.
  9. Pack snacks for the flight, but remember, you can’t pack any produce–no apple slices, carrots, etc.  Think: Lara Bars or Fruit Leathers.
  10. Pack a refillable water bottle in your carry-on.  You will have to keep it empty when you pass through security, but as soon as you get into the terminal, you can fill it.  I have NEVER had a problem when I ask to fill it at one of the fast-food restaurants in the airports.
  11. If you are bringing electronics {laptop, kindle, iPad, smartphone, etc.} remember to get an adapter so you will be able to charge your phone.
  12. Opt for comfy footwear.  You will walk a ton {they walk more than we do, in general, in Europe}.  While shoes might make the outfit, they can also make your life miserable.how to pack toiletries
  13. Pack all toiletries and liquids {check with your airline for allowed amounts} in a quart sized ziplock bag.  If you are carrying on all of your luggage, you will need to take it out and throw it in a bin at security–they usually want to see all liquids {including shampoo, gel, etc.}.  If you are checking your bag in, a ziploc bag can limit the mess if something spills.
  14. If you are crossing into countries by train, make sure you familiarize yourself with each country’s entry rules and procedures.  Each country has different rules for foreigners.  In France and obviously England, they can/will speak English–so you can ask when you get on the train.  In Italy, it is not as common for people to speak English {at least when I was there, which was YEARS ago}, so make sure to familiarize yourself ahead of time.
  15. When my daughter and I travel, we each bring 1 carry-on piece of luggage {with soft sides} and either a backpack or laptop bag each.  I like to carry-on everything rather than check it, because it saves time and money, and it completely eliminates the possibility of lost luggage.  {Make sure to check with your airline for size guidelines on carry-ons.}
I hope you daughter has a fantastic time–I am sure it will be the experience of a lifetime. Do any of you have tips for someone travelling abroad for the first time?
~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Things to Do in London

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10 Things to Do in LondonAs you know London is one of The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and my favorite places in the world.  In fact we’d totally live there if we could.  Everytime we go, we find something new to do, but we definitely have our list of favorites too.

Here are 10 things that will not disappoint if you are lucky enough to find yourself in London in the near future:
harrods

  1. Harrods.  Harrods is like the “IT” spot for department stores in London.  It’s massive {the largest department store in Europe}, upscale, and even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s totally worth a quick stroll.the orangery afternoon tea
  2. High Tea.  Nothing says England like High Tea.  There are tons of places in London to have afternoon tea, which one you choose really just depends on your tastes.  Some are VERY upscale, while others are more traditional.  Either way, save room for the assortment of scones, sandwiches, and desserts that accompany a hot cup of tea.  It’s a must do, really, you know, when in Rome…london tube Piccadilly line
  3. The Tube.  The Tube is London’s underground subway.  It can disperse you all over the city in minutes, and though it can be initially tricky to read the map, once you get the hang of it, you will want to trade in your car for a subscription to your favorite paper or magazine, and enjoy the stress free commute.  As a tourist, it’s fun to see the totally eclectic crowd it attracts.london natural history museum
  4. Natural History Museum.  This place really deserves its own post.  It’s The Girl’s favorite place in the world.  It covers every aspect of natural history–from rocks to cavemen.
  5. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  The Globe is a modern day reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original theatre.  It is built only feet from the original theatre, and patterned to replicate the times.  The cheap seats {for the commoners} are standing only at the base of the stage.  The prices go up as your “social class” goes up.  Book your tickets early, though, because the season fills up fast.10 Things to Do in London buckingham palace
  6. The changing of the guard.  The changing of the guard in front of Buckingham Palace is FULL of history and pristine attention to ritual.  If you have never seen it, it’s one of those must-do touristy experiences.hyde park london arched trellis
  7. Hyde Park.  Make sure you schedule a stroll through Hyde Park on your way to something at least.  Not visiting it would be like not seeing Central Park on a visit to New York City.  It’s iconic.
  8. Billingsgate Market.  Billingsgate Market is like Seattle’s Pike Place Market, only on crack.  It’s where the locals go to get fresh off the boat seafood.  And as a tourist, it’s a great place to go to get a real feel for the locals.tower of london tickets
  9. Tower of London.  This is the mecca for British history.  It’s where the Queen’s Jewels live.  And, where many of England’s prisoners were held.
  10. Trafalgar Square.  This square is another iconic London location.  It appears in the movies pretty often, in fact, in 2012 Tom Cruise and movie makers shut down the entire square to film Edge of Tomorrow.  The square is named after the Battle of Trafalgar, which was an important victory for England over the Napoleonic Wars.  It houses several statues and a huge fountain.

There is seriously so much to explore in London.  These are just a glimpse.  Any you would add?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Love Lock Bridge Paris, France

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Love Lock Bridge Paris, France

The Girl and I visited one of the Love Lock Bridges while we were in Paris.  Apparently, the idea of a love lock bridge is nothing new {it started in the early 2000′s}, but it is making a kind of resurgence.  If  you have never heard of them, it’s when two sweethearts write their name on a paper and attach it to a padlock {or write it on the padlock itself}.  Then, they click the padlock onto some part of the bridge and throw the key into the river.  It’s supposed to be a grand symbol of their unbreakable bond.

Love Lock Bridge Paris, France

Apparently, in France at least, which bridge you choose matters.  One bridge is for your committed love and the other bridge is for your lover…ah, only in France!  The Girl and I went to Pont de l’Archevêché, 75005 Paris, France.  It’s only about 2 streets up from the Notre Dame, so it’s really easy to find.  Of course, it was just her and I, so no padlock, but holy buckets, there were a ton of them!

Love Lock Bridge Paris, France

And what if your love ends?  The tale goes that the only way to break the bond is to retrieve the key and unlock the padlock.  Being that the keys are at the bottom of the river, it is apparently not that uncommon to see a jaded love stroll down with bolt cutters.  I’m not going to lie, I would have given money to see that {I guess that means I’m not really a romantic at heart?}

Love Lock Bridge Paris, France

I guess Love Lock Bridges are just one of the many reasons Paris really is the city of love.

~Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Paris Walking Tour Goes Awry

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walking map paris france

Sometimes when you’re on vacation, things don’t go as planned.

Take Sunday for instance. The Girl and I left our hotel with the intention of going on a 10 mile walk around Paris. We carefully mapped out our plan on google maps and were very confident about our journey.

  • Start – Eiffel Tower
  • Stop 1 – Le Bon Marche Grocery Store
  • Stop 2 – The Catacombs
  • Stop 3 – The Love Lock Bridge
  • Stop 4 – The Nike Store on the Champs-Elysees
  • Stop 5 – Arc de Triomphe
  • Finish – 6 Our Hotel

Our hotel was near the Eiffel Tower and our first stop was going to be at the coolest grocery store in all of Paris, La Grand Epicerie at Le Bon Marché to buy something for breakfast. 

It was suppose to be a quick 2 mile walk. And it was, but when we arrived we discovered the grocery store was CLOSED.

Oh well, it was a nice walk anyway right?

So we looked down at our folded map and started towards our next destination. The Love Lock Bridge. Which was really suppose to be our third stop but we didn’t notice until our stomachs were grumbling and we had to use the bathroom.

rodin Museum ticket paris

Luckily the Rodin Museum was nearby so we stopped there for a bite to eat instead.
the thinker rodin museum paris

We saw The Thinker!apricot tart

Ate something tasty for lunch, and then assessed our situation.  At this point it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. I knew entry to the Catacombs closed at 4pm so we walked as fast as we could. Once we got in line we were told were had about a 1 hour and 40 minute wait.
catacombs paris france line

And the chances of us getting in were about 50/50. By now it was 2:50 in the afternoon and we hadn’t crossed anything off our original list of sites we wanted to see on our original walking tour plan.

The Girl didn’t want to chance it, but I did. catacombs paris

We were the last group of 12 people to get into the catacombs. Wowza! Talk about cutting it close. {I’ll post more about the catacombs tomorrow}. paris metro ticket stub

At this point it was about 5pm and I new it would be getting dark soon and the last thing I wanted to be doing was wandering around Paris in the dark holding a map and trying to use the light from our cell phones to guide us home. So, for the first time ever, we braved the Paris Metro.

Louvre roaming gnome

We didn’t make it to the Love Lock Bridge, but we were able to stop by Mona Lisa’s house. {The Louvre}. arc de triumphe

And the Arc de Triomphe.omron pedometer

And the Nike store for The Girl.

paul bakery cafe paris

At that point I looked down at my pedometer and noticed so far we had walked almost 25,000 steps for the day. And we still had to walk back to our hotel. So we grabbed a quick bite to eat from Paul’s and headed back to our hotel.
the best pedometers omronIn the end, our 10 mile walking tour of Paris worked out to be a 16.94 miles. Getting lost is RAD isn’t it? Seriously, at this point I might as well sign up to do a marathon this spring because we never stopped walking on this trip.

C’est la vie ;)

~ Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew Garden

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kew gardensLast time we went to the Royal Botanical Gardens, I showed you tons and tons and tons of pictures, but I never really gave you the history of the place.  Shame on me.

orchids growing on tree stumpThe Kew Gardens take up about 300 acres of land in southwest London.  They are a combination of outdoor gardens and glasshouses {uh-mazing glass greenhouses}.

kew gardensThe whole of the gardens house the world’s largest collection of living plants.  They are are more than 30,000 kinds of living plants.  Be still my beating heart.  And while it has amazing gardens, at it’s heart, it is dedicated to preserving and studying all horticulture.  There’s about a million ways to experience it, from tours to classes.

kew garden orchidsThey also host events throughout the year, depending on what is in season/bloom.  It really is impressive. Right now the orchid festival is going on and it is freakin’ fantastic.

kew gardens birdgeThe first part of the gardens opened in 1759.  The collection of plants kind of grew chaotically and without much planning at first–and over the years more land was added to the overall conservatory.

kew gardens cottageThe MANY buildings, like Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and the Princess of Whales show the extensive royal influence over the development of the gardens.

tea cupcakeThe Orangery, originally designed to be a greenhouse, now functions as a cafe/restaurant.  In it’s prime, it was the largest glasshouse in England.  In true British fashion, it overlooks the perfectly landscaped grounds.  The menu changes daily and time around we enjoyed tea and cupcakes.

kew gardens gift shop

And let’s not forget about the gift shop. There is everything from Burgon and Ball enamelware, garden books and tools plus a nice selection of potted plants both inside and outside the gift shop.

Hands down Kew Gardens is one of my favorite stops in England.

How about YOU? Do you have a favorite place in the world? What is it?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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