Portland & homebrewed imperial stout

Looking into Neruda’s funky eclectic bar, reflecting outwards toward the incredible blue beach of Isla Negra. Photo taken in 2010.

Today kicks ass on so many levels: first of all, it’s a beautiful, sunshine filled Friday before what promises to be an equally beautiful 3-day weekend, secondly, my coworker brought me a bottle of his homebrewed roasty toasty imperial stout to enjoy and last, but certainly not least, I bit the bullet and purchased my flight to Portland in June! This makes for a pretty damn good day in my book.

The people behind these wonderful things are what make them even more incredible.

Let’s take the imperial stout for example. Who’s behind the beer? Well, that would be Paul, the I.T. guy at work. He’s like a walking Wikipedia with an insanely quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor. When Paul is around, I am usually learning something, like backpacking survival tips or the science behind brewing beer and smoking meat, or sometimes, although rarely, it’s something more “I.T” related like pivot tables in excel or the functions of a hard drive (is that even a thing? I don’t know. It just sounded good). We usually nerd-out and go in depth about such topics. But whatever the topic is, and let me tell you it’s a wide-range with little off limits, I am usually cracking up with a full-on belly laugh and one of those insane smiles where it literally hurts. Fortunate for me, Paul also doubles as my foodie friend who smokes and cures his own meats, bakes homemade bread, and brews his own beer. I certainly love to eat and drink, but my cooking skills are minimal at best. Paul knows this, and I think he takes pity, thus the work delivery of homebrews and such. As I indulge in my chocolaty dark stout this evening, I will certainly toast to Paul. Everyone needs a Paul at work.

Another one behind this great day is my wonderful cousin, Kristin. She is the one who prompted my Portland airfare purchase because she is graduating from Portland State University with a B.S. degree in sociology this June! I could not be more excited for her or more proud. This journey to graduation certainly has not been linear and through it all she has shown such dedication and perseverance. I cannot wait to celebrate this milestone with her. Kristin is my older cousin, but genetically she is more like a sister; our dads are brothers and our moms are sisters. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, two brothers married two sisters, and no it’s not incest! We are two of three girl cousins (shout out to Hillary, the third girl cousin!) in a family totally outnumbered by boys. I am so thankful to have such courageous, brilliant, and driven women as my cousins.

Portland travel tips, anyone!? I love the adventure of travelling sola and will be there just for the weekend, from June 14-17. I thrive off of the eclectic and funky hostel culture and hope to find a sweet place to stay near Powell’s bookstore in downtown Portland. Besides hanging with my lovely family, I imagine I will be sola most of the time, reading, eating, drinking, and writing my way through the city. I cannot wait. I am open to any and all tips, recommendations, and advice—please send my way!

2 Responses to “Portland & homebrewed imperial stout”

  1. Kristin

    Awww cousin. I love you SO! Just a small correction, I am graduating from Portland State University, although I would love to have graduated from UofP but, it’s a way too expensive private university. Ha! I can’t wait to see you in June.


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