The Portland of My 49th State

When I was young, my family took a lot of road trips up, down, and around everywhere east of the Mississippi, and even once all the way out to Montana. When I moved to Colorado, I took a lot of road trips around the western states to see everything I could before getting my master’s degree and moving back overseas. When I stuck around after graduation and found that travelling internationally from Denver was kind of a pain, I took some large pseudo-domestic trips, such as to Hawaii and Alaska. After all this travel, I found myself at the beginning of 2017 with only two states remaining to set foot in: Oregon and Idaho.

And now, there’s just Idaho. This is my somewhat-creative writing blog, but by day, I’m a technical writer and I work for an excellent and successful company. So excellent, in fact, that they picked up the tab for me to attend the Write the Docs conference, which happened to be in Portland, Oregon, this week. I have to specify Oregon because as an east-coaster, I still think of Maine first when I hear Portland, and I imagine some of you do too. I won’t go into all the details of what one learns and talks about at a technical writing conference, but if you’re curious about the career, I highly recommend Tom Johnson’s blog. He’s a tech writing guru, and he totally had groupies (including me) at the conference. Here, I’ll sum up some of the other highlights of the trip and save the show notes for my coworkers. Continue reading →

(Isla de) Ometepe, Nicaragua (July, 2008)

While You Are There: If you can arrange your trip while there is a festival going on in Altagracia, which we did unintentionally, stay there a night and enjoy it. Otherwise, hop on a long, slow bus ride to Merida and stay at the Hacienda Merida. They can arrange a bunch of activities for you or you can use the bicycles and explore on your own. The dinner buffet is tasty and provides an opportunity to swap stories with fellow travelers; however, food poisoning is possible. And because the rooms, including bathrooms, are open air, when a lot of people get food poisoning, the night air is filled with all sorts of special sounds that aren’t coming from wildlife or the ocean waves.

Why It’s On My List: It’s a “something for everyone” kind of place. If you are going to Nicaragua but don’t have much time to spend, you can go here to enjoy beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, petroglyphs, and wildlife. Plus, you can take a ferry to get there.

For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.

Great Huts, Port Antonio, Jamaica (March, 2015)

Doh! I did not take a single picture while I was there.
But the Great Huts official site has plenty.

While You Are There: It’s another go-away-and-then-have-a-staycation post! The Great Huts offers everything you need in the hotel itself, but there are some nice attractions nearby such as the Blue Lagoon (yes, that Blue Lagoon, not the one in Iceland I mentioned previously), rafting on the Rio Grande, Winnifred Beach, and all the jerk chicken/conch/etc for sale at the end of the road.

Why It’s On My List: It’s nice to have a little isolation for a few days when you are travelling somewhere like Jamaica. I’m not a fan of all-inclusive resorts and separating yourself from the locals, but it does get tiresome when every time you go to the beach you are accosted by people selling you trinkets, hair braiding, marijuana, and sex. A day or two in a place like this is necessary. A private beach and meals onsite is a welcome break. And this place is not a massive resort like the ones in Montego Bay. It’s a boutique resort with delightful amenities and comfortable rooms. If I were the kind to have a destination wedding (or, let’s be honest, a wedding at all), I’d seriously consider renting this whole place out.

For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.