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Portland: Summertime Festivals

Portland gets a lot of winter rain and even more cloud cover.  Between October and May (and often well into June), the sun seldom makes an appearance.  The moisture certainly makes for beautifully lush landscapes, dreamscape waterfalls, and mystic moss-draped forests, but it can get a bit dreary after so long.

However, our summers are simply to die for.  And suffering the rain only makes them that much more special.

The beauty about living in a temperate climate is we have wonderfully mild summers.  And this is when visitors and locals alike come out in droves to enjoy the many outdoor festivals in our riverside Waterfront Park – a prolific display of our affection for this beloved season.
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Travel Backpack

10 Things You Should Know When Packing for a World Trip Q&A

Packing for a year-long world trip has felt overwhelming at times. Even being about a year away, we are starting to prepare for this. With so many different places and climates it can be tough to figure out what to bring with us. Luckily we have a local community of travelers whom we can get some advice from. Here are some questions we asked or researched on our own.

Various Travel BagsPhoto by Ubi Desperare Nescio Creative Commons

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Considering… China

So this post will be a tad different from the country profiles we’ve done in the past. We’re still collecting that information, but we didn’t think a table of text was very fun to read. So this will be a bit more personal. We’ll give you more insight as to why we’re considering this for our world trip.

Now first, it’s worth mentioning that China was not originally on Aaron’s list. With dreams of exploring the famous Great Wall and seeing legendary cities like Shanghai, I obviously didn’t realize this disparity between our priorities.

china_felix2
Photo by Felix, Creative Commons

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Hiking in the Snow at Bryce Canyon – Sun Rise/Set

Bryce Canyon National Park is a magical place to visit. You feel like you are on another planet with the grand hoodoos, bright orange colors, and contrasting white snow. We most enjoyed exploring this park at sunrise and sunset when the rock formations appear to be on fire. The snow provided a beautiful contrast to the bright red rocks. Here are some of our favorite places we visited while in Bryce.

Hoodoos at sunrise in off the Queens Garden Trail | bigtinyworld.com

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Considering… Chile

South America is likely going to be the first leg of our around-the-world trip. Chile may make a good portion of this journey as we make our way down the coast from Peru. It has a wide variety of scenery from the glaciers in Patagonia, to the waterfalls near Cruicó, and a wide expanse of coastline to enjoy. Also there are many cities to explore like the capital city of Santiago with its culture, culinary delights, and beautiful mountains. The journey south will ultimately lead us to the city of Punta Arenas. From there we can take a short trip to Isla de Magdalena to see some penguins. So why do we want to go to Chile? Penguins!!! No really, there is so much more than that.

12518996133_95a2dd05c8_zPhoto by Juliane Schultz Creative Commons License – Penguins on Isla de Magdalena

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Portland: Our Favorite Restaurants – Part II

Last week, we shared with you some of our favorite local restaurants.  They couldn’t all fit into one post, so I hope you’re still hungry!  Here is Part II of our culinary highlights from Portland.
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Portland: Our Favorite Restaurants – Part I

You’ve gotten the preliminary tour.

You’ve seen the local highlights.

Now, let’s talk about food.

Portland is known as a big foodie town.  We love our food.  And living here as long as we have, we have found our favorite spots.  So when we have guests, here’s where we take them.
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Our Extreme Adventure – Zion National Park

We just got back from Utah after visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Our goal was to go to a national park in the winter to avoid the crowds and hopefully get a little snow for our photos. We got our wish! Both parks were stunningly beautiful and we did some hikes that tested the bounds of our fear of heights. It was not only a park visit; it was truly an accomplishment. Here are the main places we visited while in Zion. Continue reading “Our Extreme Adventure – Zion National Park”

Portland: Highlights from a Local

We get visitors all the time to our humble city – and who can blame them?  It’s a popular destination.  There are certain spots to which all the guides will point tourists, and those are nice… but there’s so much more to offer.  After we’ve given our guests the preliminary tour, we hit up a few of our favorite spots.  Here are some things we like to do – as locals – when visitors come to town.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Know the Common Scams in Each Country

One thing that can take your trip from epic awesomeness to complete misery is getting scammed. It can happen to anyone, but it is good to know what the common scams are in the country you plan to visit. This can help you take precautions to avoid these potential traps and better enjoy your stay. Here are some examples from the simple search of “Scams in [country of your choice].”
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