Oregon Lifestyle

Take Me Back to Bend

Given the current Willamette Valley pollen count situation, I am naturally dreaming of refuge from these crazy allergies in the higher grounds of Central Oregon. Get me outta here!

I feel like Bend is Eugene’s cool older brother. You know, the one who cuts math class to hit the slopes in his obnoxiously turquoise, over priced puffy coat that looks ridiculous on you, but he totally pulls off. Oh, and he still manages to ace the algebra test. (I tested this joke out on a Bend local and she gave a hearty and genuine laugh of approval).

I imagine the sentence “We should just move to Bend,” is uttered by many Portlanders and Eugenians alike. I know the thought has crossed our mind. Truth be told, I’m not sure where I would fit into the Bend equation, and I don’t love snow enough to live in it for months, but I do know that I love visiting.
Central Oregon has this unique and profound beauty. I’m not exaggerating when I say it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Fittingly, our last trip to Bend was on Earth Day. Jon was working a Claim 52 beer tasting and I tagged along, because, Bend.
We booked a room for a night at the McMenamin’s Old St. Francis School, which I Β highly recommend. Seriously. Stay there.
Jon dropped me off and headed to his event. I took a deep breath in of the crisp, high desert air and McMenamin’s signature wood-fire scent. The fresh air, combined with the warming sunshine and cooling wind was perfection.

Before checking in, I plopped down at a small bistro table on the front patio and ordered a french onion soup.


french onion

After checking in and checking out our awesome room, I headed back outdoors to the hidden little cigar bar for a beer by another one of the many fireplaces.


cigar bar

Since the hotel is right in the very walkable downtown area of Bend, we set off on foot looking for dinner. We decided to check out Silver Moon Brewing.



Silver Moon is a few blocks off the upscale downtown streets. A local’s spot, no doubt. I give it two thumbs way up. The fish tacos I ordered were nothing to write home about, but the beer was smooth, hoppy, strong, and refreshing; the chill vibe was equally refreshing. I’m obsessed with the mural.



We called it an early night after a dip in the open air soaking pool. Have you ever walked through a crowded pub in a fluffy white robe? Now I can say I have, and it was silly and wonderful.


We got our complimentary coffee the next morning from the secret bar hidden in the broom closet. I’m not kidding.


broomsbroom closet

For brunch we stopped at the Craft Kitchen and Brewery in the Old Mill district. Great food, and great view of the park along the river.



Speaking of the Deschutes river which runs straight through Bend, after brunch we witnessed my case in point about the “cool older brother” analogy. People were surfing. On the river. Next time I visit bend I’m bringing my wetsuit to play at the Bend Whitewater Park.


Even just a quick, one night trip to Bend put me in a total and complete relaxed vacation mode. It rocked. I seriously need to get back there ASAP.

πŸ™‚ ❀

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