Eugene – Oregon – Only the cool kids try to sneak into a track field

When I told people I’m spending an afternoon in Eugene, Oregon I either got a “why” or just a confused blank stare… with the exceptions of a few.

My brother, whose is also named Eugene and wanted to visit a city that shares his name.

And any running nerd friends out there; will know Eugene for its collection of elite runners. It is after all known as Track Town USA thanks to Nike.

So it is with no surprise that between me and brother, we had to make it a pit stop on our road trip.

Our first order of business was to find a brewery… because if California is known for wine, then their friendly neighbor to the north has the beer corner.

Eugene Eugene

We stopped at Ninkasi Brewing Company and immediately ordered one of everything!

Eugene Oregon Brewery

Which of  course left us starving. We hit up yelp and found a Korean place about half mile away. Since we have been sitting in the car for several hours. The drive from Crater Lake is long one, we decided to walk.

Eugene Art

The area was absolutely adorable with a Yoga place, some tasty looking bistros and cute little houses with little micro farms and wild flowers.

When we finally got to our destination, we realized it’s also a burger place. Korea food/burger place? Interesting combo, but Yelp reviews don’t lie? Chingu Burger Lovers, okay we decided to go for it!

Eugene Korean Food

I got the bibimbap, a mixed rice with veggie dish. My brother got brave and ordered a burger. Tony ordered a beef dish and we all ate happiliy as Who Wants to be a Millionaire played on TV. After being on the road for a week, it was our little home from home type of feel. TV and Korean take out. All that was missed was a couch.

After stuffing our bellies, I decided there’s no way we could leave for Portland without a visit to University of Oregon…

Eugene Hayward Field

I don’t know what I expected, but a field under bolt and lock was not it. Maybe Galen Rupp doing 400m repeats? Or the ghost of  Prefontaine? Either way, after walking around the field and looking for a way to sneak, or squeeze onto the track, i gave up and settled for a photo by the gate instead.

I wish I could say that one day I’ll be back to compete here, but we all know I’m getting too old and am far too slow for these dreams.

And with that, back to our car we went for our next stop was Portlandia.

QOTD

Ever been to a city with the same name as you? I would love to find the city of Liana out there.

Weirdest food combo? This burger Korean place is only beat by Kosher pizza/Chinese take out combo I always see in Brooklyn. 

48 Hours in Burlington – Eat up, drink up and watch the sunset

What can you do with two days in Burlington, Vermont? Besides of course running a marathon.

Well for one visit the Cabot Cheese Creamery for a factory tour and eat so many cheese samples that you’ll be good on cheese for weeks to come.

Burlington Cabot

Okay so technically it’s not in Burlington, it’s about 30 minutes away. But the drive from Boston is a long one so you’ll want to make a stop or two.

Our first stop was in Lincoln, NH at one of my favorite places Gypsy Cafe

Burlington Vermont Gypsy2

Burlington Vermont Gypsy

I got the Tuna steak, it was so big that I kinda just gave up on the bread.

After eating, then more eating at Cabot, we set up our tent, picked up our bibs, stopped by a corner store for wheat thins and wine and went abroad the Whistling Man Schooner for our sunset cruise on Lake Champlain.

Burlington shio

Burlington ship

Although it didn’t look that way, back in Burlington, it really was turning out to be a beautiful day.

Burlington ship 2

but then the clouds rolled in

Burlington ship 3

and things started to get a little scary

Burlington ship 4

and a whole lot more wet. It actually started to pour and get quite cold, so we cut the boat ride short and hightailed it to shore.

Back at the shore, it was still clear with a cloudy but beautiful view.

burlington scary sunset

Since wine a box of wheat thins is not a dinner for me, Tony and I went to Pho Hong because I was cold and really craving some pho!

burlington dinner 2

I got some spring rolls and a pho, Tony got a curry and everything was awesome.

After the marathon, the initial plan was to visit some breweries, but my marathon, finding the car and showering took all a little longer than planned so I had to pick one brewery to pick. I opted out of visiting Magic Hat and went for something a little smaller.

burlington beer

Four Quarters brewing just opened up tastings about 3-4 miles from downtown Burlington and although they currently have 6 brews on tap, they’re all light and tasty. I did try the Oyster one but it was a little to much for me. Number 2 was mt favorite! They also sell local honey, which we restocked on!

burlington marathon lunch

So marathon, plus beer equals a starving Liana! I really wanted to return to farm house tap and grill, but Tony said we should try something new, so I guess we should.

We decided to try out American Flatbread and got some pizza. I loved the way this was cut, that way I can eat all the yummy center and leave the crust pieces for Tony.

burlington tea

After lunch, or early dinner, we walked around with a stop to Dobra tea. I wholesomely believe that every city desperately needs a tea den like this one!!! Tony drank tea and I half napped, half nodded along.

burlington lake

After some tea, we walked around some more bike baths around Lake Champlain that I’m pretty sure I didn’t run on.

burlington lake2

And as you know, walking is exercise and exercise deserve reward so this

burlington creamy

And before driving back home, we watched our final Lake Champlain sunset.

burlington Sunset2

 

QOTD

Ever been to Burlington, VT?

Soft serve ice ream? What do you call it? They called it creamies in Vermont! I always called it soft serve.

48 Hours in Atlanta, Hotlanta, Georgia

Did you guys miss me? Or forget me? Regardless, I am back!! After being MIA for about a month with the exception of 2 days I spent in Atlanta, I’m happy to get back to my “writing.”

Writing a race recap takes up more time than I currently have available with Boston training and work, so instead, I thought I would share some snapshots from my weekend in Atlanta that wasn’t running those crazy, humid hills.

Sunrise

We took a 7AM flight which sucked waking up for, but we got rewarded with a flight full of screaming babies and a beautiful sunrise over the Boston Harbor.

Cuban 1

After checking into our Hotel, we decided we need food because being up since 5AM makes you hungry. We were actually gonna check out a southern place I found on Yelp, but when I walked by Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean, I knew we had to eat there! I love Cuban food! And yes, this place was one of my favorite meals in Atlanta.

pinkberry

 

On our first day, we tried to walk around Buckhead, except no one in Atlanta really walks around. It got hot, and we decided getting Pinkberry was a smarter option. A day later we came back with a rental car, drove around and gawked at all the mansions. That was a tad bit more fun.

BBQ

After the marathon, I felt like I could eat a pig, literally. So we went for some BBQ. Sweet Water Brew

We got some sample platter that we split at Daddy D’z BBQ Joint. It came with ribs, mac n cheese, corn bread, collard greens, pulled beef, pork and chicken. I think the tender beef was my favorite. And yes, all this meat was more than enough for the two of us.

Little Five Points

After packing in some meat, I showed Tony around some of the neighborhoods, I ran through just hours before.

Coffee Shops

Honorable mention is Little Five Points, which is called “Bohemia” of the south. They had a ton of really cute used clothing stores and I was widely impressed with their selection of dresses compared to the coldness and sweaters of the consignment stores here.

In the evening we visited the Westin, and took the elevator to the top of the Sundial Restaurant. They have an amazing view of what little skyline Atlanta has. Plus it was cool to see the old Olympic Park!

Sundial View

I thought the Ferris wheel looks a little out of place. It’s kinda just in a random parking lot out there haha.

As for dinner, we went to Alma Cocina in downtown Atlanta. I guess me and Tony prefer Latin food over anything else.

Latin 1

I want to jump into the photo and eat the guacamole now!

Latin 2

Arugula salad, since after eating all that meat for Lunch I wanted some greens.Latin 3

Chicken mole for Tony

Latin 4

Some creative ceviche for me!

Olympic Park Me 2

On Monday, we went back and walked around centennial park.

Olympic Park Me

The little area that was packed with runners 24 hours ago, was completely devoid of life as we made our way to the Georgia Aquarium.

Georgia Aquarium

There, I tried to explain to whitey the merits of why running is so much better than swimming.

Georgia Aquarium 2

I love aquariums and marine life. Although I would prefer to be suba diving instead, this is as close as I could get in the moment.

Whale Shark

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest in the world and houses a few whale sharks with a large amount of controversy. Entrance is also not that cheap, as its about $39 per person to enter and included a very cheesy dolphin show. Actually the dolphins are amazing, but the story line with the human actors is unfortunate at best. Either way, I decided that despite my internal confusion regarding animal life in cages, the aquarium was a worthy visit.

Mrs Mac's Tea Room

For our final meal in Atlanta, we finally forced ourselves to get southern food with a visit to Mary Mac’s tea room. I got grilled blacken catfish with fried green tomatoes and broccoli souffle that was absolutely amazing! I actually couldn’t finish it all, but I dragged it with me to the airport and it made just as stellar of a dinner.

Mrs Mac's Tea Room 2

Tony got a burger with grits and potato salad. The sides were great!

So my final thoughts on Atlanta? It was a fun place to visit for a weekend. There were so many dining options that I wish I could carry a second stomach to try more things. However, I didn’t find the city very fun for walking. Yes, there’s sidewalks, but no one uses them and it felt like a ghost town with the exception of the weekend. I love the hustle and bustle of the crowd. We started the weekend with no car, but ended up getting one after doing everything we could within walking distance in a day.