This past weekend, I took some time to travel out of the madness that is NYC and drove 45 minutes out to the village of Nyack for some personal me time with my dear Yasmeen. Sometimes, I feel like the longer I stay in the city, the more anxious and impatient I become. I don't know if New York is making me hard, or if this change is just a part of what life throws at you in the journey of growing up. But sometimes, I just need to go to a quiet place to think and mend and heal.
I was invited to stay at the newly opened Time Nyack Hotel and it was a short but much needed getaway. It's hard to believe that this beautiful space was transformed from a former plastic factory. There's the obvious juxtaposition between the tough industrial design against the chic artistic elements, but I think it shows a harmonic blend between the old and the new. Transformation is a key element in my life right now. No matter who chooses to leave or who chooses to stay, I need to keep evolving. Keep growing. And keep transforming. To become the best version of me. But transformation requires patience. It needs time. And time is a strange thing. Sometimes it heals relationships, other times it makes you forget. So do we heal by forgetting or do we do learn to forget after we heal?
No matter how bad some things seem to be, I always try to find comfort in believing that eventually, everything will be okay. After two nights away, I've allowed myself to let some of my worries go. Perhaps, sometimes the best cure for a tired heart is to escape. Just for a little while.
All I feel I've been doing is play catch up lately. May was one insanely crazy month. For some reason, to me, the clock seems to tick faster in New York City. I can't believe how fast this year is slipping by. How is it that we're in mid-June already?? In attempt to slow down time, I made a short trip to the West Coast last weekend to Portland. It's been one of those places that I have been wanting to visit for the longest time, and even though it was a super short trip, I had such a wonderful time escaping from NYC for a little while.
WHERE I STAYED: Sentinel Hotel
I think that sometimes, photos speak for themselves, right? A historic luxury hotel in downtown Portland, the Sentinel hotel makes the perfect and most delightful home away from home in a new city. The suites are gorgeous. The room service is fantastic. And everything from the bedding, linens, interior decor, colour stories and the paintings on the wall made me happy. The location was amazing, too. Just a stone throw away from cupcakes, coffee shops, dessert shops and restaurants down every corner.
For some reason, it always ends up raining when I visit the west coast. But I tried not to let that bother me too much. Besides, I really love ordering room service in my hotel room on the first night in a new city and munch on yummy things in bed.
What I ate: classic french onion soup, bleu cheese and candied walnut salad, battered alaskan cod fish and chips, grilled alaskan sockeye salmon with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, broccolini and bourbon maple glaze, and lastly, the dessert trio with miniature crème brulée, berry cobbler & chocolate pot au crème.
I am also embarrassed to admit that I ate a copious amount of mini cupcakes from Saint Cupcake. My favourite flavours were: red velvet, chocolate with chocolate buttercream and the salty captain.
WHERE I DRANK: Heart Coffee
I'm pretty sure I fell in love with Heart Coffee as soon as I walked through the door. As my first coffee stop in Portland, it definitely made me 1000 times happier than the nespresso machine in my hotel room. The cafe is airy and filled with tons of natural light. If you follow me on snapchat (my username is honeyandvelvet), you've probably seen me go on about this sesame croissant.
WHERE I SHOPPED: Alder & Co.
I didn't get time to do a ton of shopping, but I did step into this little gem. Everything inside the store is beautiful, but prices were definitely a little steep. A side note: I couldn't help noticing that for some reason, the ladies working the store kept gossiping away like bored housewives in the corner which was kind of disappointing because I think it definitely takes a lot away from what would have been a really enjoyable experience. It doesn't make the store any less adorable though and I would definitely pay a revisit!
WHERE I LUNCHED: Petunia
A vegan's dream lunch and dessert destination in Portland. I got Porky's veggie BBQ bowl with avocado, red cabbage, brown rice, BBQ black beans, roasted squash, cauliflower and cilantro. It was delicious. I only wished the portion was bigger!
WHERE I BRUNCHED: Tasty N Alder
If there's one single thing I would recommend doing in Portland, it would be to have brunch at Tasty N Alder! The food is an interesting fusion between Korean mixed with more traditional brunch foods. You may have to do some planning and get there a little before they open at 10am (I started waiting in line at 9:40am), but I assure you it will be well worth it!
What I ate: house made raspberry granola with yogurt, chocolate potato donut with creme anglaise, potato bravas (TRY IT), bim bop bacon & eggs (except I got mine with no bacon).
WHAT I BOUGHT HOME
Moonstruck literally makes the most visually beautiful handmade chocolates my eyes have ever seen. The flavour combos blew my mind right away. I got the raspberry & fennel sugar and strawberries & basil sugar chocolate bars. I love the pops of pinks and reds from the tad bits of strawberries and raspberries. Aren't they just beautiful??
I also picked up some very delicious smelling handmade lavender soap and RASPBERRY POPCORN! Life is good, you guys! It's always the simplest things that make me happy. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! :)