I Took My First "ME"Cation and Here's How It Went!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

As most of you know, I took the plunge and went on vacation by myself this weekend. Announcing this event felt odd, like I was just waiting for someone to assume the worst, and it is, I must say... kind of an odd thing to do, a married mother of 2 vacationing alone. Weird. But, alas, I'm not exactly a typical person (at least I don't feel like I am!).
I left Seattle and headed to Portland on a Friday afternoon. Now, a roadtrip for me means loud music, windows down, and lots of lip syncing... but this trip was different already, as it occurred on my brother's birthday, and if you don't know what happened to my brother, you'll learn eventually.
So I was on the open road, just me and the 405, but instead of jamming out to Rage Against The Machine & Michelle Branch (so hardcore, right?), I spent most of my drive in silence. There was a stillness in the air; a warm, glowing, nostalgic feeling... I felt peace. I allowed my thoughts to flow as I watched the white and yellow road markings pass, I thought about all kinds of people and events and memories, I thought about how I seemingly drown out my thoughts with music when I feel busy & stressed, and how nice it was to feel free of responsibility, and that now I could finally meditate on my thoughts.

One thing is for sure- I was intrigued by that inescapable feeling of nostalgia. What was that? Why am I feeling at home? The sun was setting and it gave an earthy glow to the tree tops and green grassy fields, the Pacific Northwest is a vast land of lush green plants and healthy vegetation, everything feels alive, it's such a robust place to live. As I drove through the winding highways down Washington and into Oregon, I pondered on the feeling of "home" and what that means, and I began to think about my brother, and how this feeling reminded me of when we would hang out together and sit under the stars at night. This feeling, this feeling of home and nostalgia, that was the feeling I got around Andrew. I felt as though he were in the car with me. And in my mind... he was.
I arrived in Portland before sunset and valet took my car. I felt more excited and energetic than I had in awhile, it was nice not having to unload car seats and multiple suitcases, I felt light! I forgot my sandals in the car and ended up wearing my platform bedazzled diva shoes, which make me feel absolutely fabulous, so I guess you could say I was starting the trip on the right... foot.
As soon as I checked in, I was given cards for free drinks & appetizers (hello Elite status perks!), got into my room and was floored by my balcony view... I was twelve floors above overlooking the Portland waterfront and yacht yard, and reflecting high above was the twinkling night sky, it was stunning!
After settling in, I called my family to let them know I arrived and snapped a few photos for them. I absolutely loved having a balcony room and soaked in the Portland air by leaving sliding glass door opened most of the visit. The weather was perfection, cool crisp air against warm sun. After filming a couple of Youtube video segments, I decided to check out the downstairs restaurant and lounge- ProofReader.
I snagged a quiet, corner seat and ordered a hearty helping of brussel sprouts, cauliflower, chickpea, + arugula... it was sinfully delicious!
I nearly cleaned my plate at dinner and proceeded to waltz back up to my room for a little rest + relaxation.
Well, scratch that.
Anyone who runs online blogs & shops & projects know how difficult it is to relax within reach of a WiFi connection. So, please, allow me to rephrase that... I went back up to my room to work on my shop!
I have very much put my online shop way on the back-burner; I've had ideas, updates, photos, designs, all waiting to be added to the shop. If you have a baby, you know how unbelievably time consuming they can be. Now, trying to take measurements + flawless photos of my designs and list them online WHILE being the best Mom ever is borderline unrealistic! So my shop has laid low, but it's happening. It's all happening.
I ended up spending most of the evening working on my shop interface, listing items, and editing videos & photos to feature... and although that may sound like hard work, I find it enjoyable and fun. Creating things is my dream job, and it's what I get to do!
After a few hours of building my shop and filming a few quick YouTube segments for a project, I called it a night.
I took a long, hot shower, plugged in my phone, and went to bed.
I slept better that night than I had in years.
I woke up the next morning feeling more well rested than I ever had before, perhaps in my life! It's truly magical sleeping-in with no baby monitors, no alarms, or cuddly husbands! I stood up, stretched, and peered out at that beautiful balcony doorway.
How Pacific Northwest does this feel? Cloudy, green, lush, and peaceful.
First thing's first. Coffee.
Spoil yourself, my husband said.
I dialed room service for a cup a coffee to be delivered to my room.
The concierge took my order, it was an ungodly amount of money for a cup of joe to be delivered to my room.
Spoil yourself, I remembered.
Alright, we'll have that up to your suite in about 20 minutes, said an extra chirpy concierge.
Woah, nevermind, I can't wait 20 minutes, I'll just come downstairs.
I go downstairs and get a fresh cup of black coffee, yes I know black coffee is like-woah harsh, I don't think it's worth the calories to add in the good stuff.
I decided I'd perk up and start the day off with a little stroll around the waterfront + pier; I slid on my bedazzled platforms, grabbed my camera, and walked around the yacht yard and boat pier. There were rowing teams churning down the river, and big floppy flowers sitting by the riverside, and a bright shiny star sequin nestled between the wooden planks on the pier. Stars are an incredibly significant sign for me that my brother is near, and as I mentioned earlier, this was his birthday weekend... so the star was extra touching to see!

After my morning stroll, I returned back to my comfy suite and sat down infront of my downtown view and begin working on my laptop.
I really, super love what I do. I love my website, my blog, my YouTube channel, my shop... I get to make it mine, I can get lost in it for hours, and that's what I did. On the first day of my "ME"cation, I worked on my blog for hours, that's how passionate I am about it.
At around noon, I called room service to deliver lunch. I went with the Northwest Salad with a Pinot Noir vinaigrette, it was out of this world delicious! And vegan!

After lunch, I worked a little longer on my website and then decided it was time to shop!
I promised my little girl I would get her a souvenir, and so I Google'd the terms weird knick-knack shop and found a store about 2 miles away in a nice upcoming hipster-ish neighborhood.
Parking was a cinch! When I lived in LA, I practically needed a second income to pay for parking, but Portland had plenty of spots, and wasn't nearly as outrageously priced. I walked around Nob Hill Alphabet District, which is Portland's trendy & sophisticated district, and is actually named after its sister Nob Hill in San Francisco. Nob Hill Portland is filled with artsy shops and trendy boutiques, pizza parlors and unique coffee joints, it's a great place to grab a seat and people-watch.
I stepped inside a very intriguing shop called Three Monkeys, it was filled with odd trinkets and vintage bric-a-brac. I purchased some handmade vintage earrings for myself, and some fun souvenirs for my family. My earrings were actually made in the store out of vintage pieces, which gives it significant more meaning, and of course I wanted something with stars in memory of my brother's birthday... and that's just what I found!
Vintage star infinity earrings three monkeys Portland or Oregon Nob Hill Alphabet District earring design jewelry

After grabbing my kid's souvenirs, I headed back to my hotel because... it was time to get ready!
Now, the whole idea around this me-cation was that I was going to see my favorite band, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and thus, I was stoked to get ready to go to the show! As for the night's fashion, I went with my teenage youth style, wearing a band tshirt, a plaid mini skirt, panty hose, and some Converse Chuck Taylors.

I took an Uber to The Hawthorne Theatre, which is a small intimate venue across the river with two bars, tables, and general admission areas. The band performed a warm and inviting set, and the stage was decked out like Mr.Rogers Neighborhood, it was delightful, and undeniably the greatest concert I've ever watched them perform. I had the time of my life and even met the band!
After hanging out with fellow fans and taking selfie's with Andrew McMahon, I took an Uber back to the hotel, devoured some hummus & pita bread, and was out for the night.
I slept pretty well, but woke up and immediately realized that my relaxing and invigorating weekend of ME was about to be over, and so I spent the morning feeling very grateful for the opportunity. I got a coffee, packed my bags, and said a final farewell to the room that changed me as a woman and gave me life. I snapped a quick picture of it before leaving so I'll always remember it.
I left my suitcase in the hotel luggage room downstairs and headed out on foot for the world famous VooDoo Donuts, which are soft delclious donuts decorated in some not-so-socially-acceptable designs, and are worth a trip to Portland in and of itself.
I got a small box of donuts for the fam, devoured my Grape Ape donut (two words: grape + lavender), and headed back towards the hotel.
I popped in MOD Pizza for a quick salad & mini pizza before hitting the road (I knew I'd eat all the donuts if I drove home hungry).

I went with the Lucy Sunshine mini pizza, which includes artichokes, Parmesan, and garlic, and left full and ready to hit the road.
I grabbed my suitcase from the hotel, picked up my car from valet, and headed home.
 I didn't listen to music much on the drive again, which, as I mentioned earlier, is quite odd for me; instead, I sat in silence and recalled all the wonderful, beautiful moments I had on my me-cation, I let my thoughts flow as my brain processed all the memories I made with myself, and feelings of bliss and appreciation filled my head. I felt totally high on life, completely refreshed and rejuvenated, as if my thirsty soul were dipped in a bath to absorb and align and love itself.
I learned so much about the woman I am now on this trip.
The last time I really had time alone was before my new life, before children, before marriage, and to be honest, I can't say that I'd ever taken a vacation alone until now. This was a first, the first of many.
Giving yourself time is vital for your well being. Making time for self-love + self-care is one of the greatest gifts you could possibly give yourself. You must take care of you. You are not permanent, you are not indestructible, you are just as human as anyone else. You must take care of yourself, and treat yourself when you deserve to be treated. Be your voice. Love you.
I am so thankful for my long weekend in Portland, I did not know I needed that. I thought I had my life in check, I thought I was a great Mom, I thought I was a wonderful wife, I thought everything was great-- but little did I know, I was skipping out on giving myself love. Now I recognize what that feels like. Now I know what to do.
I am not the same person I was when I left for Portland. My patience, understanding, and calmness are resonating in greater waves than I knew possible, I have never felt this peaceful, calm + collected in my life.
From this point forward, I will make time for the woman who works endlessly for her family, for the woman who bends over backwards to make things happen, for the woman who is trying her hardest at everything she does; from this point forward, I will make time for me.

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