Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Road trip to Portland and Vida Vegan Con 2013

It had been 10 months since I purchased my registration for the 2013 Vida Vegan Con.

I decided (no surprise) that I would drive to Portland. Nineteen hours, no sweat. I was totally thrilled when Ryan Patey said he would fly into Denver and head out there with me! Ryan is the editor of T.O.F.U. Magazine and has become a great friend.

Car was packed and we set out for the road. Our goal was to try to make it to Boise, Idaho and spend the night there. A bigger goal was to make it to Boise by 7pm so we could dine at the fabulous Shangri La restaurant, a mostly vegan establishment (if not totally vegan, I honestly can't remember!).

We made it! It was so worth getting into Boise and being able to eat at Shangri La. Only about 10 minutes off of I-84, we were immediately welcomed by staff. Live music also welcomed us.  Shangri La is a wonderful vegan haven in Boise. I was surprised!

The menu had a lot of raw options and several soups. I was hoping to get a hot tofu dish, and I certainly wasn't disappointed after enjoying the mock tuna and crackers plate with a bowl of miso soup. Ryan loved hi mock tuna sandwich. Shangri La is the perfect place to be able to spend a little time after  along road trip. I highly recommend it. Oh, and a shout out to Tristan for telling me about it!

From Boise it's about a half an hour to the Oregon state line. My first time in Oregon and now I am down to six states that I haven't been to (Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire).

The main thing that you just have to know is that the drive along the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken in the U.S. Holy Cow! I loved every mile of it. Even if you are in Portland but flew there, somehow make a trip out to this amazing drive.

 We pulled into Portland mid-afternoon on the day before Vida Vegan Con began, plenty of time to check into our hotels and I had a chance to clean up before catching a cab to the unofficial welcome reception. I will go more into food and sessions in another post but I just HAVE to tell you about the White Owl Social Club bar and restaurant in Portland. All I have to say is fried mac n cheese sandwiches! Oh my! Simply mind blowing. And of course I had to try the loaded potatoes. To go with all of this was my new favorite drink, Cock & Bull Ginger Beer. Mmmmm! For non-drinkers it's not always easy finding something different and tasty out there, and Cock & Ball was it for me!

Believe it or not, the food was not the highlight of the party. I started to meet many of the hundreds of other vegan bloggers that had come to Vida Vegan Con and I immediately knew that there were going to be many new friendships! Indeed there are!

Remember, this was just my first night in Portland. Vida Vegan Con hadn't even started. More on the conference in the next post.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Hey Dan, It was great meeting you at VVC and finding your blog. Looking forward to reading more of your VVC updates as well as your activism posts.

    1. Andrea! It was so great meeting you and Ken!

  2. Holy Cow sounds so intense already! Can't wait to read more. The only other blogger I follow who was out there was Susan V. from FatfreeVegan..do you know her?

    1. Hi Caroline! I met Susan on the elevator one day and had a great chat with her!

  3. You've never been to Washington?! I would have taken you there!

  4. So glad I met you! You are such a beam of sunshine and a wonderful person. Hoping to bump into again at another vegan event. Please look me up if you're ever in Florida!