One Hip Town
~Thursday, October 20, 2022~
Having booked our stay in Bend last minute, we had less flexibility being able to stay in one spot for four days, especially when it includes weekend days. So, we found ourselves having to relocate this morning….only about 20 feet. It’s just a little inconvenient but pretty painless with the breakdown taking a fraction of the time it normally does; just put a couple breakables under pillows and drawers, and you’re good for the move. We don’t even collapse the kitchen table in these instances. For Jeff, it’s bringing in the slides and the steps and that’s about it.
Once we got squared away with our new location of B-5, I had some catch up time on the phone with my sister, hearing a little about their amazing 8-week European adventure which included beautiful countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Austria to name a few….the makings of a trip of a lifetime. Can’t wait to hear more details when we see each other over the holidays. It was also great to catch up with my mom, feeling with each conversation that we’re inching closer to ironing out all the details in helping her with her big move in 2023. It’s certainly a team effort to ensure everything goes smoothly. I’m excited for her to be closer to family ❤️ and for the new chapter about to unfold for her.
Now finally….time to explore Bend. Being the dog-friendly town that it is, we brought Sadie along for the fun, walking a part of the 12-mile Deschutes River Trail.
The Deschutes River is extremely unique because of its unusual volcanic geology, starting in the Northern Cascades and ending at the Columbia River 252 miles later. And what a beautiful river it is, not to mention the many scenic parks that are along its path. I think our favorite was the peaceful setting of Brooks Park that overlooks Mirror Pond.
It is a wonderful launch spot for paddle boarders and kayakers, but more importantly, a place to reflect on the past and pay tribute to local veterans and first responders.
Brooks Park is in the immediate vicinity of downtown, so we were on Wall Street (their main street), in no time. And the town was hoppin’!
It’s much bigger than we remembered it to be with its many shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters reminding us a little bit of Napa. The flower baskets that line the streets bring color and a sense of charm to the downtown. Did you know they actually have the Downtown Bend Flower Basket Program? To maintain these lovely additions to the city, each costs about $300 to water, plant and fertilize, and with over 100 baskets…..well you can do the math. Bend is the second fastest growing city in America, and an expensive one at that. The weather is amazing with far less rain than its counterparts and a plethora of outdoor activities, summer and winter. The one drawback we’ve heard is their resentment towards transplants, but can’t say I blame them. But guess what……everyone’s moving everywhere! In any case, the only encounters we had were very friendly and hospitable. There is an element of danger when window shopping in such a cool city. Enter Clementine Urban Mercantile where I got suckered into inquiring about a very unique t-shirt that fit my personality to a “T”. It said “I’d Rather Be Outside” with an image of the sun and mountains on the front and a cool design on the back. Even better that it came in a v-neck (those are hard to find) and in my size. Believe me, I could have easily done more damage to our bank account just by being in this store. Another favorite clothing store was “Found Natural Goods”. Jeff was tempted by a few shops as well, but dared not go in for the reason mentioned above.
And of course the day would not be complete without checking out their famous brewery scene. Bend has the third most breweries per capita of any US city (Vermont and Maine hold the top 2 spots). We thought we were going to experience a few others, but Bridge 99 Brewery was such a hit, why go elsewhere? Our first clue before we even arrived was their 4.9 out of 5.0 rating which was spot on in our opinion. It hit all the right marks with amazing beer, good food, energetic/fun atmosphere, and dog-friendliness (even inside). We even scored on our timing as it was trivia night which they hold twice a week. Most patrons participated. A very nice gentleman, a little older than us, claimed his trivia night spot right across from us at the bar-high table we were seated. He’s a Southern California native, moving here about 4 years ago. Of course we weren’t surprised to hear he’s never looked back. Evidently he attends each and every game night. We became quite a “team” in the end, trying to help him come up with all the right answers. Topics included history, sports, cooking and many more. The top 3 winners each win a giftcard Bridge99 prize. We didn’t stay long enough to see the outcome but had a great time chatting with a local and getting to hear more about Bend. What a fun, unplanned evening……the best kind. Great people, lively ambiance and top notch beer. Jeff’s vote for the top suds was the Wizard Falls IPA (a 9 out of 10!!).