Travel has always been a necessity in my life. It wasn’t until I hadn’t traveled in quite some time during my twenties as I began working as a teacher and was merely happy to pay all my bills each month that when I did finally take my first official vacation by myself, with my own money and with my boys that I found another gear, discovered an entire different level of inspiration and made a promise to myself to always plan regular getaways. Whether just across the state of Oregon or to my beloved home away from home in France, the gift of travel is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.
Due to this, a couple of years ago I began TSLL “City Guides“, and some of you noticed and many may not have known because . . . well . . . they weren’t as user-friendly as I would have liked them to be. However, I was always adding destinations to the lists of each city, adding cities to the list and with each entry, I vowed to only include places I had personally visited and would highly recommend. If nothing else, it began to be my resource when friends, family and new acquaintances would ask where to go as they knew I had visited a particular city. I would simply direct them to the blog so they could easily explore at their leisure.
You’ll find the City Guides page in the menu bar below the header, and upon arrival you will see the top two cities: my home town Bend, Oregon, and as I mentioned above, my home away from home, Paris, France (this will be expanding to include other cities as well, but Paris has been well explored par moi).
Below the two top cities, you will see every city I have visited with places I would recommend organized in alphabetical order. Click on any of the cities and be taken to their own unique page with destinations listed and linking to their original source. As well, you will see a brief description of what I love about a particular restaurant, patisserie, winery, etc.
One of the many responsibilities I love about my job as the editor of TSLL is that I have the opportunity to continue to explore and share, just as I have explored this most idyllic independent book store in Gearhart, Oregon, Beach Books (technically located in Seaside, but I always stay in Gearhart and then bop down the highway a couple of miles to visit). As you will see when you visit the city of Gearhart, Oregon, in the City Guides, all of the recommended locations, accommodations and restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. Simply click on the title of the place and be directed to the original website to learn even more.
Now, let’s talk about this bookstore. Beach Books. No matter where I go, I always search for an independent or locally owned bookstore. And it is the aesthetic of Beach Books that takes it to the top of my list. The high two-story interior, the soft sea green walls and polished wood accents, the antique pendant lighting and hardwood floors, and the wood screen door adds a special touch. But be sure to look for the resident cat as you peruse the shelves. Bookstore owner Karen Emmerling’s dream of opening a bookstore began in 2005, and I can remember more than 10 years ago visiting Beach Books in its previous location. Smaller yes, but still just as quaint. Now in their new location where she has been more than a couple of years, Beach Books has found an ideal home.
If you are a cookbook lover as I am, take a look at her collection below (Barefoot Contessa’s new book was going to be put on the shelves in just a few days). Vast in options, easily visible and when I found the most recent best-selling cookbook in France Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World by Jean-Francois Mallet as was shared a few weeks ago in This & That, I was quite ecstatic and couldn’t help but purchase it.
Needless to say, treasures of locations are always being found as I explore my hometown and beyond. Stop by the City Guides to discover places to see, visit, eat and stay. I do hope you enjoy and happy travels!