Visiting the Cherokee Rose Inn

It’s no secret that Portland is a very vegan friendly city. But not everyone knows about a true gem, the all-vegan Cherokee Rose Inn, tucked away in Southeast Portland.

cherokee rose inn

photo c/o Cherokee Rose Inn

I usually stay in a hotel downtown when I visit Portland. To mix things up, on my latest trip to Rose City, hubby and I visited this lovely B&B.

Staying in a big house in a real neighborhood made us feel like locals. The inn is a true bed and breakfast, and is walking distance to Belmont Street, where you can eat and drink your fill of vegan food and libations at the Sweet Hereafter, and also not far to Stark Street, home of the world’s first vegan mini-mall: Sweet Pea Baking CompanyHerbivore Clothing, Food Fight Grocery, and Scapegoat Tattoo.

Proprietor sandy Miller is a welcoming host and strikes the perfect balance. She’s hospitable, but respected our privacy. A long-time vegan, she’s done a wonderful job decorating her beautiful home and providing creature comforts in the two upstairs guest rooms, sitting room, and bathroom. We stayed in the Eagle room, a spacious room with queen-sized bed, walk-in closet, and extra trundle bed.

We had already planned to eat our way through Portland’s many vegan restaurants, and were we ever delighted with Sandy’s breakfasts! We had Belgian waffles with coconut whipped cream and homemade sausage patties the first day–and coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice!

The second morning, we were treated to down-home Southern cooking, vegan style: biscuits and gravy, black-eyed peas, grits patties, greens, fruit–and of course that great OJ!

The Cherokee Rose Inn is a place you’ll be glad you visited. Next time you’re in Portland, stop by and tell Sandy, and her little dog Hamish, I say hi!

at the front door of the Cherokee Rose

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Vida Vegan Con 2013

I already wrote about the nine-hour Portland bloggers pre-funk, but what about the actual event?

Well, it began unofficially with a supermodel scramble at one of Portland’s original vegetarian restaurants, Paradox Café. I had breakfast there with Vegan Score before heading to registration.paradox cafe

The conference was at the Portland Art Museum. Registration was all morning long, which gave people time to check in without long lines, grab a latté, explore the museum, and find long-lost friends. We grabbed swag bags and checked out the exhibitors hall, both of which were filled with vegan goodies.

swag

merch

On Friday I attended the following sessions: Blogging as Writing, Monetizing Your Blog, Expanding Your Message to Include Animal Rights, and the MoFo (Month of Food) Workshop. All the sessions were helpful and I gained the most from the animal rights one. I learned that through gentle suggestions, reminders–even humor–I can let people know about how to eliminate cruelty. Jasmin Singer from Our Hen House said something as simple as, “I made this recipe without eggs because I don’t like how hens are mistreated” goes a long way to getting people to think about their impact on the world.

After the sessions, Veggie Grill hosted a delicious reception and then a lot of us headed over to the world’s only vegan mini mall. I met up with Vegan Moxie, Vegtastic, Vegans Don’t Bite, and whole bunch of others. I am in the habit of calling bloggers by their blog names, but I assure you, they all have proper names too! We had vegan gorditos at Food Fight, vegan s’mores at Herbivore Clothing, and lattés at Sweet Pea vegan bakery. After filling our bellies I went to Hungry Tiger, a vegan-friendly bar, for a drink with the Fat Gay Vegan, Vegan Score, and The Messy Vegetarian Cook.

vegan mini mall

Saturday started with a scrumptious breakfast buffet at the conference, followed by these sessions: Ethics Beyond the Plate, Vegan Invasion, Finding Balance, and International activism. Mind you, these are only the sessions I attended. There were three going on at any given time–from iPhone Photography to Vegan Parenting. There was something for everyone.

snacks by Peanut Butter & Company

We broke for lunch halfway through the day and I was still full by the time I got to the gala. We had lots to choose from: a vegan sundae bar, vegan artisanal cheese table, drinks, dancing, and of course, the silent auction to benefit Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW. We raised over $4000 for them!

gala

sundae bar

Sunday began with another great breakfast. I attended four sessions: Publishing, Body Image, Social Media, and Interdietary Co-habitation. Of course we had another great lunch–a sandwich bar!

sandwich

I was sad when things wrapped up for the day, weekend, year. I’d made new friends, got to know acquaintances from online and in Seattle, and reveled in the company of kind and compassionate people. Everyone had a different story. There were 20-year-old bloggers and 60-year-old ones. We came from all walks of life, but we were united in our love of animals, health, the earth, and of course food.

I’m excited for the next event and I have a lot of blogs to read in the meantime.

Heading to the vegan bloggers conference

I just came back from a terrific weekend in Portland, where I attended Vida Vegan Con, a vegan conference. Over 300 vegan bloggers spent three days in Rose City. Most of our days were in the Portland Art Museum conference rooms. Evenings were a mix of events–from vegan bars to a gala and auction. It’s impossible to sum up such a rich event in a simple post, but I hope to give you a glimpse of what went on.

I drove down to Portland on Thursday and headed straight to Herbivore Clothing for shirts, a poster, jewelry, and stickers. Other bloggers were in the shop too, and I was so excited to be part of the action.

herbivore collage

A bunch of bloggers met at The White Owl Social Club. I walked in around 4:30 pm and the place was abuzz. The White Owl isn’t all-vegan, but the menu had vegan items, including the special of the day: The Greatest American Gyro. Yum!

After happy hour, I went to see a screening of the first episode of The Intrepid Herbivore’s first travel show. If you’d like to see a vegan-themed travel show on TV, go “like” them on Facebook so producers know that there’s a fan base for this type of show. The episode was great! Host Sadie is funny, lively, and teaches viewers where to go for vegan food and cooking classes, and how to be an ethical traveler. Show One focused on Thailand.

Instead of paying for a hotel, I booked a room in a private home through airbnb. I took a gamble–and it paid off. My host sounded great in her profile and was as busy as I was. The Sweet HereafterWe never actually met! We were both gone all the time.

She came home later than I did and I left before she got up. It was a perfect arrangement. I had a clean, quiet place to sleep, shower, and keep my things, and I saved a bunch of money.

The first night, I had to find the key she’d hidden. Then I checked in, settled down for a moment, and went out to meet up with my friend from Seattle Vegan Score. We went to a vegan bar, The Sweet Hereafter, for a drink and to get acquainted with some of the other bloggers we’d be seeing at the conference.

I had a fun day–and the conference hadn’t even started. I learned that Portland has a thriving vegan community. I’ll share more with you soon.