If you’ve ever listened to one of my mom’s stories about me when I was younger, then you know I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. I spend most of my time thinking, which usually leads to me overthinking certain scenarios. I’ve actually learned not to think about certain things until they happen, or to just go first during presentations. That way I don’t have time to be scared or to panic or overthink. Recently, during the end of my junior year, I had to give a speech in front of my classmates and their parents. Fortunately it wasn’t ALL of my classmates, as there were four hour-long blocks during which you were assigned to give your speech, and there were multiple rooms where people were presenting.
That meant that there was a small chance I would be giving my speech in front of anyone other than strangers, which terrified me. To make matters even worse, my voice was almost completely gone as the result of a fever that I was still recovering from. As I walked in, my teacher notified me of someone who wanted to go further up the list, as she was a lot further down in the list than she would have preferred. I sacrificed myself, like a true gentleman, so that she could go ahead of me. Little did I know, she was slotted for the second to last speech. I would now have an entire hour to think of all the different ways that I could mess up.
I had practiced my speech over and over for at least a week, but now it felt like my mind had suddenly blanked and lost all the information it once held. Suddenly, out of nowhere, it was my turn. My speech topic was on importance of choices and consequences. It could have been on how good my recent restaurant hood cleaning was, by I’d rather just let you find out for yourself. From what I hear about my speech giving, I didn’t actually do that bad. I looked at the audience when it was necessary and I looked comfortable, according to the written comments left by audience members. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that worrying about what was going to happen didn’t change anything. I worried about it the whole time and still did fine. Being worried about things won’t change anything, so don’t worry about it. Just focus on what you’re going to do so that you don’t mess up
For those of you who live in Reno, NV, you know that there are plenty of great options for food. You can get sushi, fast food, thai, mexican, and sometimes even some amazing clam chowder. Claim Jumper makes some great chowder, but so does the Purple Parrot at the Atlantis casino. Most of the places I remember eating when I lived off of Toll Road were the Tamarack Junction, and home. I honestly don’t remember much from back then, and it makes me sad to think about. If you ever go to the Legends sports bar, I could probably name all the staff there. They know my dad by name and they always conversate with him while taking our order.
He even has a “usual” that he can order. We brought Steph with us last time we were there, and she knocked over her glass of ice water into his lap. I still tease her about it, which she hates. Famous Dave’s is by far the best barbecue place in town. I usually only go there when I’m in a group bigger than two, so we get the feast for however many people we have eating with us. The sweet & zesty sauce that they serve there is also literally the best sauce I’ve ever eaten. I always make sure I have a bottle in the fridge, because it tastes good on everything that barbecue sauce does, plus more. It even tastes good on cornbread, which is good because I can’t stand dry food. The feasts typically come with chicken breast, cornbread, corn, baked beans, ribs, and your choice of brisket or something else.
I wouldn’t know the other options because there’s no way I’m passing up some Famous Dave’s brisket. One thing they do that I’m extremely appreciative of is that they don’t have to get up and clap and play super loud music while you’re trying to enjoy your food. Cough Texas Roadhouse cough. My grandpa would literally just get up and leave if that ever happened to him. Why is it necessary to make so much noise that people have to shout over each other? My friends who do good restaurant hood cleaning agree with me. They should just have a “loud” section that’s barred off from people who want to enjoy a normal meal.
I have to admit – I love living in the western USA. The diverse landscapes and incredible scenery draws me to the outdoors like no other place on earth.
Recently I’ve been exploring Central Oregon in the areas around the town of Bend, Oregon. What a place! Between the beautiful rivers and lakes and the nearby mountains, Bend is quite stunning. All of this natural beauty wraps a hip, kind of eclectic downtown that reminds you of old Americana.
I can totally get why Bend has been named as one of the best places to live in the USA. One limiting factor in visiting Bend as a tourist is the amount of hotel rooms. I found that the quality of rooms is excellent – it just seems that there is not very many vacancies. So, preplan if you’re going to stay any amount of time there.
If you want to stay downtown, the choices are slim but there is some rooms within walking distance of the majority of bars and restaurants. Also, in the Old Mill District, there is a couple of big name chain hotels represented. I’ve tried both and found all the rooms to be great – but there is not as much interesting activities in the Old Mill District – so plan on driving into downtown or taking a pretty long hike.
Some of the interesting explorations we went on were to go to the different caves around Bend. One south of Bend is very moderated and you can rent propane lanterns. But many others that are off the beaten path – you’ll need to bring your own. I highly recommend a propane lantern. We found the beam of a large flashlight to be too narrow and eery.
Other sites around the area are very numerous. The waterfalls west of town are fantastic and the mountain lakes are plentiful. Overall – I think I could spend weeks in Bend and not ever get bored. Take a look!
One of my favorite things to do is hike! I recently visited Central Oregon, and found some beautiful hiking areas that the locals love. I spent the entire week outdoors, I was filthy when I got home! I almost immediately had to have
Carpet Cleaners in Reno NV come over to get all the dirt out that I tracked in… it was a mess. Below is a list of my favorite hikes I did while in Central Oregon:
Smith Rock State Park
This one is obvious – people come from all over the world to see the famous Monkey Face rock! This is a great place to visit for every level of hiker. There are trails around the base of Smith Rock that makes for a great short or long hikes for the whole family. Or, if you dare, you can go up Misery Ridge… it gets it’s name for a reason! It’s one of the tougher hikes but SO worth it. It takes you right up to the top of Smith Rock where you get beautiful views of Central Oregon. It is truly breathtaking! Smith Rock is definitely on my favorite-places-I’ve-been list. 🙂
Tumalo Falls is a Central Oregon hikes that is family friendly. There are a handful of trails. One leads you to a beautiful lookout where you get a great view of the waterfall. Another trail take you above the waterfall, so you can look right over where the water starts falling! Incredible. My personal favorite trail is the one that takes you under the waterfall. You read that right…. this trail brings you right to the waterfall and you can walk behind it! You definitely will not leave this trail dry – get anywhere near the water and you will get soaking wet. Totally worth it!
Blue Pool is a hidden gem between Bend, OR and Eugene, OR. This is a hidden lake in the woods, and the water is COLD. It is a local dare to jump in the water… many people are too scared to because it’s so cold. If you want to jump in, I recommend you don’t feel the water first, because it will probably discourage you to jump all the way in! I would like to go back on a hot summer day where I will actually have the guts to jump in – I just couldn’t being myself to do it this time. Not only is the water cold, but it is the most pure blue color! So beautiful. I recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself in the Central Oregon area.
That’s all I have for you this time! There are endless hikes in Central Oregon – you may need a whole lifetime spent there to see all the beauty it has to offer!