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Bite Me

A very full Detroit Reservoir - on the road between Portland and Bend, Oregon

The past few days have been spent in Bend, Oregon helping my Dad towards the next chapter of his life without our Mom by getting his house ready to sell or rent. Not a fun chore, going through 57 years of someone's life. Emotionally draining. Physically draining. I'm telling you all right now - go into your cupboards, drawers, closets, shelves and get rid of that stuff. If you don't use it - lose it.

(Take your own advice, Terry.)

In the evenings, there was a serene oasis awaiting my swollen feet and numbed senses - the just-opened Oxford Hotel. We have stayed in some fine hotels, but dang, if this little gem isn't one of my new favorites. It is basically an organic hotel - everything is made from recycled wood, fibers, metal, etc. There are no teeny bars of individually-wrapped soaps or miniature bottles of shampoo - everything is in large pump-dispensers. I love it! In all my years of travel, this is the very first hotel room that had a recycling bin.

Oh. Dear Readers. Don't you know I was in heaven?

I was in love with the deep soaking tub. The organic cotton towels. The key/card that you simply wave in front of the room door to gain access. The hip bar/restaurant downstairs. And check-out that cool wallpaper!

Did I mention the high-speed internet, 42-inch HD television, one-zillion thread-count organic cotton sheets?

After ten hours of work today, I was looking forward to that soaking tub and a pre-dinner nap... but the previously serene hotel was suddenly situated in front of a street fair celebration - The Bite of Bend - complete with dueling stages with live bands. Noisy. No pre-dinner nap for anyone staying in a street-front room at the Oxford Hotel this evening.

No rest for the weary.

The Bite of Bend

But hungry workers need food and there was a food fair happening on the street below the hotel room. Time to eat! 

These "Bite" food festivals bring a huge assortment of local restaurants to one area and allow diners to sample "bites" of their cuisines, usually for just a few bucks. Tonight foodies could sample Thai, Mexican, Hawaiian shave ice, popcorn, donuts, Philly cheese steaks, corn on the cob, burgers, pizza, Indian food, scones, crepes and a variety of micro brews and Oregon wines. There is no admission fee, and the music and entertainment are free.

Apparently, a girl spinning a hula hoop is entertainment. Doesn't look like much now, but she also spins that hula hoop when it is on fire. I couldn't watch. I was too busy taking photos of these dudes:

Obvious troublemakers, they were in fact grilling the best-looking (and best-smelling) Thai chicken kebabs of the night.

I love the name of this microbrew - though I didn't try a sample. Hoodoo Ski Bowl is a local ski slope just outside of Sisters, Oregon. My brother practically lives there all winter.

One of the pizza places in town brought their own portable wood-fired oven. I need one of these to drag behind my RV. What do you think?

The first "bite" tonight was a slider from The Pilot Butte Drive In. Four fries and a four-bite burger. $1. Later, down the street a block or two, a bit of Cashew Chicken ($3) from Typhoon! was sampled. Owned and operated by Bo Kline, one of Oregon's most prolific restaurateurs, Typhoon! had long lines all evening.

But the booth with the longest line was Dakine Grindz Hawaiian Shave Ice. Tropical flavors and outrageously-named concoctions.

This lady ordered her shave ice flavored with "shark's blood"... except it isn't really shark's blood of course, but some sort of fruity flavor. I think she ordered this dessert because it matched her shirt.

All in all, it was a good stroll and it has been a long, long, long while since we have spent only $4 for dinner. But, the noise/music was deafening and I was tired.... so back to the hotel and a quick stop to the chic bar before bed.

I ordered a martini.


Until my next update, I remain, your "bite me" correspondent.