twoOregonians’ Travel A-Z

February 9, 2012

Many thanks to our traveling friends Chris and Tawny at Captain and Clark for nominating us to complete the A-Z Travel Questionnaire. (It’s been, um, a month since the invitation, but we’ve been doing some very difficult research to prepare answers for the questions…)

A: Age in which you first internationally traveled.
T: Mexico, age 14.
B: Mexico, age 3.

B: Best (foreign) beer and where.
T: Pliny the Elder in Portland, Oregon at the Horse Brass Pub. Okay, okay it’s not foreign, but it would be foreign to me right now since I’m in Chile.
B: Speight’s Pride of the South in New Zealand. Not because it’s delicious beer, but because it’s associated with such good memories.

C: Cuisine (favorite)
T: Anything pickled.
B: Locally sourced, lovingly made foods. I’m a self confessed Food Nerd.

D: Destinations (favorite) and why? Least favorite and why?
T: Favorite – Bolivia because it’s cheap and chill. Hawaii, cause it’s warm all night, too. Least Favorite – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: Tourist Trap with a capital “T”
B: Favorite – New Zealand, South Island especially, but the country as a whole is tops: friendly people, beautiful scenery, and terrific natural resource management. Least Favorite – I’m in too good of a mood to pick one right now.

Beautiful Beech Forests in New Zealand – Bethany’s Favorite Country

E: Event you experienced that made you say “wow”
T: Seeing Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate at dawn.
B: Seeing scenes from my college computer desktop come to life in front of my eyes as I explored Klondike Corner in the Waimakariri Valley in Arthur’s Pass National Park, Canterbury, New Zealand.

F: Favorite mode of transport
T: Taxi.
B: The one with the most scenery out the window.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling?
T: Meeting new, likeable people.
B: Looking at a map or globe and realizing I’m literally standing on that bit of soil, so many miles from home…

H: Hottest place you’ve ever traveled to?
T: In La Paz, Bolivia, working in the hot sun.
B: The drivers seat of a combine – in broken-air-conditioner-conditions.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?
T: Martin and Linda’s hospitality at the Gazebo Bed and Breakfast in Victoria, B.C., and Peru Treks on the Inca Trail.
B: The kindness of strangers all up and down the highways of New Zealand: home cooked meals, stories, and custom travel advice.

J: Journey that took you the longest?
T: The 21 hour bus ride from Lima to Cusco, Peru. I hated it. Altitude sickness didn’t help.
B: The one that led us to finally purchasing our tickets. Oi! What a decade.

K: Keepsakes from your travels?
T: Black pottery from Oaxaca, Mexico.
B: Moonstone and Silver worry beads from my first visit to Greece; music from Brooke Fraser and Bic Runga and beautiful friends from my life in NZ.

L: Let down sight?  Where and why?
T: None so far. Actually, I take that back. The Vatican was disheartening.
B: Chimney Rock, Nebraska. I was hoping it would be taller. But then again, playing The Oregon Trail for thousands of hours in childhood does have a tendency to build up potentially inaccurate expectations.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel?
T: Um, by “travel” you mean Bethany? January 16, 2002.
B: Early on, I supposed the love affair began and grew every time we stepped out of the RV into new surroundings on childhood family vacations. Later, when mom and my friend Sara and I found ourselves traveling across the French countryside, seeing ramshackle chateaus and drinking divine hot chocolate, the deal was sealed.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in?
T: The Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon: Penthouse Honeymoon Suite.
B: Ditto. What a coincidence.

O: Obsession.  What are you obsessed with taking pictures of?
T: I’m not obsessed with taking pictures; I’m obsessed with living the moment. (Bethany rolls her eyes…)
B: Landscapes. I’m too shy to take very many pictures of people…

P: Passport stamps.  How many and from where?
T: Mexico, Canada, Italy, Greece, The Vatican, Peru, Bolivia, Chile
B: Mexico, Canada, France, England, Italy, Greece, The Vatican, New Zealand, Peru, Bolivia, Chile. (Dangnabit. I landed in Fiji but didn’t stay long enough for a stamp.)

Ted Visiting Greece: 2011

Q: Quirkiest Attraction you’ve visited?
T: The Corn Palace in Nebraska
B: Shantytown in Greymouth, New Zealand. Riding steam trains and panning for gold never felt so bizarre.

R: Recommended Sight, Event or Experience?
T: The Inca Trail.
B: Hiking the Leslie Karamea Track in the Kahuranghi National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. It’s tough and beautiful and more remote than many of the more heavily traveled areas.

Kaylea, Bethany, Erika and Sarah – the Four Oregon Girls Trekking in New Zealand: 2004

S: Splurge! Something you don’t mind forking over for while traveling?
T: Real coffee.
B: Decent wifi. And decadent desserts.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done
T: Hawaiian Luau.
B: Gotten my name etched in a grain of sand. (Actually, no. I’m kidding.)

U:  Unforgettable travel Memory.
T: Watching the World Cup Final Match in Victoria, B.C., in 2006. We were on our honeymoon, late for the ferry, an in the middle of a fantastic crowd of fans at the Sticky Wicket Pub.
B: Visiting my great-grandfather’s home in a small village on the island of Evia in Greece. Amazing to think that one person’s circumstances and choices a world way could set the stage for so many more stories to eventually come life…

Word Cup Memories at the Sticky Wicket: 2006 & 2010

V: Visas.  How many of them and for where?
T: We needed visas for Boliva and Brazil.
B: Yeah, that Brazil visa was a doozy. But, now that we have it, the door is open for the World Cup and Olympics, yeah?

W: Wine. Best glass of wine had while traveling and where?
T: I don’t remember the winery, but the best glass was from a Chilean bottle we had at the Italian expat’s restaurant in Jupapina, Bolivia.
B: The free glass of white that Air New Zealand gave me as an eager 20 year old setting out across the Pacific Ocean on my first solo trip…

X: eXcellent views and from where?
T: Monte Albán Oaxacan Ruins
B: How am I really supposed to narrow this down?? The world is so beautiful! The coastlines and mountains in Greece…the Island of Capri in Italy…the beaches and mountains and rolling hills of New Zealand…the rock-lined paddocks in the English countryside…Mt. Hood looking beautiful as ever from my family’s home in the Willamette Valley…

Y: Years spent traveling?
T: Sixty.
B: Ever since I can remember…

Z: Zealous sports fan and where?
T: Portland Timbers Soccer and Oregon Ducks Football – RCTID!
B: Ditto. It’s a good thing we get along so well.

Bethany and Ted with great friends and fellow Timbers fans, Alyssa and Bryan

Now we get to pass the A-Z baton to a few other travel-loving friends. If you have time and desire, we’d love to read your answers!

Kim and Brian at So Many Places
Gus and Claudette at Luggage in Hand
Jodi at Small Corner Perspective

Happy Travels, all xx

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  • Reply Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I love that you would splurge for real coffee, I’m the SAME way! And I think Bolivia is way underrated as a travel destination. It blew me away!!!

    • Reply twoOregonians February 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Absolutely! Too — now that we’re here, we should be asking you for your best Buenos Aires coffee shop recommendations. Where are your top choices for an excellent cup? : )

  • Reply Carol February 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    South Dakota has a corn palace where they change the design every year with new corn. I didn’t know Nebraska had one….where is it and what makes it quirky?

    • Reply twoOregonians February 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      I think you called his bluff, Carol! You’re right. His memory scrambled Nebraska and South Dakota. ; )

  • Reply Sara B. February 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I love reading friends’ answers to these surveys. :) I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share some of these travel experiences with you guys, and hopefully in the future too! Thanks for working so hard to keep your blog current – I love catching up with your adventures every few days or so.

    • Reply twoOregonians February 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      “You wouldn’t happen to know where Northwood is?”

      Tell me you remember?!

      (It’s okay if you don’t. The memory just came to me in a flash…)

  • Reply Kirsten February 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    There are just too many terrific answers to be able to pick a favorite!! For this being your first RTW, you are both so well traveled already :)

    Big amen to anything pickled though – – I just recently discovered pickled green beans and I am sooo in love. Also, ditto on real coffee. I can’t do Starbucks anymore. So spoiled now.

    • Reply twoOregonians February 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks for that amen! : )
      Quality coffee and pickled anything.
      So Portland.
      (Case in point >>
      No shame.
      We LOVE it.
      : )

    What say you?